10 Aug. 1997|
Steady rest plans for wood lathe,woodworking projects for your shop,cabin plans loft - Try Out
Making your own steady rest is rather straight forward and easily finished in a day, though an afternoon and a few hours the following morning is preferred since this will give time for the glued pieces to dry.
Then, on the end of each of the slider arms where I left the 2″ of unslotted wood, I drilled a hole and then bolted on a rubber wheel that I took off an old pair of roller blades.
I drilled the holes for the bolts that would hold the arms and added the base with a couple of screws and some glue. If I was to build another one I would place the sliding arms at an equal distance around the ring. I completed your design for a 3 point steady december last year and it has come in very useful, excellent design.
I couldn’t find anything locally that would fit my lathe and the ones I found for sale elsewhere were lathe specific or way above what I was willing to pay so I decided to build my own.
When doing this I started the jigsaw with a hole large enough for the jigsaw blade as near to the ring as I could since I would be using one of the centers for the base. I determined the positions for these by laying the ring on my workbench and then placed the remaining center piece back in the center of the ring.
The pinch bracket is what holds the steady rest on to the lathe bed so this had to be sized for the distance between the ways and to allow clamping pressure when the base bolts are tightened.
In this version I wanted one that would be located behind my turning, giving support when force was applied with a tool. I have one suggestion that might help everyone and that is to use carrage bolts for the pinch brackets, that way you don’t need to use a wrench to tighten the bracket to hold the steady rest in place. The spindle steady, using clamping pressure with a series of wheels, tames this erratic motion allowing you to turn your piece as normal.
Doing so would have placed one of the arms in an awkward place (so I thought) and I would have been prone to bumping into it so I placed it straight at the top. It is possible to make a steady with an adjustable screw through the body to enable you to put gradual pressure on the bearings but this would be more complicated to make.
Now, although this is easily remedied by simply reversing either the top or back sliding arms it made for an unnecessary solution since I later found that had I placed the top one at an equal distance around the ring it would not have been in my way after all.