Compound Slide Rest #1: Using a Compound Slide Rest

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Blog entry by Bluepine38 posted 01-22-2011 01:43 AM 13608 reads 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Compound Slide Rest series no next part

SASmith posted a blog showing how to make a scroll saw bowl from a flat board. As a slightly challenged
72 yr young apprentice I can no longer perform some tasks on a scroll saw, so here is my alternative.
I have a 1950s 12” Delta lathe and have a Delta 46-961 Compound Slide Rest that I received as a basket
case with many parts missing and rebuilt. You start the procedure by cutting a circle the maximum size
allowable by your board and lathe and attach it to a lathe face plate using a sacrificial board with a piece
of newspaper, or as I did for this blog by screwing the board directly to the face plate.

Place the faceplate on the lathe, and since the compound slide rest is not big enough, I have to mount
a custom built extension plate to the lathe and then mount the compound slide rest.

Since the extension plate has to slide to the proper length, I could not mount guides to line it up with the
lathe bed, so it has to aligned manually with a square. The parting tool takes about 3/16” of an inch out
of the board, so you can not cut it at 45 degrees as you would on a scroll saw you set the upper slide rest
at 43 degrees for pine and 42 degrees for hardwood.

You make your first cut on the outside diameter of the board to true up the circle and get the angle for
the bowl, then you measure in the thickness of the board from you first cut and set the outside of your
parting tool on the mark using the bottom slide rest, which moves at right angles to the lathe bed, then
start the lathe and cranking the upper slide rest cut the ring from the board. As you get closer to the lathe center the adapter is removed and the rest is mounted directly
to the lathe bed as shown in the last picture.
You continue to cut rings until you are too close to the mounting plate to make any more rings and you are
ready to stack and glue the rings as shown in this photo.

If you glue strips of contrasting hardwood together and make a smooth board, you can part off the rings
and then rotate them to make bowls like this.

If I am havilng a bad arthritis day, I can insert a special tool holder with a special ground cutting tool in
the compound slide rest as using both cranks at once I can cut bowls.
I acquired the compound slide rest in 2010 and Armstrong tool quit making the tool holders for the lantern
and rocker tool posts in 2005. Grizzly tool sells tool holders that will fit if you take a piece of 9/16” square
tool stock and cut a right angle shim that sets above and beside the tool holder to clamp it firmly in place.
If anyone is interested, i can do a blog on the rebuild of the Compound slide rest. There are compound
slide rests available from Grizzly and other places that can be adapted to a wood lathe for anyone that
might be interested. As far as I know, no one is manufacturing a compound slide rest for wood lathes.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

5 comments so far

View Chris Cunanan's profile

Chris Cunanan

339 posts in 3502 days

#1 posted 01-22-2011 02:46 AM

would love to see a blog on it, i’m starting to feel the finger tingles a lot too =(...btw i searched for “compound slide rest” at grizzly and only came up with actual lathes…is there another source you know of?

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3137 days

#2 posted 01-22-2011 08:34 AM

thankĀ“s for sharing Gus :-)

Chris : its more or less the same as this maschinist clamp device
and you can get it with sliding table instaed of to your drillpress or metalrouter maschine
you shuold surch under metallathe or metalwork I gess

take care

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3107 days

#3 posted 01-22-2011 09:02 PM

Sorry about the Grizzly problem, Delta called it a compound slide rest, Grizzly calls it a Compound slide table.
They are found on page 671 of the Grizzly catalog. They also have some XY cross tables on page 651. The
tool posts and holders and cutters are from page 632 on. I am still learning to use the proper cutters and
blades. The cut off holder I got came with set Model H5868 and had a 3/32” thick blade, which deflected
too much when making an angle cut into wood, the replacement blades they say will fit the holder on page
635, have to be ground to fit the holder and a 1/8” blade is stiff enough that it does not deflect too much.
There are some available on Amazon and Ebay from time to time, but you have to make sure they will fit
your lathe before bidding, since nearly all of them are made for metal lathes. Thank you for your interest.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3008 days

#4 posted 01-27-2011 03:41 AM

Thanks for the mention of my blog:
I really like what you have done here. I will keep an eye out for more in the series to see what you come up with. If you are interested I could give you the formula to calculate different angle/stock thickness to create different bowl profiles.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3107 days

#5 posted 01-27-2011 07:10 PM

I am definitely interested in the formula to calculate different angle/stock thickness to create different bowl
profiles. At present I am using graph paper and a protractor to try to figure out the angles, and the results
are not the best. Thank you for your interest and willingness to share.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

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