Inserting Morse Tapers

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KenB259

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Dec 24, 2017
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I got to thinking about inserting morse tapers into the lathe. I'm sure there is a correct way as well as an incorrect way to do this. I lightly tap mine in with a wooden mallet, not to hard, just enough to seat it. Is this right way or the wrong way. This is a serious question, that I never really thought om much before and I'd like to make sure I'm doing it correctly.
 
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leehljp

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I never gave it much thought, but for non-live centers I insert with my hand and give a twist as I insert it.

I also look forward to the technically correct way and why!
 

monophoto

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If the taper grabs and holds, the insertion method must have been correct.

I've always been a bit reluctant about tapping into the headstock - I can't imagine what kind of stress that might put on the bearings. My method is to slide the drive center into the headstock taper, perhaps giving it a very gentle snap to seat it in place.

The thing about drive centers is that generally one of two situations will apply - either the taper will be held in place with a drawbar, or else the tailstock will also be used to hold the workpiece. So all that is required is that the taper grab enough to transfer rotational torque to the work - it doesn't need to be forced.
 

KenB259

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If the taper grabs and holds, the insertion method must have been correct.

I've always been a bit reluctant about tapping into the headstock - I can't imagine what kind of stress that might put on the bearings. My method is to slide the drive center into the headstock taper, perhaps giving it a very gentle snap to seat it in place.

The thing about drive centers is that generally one of two situations will apply - either the taper will be held in place with a drawbar, or else the tailstock will also be used to hold the workpiece. So all that is required is that the taper grab enough to transfer rotational torque to the work - it doesn't need to be forced.
Funny you mentioned that. I never tap anything into the headstock, but I do the tailstock, again not hard, just a light tap.
 

Curly

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After making sure both tapers are clean I slide them together and the last inch or two I slam it in lightly. I know that sounds contradictory but all you do is slide it in hard enough to make a little thunk noise. No bulging tendons or biceps (whatever they are) or beads of sweat dripping off your nose. If the taper has the tang you have to make sure it is aligned inside the tailstock of course.
 

Paul in OKC

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After making sure both tapers are clean I slide them together and the last inch or two I slam it in lightly. I know that sounds contradictory but all you do is slide it in hard enough to make a little thunk noise. No bulging tendons or biceps (whatever they are) or beads of sweat dripping off your nose. If the taper has the tang you have to make sure it is aligned inside the tailstock of course.
I basically do the same, just hold about an inch or so out and 'pop' it in.
 

howsitwork

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must admit I tend to give a little twist as I pop it the last inch but never needed to tap,it bome as it self grips. Hav8ng said that I must admit I do use the last m8nute push Curly does when us8ng a drill chuck in the headstock.

I also made some nylon top hats which I put into the tapers when not in use to keep them clean. If you ever have an issue - shotgun cleaning brushes are excellent for cleaning out morse tapers but only use brass brushes not steel,ones
 

MiteyF

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Jan 27, 2018
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Bay area
If the taper grabs and holds, the insertion method must have been correct.

I've always been a bit reluctant about tapping into the headstock - I can't imagine what kind of stress that might put on the bearings. My method is to slide the drive center into the headstock taper, perhaps giving it a very gentle snap to seat it in place.

The thing about drive centers is that generally one of two situations will apply - either the taper will be held in place with a drawbar, or else the tailstock will also be used to hold the workpiece. So all that is required is that the taper grab enough to transfer rotational torque to the work - it doesn't need to be forced.

Mono, your lathe should have a set of angular contact bearings, which allows setting the correct pressure and play of the headstock. They are designed to take axial force (for example, when you have to crank down on the tailstock to drill or set a live center). Tapping in a MT whateveritis shouldn't have any ill effects on your bearings.

With that said, you shouldn't ever have to tap in a MT. Applying a bit of force when you insert it should be all that is needed assuming both male and female are clean and free of burrs etc.
 
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