Quick Steady Rest

  • Advertise with us
Project by mtalley posted 09-29-2015 02:13 PM 1855 views 20 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed to reduce the diameter of a long mallet handle by 1/4” and don’t have a shave horse, so I thought the lathe would be my best choice… except that the bed on my little lathe is way too short. I put my thunking cap on and decided to put together a stead rest out of scrap parts – I know, it is WAY past time for me to build/buy a real one…

I had some cut off ends of 10mm all-tread and 8 old in-line skate wheels. No matter what my wife says, I am not a horder. I am a pack rat because I use the odd bits that I keep – eventually-ish.

30 minutes later with a little tweaking and WD40 for the bearings, I had a steady rest. I chucked up the head of the handle in some grippy bowl jaws and spun it slowly while adjusting the rest height to get everything centered. Worked like a charm and was able to take care of the handle in about 10 minutes. Showed my wife, explained how MacGyver has lustful dreams about me and my big ol’ brain, and waited for her to swoon. Still waiting…

-- Matt at:

12 comments so far

View calisdad's profile


275 posts in 929 days

#1 posted 09-29-2015 03:10 PM

Thanks for posting!

I recently was given a lathe with an 8’ bed so I know I will make one of these, maybe two.

View fatman51's profile


335 posts in 1257 days

#2 posted 09-29-2015 04:14 PM

Great ingenuity! It is always nice when a project justifies the collection. Perhaps your wife figures your hair cant compete with MacGyver’s.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View woodcox's profile


1514 posts in 1432 days

#3 posted 09-29-2015 07:04 PM

Pretty slick Matt, nice job.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View JoeinGa's profile


7367 posts in 1427 days

#4 posted 09-29-2015 10:11 PM

Nice! Thanks for sharing!
Gonna add this one to my favorites, for possible future use!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Pointer's profile


363 posts in 531 days

#5 posted 09-30-2015 01:32 AM

I love backyard engineering. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Great idea.

-- Joe - - Laughter is like a windshied wiper, it doesn't stop the rain but allows us to keep going.

View JohnnyB's profile


102 posts in 1809 days

#6 posted 09-30-2015 04:35 AM

Wives get over swooning soon after the wedding! Nice solution to the steady rest problem.

-- JohnnyB - - Sometimes determination can substitute for skill.

View jeff's profile


974 posts in 2885 days

#7 posted 09-30-2015 08:01 AM

Really a nice solution.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View Shuja's profile


260 posts in 986 days

#8 posted 09-30-2015 02:39 PM


-- shuja

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


396 posts in 3048 days

#9 posted 09-30-2015 09:46 PM

Way to cool. I’m swooning now. :-)

-- Makin' Sawdust!!!

View mfwoodshop's profile


46 posts in 683 days

#10 posted 09-30-2015 11:21 PM

Love the simplicity. it probably works well also

-- Thank You

View Oldtool's profile


2362 posts in 1611 days

#11 posted 10-01-2015 10:51 PM

Nice design, great lathe accessory. I’ll bd copying this, thanks.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View mtalley's profile


98 posts in 896 days

#12 posted 10-03-2015 12:27 PM

Couple of lessons learned:

1. Use nuts and washers on both top and bottom. any material vibration will make the nuts loosen if one is not there or oppose.
2. either use new wheels or true the wheels up on lathe before starting. mine were worn and made the handle track and wobble until I took them off and trued them up with a gouge and sandpaper.

-- Matt at:

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics