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Steady rest for the lathe - inliners and alu profiles

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Blog entry by mafe posted 02-15-2017 03:25 PM 1508 reads 2 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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.

Best thoughts,

Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.



20 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

11502 posts in 3332 days


#1 posted 02-15-2017 03:47 PM

Super build, Mads!

The idea of “reversing” one of the wheels to permit smaller diameter turnings is really neat, too.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

9169 posts in 1417 days


#2 posted 02-15-2017 04:27 PM

Nicely done, Mads! You always inspire. :-)

-- God bless, Candy

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

5711 posts in 1620 days


#3 posted 02-15-2017 04:31 PM

Great idea and nice job on the steady rest.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1917 posts in 640 days


#4 posted 02-15-2017 07:54 PM

Do the lower wheels slide apart for larger pieces? How big a piece can it hold before the piece hits the lower bar?

-- Mark

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

1487 posts in 2590 days


#5 posted 02-15-2017 08:23 PM

Great execution of an idea.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Druid's profile

Druid

1417 posts in 2372 days


#6 posted 02-15-2017 09:20 PM

Nicely done Mads. It also adds to the safety factor when you are doing longer, thin turnings. This is one of the items that I have to make for the lathe rebuild that I am working on (very slowly).
Thanks for posting.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

949 posts in 224 days


#7 posted 02-15-2017 09:29 PM

Very nice, Mads! I will have to consider something like this for my spring pole lathe … I just need to find some 18th century skates!

I hope you are feeling better …

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

5002 posts in 2244 days


#8 posted 02-16-2017 02:57 AM

Nice looking lathe attachment and should work well .
Could you maybe add a couple of blocks on top of the lower bar and cut the inside end on an angle to help with clearance ?

Klaus

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17704 posts in 2682 days


#9 posted 02-17-2017 04:14 AM

Very cool rest, Mads!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View mafe's profile

mafe

11332 posts in 2666 days


#10 posted 02-17-2017 01:02 PM

Hi,
Info:
The steady rest can take sizes of 22cm / 8,5 inch as app max. But i see no use of steady rest if the turning gets bigger than 2-3 inch, so I doubt I will use the max… At lest that’s what I sized it for.
(With the wheels on the inside of the frame 13cm / 5,5inch).
One dont need to move the lower wheels apart, this will only be needed if the turnings are really big and as said, then there should be no need of a steady rest, but I did make extra holes so they can be moved further apart if wanted, it was easy to do as the bar was in the drill press.
For the clearens between the wheels, this was only a problem for small items, this is why I cut a little into the bar, for bigger items one can just put the wheels closer if need.
Thanks:
Jim, yes I finally did it! Made a steady rest. Each time I saw yours I promised my self to make me one also one fine day. Thanks for pushing me.
kiefer, yes it works really well, happy to finally have one. See above.
Ron Aylor: laugh big time, and some 18th century aly profiles also… It can be made with wood wheels and wood frame, why not? Line the wheels with leather.
Druid, fine point, I can easily imagine flying wood.
Tyveboy, thanks, smiles here.
Mark W, look above in info.
doubled, thanks I think it will become rally helpful.
CFrye, and you always make me happy, thanks.
Lew, that means you got the point right away, smiles. Thanks.
Thank you all for comments, I know it was not really made of wood, but…
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9611 posts in 3629 days


#11 posted 02-17-2017 06:34 PM

COOL design…

COOL tires…

COOL frame…

Just plain COOL! :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1917 posts in 640 days


#12 posted 02-17-2017 09:57 PM

Thanks, Brian.

-- Mark

View mafe's profile

mafe

11332 posts in 2666 days


#13 posted 02-18-2017 01:57 PM

Hi,
Laugh Mark, please notice what you called me…
Joe, big smile here thanks, a big cool smile!
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View johnhutchinson's profile

johnhutchinson

1243 posts in 1206 days


#14 posted 02-18-2017 08:47 PM

When you said …
Had to cut a slot in the lower bar to get enough free space between the wheels.
... I had to figure out why. So I looked at it in AutoCAD.
If you tilt the horizontal tracks by 30 degrees, there’s no need for the cut.

Where do I send you my bill for design services? :-)

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1917 posts in 640 days


#15 posted 02-19-2017 11:35 AM

Sorry, Mads. I know who you are.
Brian (Bushmaster) is always posting stuff about his lathes and his turning adventures. You, on the other hand, I had never before seen mention the fact the you have a lathe. I plead crossed wires.

-- Mark

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