Dislodge stuck live center with soft-grip pliers

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Wmcullen

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If you have soft-grip pliers for pen disassembly laying around and need to dislodge a stuck live center, try this.
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The rubber grip holds the pliers in place nicely.
Turn the tailstock and catch the live center before it falls out.
I should have figured this out long before now!
Cullen
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magpens

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Oh, OK ..... I think I get it ..... you turn the tailstock wheel so as to retract, and then the live center just pops out !! . . CLEVER !!! . . THANKS for tip !!

Your pictures are always superb !!
 

sorcerertd

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I usually retract the tailstock until the inserted piece (whatever it may be) is pushed out by the tailstock assembly (whatever internal piece that is?). Maybe that doesn't work with bigger lathes or longer tailstocks?
 

Wmcullen

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Hi Todd:
I thought the inserted pieces were supposed to just "pop-out" too until one day mine didn't and I found a community of people here who were experiencing the same trouble. :)

Regarding the Starship Enterprise...
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I needed to turn a lot of blanks down to 0.5" so I 3d printed a guide and glued a little earth magnet into it so it wouldn't drop or otherwise get misplaced.

These little earth magnets I picked up at HD are fantastic.
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sorcerertd

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Regarding the Starship Enterprise...
I needed to turn a lot of blanks down to 0.5" so I 3d printed a guide and glued a little earth magnet into it so it wouldn't drop or otherwise get misplaced.
Nice. I thought it was something magnetic. You certainly don't need to worry about calipers slipping that way. I use magnets for a lot of stuff. There's always pieces of sandpaper all over my lathe stand, though the magnets aren't attached to the paper. Handy for making sure those little chuck jaw screws don't get lost, too.
 

Charlie_W

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Nov 16, 2011
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Sterling, VA USA
I have a couple of centers like yours which have a short Morse taper which will not self eject when cranking back the quill.
I simply lay a wide skew between the tail stick and the back shoulder of the live center and like your method, the center will then eject when the hand wheel is backed up.
 

jrista

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Aug 12, 2021
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Colorado
Can you use a knockout rod through your tailstock? I have a couple of live centers that won't auto eject, but they pop right out with a knock from a rod.
 

penicillin

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Feb 27, 2019
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Sometimes the knock-out bar (rod) doesn't work. I have some MT2 tapers with hollow ends. The knockout bar is too thin, so it goes inside the taper. The knockout bar is not long enough to push the taper out from the inside. It is not a problem for me because my lathe has the "crank the tailstock back far enough and the taper ejects" feature.
 

SteveG

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I once had cut off a MT2 taper with a tang, too long for my mini lathe. Cut off too much. Irritated, as it was now too short to auto-eject. Solution: drilled/tapped the end of the taper to add a small bolt to lengthen the taper to just the right length. Back to happily auto-ejecting!šŸ™ƒ
 

AmyR

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Old thread that I just happened to see .... thought I'd add my 2 cents anyway. I turn and teach at a non-profit makerspace so we've acquired a collection of various lathes and various length live centers. Happens a lot on the Oneway 1224 and to make matters worse, it doesn't have a tailstock hole so using a knockout bar isn't an option. My solution ... extend the tailstock quill and lay a 2" scraper flat on it then crank down the quill and the center pops right out. Same method as your vise pliers but not everyone has those.

I actually use this same trick on other lathes. Sometimes the live center get stuck so tight that even a knockout bar doesn't work well (without going flying across the room). This has always worked for me on several different lathes.
 
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AmyR

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Cullen ... I just saw you're in Fairfax. I turn at Nova Labs in Reston and we're actually moving to Fairfax City within a few months.

Oops ... mistryped so this is edited ... moving from 10,000 sqf space in Reston. Bought a 35,000 sqf building in Fairfax City ! Come check us out!!
 
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