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View Full Version : How to make a steady in under 1 hour



John Stevenson
02-14-2008, 02:57 PM
No machining needed, two drills, one tap and a file.


First off talk to your locak friendly laser cutter and collect said parts.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stevenson.engineers/lsteve/files/qsteady1.jpg


Then start to assemble.

Begin with one top and one bottom.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stevenson.engineers/lsteve/files/qsteady2.jpg

Then assemble the middle parts.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stevenson.engineers/lsteve/files/qsteady3.jpg



Then assemble the other top and bottom pieces.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stevenson.engineers/lsteve/files/qsteady4.jpg

Clamp, drill tap as necessary and fit pins, bolts and / or rivits to suit.

Drill the ends of the fingers to accept ball races or get them made out of brass or bronze.
File the laser cutting marks on the bottom and drill for the holding bolt.

Bingo, one large capacity steady, custom made for your lathe at a lesser cost than a casting and no machining needed.

DON'T ASK ABOUT THE 4TH FINGER..........................



.

matador
02-14-2008, 03:05 PM
What's the fourth finger for,John?:D

hitnmiss
02-14-2008, 03:09 PM
How do you add the patina?

And whats up with the fourth finger?

G.A. Ewen
02-14-2008, 03:41 PM
Nice work. Those parts would make a great DIY Kit.

tattoomike68
02-14-2008, 03:45 PM
At work we have a big one that was made alot like that. It takes 2 guys to put it on the lathe but if you need to thread a piece of 12" pipe 8 feet long its the only way to go.

The stock steady for that lathe has about an 8" limit.

Im going to make my own for my smithy when the time comes. ;)

pcarpenter
02-14-2008, 03:46 PM
Nice work. Those parts would make a great DIY Kit.

Yup...then you just make the base and clamp to fit your lathe bed.....the hard work is done.

Sir John...you hearing dollar (or Pound) signs yet?:D

Paul

Your Old Dog
02-14-2008, 03:47 PM
Cool! I'm interested in getting 1 of the 4th fingers. What would that set me back and what do you do with them? As a rookie machinist, is it something I absolutly have to have or should I wait till I get a top of the line Rung Fu?

pcarpenter
02-14-2008, 04:03 PM
I think that 4th finger is for flipping off other people who use your lathe:D

Seriously though, depending on the laser cutting costs, there could be a market for this. I am in the process of helping my uncle find a lathe. The missing steady rest problem is a common issue. Often its solved by modifying one for some other mystery lathe, or by watching Ebay for the right animal...or even home making one. However, the latter is sometimes a bigger project than it should be for something that gets used once in a while...and often a real chore. In this case, some rapid cut sheet stock parts could take a lot of work out of the project.

Paul

motorworks
02-14-2008, 04:12 PM
Nice
I like it, but only one laser here, and they are $$ and very slow!
eddie

John Stevenson
02-14-2008, 04:31 PM
Yup...then you just make the base and clamp to fit your lathe bed.....the hard work is done.

Sir John...you hearing dollar (or Pound) signs yet?:D

Paul

It's a work in progress.
On this one it's for a Myford and there is no base because the Myford has flat shears and the tongue at the bottom is about 20 thou bigger than the inside width of the shears, hence the use of the file.

Forgot about the clamp but that's a simple piece, the idea is to get this to fit, modify the DXF files and get some cut.

This set was too expensive to get a decent return on but talking to the laser cutters dropping from 8mm to 6mm will virtually half the costs.

That will give a total width of 18mm or a tad under 3/4" which for a Myford is ample given that this steady will take 5-1/2" diameter, something none of the others can.

Once sorted this can be offered as a kit for the UK guys, shipping to the US may be a bitch but depends on the weight of the 6mm version.

Like Mike I also have one for the big TOS that's been shown on here before. Built up the same way but 4 slices of 10mm thick plate and tapped for 24mm screws.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stevenson.engineers/lsteve/hidden/big%20_steady2.jpg

This one has the vee's cut in with the laser as well, That's a 12" rule between the fingers.

The design can be altered to suit any machine that's lacking a fixed steady.

.

.

Alistair Hosie
02-14-2008, 04:33 PM
I am ashamed of you John Stevenson that lovely lathe needs a lick of green paint and quick :D otherwise very good workmanship your old pal Jock mctavish errr Alistair

Joel
02-14-2008, 06:01 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v186/JoelinTX/Bettersteady2.jpg

Something was missing John.
Not sure how best to indicate in tho...

loose nut
02-14-2008, 06:34 PM
What's the bloody forth finger for, you started this John, now fess up.

nheng
02-14-2008, 06:45 PM
John, This being Valentine's day, I thought you were going to tell us how to impress a date so she'll go out again. :D

John Stevenson
02-14-2008, 06:51 PM
What's the bloody forth finger for, you started this John, now fess up.

OK I *ucked up and told then to cut 4 fingers but forgot this was a three finger steady :D

.

Ryobiguy
02-14-2008, 11:46 PM
OK I *ucked up and told then to cut 4 fingers but forgot this was a three finger steady :D
.

Don't you mean you carefully thought ahead and ordered a spare? It'd be a mess up if were the other way around, 3 fingers for a 4 finger steady.

LoL cat's head!

TGTool
02-14-2008, 11:57 PM
In this part of the world, three fingers indicates you worked on oil rigs in your younger days. Still have all of mine in spite of the best efforts of automobiles and machine tools.

Oldbrock
02-15-2008, 10:37 PM
http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj232/brockley1_bucket/CIMG0538.jpg Mine took a little longer but my SB came without one and a friend had some 1" Al plate and I took it from there. Peter

Oldbrock
02-15-2008, 10:53 PM
http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj232/brockley1_bucket/CIMG0538.jpgI thought I'd copied two views, hopefully here's the other one. oops, same one

Oldbrock
02-15-2008, 10:55 PM
http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj232/brockley1_bucket/CIMG0539.jpgtry again

John Stevenson
02-16-2008, 05:39 AM
The object of the exercise is about 3 fold.

One it's not just about a steady but thinking outside the box using modern manufacturing techniques. There are many castings for different machines available but you are left with another persons design.

Secondly it was done, probably a bit tongue in cheek with the 1 hour bit, to promote that you can have something without it being an extended project in it's own right.

Thirdly it was a bit of a preview to test the water as this is going to be a proposed article in MEW when the bugs are ironed out of this one.

As it's not finished you can't see the finger arrangement with the three bearings [ only collected last night ] but that in itself is unique as either by swapping the fingers round or just the screws and bearings you can have the support closer to the chuck or away from it depending on the job.

On my CVA lathe where it's on a vee base the fingers are on the tailstock side and on some jobs like armatures by the time the fingers are on the shaft the steady frame is fouling the windings.
I have had to machine another vee in the bottom so it can be mounted opposite with the fingers closet to the chuck.
The problem then with this is often the part you want to machine is buried inside the housing.

Having a steady that can reverse and be thin is a plus in a lot of cases.
I'm not saying this is a cure all it isn't. I have 4 steady's for my small TOS and have to select one to suit the job.

Another bonus is the size this goes out to, removing the restriction that other designs impose on you. You think it too big the ? just redraw it to suit.

Now thinking right outside the box why does a steady always have to run on the outside ?

No reason at all, it's perfectly able to support a tube with the rollers mounted inside. I know in may case we use bull noses centers but how often do you see a 5" bull nose center on a 7" swing lathe ?

And is it worth the time or expense to make one for a one off ?

Going back to reasons 1 and 2, again for a couple of hours work with a couple of drills and a couple of taps and using about 7 pieces of laser cut plate, a length of either ground flat stock or cold rolled, 4 bearings and a few screws you could have a taper turning attachment that could run the full length of your lathe and not just what the manufacture designed.

Taper turning attachments are rarer than steadies, often many lathes never had that option.

This is only two applications of using pre cut components that I have thought off, there must be many more out there that can take advantage of this type of assembly.

Watch this space................


.

loose nut
02-16-2008, 08:53 PM
Don't worry about having an extra finger, sooner or latter someone is going to piss you off and you can give it to them.;)

JRouche
02-16-2008, 10:49 PM
Well, its nice enough but to turn the laser on around here (So Cal, USA) its gonna cost you $120.00 just to turn it on. Kinda pricey for home shop machinist job Im thinking. I do have a buddy with a CNC plasma table but I hate asking for favors.. His is a business, mine is only pleasure.. JRouche

John Stevenson
02-17-2008, 04:21 AM
Well, its nice enough but to turn the laser on around here (So Cal, USA) its gonna cost you $120.00 just to turn it on. Kinda pricey for home shop machinist job Im thinking. I do have a buddy with a CNC plasma table but I hate asking for favors.. His is a business, mine is only pleasure.. JRouche

That's true but I'd bet getting a lathe bed cast in SoCal would be 1,000's of dollars when you can ship a machine in from China for a lot less.

It only takes one person to produce these at a decent cost to be viable or to shop around and get them shipped in from another state where manufacturing is more common.

I don't want to discuss prices but these bits were expensive for my project.
If they were for myself then the price was reasonable given a special but there is no room for markup.
Talking with the laser cutters, by dropping from 8mm to 6mm, still big enough for a 7" lathe, and altering the design a bit I can halve the prices and leave enough in for everybody.

.

Mike Burdick
02-17-2008, 12:47 PM
John,

Your idea is very clever!

For others,

For those who don't want to have these pieces cut out by laser because of cost or availability then these parts can be cut out by a conventional gas cutting torch very easily with the same results.

Here's how I do "built up parts" from flat stock...

I first draw a pattern that is about 1/8-inch less than the desired final size (CAD programs make this easy) and print out on a piece of paper (ordinary printers work nicely for this). Then, using rubber cement, I glue this pattern on 1/8-inch aluminum and cut out with a band saw, or scroll saw, depending on complexity this will serve as a guide for the torch tip. File or sand the edges smooth and to the line if missed. Then clamp the piece of aluminum to a piece of steel with about a 3/16-inch spacer under it so the flame will not melt the aluminum.

When all the parts are cut out then print out another drawing of each part, but this time make it the actual size desired, and glue it to the final part. Grind to finished line.

Depending on one's ability with a torch some of the steps above can be omitted.

Try it! You'll be surprised how nice the parts can be made!

Just one note here: A torch, although not considered a machinist tool, should be considered a "must" for any home shop!

Mike

tony ennis
02-17-2008, 12:55 PM
Aren't there 'water jets' (water+abrasive squirted at high-pressure) for cutting metal? How do these services compare in price to the laser?