Live tail center for finials
Woodcraft Magazine|August-September 2020
Live tail center for finials
I enjoy turning finials, ornaments, and other pieces with long, slender tips.

However, supporting those delicate ends can be tricky, and a standard live center with a pointed end won’t do the job. Instead, I made up a live center with a hole to accept the final tip. It consists of a standard ball or roller bearing inset into a wooden mandrel made from an 11/2 square × 6 long blank. First turn one end of the blank to match the Morse taper in your tailstock, making it long enough to self-eject when the spindle is fully retracted. Then pop the tapered end in the headstock, turn the bulb shape, and drill a shallow hole that is a snug fit for a machine bearing whose hole size suits the diameter of the work you typically turn. I used a 1/2 O.D., 3/16 I.D. bearing from a dead router, but you could use a router bit bearing or order any size you like from an online bearing dealer. Press the bearing into the hole and you’re done. —JeffPeters, Redgranite, Wisconsin

Skinning a crosscut sled


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August-September 2020