Lathe knockout tool

On my lathe a spur drive center grips the wood at the head-stock end. It is tapered and mounts in the spindle that goes through the head-stock. The tail-stock has a similar setup.

Taking out these centers is done by passing a rod down through the spindle and knocking them out.

I have been using a long bolt and whacking the end with a hammer but wanted a more elegant solution.

So I started to make what I call a lathe knockout tool.

Before I started on this I went back to watch on of the videos that helped me down this slippery slope to turning stuff: Paul Sellers making a chisel handle.

The I worked up a sketch of what I wanted to make: A rod set into a bulb shaped lump of wood with a brass ferrule.


I then searched through the junk pile and found this extra long bolt. I fits into the shaft with a little clearance and is more than long enough.


I set the bolt into the spindle with the head end poking out enough to allow for a handle. I marked off the other end with a Sharpie.


Next I cut off the end of a length of copper pipe for a ferrule. Brass would be prettier, but copper would work fine.


I then laid out the bolt and ferrule next to an Ash blank and marked out the rough length of the handle.


I measured the inside diameter of the ferrule. This was transferred to an outside caliper. This tool was then used for measuring the handle as it was being turned.


I mounted the blank and started turning down one end to the thickness of the internal dimension of the ferrule and then proceeded to rough turn the rest.


I took the handle off the lathe and knocked the ferrule onto it. Then I mounted it back on and started shaping the bulb portion of the handle.

After shaping, I sanded both the wood and copper.


And then added a couple of coats of wax. Turning the lathe slowly helped melt it into the wood.


I cut the handle free from the blank and then trimmed the end with a chisel and sanded it down.


Next I drilled out the handle and hammered in the rod.


Last I hack-sawed off the excess and gave it a test fit.


It seemed to work just fine. I’m happy how this worked out. Also it is good practice for any other handles I will have to make in the future.



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