Lathe Steady Rest

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Project by lew posted 561 days ago 3146 views 22 times favorited 23 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.

23 comments so far

View Edward E Nock II's profile

Edward E Nock II

90 posts in 2746 days

#1 posted 561 days ago

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


9951 posts in 2357 days

#2 posted 561 days ago

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

975 posts in 1690 days

#3 posted 561 days ago

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


6806 posts in 1905 days

#4 posted 561 days ago

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


4752 posts in 1444 days

#5 posted 561 days ago

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

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View jaykaypur's profile


3257 posts in 1010 days

#6 posted 561 days ago

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 1997 days

#7 posted 561 days ago

Nice jig thanks for sharing…

-- Cosmicturner

View Bearpie's profile


2584 posts in 1620 days

#8 posted 561 days ago

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


34860 posts in 3002 days

#9 posted 561 days ago

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 †

View JJones98042's profile


225 posts in 855 days

#10 posted 561 days ago

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


112000 posts in 2179 days

#11 posted 561 days ago

Very good job.

-- Custom furniture

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1766 days

#12 posted 561 days ago

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

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View MShort's profile


1724 posts in 2020 days

#13 posted 561 days ago

Nice job Lew. Looks great !!!!

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

View Roger's profile


14161 posts in 1406 days

#14 posted 561 days ago

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.

View MonteCristo's profile


2094 posts in 790 days

#15 posted 561 days ago

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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