Lathe Steady Rest

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Project by lew posted 01-13-2013 08:18 PM 5333 views 24 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Been wanting to have one of these for my lathe and finally got around to making it. Had almost everything lying around the shop. Scrap plywood ~ 17” x 48” and a piece ~ 10” x 10”. Hardware is all 1/4×20 machine bolts/nuts and fender washers. I may replace the wing nuts with knobs to make it a little easier on old hands. The cam action hold down has been in my “extras box” for a couple of years waiting on a worthwhile project. Got it from Woodcraft. The wheels are from an $8 pair of In-Line Skates bought from Goodwill.

The “circle” is made of 3 layers of 3/4 plywood. The wheel holders are made of Maple. There is a Maple “guide” on the bottom of the base that helps trap the assembly between the lathe bed rails.

I works pretty well, the wheel holders need a little sanding and bees wax to allow them to slide a bit more freely. The base may be a bit too wide although my large tool rest can allow access to the edge of the turning.

Thanks for looking! Comments are always welcome!

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

25 comments so far

View Edward E Nock II's profile

Edward E Nock II

97 posts in 3564 days

#1 posted 01-13-2013 08:29 PM

Lew….Looks great!!!!! I saw a steady rest @ the tool show in Balto. last wknd Over $300.00!!!!! I’m wondering if your rest is dadoed @ the base or screwed & glued. I’ve tried to make several without much success. Yuo have given me inspiration.

Good Work!!!!!!!!!


View lew's profile


11263 posts in 3175 days

#2 posted 01-13-2013 08:32 PM

Thanks, Ed! It is glued and screwed in place.

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

View Sam Shakouri's profile

Sam Shakouri

1192 posts in 2507 days

#3 posted 01-13-2013 08:34 PM

Well done, Lew. A steady is a must in a wood turner’s shop.

-- Sam Shakouri / CREATING WONDERS WITH WOOD.....Sydney,Australia....

View grizzman's profile


7781 posts in 2723 days

#4 posted 01-13-2013 08:43 PM

way to go Lew, im kinda surprised you didn’t have one of these already, but it just goes to show that because of your skill level you have done well making your rolling pins without one for so long, so my question is can you really feel the difference with the use of this now…i agree with you on the wing nuts, they should be replaced with some nice knobs, much easier on the hands…i think these are really a nice tool for lathe use and if i had a lathe i would be sure to have one of these, maybe if you do a Lew version here, get some neat woods into this new tool , it could be a whole new market Lew..great job here…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View DocSavage45's profile


7648 posts in 2262 days

#5 posted 01-13-2013 08:55 PM

Thanks for posting. Looks good, answered where I’ll get the wheels! LOL.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View jaykaypur's profile


3996 posts in 1828 days

#6 posted 01-13-2013 10:08 PM

Nice job. A sweet tool addition.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View cosmicturner's profile


403 posts in 2815 days

#7 posted 01-13-2013 10:08 PM

Nice jig thanks for sharing…

-- Cosmicturner

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2438 days

#8 posted 01-13-2013 10:11 PM

I made 2, the first ended up being too small when I garnered more skill as a turner and needed a larger one to accommodate my larger turnings. I made it so I could use the maximum capacity of my lathe which is 20”. It is designed so the inside of the wheels, when fully open, will hold a 20” bowl.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3820 days

#9 posted 01-13-2013 10:17 PM

Lew Great looking steady rest.

Looks like a nice build also. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for skates also.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View JJones98042's profile


228 posts in 1672 days

#10 posted 01-13-2013 10:48 PM

Very nice! I still need to make one of these. Its nice to see what others have done to get inspiration. Thanks for sharing. :)

-- "Keep thy airspeed up, lest the earth come from below and smite thee." - William Kershner

View a1Jim's profile


115172 posts in 2997 days

#11 posted 01-13-2013 10:49 PM

Very good job.

-- Custom furniture

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3945 posts in 2584 days

#12 posted 01-13-2013 11:20 PM

Tickles my Rube Goldberg funny bone, looks impressive….......even if I don’t own a lathe.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View MShort's profile


1767 posts in 2838 days

#13 posted 01-13-2013 11:55 PM

Nice job Lew. Looks great !!!!

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Roger's profile


19711 posts in 2224 days

#14 posted 01-14-2013 12:29 AM

Looks really good Lew. I like the cam lock, very neat idea. That Celtic design on that turning looks very nice also.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View MonteCristo's profile


2098 posts in 1608 days

#15 posted 01-14-2013 03:02 AM

A fine looking steady. I took the easy way out and bought mine from Oneway. The $300 mentioned earlier seems a lot. Oneway’s is something like half that.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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