Turning Archive 2005

Between Centers Again

W.C. Turner
>Sometime ago, I posted about starting bowls, between centers, these were smaller bowl blanks, 6 inch diamter, or so.

Recently, I've tried larger blanks between centers, about 15" dia., weighing about 21 pounds. I use a dead blow hammer, off the lathe, to pound the drive center into the blank. When I try to mount the blank on the spindle, invariably, the drive center will pop out, or, I have to re-arrange the blank to be more balanced, blank is hard to hold with only 1 arthritic hand, etc. Then, in order to get the blank mounted, I just crank the tailstock live center in, to hold the blank on. I saw John Jordan do it like this in his "Bowl Turning" video. He even said "It wasn't necessary to pound the drive center into the blank". Although, I don't think the one in the video was 20 pounds.

1) How do ya'll get the spur drive center to stay in the blank without it falling out the first time, & without placing unecessary force on the tailstock?

2) This is about the 3rd. large blank I've tried like this. I've noticed a grinding sound(kinda like the sound of my arthritic joint bones grinding together), appears to be coming from the spindle. I don't think I placed any abnormal stress on the tailstock that would damage the bearings. Does this sound like a bearing problem?

Thanks in advance for any replies.

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