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When you have a lathe, you must turn a piece of wood into another, but what about the work in between and to hold or support a workpiece in a lathe or other machine tool? The live center is the solution.
An ideal live center cone shaped tool that allows you to keep the wood on its axis as it revolves, preventing the workpiece from wobbling and becoming unstable.
There are many different types of live centers on the market, but the best live center for woodturning is one that is specifically designed for this purpose.
Let’s start with the 7 most popular live centers, the one that can be used with practically all lathes. Furthermore, you will know how to purchase one as well as the FAQs related to it.
PSI LCENTLT2 Woodturning Live Center 60-Degree Points
HFS Morse Taper Live Center Woodturning
WEN LA1158 Tailstock Live Center for Woodturning
Here Are the Top 7 Best Live Center for Woodturning
To choose a live center for turning wood, many woodworkers choose the one that’s easiest to turn with. That would be the multi-directional live center, which is also known as the universal live center.
The following are the best choices in each category, including the variable speed lathe live center, which can be used with your lathe.
1. PSI LCENTLT2 Woodturning Live Center 60-Degree Points
The PSI live center for woodturning is an incredible tool. A centering device holds the workpiece in place while you turn it on a lathe. With this heavy-duty live tailstock center like drive centers, you will get excellent power transfer and high rigidity.
Turning wood is easy with this large live lathe center. This imposing robust live center is perfect for any woodturner looking to add some power to their turning. With its large size, this center can handle even the most stubborn of stocks.
This tool is perfect for anyone who wants to start turning their own wood pieces. With a 60-degree point, this tool makes it easy to get started with woodturning without having to worry about making mistakes.
The PSI LCENTLT2 Woodturning Live Center 60-Degree Points is an amazing tool that allows users to turn smoothly and with precision.
Ball bearings with liquid proof seal ensure that the tool turns effortlessly, making it a perfect choice for anyone who wants to create beautiful pieces of woodwork.
This center cone is designed for use in live centers for woodturning. It has a smooth, polished surface that allows it to glide easily through the wood. Item’s size and shape are 2-1/2″ by 1-11/16″ which makes it suitable for use in a variety of applications.
The product’s huge live center makes it easy to get the job done right every time. It runs smoothly and provides balance and support for your work. It is a must-have tool for anyone who loves woodturning.
- Heavy-duty live center
- Suitable for a variety of applications
- Perfect for power transfer and high rigidity
- Large size can handle stubborn stocks
- 60-degree point makes it easy to get started
- Smooth, polished surface for easy gliding
2. WEN LA1158 Tailstock Live Center for Woodturning
If you’re looking for a quality tailstock live center, the WEN LA1158 is a great option. This live center is made from durable materials and features a precision-machined MT2 mount.
A live center for woodturning can accommodate larger workpieces better. To ensure that there is no impact on the workpiece, the Wen ones have a cleverly designed groove that increases the contact area with the workpiece surface.
The WEN LA1158 Tailstock Live Center for Woodturning features internal ball bearings that provide a smooth, concentric ride for your workpiece. This makes it easier to keep your workpiece centered while you’re turning it, which results in a more consistent finish.
WEN woodturning live centers are crafted with maximum accuracy for high-quality results. The sturdy, all-metal construction of the liquid proof seal bearing provides the back and forth stability needed for woodturning applications.
Woodturning’s robust live center from WEN is a valuable tool for your shop. It’s made of high-quality materials and fits perfectly into any lathe with an MT2 tailstock. This center provides accurate support and allows you to turn in bowls and other projects with ease.
The woodturning live center point cone is small but effective. It has a diameter of 1-5/8 inches, making it appropriate for most projects. It is made of high-quality materials and is very durable. It’s well suited for use with most lathes.
This taper allows you to use all WEN MT2 lathe models, including the 3424, 3424T, 34018, 3427, 34027, and 34034. Therefore, it is a versatile tool that can be used with any of those models.
- Precision-machined MT2 mount
- Increased contact area with the workpiece surface
- Sturdy all-metal construction
- Accurate support for woodturning applications
- Internal ball bearings for a smooth, concentric ride
- Compatible with WEN MT2 lathe models
3. HFS Morse Taper Live Center Woodturning
The HFS live center designed for woodturning provides solid live-center support and features an integrated work stop at the tailstock end. It has a #2 morse taper and can handle heavy-duty applications.
You should have an HFS live center in your workshop if you do woodturning. It’s made from high-quality materials and has a 2-1/2″ by 1-11/16″ overall diameter. This center is perfect for use with a lathe, and it’s sure to help you achieve great results.
For many turn-between-center projects, the Morse Taper Live Center Woodturning comes with a precision ball bearing that provides a smooth turning experience. The liquid proof seal bearings are very effective at engaging workpieces while securely holding them in position.
It’s made of alloy steel, so it’s very sturdy and will last a long time. Due to its construction, you can use it with any type of wood. It’s also important to note that this center drill hole is designed for lubrication oil, so be sure to apply some before each use.
This is a very easy-to-use device. The HFS robust live center can easily accommodate workpieces of many different sizes and weights, so you won’t have any problems using it for whatever type of project you need.
No matter what you’re making, this product will help you turn the piece with ease while developing beautiful results. It’s shipped in a protective case for storage and transport.
- Can handle heavyweights
- 2-1/2″ by 11/16″ overall diameter
- Ball bearing for smooth turning experience
- Alloy steel construction for durability
- Easy to use and accommodates a variety of workpieces
- Ship in a protective case for storage and transport
4. DCT Bowl Turning Wood Lathe Live Center
The DCT live center is ideal for woodturning. It has a woodworking tapered turn center design that makes it perfect for use in pen making and bowl turning. Heavy-duty construction ensures that it can handle even the most challenging projects.
This precision ball bearing design offers a smooth turning experience, giving your chisel more range of motion and resulting in cleaner cuts. Whether you are a novice or an experienced woodturner, don’t overlook the DCT Bowl Turning Wood Lathe Live Center.
It is easy to use, as it can be placed on the tailstock and the opposite end in the center drill hole. Using the 60-degree pointed woodworking tapered turn center at the end of your workpiece or sanding the underside of the piece helps relieve tension.
The DCT robust live center is a great accessory to have for anyone who uses a wood lathe with a #1 Morse Taper (1MT) tailstock. It is recommended that you apply lubrication oil to the bearing prior to each use.
This product helps to keep your workpiece in place while you’re turning it, which can be very helpful when you’re trying to achieve precise results. It’s also made from high-quality materials, so it can withstand the rigors of everyday use.
Its alloy steel shaft construction ensures ultimate strength, while its 4,000 RPM maximum speed and 66-pound (29kg) workpiece load capacity make it perfect for even the most strenuous projects.
Plus, its break-resistant tail stock means you never have to worry about being left without this essential tool in the middle of your project.
- 4,000 RPM maximum speed
- 66-pound (29kg) workpiece load capacity
- Alloy steel shaft construction with break-resistant tailstock
- 60-degree tapered end for sanding pieces to relieve tension
- Woodworking tapered turn center design
5. â€ŽPSI LTCA18 Threaded Tailstock Live Center Wood Turning
The PSI LTCA18 dual bearing live center for woodturning is an excellent tool for precision turning. It is also a significant improvement over the standard dead center that most woodturners use.
This product is a great way to convert your lathe’s #2MT dead tailstock to a 1″ x 8tpi threaded live tailstock. Essentially, the live lathe tailstock is a tool that can be mounted to any lathe with its threaded tailstock.
The tailstock allows for all 1″ x 8tpi threaded lathe tools to be mounted, converting it from being dead to live. This product is incredibly easy to use and makes it quick and simple to get the most out of your lathe.
With the PSI LTCA18 Threaded Tailstock Live Center Wood Turning, you can mount your dual bearing live center to your tailstock with the included #2 Morse Taper arbor. This ensures that the live center is always in place while turning on the lathe.
If you’re looking for a secure workpiece mount that will allow you to center spindles or dowels with precision, the PSI dual bearing live center for woodturning is ideal. This live revolving center comes with a wrench so you can get to work right away. It’s also great for mounting bowls so you can hollow them out with ease.
The chuck and blank are remounted on the headstock, which puts the bowl directly in the center of the hollowing bit. When finished, the bowl will be well centered when finished because it’s in its original position before procrastinating.
- Converts tailstock from being dead to live
- Allows for all 1″ x 8TPI threaded lathe tools to be mounted
- Comes with a wrench and #2 Morse Taper arbor
- Ideal for mounting spindles or dowels with precision
- Easy setup and installation
6. Hurricane Tailstock Live Center with Cup Point for Woodturning
This Hurricane Turning Tools live center is a great tool for woodturners of all levels. It has a live tailstock cup center point and it can be used in a lathe and has a MT head.
A revolving live center makes it easy to make accurate cuts when turning between centers. The product supports the workpiece while you rotate it on the lathe.
The Hurricane Tailstock Live Center with Cup Point for Woodturning is a great tool to use when you want to create a smooth and even surface on your workpiece.
There are many different types of revolving live centers available on the market. You can choose from a variety of materials, including steel, brass, and ceramic. The size and shape of the center also vary, so you can find one that best meets your needs.
This is a live center for woodturning that features precision bearings that ensure smooth turning. The ball bearing turns on its own axis and enables the user to easily turn work in all directions.
It’s made of high-quality steel materials and is very durable. It has a #2 MT (Morse Taper) mount, which makes it perfect for use with a lathe. It also comes with a built-in center extends adjustment system that lets you tweak the center’s position easily.
This is a great ring center to have in your woodturning toolkit. It can be used for a variety of projects, including bowls, spindles, and pens. It’s also very easy to use, so you can get started turning right away.
- Revolving live center for woodturning
- Precision bearings for smooth turning
- Ball bearing turns on its own axis
- High-quality steel materials
- #2 MT (Morse Taper) mount
- Adjustable center position
7. NOVA Live Centre System Wood Turning
This NOVA 5015 live center system is the perfect tool for any woodturner. It’s incredibly sturdy and durable, so it can handle even the most challenging projects. This live center is perfect for beginners as well as seasoned pros.
The NOVA Live Centre System Wood Turning is the perfect tool for any lathe with a 2MT tailstock. It has a demountable center that provides excellent support and stability as you turn your project.
With this tailstock support system, lathes of all types can be provided with fast, precise and powerful support. The product also has a unique design that ensures consistent alignment and eliminates the need for adjustment.
The hollow center ensures that your workpiece is held securely in place while you’re working on it. This makes it easier to achieve the desired results and eliminates the need for multiple tools. Its 6 functions in 1 unit make it an essential tool for any woodturner.
Quick change tapers are an amazing innovation in the woodturning world. They make it super quick and easy to mount your centerpieces, without having to fuss with screws or bolts. This means that you can spend more time turning and less time preparing your workpiece.
If you’re looking for a high-quality woodturning center that can be used to work on projects, then this is the NOVA robust live center that’s right for you. This wood turning center is ideal for turning hollowed out body pieces like drill centers.
- 6 in 1 tailstock support system for lathes of all types
- Quick change tapers for easy mounting of workpieces
- Demountable center for stability and precision
- Unique design ensures alignment
- Can handle challenging projects
- Perfect for beginners and seasoned pros alike
These are our picks for the best live centers for woodturning. If you’re looking to get started turning, then any of these tools are perfect for your needs.
Remember, it’s important to pick a live center that can handle even the most challenging projects because you never know what type of project you might try out next with other manufacturer’s centers!
Buying Guides for The Best Live Center for Woodturning
It’s really important that you choose the best live center for your needs. The basis for this is because you never know what kind of project you might take on next, so it’s imperative to have a live center that is capable of handling even the most challenging jobs.
Take note of the following factors when you’re shopping for your new live center.
Live centers are made of different materials, so it’s important that you choose one that is durable and can handle wear and tear.
Make sure to pick a center made of high-quality steel or metal materials that will be able to hold up under pressure and during normal use.
It’s important that your live center point has ball bearings because this enables the center to turn more smoothly and quickly than others on the market.
The ball bearing feature also helps when you’re trying to achieve a specific finish on your project since it will help speed things along.
The mount is another important factor to consider when you’re shopping for a live center. There are different types of mounts available, so it’s important that you pick the one that is compatible with your lathe.
The mount should also be adjustable so that you can easily move the center into position while you’re working on projects.
Torque is the power of your live center which should be taken into account when you’re shopping for one. It’s important that it doesn’t overheat easily to ensure that you can turn large pieces without difficulty.
There are live centers available with different torque amounts, so make sure to pick one with a torque that is compatible with your lathe.
There are different types of tapers on the market, so it’s essential that you choose one that is compatible with your machine and what you’ll be using it for.
In general, a #2 MT will fit most machines as this is a universal size, but check the specs to be certain.
Purchasing a live center that comes with different functions is definitely beneficial, especially if you’re just getting started in woodturning.
Some of the most common features available on live centers include self-centering, adjustable tailpieces, and removable center spur. This will make it easier to get started with your work and achieve the results you’re looking for.
Spindle travel is another consideration since this will determine how much room you have to work on your project.
Make sure to choose a live center with the necessary spindle travel so that you can turn large projects with ease.
Ease of Use
When shopping for a new live center, make sure to choose one that is easy to use. This will ensure that you’re able to set it up and start using it right away without any difficulty.
There are live centers available with different features, so make sure to pick the one that is easiest for you to use.
It’s important that you select a live center made of high-quality materials since this will ensure durability.
When you’re doing projects or turning large pieces, then your live center might get caught on the wood and cause damage to the center itself. Make sure that it is durable enough to handle both normal use and challenging projects.
Price is always an important consideration, and you should make sure to select a live center that fits your budget.
There are live centers available at different price points, so it’s important that you find one that is affordable and within your budget.
When shopping for a new live center, make sure to consider these factors. Thus, you can be sure to get the best live center for your needs.
Difference Between a Live Center and a Dead Center on a Lathe?
The best way to describe a dead center is to put it simply: it’s dead. There are no moving parts. A dead center is really nothing more than a shaft with a point. A live center is similar to that, but the shaft is installed with a bearing to allow it to spin.
A live center has a point that can be used to support the workpiece from the inside, while a dead center is only used for starting the turning process.
How Do You Use a Robust Live Center on a Lathe?
To use a live center on a lathe there are simple steps that you need to follow:
- Mount the live center into the tailstock of your machine.
- Adjust the position of the live center until it is in the desired location.
- Apply pressure to the workpiece with the point of the live center.
- Turn on the machine and begin turning the workpiece.
Now, the live center will help to support the workpiece and keep it in place while you’re turning it.
Frequently Asked Questions
To help you make the best decision when purchasing a live center, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions.
1. What is a Live Center for a Wood Lathe?
A live center is used to support the workpiece during the turning process. This will help with stability and it helps to reduce vibration, which can ultimately create better results.
2. How Do You Build a Live Wooden Lathe Center?
To build a live wooden lathe center, there are simple steps that you can follow:
- Mount the shaft of the live center into a lathe.
- Install a bearing onto the shaft of the live center.
- Thread the tailstock and secure it in place.
- Apply pressure to the workpiece with the point of the live center.
- Turn on the machine and begin turning the workpiece.
3. Is It Beneficial to Have Two Spindle Speeds on My Wood Lathe?
Having multiple spindle speeds can be beneficial, as it allows you to use the correct speed for the project at hand. This will help to produce better results and avoid any damage to the workpiece.
4. How Do You Turn on Wood Lathe Live Centers?
To turn on a wood lathe, first make sure that the headstock has been securely mounted to your machine. After that, plug in the power cord and then flip the switch to the on position. Finally, adjust the speed to the desired level.
Your live center will help to keep the workpiece stable while you’re turning it. This can be beneficial for several reasons, including reducing vibration and creating better results.
We hope that the list of our top picks about the best live center for woodturning will help you make a decision on which live center is most suitable for your needs.
Now that you’ve read our article, you should have a better idea of what to look for when shopping for a live center. Thank you for reading and we wish you the best of luck in all of your woodturning projects.