tail stock stuck on live center

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THC

New User
Thomas
I am trying to remove a #2 morse taper live center from a delta mini lathe tail stock, but its so wedged on even driving steel rod wont punch it loose. I have tried tapping with a hammer and no luck either. Any ideas???
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Corporate Member
Take the barrel out of the tailstock, place it in a vise & heat it with a heat gun - NOT A TORCH. Try a punch from the opposite end then. Check for galling on the face of the taper both male and female. A light sanding may be in order, and a very light coating of 10w or similar oil may prevent future occurrences.
 

THC

New User
Thomas
Thanks guys, i'm going to take it apart tomorrow and try to heat it loose. If no luck i'm sure some stern tapping might be in order. hopefully with some sanding and filing this will be the last time i have this happen. Again many thanks!
 

ehpoole

Ethan
Corporate Member
Thanks guys, i'm going to take it apart tomorrow and try to heat it loose. If no luck i'm sure some stern tapping might be in order. hopefully with some sanding and filing this will be the last time i have this happen. Again many thanks!
Be very careful with regard to sanding or filing a Morse #2 Taper. They stick because they are supposed to, a tight fit is a sign of an almost certainly perfect fit, not a flawed fit. This is the same taper that typically secures your chuck in your drill press. If you want to reduce this 'sticktion' for future use, just apply a little lubricant to it in the future prior to installing it. (Don't ever lubricate the MT#2 taper in a drill press, however, or you will likely have problems with your chuck falling free in use.)

I have no experience with lathes, but on a drill press you remove the MT#2 with a drift key (a wedge-shaped punch) to force the taper out with a few taps of a steel hammer (not a mallet) -- typically a ball peen hammer (or other metal-on-metal hammer). The drift key is inserted into a slot in the drill press's arbor just above the MT#2 taper, you then strike the drift key sharply with a steel hammer while holding/catching the MT#2 taper when it falls free. MT#2 tapers will also usually release with lateral pressure, so a few taps with a hammer (not mallet) laterally (sideways) while pulling on the MT#2 will usually release such as well. The idea is to generate a modest shockwave that helps to seperate the taper, you should not need to strike the taper terribly hard (nor should you). You could also try using a slide hammer or even a gear/pulley puller to help pull the taper free.


 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Corporate Member
Ethan is right. I only suggested sanding as a remedy for galling. Light sanding increases the friction between the mating faces. Use only enough oil to coat the surface and wipe off any excess with a lint free cloth.
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
Is everything absolutely secure? If you took 3 pieces of painter's tape and put one on the floor at the feet of the lathe, one on the bench/stand at the front of the lathe (may not be applicable depending on stand) and one on the bed in front of the tailstock, when you try to drive a steel rod is everything staying put? If the lathe or tailstock creeps forward it takes a lot of force away. Driving with a steel rod always works; it just has to when only forced friction is holding it in place.
 

DaveD

New User
Dave
The morse taper surfaces, both male and female should be completely dry and not have any nicks. They are meant to tightly wedge together. I think the specs, for good ones are something like .0002 variation between the two over their entire length.

Using anti seize or lubing them just defeats the purpose for which they were designed. I have a metal lathe with a jacobs chuck with a MT3 taper for the tail stock. Typically I can just 'slap' the chuck in the tail stock and all is good. Sometimes I smack the chuck nose with a leather mallet for good measure. Particularly if I'm drilling 1/2" or larger. Of course my tail stock has a self ejecting feature which makes removing them easier.
 

ehpoole

Ethan
Corporate Member
Using anti seize or lubing them just defeats the purpose for which they were designed. I have a metal lathe with a jacobs chuck with a MT3 taper for the tail stock. Typically I can just 'slap' the chuck in the tail stock and all is good. Sometimes I smack the chuck nose with a leather mallet for good measure. Particularly if I'm drilling 1/2" or larger. Of course my tail stock has a self ejecting feature which makes removing them easier.
Please keep in mind that you are talking to someone with very little knowledge of lathes (though I know drill presses and most other equipment quite well).

My limited understanding of lathe "live centers" would lead me to conclude that the movement we are talking about above is of limited consequence because the pressure of the wood being turned (as it is compressed between the head stock and live center) will itself prevent the live center from coming loose in use and that there would be no need why it needs to be locked in place the same way a MT would on a drill press where it must work against gravity.

In the event that one needed a taper to lock in place, any lubricant can be easily and quickly removed with an appropriate evaporating solvent. Keeping in mind that we are talking about a member who's live center is currently locked in place sufficiently that they cannot remove it at present.

Please feel free to correct my misunderstandings as I am interested.
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
Ethan,

The main reason I would have concern about lubricants is that both my headstock and tailstock are MT 2 and my Jacobs chuck ends up in both for different operations. I would not want any lube in the headstock. I think the OP is afraid to hit it hard enough and it will pop out okay when he does.
 

toolman

Chad
Corporate Member
Thomas

If you need help I will be home around 5:30pm tomorrow and I can come over and help you get in out.. If you do just PM me before 12 noon tomorrow and I will bring my tools home, I'm a machinist by trade.. It will come out.. Oh if you PM me send your Phone No. so I can call and find out how to get to your house..
 

ashley_phil

Phil Ashley
Corporate Member
i 2nd the notion that perhaps your tailstock is moving or the entire lathe is moving when you strike it. you also may be getting your 'pin' into the live center if it's hollow in the center. i have this issue with some of my centers and my grizzly 'knock-out' pin. for those situations i use a landscaping spike to hammer stuff out with.
 

Jim Wallace

jimwallacewoodturning.com
Jim
Try this before you get too aggressive with other methods. Run your tail stock out so there is more than 1" between the shoulder of the live center and the housing around the barrel of the tail stock. Lay (hold) a 1" flat chisel on the barrel of the tail stock and turn the handle of the tail stock so that you are retracting the barrel trapping the chisel between the housing (casting) of the tail stock and the shoulder of the live center. Turn a little more. You may have to turn fairly hard, but not hard enough that you feel you are in danger of stripping the feed screw. The live center should pop out.

Jim
 

THC

New User
Thomas
Ive been away for a few days, and heading into the shop this afternoon. picked up some planes on craigslist and going to clean them up. I need to get it out today as i'm turning pulleys for a sander i'm working on from plans off woodgears.ca. Matthias Wandel's stuff is so cool!!! I'll get some pics of the sander and the lathe problems up here soon.
 
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