Bottle stopper mandrel help

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jxdubbs

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So I wanna get into making bottle stoppers. So here's my question. What mandrels do I need to make pretty much any bottle stopper. I know I need at least 2 one for large and one for mini. But on woodturners catalog they have 4 different ones. Also ruth niles has at least 2. So do I need only a couple or do I need to get many? Also are there different mandrels for different brands? Or are they all compatible? Also is there better mandrels than others? Whether it's a brand or type. What else would I need? Oh yeah what size taps do I need or do I need them? Thank you you guys are always great help!
James R.

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monophoto

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Lotsa questions - - -

I think the situation isn't nearly as complicated as it appears to be. I haven't tried to track all of the commercial options, but I suspect that if there are differences, they are fairly small. For example, while Ruth Niles does offer two MT mandrels, the differences are relatively minor - the only apparent difference is that one can also be mounted in a scroll chuck. Other variations include mandrels that screw onto the lathe spindle rather than slip into a taper, mandrels that are held in a collet chuck, mandrels with removable studs, and mandrels with self-tapping threaded studs. Most involved 3/8" studs, with 16tpi threads if they are threaded, but I think I have seen at least one mandrel with a different diameter. So many choices, but they all achieve the same purpose.

My approach is to standardize on one method for producing the turning - I use a mandrel with a 3/8x16 threaded stud that screws into a suitable hole in the turning blank. My process is described in much more detail in another thread - http://www.penturners.org/forum/f45/thoughts-wine-stoppers-154505/. I opted for a mandrel that screws onto my lathe spindle. I mainly use a steel PSI mandrel, but I also have a shop-made mandrel that I occasionally use for finishing.

Having standardized on a process that requires a threaded hole in the base of the turning, I have total flexibility to use any kind of stopper. Most of the stoppers I make use the silicone sleeve design that has a 3/8" dowel that is very slightly too large to fit into a hole threaded for a 3/8" stud - so I simply ream out the hole using a 23/64" drill bit, add a little glue, and press the dowel into the hole. But if I am using a metal stopper with a threaded stud, I can just screw it into the hole and be done. I don't make stoppers that use cork because they can't easily be cleaned for reuse.

Finally, there is one other factor - portability. That is, what is the likelihood that you will be upgrading to a different lathe in the future? If an upgrade is on the horizon, you probably want to think about whether the tooling you are looking at today can be ported over to a new (presumably, larger) lathe.

So - to answer your question - my suggestion is to select one method and purchase the tooling to use that approach.
 
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magpens

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Decide what stopper you want to use first, and then buy the mandrel you need for that particular stopper. . You would then select a blank to turn in your choice of wood, acrylic, or whatever material.

When you are beginning, I don't think it is wise to try to anticipate and buy everything you might need for every possible path you might decide to follow.

Do a bit of shopping and decide on how you want to start. . I prefer stainless steel stoppers above the plated ones.

Some stoppers have threaded stubs. . A common thread size is 3/8"x16 tpi. . Threaded stoppers could be glued into the blank you turn, but I think it is advisable to use a metal insert with internal threads already tapped to accept your chosen metal stopper. . Here is an example of such an insert:

https://www.pennstateind.com/store/BSERT.html

which can be used with this stopper:

https://www.pennstateind.com/store/BS1.html

But don't get the impression that I am recommending this PSI stopper (which is plated). . This is just an example you would encounter in your shopping.

I prefer a stainless steel stopper, and I know that the Ruth Niles products are extremely popular and are very good. . Frankly, I'd go with them.
 

TonyL

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I use Ruth Niles and/or StainlessSteelBottlesStoppers.com (Ruth's are also SS). Both parties are very friendly and will tell you what you need. So will all of the others mentioned above. You have many choices. Enjoy!
 

jxdubbs

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What lathe do you have? What kind of chucks do you have? Which bottle stoppers are you planning on making, a link would be helpful?
I have a nova comet II. I have a nova g3 chuck. I'm not really sure what type of bottle stoppers I want to use. Honestly I'm pretty confused with the different size stoppers. I was hoping a could get a couple mandrels to start. I was thinking about getting the professional whiteside mandrels. They have a few but there's 2 that self thread. And the niles or s.s. bottle stoppers has the niles mandrel also self tapping. I'm just worried about them being the size weather it's the thread or the width of the stopper itself.

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jxdubbs

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I use Ruth Niles and/or StainlessSteelBottlesStoppers.com (Ruth's are also SS). Both parties are very friendly and will tell you what you need. So will all of the others mentioned above. You have many choices. Enjoy!
Does the mandrel come with different size rings for different width of stoppers?

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Charlie_W

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I started out using some stoppers from Craft Supplies USA but switched to Ruth Niles. I have a mandrel which screws on the headstock spindle. Quick and easy but will only fit whatever size thread you have. I also have one which I put in a drill chuck or collet Chuck (it also came from CSUSA as I recall).....and I have the Niles Morse taper mandrel. All three of these are for different size stoppers.
Note that when using a Morse taper type mandrel, you need a draw bar (threaded rod going through the headstock with a nut/ knob to tighten it) so the mandrel won’t work loose and come out of the Morse taper....and smack you in the head.

I highly recommend both Niles and the products from SS Bottle Stoppers.
I do drill and tap my holes instead of trying the self tapping method. The brass inserts would be good for acrylics or woods which don’t tap well.

Check out Ruth’s bottle opener and Joyner off center jig too.
Ruth has the package deal with stoppers, mandrel, drill bit, and draw bar.
Likewise, Stainless Steel and not plated stoppers.
Good luck!
 
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monophoto

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Does the mandrel come with different size rings for different width of stoppers?
In penmaking, it is customary to match the bushing to the kit - that is, bushings are designed to be used as a guide to turning the diameter of the pen body so that there will be a seamless transition from the turned portion of the pen to the metal components in the kit.

That could be done with stoppers if you want. However, that would also mean that either there has to be an accepted standard for the diameter of stopper that all component manufacturers follow, or else that you would have to buy a new mandrel each time you switch kit designs. The world of stoppers is very small, and the only standardization that makes sense relates to the internal diameter of the neck of wine bottles (and I'm not sure that is all that standard), and it doesn't make sense to have to have multiple sets of tooling for something as simple as bottle stopper turning.

And this only applies if you are using metal stoppers such as the Niles stainless steel units. If you are using the silicone sleeve or cork versions, there is no 'top' to try to match.

So that leaves two choices:

1. If you are using a metal stopper and want a smooth transition between the metal and the turned portion you create, use calipers to measure the stopper and to guide your turning. A set of calipers cost less than a stopper mandrel, and one purchase sets you up for life.

2. Choose instead to intentionally to give the turned portion of the stopper a different diameter. My approach of recessing the bottom of the turning so that the seam between the metal and the turning is hidden behind that edge means that I want the bottom of the turning to be larger than the top of the metal portion of the stopper.

It makes sense for pen turning to include some elements of formula. Bottle stopper turning allows for much more creativity, and you have the freedom to use a wide variety of design options.
 

jxdubbs

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I started out using some stoppers from Craft Supplies USA but switched to Ruth Niles. I have a mandrel which screws on the headstock spindle. Quick and easy but will only fit whatever size thread you have. I also have one which I put in a drill chuck or collet Chuck (it also came from CSUSA as I recall).....and I have the Niles Morse taper mandrel. All three of these are for different size stoppers.
Note that when using a Morse taper type mandrel, you need a draw bar (threaded rod going through the headstock with a nut/ knob to tighten it) so the mandrel won’t work loose and come out of the Morse taper....and smack you in the head.

I highly recommend both Niles and the products from SS Bottle Stoppers.
I do drill and tap my holes instead of trying the self tapping method. The brass inserts would be good for acrylics or woods which don’t tap well.

Check out Ruth’s bottle opener and Joyner off center jig too.
Ruth has the package deal with stoppers, mandrel, drill bit, and draw bar.
Likewise, Stainless Steel and not plated stoppers.
Good luck!
Do you know or if anyone else should know if the Ruth Niles and S.S Bottle Stoppers. Are the same mandrels/chucks? They look identical.

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jxdubbs

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I started out using some stoppers from Craft Supplies USA but switched to Ruth Niles. I have a mandrel which screws on the headstock spindle. Quick and easy but will only fit whatever size thread you have. I also have one which I put in a drill chuck or collet Chuck (it also came from CSUSA as I recall).....and I have the Niles Morse taper mandrel. All three of these are for different size stoppers.
Note that when using a Morse taper type mandrel, you need a draw bar (threaded rod going through the headstock with a nut/ knob to tighten it) so the mandrel won’t work loose and come out of the Morse taper....and smack you in the head.

I highly recommend both Niles and the products from SS Bottle Stoppers.
I do drill and tap my holes instead of trying the self tapping method. The brass inserts would be good for acrylics or woods which don’t tap well.

Check out Ruth’s bottle opener and Joyner off center jig too.
Ruth has the package deal with stoppers, mandrel, drill bit, and draw bar.
Likewise, Stainless Steel and not plated stoppers.
Good luck!
Should you recommend getting the three sizes? I'd rather get more sizes and be ready for things. Rather spending the day looking for a tool that I needed anyways.

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Charlie_W

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/QUOTE]Should you recommend getting the three sizes? I'd rather get more sizes and be ready for things. Rather spending the day looking for a tool that I needed anyways.

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James.... I checked mine again and took a pic for you. As said before, it helps if you chose whose stoppers you want to use and then get the mandrel/s for that brand for starters. If they have multiple sizes, you would probably save on shipping by ordering all at once and getting two or three sizes in the same company. If you want to go the route of having mandrels for a couple of different brands/ diameters, go for it.
In the pic you will see one which has an interchangeable collar. That might be a good way to go but when I checked CSUSA website, it looks like you can only buy these as individual mandrels instead of one mandrel with different collars.
Another route is to get a 3/8x16 bolt from the hardware store, cut off the head and use this as your mandrel. You can drill and turn your own collars to any size you like with very little $$. This would work in a collet Chuck, a 4 jaw Chuck with pin (Not Pen) jaws or even a drill chuck.
I believe my screw on mandrel was from PSI.
the Woodcraft stoppers and mandrel take a smaller thread size as I recall.
Hope this helps.....bottom line...your choice.
 

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jxdubbs

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/QUOTE]Should you recommend getting the three sizes? I'd rather get more sizes and be ready for things. Rather spending the day looking for a tool that I needed anyways.

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James.... I checked mine again and took a pic for you. As said before, it helps if you chose whose stoppers you want to use and then get the mandrel/s for that brand for starters. If they have multiple sizes, you would probably save on shipping by ordering all at once and getting two or three sizes in the same company. If you want to go the route of having mandrels for a couple of different brands/ diameters, go for it.
In the pic you will see one which has an interchangeable collar. That might be a good way to go but when I checked CSUSA website, it looks like you can only buy these as individual mandrels instead of one mandrel with different collars.
Another route is to get a 3/8x16 bolt from the hardware store, cut off the head and use this as your mandrel. You can drill and turn your own collars to any size you like with very little $$. This would work in a collet Chuck, a 4 jaw Chuck with pin (Not Pen) jaws or even a drill chuck.
I believe my screw on mandrel was from PSI.
the Woodcraft stoppers and mandrel take a smaller thread size as I recall.
Hope this helps.....bottom line...your choice.[/QUOTE]Do you know what the thread sizes are on those? I know that Arizona silhouette. Has the most options. They have the niles. Also the berea woods mandrel that works on there's only (not super sure) they have a few more. But then they also sell 2 different size mini colors. .947 and .737.

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So I wanna get into making bottle stoppers. So here's my question. What mandrels do I need to make pretty much any bottle stopper. I know I need at least 2 one for large and one for mini. But on woodturners catalog they have 4 different ones. Also ruth niles has at least 2. So do I need only a couple or do I need to get many? Also are there different mandrels for different brands? Or are they all compatible? Also is there better mandrels than others? Whether it's a brand or type. What else would I need? Oh yeah what size taps do I need or do I need them? Thank you you guys are always great help!
James R.

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I don't use a mandrel at all... I have a 3/8" rod with a flat and a small nail as a pin to make a pin chuck... the rod is in my beale collet... for me I think it works better than the mandrel set ups.
 

monophoto

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What mandrels do I need to make pretty much any bottle stopper. - - - So do I need only a couple or do I need to get many? Also are there different mandrels for different brands? Or are they all compatible? Also is there better mandrels than others?
I don't use a mandrel at all... I have a 3/8" rod with a flat and a small nail as a pin to make a pin chuck... the rod is in my beale collet... for me I think it works better than the mandrel set ups.

The key message in this thread: it's like skinning cats. There are many ways to do the job, and all are just fine. Pick the one you are most comfortable with, and have fun.
 

magpens

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I don't use a mandrel at all... I have a 3/8" rod with a flat and a small nail as a pin to make a pin chuck... the rod is in my beale collet... for me I think it works better than the mandrel set ups.
... and the Beale collet chuck and collet are held in your headstock, right ? ... just checkin'

But I am worrying about the effect of the pin (nail) on the internal wall of the bottle-stopper blank, especially if it is threaded ....
 
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I don't use a mandrel at all... I have a 3/8" rod with a flat and a small nail as a pin to make a pin chuck... the rod is in my beale collet... for me I think it works better than the mandrel set ups.
... and the Beale collet chuck and collet are held in your headstock, right ? ... just checkin'

But I am worrying about the effect of the pin (nail) on the internal wall of the bottle-stopper blank, especially if it is threaded ....

I don't worry too much about the treads as I glue the stopper in anyway...
but along the lines of your thought, the pin chuck probably wouldn't work very well for the acryllic and resins.. they probably would need to be threaded.
 

Charlie_W

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.[/quote]Do you know what the thread sizes are on those? I know that Arizona silhouette. Has the most options. They have the niles. Also the berea woods mandrel that works on there's only (not super sure) they have a few more. But then they also sell 2 different size mini colors. .947 and .737.

All of my mandrels are 3/8”x16 thread.
 

monophoto

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Do you know what the thread sizes are on those? - - - All of my mandrels are 3/8”x16 thread.[/quote]

My mandrel is 3/8x16 also, and that's the only size I have ever used. But there are alternatives - Berea Hardwoods also offers a 1/4x20 mandrel.

And as others have noted, your 'mandrel' could be nothing more than a bolt mounted in a chuck, and the hardware store sells bolts in a wide variety of sizes and thread pitches.

For what it's worth, shortly after I got into turning, I wanted to make an expresso tamper. None of the major suppliers offered the metal tamper, but I found two specialty shops in the Pacific Northwest - one in Vancouver, BC, and the other in Seattle, WA that made stainless steel tampers, and in both cases, they used a 3/8x16tpi stud. Today, Ruth Niles has a tamper in her market basket.
 

MiteyF

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I too use a cut off 3/16" bolt in a collet chuck, with a nut to back up against the blank to lock it in place. Works a treat, and was free (if you've already got the chuck).
 

jxdubbs

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Should I use a live center for the tail stock or a drive center. When turning? I've seen both. I've also seen the same B.S. mandrels e used to turn other things like handles for scoops, bottle openers, etc. What would be best? Live or drive.

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monophoto

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Should I use a live center for the tail stock or a drive center. When turning? I've seen both. I've also seen the same B.S. mandrels e used to turn other things like handles for scoops, bottle openers, etc. What would be best? Live or drive.
Basic principles:

Typically, you always start a spindle turning such as a bottle stopper 'between centers'. That means that the blank is held between two point that are aligned to the centers of the ends of the blank and that define the axis of rotation.

The lathe motor drives the headstock spindle. Therefore, you need a rigid connection between the headstock spindle and the blank. That rigid connection can take one of several forms - a chuck, a mandrel, or a 'dead' center. Dead centers are also called 'drive centers'.

Actually, drive (dead) centers come in several varieties. Almost all new lathes come equipped with a 'spur drive' - a dead center with a center point and four flat blades. Some people prefer spur drives with only two blades. In either case, this is a single piece of steel that is machined to have a rigid point that is used to center the blank, and two or four blades that dig into the end-grain of the timber to create the rigid connection to the blank. The other end of most spur drives has a male 'Morse taper' that matches the female taper inside the lathe headstock spindle; the dimensions of Morse tapers are defined in industry standards. The most common Morse taper on lathes is No 2; some entry-level mini-lathes have the smaller No 1 Morse taper, while some larger lathes have the No 3 taper. The basic idea behind Morse tapers is that if the male and female tapers match, then the two can be simply slid together to create a rigid connection that transfers rotational energy with little or no frictional loses, but that can also be easily separated simply by tapping the small end of the male taper.

Another very common form of dead/drive center is generically called a 'crown drive', but commonly referred to as a 'steb center' - 'Steb Center' is actually the tradename of a specific product manufactured by Robert Sorby in England. The perimeter of this drive features a ring of sharp points that grip the end grain of the wood, together with a spring-loaded center point to align the blank. The advantage of steb centers is safety - the blank is only loosely held by the points on the perimeter of the drive, and if something happen to cause the blank to stop rotating (this is called a 'catch'), the wood will just spin. I always use a steb center rather than a spur drive.

The other end of the blank is held on the tailstock. Since the blank will be rotated from the headstock end, the connection between the blank and the tailstock must be able to spin freely. In the distant past, the practice was to use simple spike stuck into the end of the blank, and to periodically apply some kind of lubricant so that the wood could spin freely against that fixed point. Today, we use 'live centers' for this purpose. Live centers fit between the blank and the tailstock and contain internal bearings to allow free rotation. The actual point of contact between the blank and the live center can have a variety of configurations depending on the circumstances. When turning 'between centers', the usual arrangement is to use a live center with either a small point, or a pointed cone.

The context for the question was turning bottle stoppers. In general, the steps involved in making a stopper are:
1. Mount the blank between centers, and turn it to form a cylinder.
2. Mount the cylinder in a scroll chuck, and then drill and tap a hole in what will become the bottom of the finished stopper to accept the threaded stud on the mandrel.
3. Remount the blank on the mandrel and finish the turning.

It is possible to drill and tap the hole off the lathe before rounding to a cylinder. Taking that simpler approach eliminates the 'between centers' step, but it also means that the range of options for finishing the bottom of the stopper is limited.

It is not absolutely necessary to have tailstock support after the blank has been mounted on the mandrel. However, most turners understand that gripping the blank at both ends is far more secure, and therefore far safer, than holding it only at the headstock end, and therefore continue to use tailstock support with a live center for as much of the turning process as possible. The tailstock can be backed away in the final stages of the process to finish off the very top of the stopper.
 
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jxdubbs

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Should I use a live center for the tail stock or a drive center. When turning? I've seen both. I've also seen the same B.S. mandrels e used to turn other things like handles for scoops, bottle openers, etc. What would be best? Live or drive.
Basic principles:

Typically, you always start a spindle turning such as a bottle stopper 'between centers'. That means that the blank is held between two point that are aligned to the centers of the ends of the blank and that define the axis of rotation.

The lathe motor drives the headstock spindle. Therefore, you need a rigid connection between the headstock spindle and the blank. That rigid connection can take one of several forms - a chuck, a mandrel, or a 'dead' center. Dead centers are also called 'drive centers'.

Actually, drive (dead) centers come in several varieties. Almost all new lathes come equipped with a 'spur drive' - a dead center with a center point and four flat blades. Some people prefer spur drives with only two blades. In either case, this is a single piece of steel that is machined to have a rigid point that is used to center the blank, and two or four blades that dig into the end-grain of the timber to create the rigid connection to the blank. The other end of most spur drives has a male 'Morse taper' that matches the female taper inside the lathe headstock spindle; the dimensions of Morse tapers are defined in industry standards. The most common Morse taper on lathes is No 2; some entry-level mini-lathes have the smaller No 1 Morse taper, while some larger lathes have the No 3 taper. The basic idea behind Morse tapers is that if the male and female tapers match, then the two can be simply slid together to create a rigid connection that transfers rotational energy with little or no frictional loses, but that can also be easily separated simply by tapping the small end of the male taper.

Another very common form of dead/drive center is generically called a 'crown drive', but commonly referred to as a 'steb center' - 'Steb Center' is actually the tradename of a specific product manufactured by Robert Sorby in England. The perimeter of this drive features a ring of sharp points that grip the end grain of the wood, together with a spring-loaded center point to align the blank. The advantage of steb centers is safety - the blank is only loosely held by the points on the perimeter of the drive, and if something happen to cause the blank to stop rotating (this is called a 'catch'), the wood will just spin. I always use a steb center rather than a spur drive.

The other end of the blank is held on the tailstock. Since the blank will be rotated from the headstock end, the connection between the blank and the tailstock must be able to spin freely. In the distant past, the practice was to use simple spike stuck into the end of the blank, and to periodically apply some kind of lubricant so that the wood could spin freely against that fixed point. Today, we use 'live centers' for this purpose. Live centers fit between the blank and the tailstock and contain internal bearings to allow free rotation. The actual point of contact between the blank and the live center can have a variety of configurations depending on the circumstances. When turning 'between centers', the usual arrangement is to use a live center with either a small point, or a pointed cone.

The context for the question was turning bottle stoppers. In general, the steps involved in making a stopper are:
1. Mount the blank between centers, and turn it to form a cylinder.
2. Mount the cylinder in a scroll chuck, and then drill and tap a hole in what will become the bottom of the finished stopper to accept the threaded stud on the mandrel.
3. Remount the blank on the mandrel and finish the turning.

It is possible to drill and tap the hole off the lathe before rounding to a cylinder. Taking that simpler approach eliminates the 'between centers' step, but it also means that the range of options for finishing the bottom of the stopper is limited.

It is not absolutely necessary to have tailstock support after the blank has been mounted on the mandrel. However, most turners understand that gripping the blank at both ends is far more secure, and therefore far safer, than holding it only at the headstock end, and therefore continue to use tailstock support with a live center for as much of the turning process as possible. The tailstock can be backed away in the final stages of the process to finish off the very top of the stopper.
So would you recommend a 60° live center? Or something like a steb center for the tailstock?

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magpens

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You always need a LIVE center in the TAILSTOCK when you are turning between centers.

If you don't use a LIVE center in the TAILSTOCK you will totally wreck something, possibly your lathe motor.
 

dogcatcher

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For a long time there were no live centers available for wood lathes. The lathes were mostly sold with dead centers and spur drive. Only those that had high end lathes had the capability for live centers, aka 2MT tailstocks. The dead center end of the blank was waxed to keep it from burning, in some cases it was waxed often. Or the turner would make a small piece that would fit between the blank and the dead center.
 

monophoto

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"So would you recommend a 60° live center? Or something like a steb center for the tailstock?"

A 60° cone live center is ideal for most applications. Your lathe should have come with a 60° cone-style live center.

There are live centers that have crown tops like steb centers, but they are expensive and relatively hard to find. Frankly, there are lots of things sold to wood turners that I don't see any need for, and steb-style live centers fall into that category.
 

jxdubbs

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"So would you recommend a 60° live center? Or something like a steb center for the tailstock?"

A 60° cone live center is ideal for most applications. Your lathe should have come with a 60° cone-style live center.

There are live centers that have crown tops like steb centers, but they are expensive and relatively hard to find. Frankly, there are lots of things sold to wood turners that I don't see any need for, and steb-style live centers fall into that category.
Thanks I appreciate it. That's what I was talking about originally, the crown or steb with bearings. I'm not always sure what I do and don't need. Theres so many things for this or that. Especially since woodshop class in high school. (22 years or so) learned on three turning tools, waste blocks, and I honestly cant remember the way pens were turned.... 21 years later I caught the bug again. So everything is new to me.

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randyrls

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Harrisburg, PA 17112
To join the thread; James; A couple of random things.

Acrylic bottle stopper blanks should be threaded prior to mounting on the mandrel. It is easy to break the blank if not threaded to match the mandrel.

When using a MT taper mounted mandrel you will find a threaded hole in the base of the taper. This is for a drawbar to ensure the mandrel doesn't come loose during use.

I use a live center in the tail stock, but I cover the metal with a leg tip to prevent marring the top of the stopper.
 

monophoto

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I use a live center in the tail stock, but I cover the metal with a leg tip to prevent marring the top of the stopper.
Live centers come in a variety of configurations. Most lathes are supplied with a simple 60deg metal cone center., or sometimes a live center with a point surrounded with a ring.

A funny thing about turning is that you will eventually get GAS - gear acquisition syndrome - which means you never encounter a tool that you don't want to own. DAMHIKT One of the options is a live center that has a threaded stud on the end that faces toward the turning and headstock, and that often come with a variety of interchangeable 'noses' that screw onto that end. Mine has the same threading (1"x8tpi) as the headstock spindle on my lathe. And advantage of owning one of these is that you can make your own 'nose' from scraps of wood. I have made several that feature an HDPE insert that presses against the turning when it is being used. HDPE is very slippery, so the absence of friction means that it doesn't mar the turning.
 

jxdubbs

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I've decided to get the Niles Bottle stopper mandrel. Which one do you guys think is better? The tapered 2mt. It the screw on 1x8tpi?

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monophoto

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I've decided to get the Niles Bottle stopper mandrel. Which one do you guys think is better? The tapered 2mt. It the screw on 1x8tpi?
Six of one, half-dozen of the other - - -

  • While there are a few large lathes that have a 3MT spindle (and some small lathes with a 1MT spindle, most lathes are 2MT. So opting for the MT version gives you the ability to upgrade lathes in the future without having to replace existing tooling.

  • However, when you use an MT bottle stopper mandrel, you really need to also use a drawbar so secure the mandrel in the headstock when you are finishing off the end of the stopper and must back away the tailstock. If you don't use a drawbar, it is possible for vibration to cause the MT fixing to work its way out of the female taper - that's dangerous. Commercial drawbars are hard to find, so you really have to make your own;fortunately, the parts don't cost a lot. Also, if you use MT accessories, you need to have a tool to clean out the taper in the headstock - if you don't keep the female taper clean, the male taper won't seat properly. That can cause a variety of problems.
So - if you don't need to plan for a future upgrade, and you don't mind dealing with a drawbar, the MT version might be a better choice. Conversely, if you want to avoid the drawbar, and you don't anticipate ever upgrading to a larger lathe, the threaded version would be better.

Incidentally - a drawbar is nothing more than a length of all-thread rod that screws into a hole in the small end of the male MT fixing, along with a knob/nut that screws onto the end of the drawbar to pull the MT fixing into the female taper in the headstock spindle. Note that the threading of the rod must match the threading of the hole in your MT fixing - they are commonly either 1/4x20 or 3/8x16. Also, while you can purchase tools (eg, CSUSA's 'green weenie') to clean the female taper, that's another instance where you can make your own for a lot less. Just pick up a brass shotgun barrel cleaning brush (20ga), and mount it in a handle that you turn from a scrap of wood.
 

jxdubbs

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I do have a head stock chuck. (Nova comet II) I use it pretty much for drilling with pen jaws. I don't think I'll be upgrading to a lathe anytime soon. So the 1x8tpi chuck would work fine. The tapered one would work too I clean and maintain my lathe at least once a month. And they actually sell a draw bar on there site for like $5 bucks.

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MiteyF

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Jan 27, 2018
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Personally I'd go with the 1x8 by a long shot. I've had far better luck with threaded stuff than I have with tapered stuff.
 
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