Soft centres seem to have completely gone out of fashion. When you talk about
live centres these days, people think you mean rotating centres:-(
I've taken to turning my own from blank arbours...
Soft centre is placed in spindle taper and turned in situ to 60
degrees and thus is dead nuts concentric with the spindle. A rotating
centre (normally equipped with a sealed thrust & radial race set)
would usually be used in the tailstock in place of a hard centre, thus
reducing the likelyhood of overheating from lack of lubrication.
I've been looking at 3MT centres for my newly acquired lathe, it seems
that all the ones in the usual suppliers' lists are hardened. I think
your best bet would be to buy a 3MT blank arbour and turn a 60 deg point
on it yourself (or of course make your own blank).
I'll have a scratch about, I think I've probably got a spare or two in
a box of odds. Won't be wonderful, but if you're going to tickle it
up, that won't matter. Let you know when I've had a look later in the
On Fri, 2 Jan 2009 18:05:22 +0000, David Littlewood
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