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Project by bushmaster posted 05-04-2016 04:18 AM 2276 views 10 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I demonstrated the new Scrap Iron Lathe in the previous post I wanted to turn a vase out of the log that I turned round. To do that I needed a steady rest. I had planned to make one out of steel, but as yet I haven’t got the steel but have some leads now. Any way I didn’t want to wait and went ahead and constructed a wood one that I have found to be very successful. I chose a square design and that would provide a long side guide and support for the arms as you can see in the picture. I wanted the arms to lock in place easy and hold very securely. To do this I cut the guides and arms with tapered sides, 5 degrees plus, you may be able to see it in the following picture.

The carriage bolt the secures the wheels is recessed so if you have need to steady a large project it will slide beyond the center cutout. This gives me a capacity to turn a 10 inch diameter project. More than adequate.

When I set up the guides I glued and screwed one side in place then placed a thin cracker box cardboard under the arm and then slid the other guide against it, screwed and glued it. With the tapered pieces it takes very little pressure on the thumb nuts to lock it in place, it will NOT SLIP… Simular to a Morris taper.
The wheels are amazing,just new salvaged, but no marks on the white birch I was using.. I have completed the vase I was going to make, turned out great. Just completing the finish now and will post it tomorrow with more ideas etc..
The following is a link to a Utube video with addition information and other cool things. I hope I am getting better at talking, let me know what you think.

The body of the steady rest is 2 pieces of salvaged 5/8’ plywood with 1/4” in the center making a pocket for the heavy angle iron that is bolted to the lathe. Its been so successful on this project I may not even build a steel one. The thickneww and the square shape makes one sturdy steady rest.

Thanks for looking and comments appreciated, suggestionS keep me on the right track

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

14 comments so far

View crowie's profile


2181 posts in 1827 days

#1 posted 05-04-2016 04:41 AM

Very clever again Brian…. you certainly can make things work and well….

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View majuvla's profile


11497 posts in 2743 days

#2 posted 05-04-2016 06:16 AM

In your case, everything is about size and weight- very impressive work again!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Humus Workshop's profile

Humus Workshop

61 posts in 917 days

#3 posted 05-04-2016 07:27 AM

Excellent work, I’m going to Youtube to watch the video. Thanks for sharing.

-- Think, make and share.

View Ken90712's profile


17539 posts in 3065 days

#4 posted 05-04-2016 08:15 AM

Well that is awesome, Well done. I need to make a steady rest soon. Thx for the past.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View BobWemm's profile


2370 posts in 1802 days

#5 posted 05-04-2016 11:39 AM

Hey Brian, That is very neat, I made my own round one but will have to make a bigger one soon. I like your idea of the tapered legs.
Thanks for sharing.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

19966 posts in 2981 days

#6 posted 05-04-2016 12:07 PM

Great job, Brian.It will be very effective. I use mine a lot and love the security when turning out far away from the head!!

Cheers, Jim

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

View Shuja's profile


270 posts in 1442 days

#7 posted 05-04-2016 03:44 PM

Necessity is the mother of all lathes.

-- shuja

View John's profile


1039 posts in 1146 days

#8 posted 05-04-2016 04:16 PM

Awesome Brian, good video as well. I use a second steady rest for my long tools. Saves a lot of energy trying to hold the tool in just the right place and gives me great control.

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View helluvawreck's profile


29784 posts in 2742 days

#9 posted 05-04-2016 07:54 PM

This looks like a nice design and will be a great addition to your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View fatman51's profile


335 posts in 1713 days

#10 posted 05-04-2016 09:42 PM

Very nice! That ought to get the job done.

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

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2055 posts in 939 days

#11 posted 05-04-2016 09:52 PM

It’s insanely simple, Brian. And, well worth adapting your ideas into the one I’ve been struggling with. i.e.: Who needs rings? I already have the banjo for mounting to my SS. All I need now is skate wheels and tapered arms. And the thing about maximizing the diameter by getting the wheels as far out a possible? What a concept. You’ve cleared it up for me. I’ve also been fussing of which size skate wheels; What type, How wide? It doesn’t really matter, does it?
I’m sure glad I met you, Brian.

-- Mark

View SteveGaskins's profile


736 posts in 2463 days

#12 posted 05-05-2016 01:02 AM

Very nice design. Thanks for posting.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View htl's profile (online now)


3499 posts in 1035 days

#13 posted 05-05-2016 01:06 AM

I love it when I see a project that I’ll be needing in the not to distant future. COOL!!!
Thanks Bush!!!

-- Learn More About Making Wooden Models. An Index Of My Model making Blogs.

View Oldtool's profile


2530 posts in 2066 days

#14 posted 05-05-2016 12:24 PM

Sweet! I gotta make me one of these.

-- "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

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