Woodturning is an ancient craft that has been practiced for centuries. Many woodturners use tools that are centuries old, but there are some innovations in the field of turning. One of them is live centers. Live centers help to reduce friction by keeping the wood from rubbing on the lathe’s surface while it spins.
The world of woodturning is full of different tools and devices that can be used to complete a project. A live center may not be the most obvious choice for many, but it has its benefits!
Today, we want to explore some of these benefits and share with you the best live center for woodturning.
This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you!
|HFS (R) Heavy Duty Live Tailstock Center
|#2 Morse Taper
|WEN LA0009 9-Piece Kit
|WEN LA1334 Crown Live Center
|MT2 Crown Revolving Live Center
|PSI LCENTLT2 Live Center
|DCT Heavy-Duty Live Tailstock Wood Lathe Center
Best Live Center For Woodturning
A Live Center is an essential tool for any woodturner. It ensures that the piece you are turning will not come loose from the lathe. There are many types of live centers available on the market, but we are going to talk about the top 5 best live centers for woodturning.
HFS (R) Heavy Duty Live Tailstock Center (#2 Morse Taper)
The HFS Heavy Duty Live Tailstock Center is a high-quality live center for woodturning, which assures precision cutting and machining with an easy-to-use, rugged design.
The #2 Morse Taper Cone 2-1/2″ by 1-11/16″ overall diameter and features a solid alloy shaft for strength durability.
If you’re looking for the best live center for your woodturning projects, look no further than the HFS Heavy Duty Live Tailstock Center. Precision ball bearings provide smooth, balanced turning.
WEN LA0009 9-Piece MT2 Wood Lathe Drive and Live Center Kit
Installing and changing the live center of a lathe can be a tedious and trying process, but with this 1-inch x 8 TPI to M14-1.5 mounting adapter, these transitions can be done in seconds. The adapter makes for easy installation and center changes without the need for any tools or experience.
A new range of 3 sizes is now available to provide a wider range for tool diameters and different types of lathe work. With a 5/8-inch, 1-inch, and 1-1/2 inch in size respectively, the new multi-spur drive centers all offer a great balance of turnings at any speed and with any type of stock. The kit includes two MT2 live centers: one with a crown tip and one without.
How do you protect your collection of woodturning tools from the wear and tear that comes with constant use? The best way to keep your expensive pieces safe is by taking advantage of a storage case. This kit comes with a protective aluminum case that keeps your tools protected.
This live center is compatible with WEN’s MT2 lathes. This includes 3424, 3424T, 34018, 3427, 34027 and 34034.
The WEN 9-Piece MT2 Wood Lathe Drive and Live Center Kit incorporates multiple interchangeable turning centers to allow you to take on different projects of any shape and size.
WEN LA1334 3/4-Inch MT2 Crown Revolving Live Center
A woodturner’s lathe is the heart of their workshop, and this live center makes was crafted with maximum precision so you get high accuracy performance.
The live center is an essential part of the woodturner’s toolkit. This precision, hardened steel ball bearing provides a smooth, concentric ride for your workpiece and reduces friction.
The Crown’s diameter is 3/4″. This multi-tooth live center provides two major benefits for any woodturning project: support and stability.
This tool is very versatile and fits perfectly into any lathe with an MT2 tailstock.
PSI LCENTLT2 No. 2MT Heavy Duty Live Tailstock Center
This live center was designed for heavy-duty use and features a 60-degrees point tip. The cone measures 2-1/2″ long by 1-11/16″ in overall diameter and is compatible with #2 morse tappers lathe. Also, there is a #1MT version available.
This base is large and robust with high-precision bearings. It is also well balanced and very smooth for effective turning. Recommended for your work at the tailstock end of your lathe.
DCT Heavy-Duty Live Tailstock Wood Lathe Center
The Deadwood Crafted Tools Tailstock Center Lathe Live Center makes woodturning more comfortable and easier for beginners and experts alike by providing a steady and secure platform to hold pieces of work. This tool is a great asset to any turners’ collection.
The DCT live center was designed to work with any unit that has a #1 morse taper tailstock. It is balanced and perfect for supporting bowls, pens, and other similar woodturning pieces.
Featuring a 60-degree tapered end that will not cause tension in the wood and a precise ball bearing system, this live center makes woodturning smooth and enjoyable.
You don’t have to be concerned about this tool breaking apart during your favorite project; the secure steel construction ensures that it will last for years. It can handle a maximum of 4,000 RPM and 66 pounds (29kg) in weight.
Many modern woodturners use live centers on their lathe to create accurate and high-quality work, such as bowls, pens, and spindles.
There are a wide variety of live centers available for purchase depending on what kind of project you want to start with. But how do you find the best live center for woodturning? Here are a few things to keep in mind before choosing your live center:
Before deciding what live center to buy make sure your wood lathe can use it. Most live centers have a #2MT but you can also find #1MT or other sizes.
It is very important that your machine MT matches the live center otherwise won’t fit.
Don’t make the mistake of buying a wood lathe live center for metalworking. In our article, we only reviewed live centers for wood lathes. If you need one for metalworking you have to look somewhere else.
The only thing you might want to pay attention to is if there is a weight or speed limit. If you get a cheap product and you push it too much you might end up in a dangerous situation.
A 60-degree tip is common but they can be even shallower, stepped, or have a cupped end. A hollow live center will allow you to drill through it while it is still supported.
A live center is not the most expensive tool you will buy but you have to make sure you get a decent product for your money. Investing in a kit is probably a good idea because it comes with everything you need to start working on many different projects.
Turning wood on a lathe is an act that requires both finesse and accuracy. When you are working with intricate pieces, it is important to use the best live center for woodturning. There are many different turning centers available but not all of them are created equal.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a good live center, we recommend the WEN LA0009 9-Piece MT2 Wood Lathe Drive and Live Center Kit. It’s a versatile kit with many interchangeable pieces, is easy to use, and will last for many years.