Turning Between Centres – a different drive spur

This is the traditional drive spur – a four bladed design with a fixed centre pin.  The blades cut into the endgrain providing the drive to spin the work.


I’ve found with this sort of drive spur, that if you don’t do it up tight enough, it can easily slip, allowing the workpiece to stall while you are turning (ie the workpiece stops, but the drive keeps spinning!)  There are some different models available – different sizes, and some with quite an aggressive tooth and centre point to really bite into the workpiece.

However, when watching a master-turner friend show off some tips and techniques, I saw that he used a different type of drive spur, and I could really see some definite advantages to its design.  I got one for my lathe, and have been using it ever since.


It is called a Steb Style drive centre, and instead of just four points of contact, it has lots of little teeth that bite in, significantly decreasing the load that each one has to impart on the workpiece.  The central point is also spring-loaded, and I’m not sure what advantage that has, other than meaning that it’s the circumferential teeth carrying the load.  I find that I don’t have to tighten up on the workpiece as much, and I have not experienced any slippage since using one.


5 Responses

  1. I am looking for a #3 mt drive spur.

  2. Cool 🙂

  3. I too, am wishing to find a #3MT drive spur or Steb center

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