Steady rest for the lathe
inliners and alu profiles
Yesterday was one of those days where my chronic pain were killing me, so I went to the shop out of frustration and needed to make something to keep my mind busy.
For a long time a steady rest for my lathe has been on my wish list, so when I saw a picture of a three wheeled, two bars version on the web, I thought that was a project I could manage on a day like that.
At first I was thinking to build it of roof batterns with lap joints, but then I remembered I have a few of these lovely alu profiles standing in the back of the shop, so not much wood in this project, except from the wood it holds.
For those who are not familiar with a steady rest, it’s function is to keep the wood you are turning from wobbling, especially on thin or longer turnings this is a issue and will result that you cut too deep where it wobbles, the iron cut in the wood, or the turning might even break (been there, done that).
I have solved this by holding my hand on the back earlier, this results in really hot hands…
So here the steady rest on the lathe.
As you can see, it is possible to cut really close to the wheels.
A simple square frame.
Build from alu profiles, cut on the table saw, bolts and three wheels from some old trashed inliners.
This could also be made in a wood version, from roof batterns and T-slots for the bars.
Here you can see the wheels spinning, nice bearings in those wheels.
Two bars hold the wheels, both of them are held by wing nuts, like this it is fast and easy to adjust.
Had to cut a slot in the lower bar to get enough free space between the wheels.
The holes in the bar, is where the wheels hex nuts are tightened and the wheels can be spaced another 1,5 cm for larger turnings.
If the diameter of the turning is smaller than the contact between the three wheels, the single wheel can be moved to other side, like this it can go down to app 3 mm if needed.
Steady rest is held in place with a second profile under the lathe bed.
Just tightened with a threaded knob on a threaded rod that goes up to the steady rest.
Ohhh yes, I had to stop yesterday, no more energy, so finished it up today with a smile.
So the steady rest kind of became my steady rest on a bad day and a smile on the day after.
Hope it could inspire others to make their own tools.
-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.