Custom Lathe Drive Center

We are in the process of finishing up a run of bookbinding equipment for a store in Michigan and the order called for finished product (we normally sell our vises unfinished).  One of the vises uses a screw similar to our Moxon vises only smaller.

In order to finish them, we dip them in oil finish and then wipe off the excess.  The only problem is we had 50 of this type to do and hand turning the screws to wipe off each thread would take waaayyy to long.  The solution I came up with was a custom drive center for our lathe.

I modeled the shape of the drive center in our CAD software of choice, Fusion 360.  Then using the built in CAM (computer aided manufacturing, programs CNC mill to cut out parts), I programmed and cut out the custom drive center from a scrap piece of hard maple.  You can watch the YouTube video below to see how it went from a block of wood to a useful tool, as well as how it’s used.  We used our Tormach 770 as it has vises already mounted to it, although we could have just as easily used our ShopSabre IS510 CNC router.

This was a great little shop project which made the job go much quicker and a bonus feature of the drive center is that it is also compatible with our standard Moxon vises if we end up finishing some of them.

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