I now recommend the “Oneway Big Bite Spur” center for driving big things. Big blanks for bowls or logs for hollow forms. It only costs around $20 on 5/5/2020.
I still have and like my “Stubby Lathe USA Convertible Screw-on Drive Center”. But, you can’t purchase this center any more. Thus, I decided a couple of months ago that I should use what I recommend to my students. Well, you can purchase a very similar “Nova Jumbo Spur Center”. However, I now like the “Oneway Big Bite” better.
Big Bite In Use
Reference photo of the “Oneway Big Bite” in use. Log mounted on the lathe for an end grain hollow form.
Why I like the Big Bite
After I started using the “Oneway Big Bite” I decided I like it better than my “Convertible Screw-on Drive Center”. The Big Bite is easier to use and costs a lot less.
I like the “Oneway Big Bite” because the point sticks out a lot. This makes it easier to rotate a blank on the center until the spurs are an equal distance from the blank and thus can be driven in with the tailstock.
In the photo the blue arrow points to “the point” that sticks out a lot. The green arrow points to spur in contact with wood. The red arrow points to a spur that is not in contact with the wood. Thus the blank needs to be rotated until red and green arrows spurs are an equal distance from the blank. Like they are in magenta arrows photo.
Spurs Driven In
Reference photo of the “Oneway Big Bite” spurs driven in by tailstock pressure.
Log Mounted on My Lathe
Reference photo of log mounted on my VB36 lathe after installing a face plate on the headstock side.
I Like the Big Hole
I really like the big hole left behind by the big point on the “Oneway Big Bite”.
After I mount a blank on a faceplate and then mount the blank on the lathe, the hole on tailstock side often does not line up with my Oneway Live Center in the tailstock. If the hole is small then it creates problems with the point on the live center. The small off center hole pushes the live center off center.
The big point hole left behind by the “Oneway Big Bite” is no problem. The point on the live center just drops somewhere in the big hole. When the center is driven in the cup on the center takes the load and does the job.
In the photo the green arrow points to the small point on Oneway Live Center. The red arrow points to the big hole left behind by “Oneway Big Bite”.
Note: The live center in the tailstock is just there for safety. I am not using it to line things up. Thus anywhere in the big hole is good enough.