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Thread: Steady Rest Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Palm Springs, Ca

    Steady Rest Questions

    Spent part of the day making a steady rest for my lathe. Picked up some 5/8" All Thread, nuts,bolts,lock washers and oak from Lowes and started to fabricate the steady rest. It wasnt to hard really and i used all oak instead of part of it being steel as one of the links suggested. The price of the steel there was very high and i didnt want to fool around setting up my welder so i used all oak wood. Finished it and put a coat of oil on it for the heck of it and took these pictures........................
    Question: I havent tried using it yet but one of the instructional links states you can put alot of pressure on the turning with how it clamps down. Why would you want to put that much pressure on the turning ???
    I would assume when you do use it - you bring the bottom rollers (the one with two roller blades) up snug and tighten down the bolts. Then lower the upper plate with the one roller down on the project so it contacts snug and tighten down those bolts...........Snug meaning firmly on the wood but not pushing with alot of pressure or to loose so its not got good contact.

    So anybody have any tips or tricks to add before i try this out ????

    PS - in the first picture - someone asked about what scrappers each of us uses......not sure of the manufacturer as i bought it from someone but its one of my favorite bowl scrappers - with neg angle......very nice tool ......HSS made in England - thick steel and wide..............ok thanks

    Thanks Dan
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Steady Rest.jpg   Steady Rest2.jpg  
    Last edited by Dan Mosley; 01-15-2009 at 12:22 AM. Reason: scrapper

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    Steady Rest Questions

    Looks good Dan.

    I would only wonder about the sideways forces against the vertical rods. We push against the our pieces a little to the rear of the lathe, but actually the reactance force is for the piece to lift, away from the cut, probably more than away from the tool. (Unless you would be pushing into the wood too hard)

    Try it with the double wheel bar on top and the single wheel bar on the bottom. You could also make another double wheel bar and have the same top and bottom.

    As far as the pressure on the piece, I don't think you want to go too tight. you are just securing the piece from moving away from the cutting force. Just make contact with the wheels, not tighten them against the piece. But, make sure you are on dead center before you turn the lathe on. If you are off, you could do damage to the piece at its mount to the chuck, if that is how you have it mounted.

    Let us know how it works. I may try one too.

    Aloha, Tony
    Last edited by Tony Baideme; 01-15-2009 at 01:52 AM.
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Looks good, Dan. When I use a steady rest, I don't tighten it very tight. Mildly snug would pretty much describe it. If you make it too tight, it can distort the wood, or even crack it if things get thin.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    Looks like it will do the job. Well done.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Palm Springs, Ca
    Thanks to all for the info on the going to try it as i have it with two on the bottom and one on top just to test it out......but as Tony mentioned i can put another wheel on top if needed (double top and bottom) and i may do that just for the heck of it........i have plenty of

    Cost: Thrift store for skates with wheels (new)..................$10.00
    Lowes for the rest of wood and fastners.........$25.00

    Either way beats ordering one as long as it works well.........thanks Dan
    Last edited by Dan Mosley; 01-15-2009 at 03:17 AM.

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