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I have just purchased a 7x12 lathe and would like some opinions on turning cork grips on the lathe.

What support, if any, is used for the end of the butt?  I have turned a graphite blank and used the dead center in the hollow graphite butt section to steady the rod, but that is not possible with bamboo.

I have made a rest for the ferrule end of the rod section so that it turns without a wobble.  (Joe Mondro)

    Before gluing the cork to the butt section, I always center drill the butt end.  That makes it easy to use a live center in the tailstock for support.  Sounds as though it's a little late for that in your case.  I'd suggest wrapping the butt end with masking tape till it's just slightly smaller than the bore of your tailstock.  Remove the morse taper attachments from the tail stock, and allow a little of  the butt to ride inside the tail stock itself.

    That's not perfect, but it beats nothing.  I'd start out at slow speeds, being careful that you don't turn the cork off-center.  Any bend in the butt end will make creating a perfectly round grip -- off center from the rod section -- amazingly easy.  Ask me how I learned that <g>.

    It's also easy to have a blank that is off a little from flat to flat just ahead of the cork.  Be careful to shim the blank as you tighten the chuck.   You can check it by turning the chuck by hand.  If it turns true at the end away from the chuck, you're okay.   If it forms a circle, something's out of whack.  (Harry Boyd)

    If you don't put a lot of pressure on it, it's OK as is.  If you like to use a bit more force, use a live center in the tailstock.  (George Bourke)

    I use a cut off end of a graphite rod. The grip is slipped on the graphite section so that it is a tight fit. The end that goes in the chuck is plugged with a wood dowel so it will not collapse, The tail stock end is wrapped with several layers of masking tape so it does not split in the live center. I prefer to turn my grips off the blank. If there is a goof up, I don't have the hassle of having to remove it from the blank. I also run at high speed to finish the grip. Less chance of having a bamboo helicopter.  (Tony Spezio)

    I glue the wood insert on my blank and after it is dry put the corks on and clamp them. I use a live center in my tailstock that is for a wood lathe. It has a removable center pin. After taking this center pin out the center has a cup shape  which is the same size as my butt caps.  (Dave Norling)

    The simplest way to support the butt end of a rod while turning the grip is to wrap the butt end of the blank with masking tape to build it up to the diameter of the inside taper in the tailstock.  Then you don't use a center or anything, just run the tailstock out over the end of the rod until all the free play is gone.  (Robert Kope)

    I use a Sherline Lathe to turn my cork and have never had a problem by just cranking the live center into the center of the cane glue line.  It doesn't need to go in very far to keep the work stable.  If there were to be a small amount of splitting the epoxy and reel seat should keep that in check very nicely.  (Bill Taylor)

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