I want to turn several mandrels out of drill rod. The approximate form is a 14" cone tapering from 3/4" to 3/16" at the narrow end. I don't have a taper attachment so I imagine I'll turn it in steps and file the steps away. My question is how to support the workpiece; a follower rest doesn't look like it'll work.
You answered your own question I think. The way I do these types of parts is to get about 2-3" of stickout from the chuck, turn that section, then advance it forward some more and turn that, etc...
With CNC it's pretty easy to reference the edge from the last section, just turn a square shoulder there and clean out the blend marks on a belt when done. For a simple taper, you can do this with the compound slide on a manual lathe also.
It'll tend to chatter when most of the part is on the other side of the cut (away from the chuck), so slow down the speed a trifle there or increase the feed.
Thanks. I had been thinking of the whole workpiece being between centers. Your suggestion to expose only the segment currently being turned (or segments already done) beyond the chuck should do the trick!