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MrDan
09-13-2010, 01:12 PM
So based on the advice here I'm trying to order a factory steady rest for my Victor 1640B from Machinery Solutions in California. I received a fax with a quote which had two disturbing items. One, they want $700 for the steady rest. That's more sticker shock than a real problem.

The second problem is the specs for the rest says it will handle up to 7.5" and down to 3". I called to make sure that 3" was as small as this thing went and they confirmed it was. I realize with a 16" swing lathe I may be a little oversized but a minimum of 3" is just way too big to be any value to me. Am I missing something on what this steady rest really does? Don't tell me I need a spider for a steady rest too! I'm about ready to just build the doggone thing. Any advice out there on what I should do for a steady rest? I'm mainly worried about turning gun barrels right now, but of course a steady rest is useful for many things.

MichaelP
09-13-2010, 01:28 PM
3" doesn't sound right to me. 0.3" is more like it. I'd call them again and speak to a tech person.

Did you see picture of the steady?

MrDan
09-13-2010, 02:53 PM
I did not see a picture of the rest. I just received a fax quote from them. I talked to the guy who is in charge of steady rests (that's a job??) and specifically asked him about the 3". I told him I needed to be able to handle 1" at least. He said this might do 2.5 inches, but it does sound like English may be a second language. 0.3 sounds a lot more like it to me as well. Why the heck would you only handle down to 3 inches? However, I'm holding the fax in my grubby little hands and it says:

1640B Steady Rest* with roller tips......... $700 each (In stock)

*Capacity 3" to 7-1/2"

Boucher
09-13-2010, 03:12 PM
Let me throw a few things for your consideration.

Roughly ten years ago I ordered a steady for my 12x30 Nardini. It cost about $500 and took about a year to get.

There was a Colorado company that built custom steadies the price was similar.

It is difficult to cover the range from small to 14 with a single tool. If you really need to hold a 6-8-inch work piece as well as a 1/2" piece you probably need to steadies.

There are used equipment dealers that have steadies from equipment that has been scrapped/separated that are in good working order and reasonable. I bought one for like $50. The guy also had a 10 faceplate with D1-3 interface for like $25 that really made my day.

It is easier to adapt a steady from a small lathe to a larger size than it is to go the other way.

It is nice to have both bearing and bronze tipped fingers. I like the bearings on larger applications and the bronze on most of the smaller stuff that I do.

philbur
09-13-2010, 03:53 PM
Buy one of these and make an adaptor/raising block.

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-TELESCOPIC-STEADY-REST-ATLAS-12-LATHE-/400127397850?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d29738fda

Phil:)

Barrington
09-13-2010, 03:55 PM
Hate to state the obvious, but the manufacturer's web site ....

http://www.victormachines.com/site/CatalogProducts/106

Shows many pictures, such as :-

http://www.victormachines.com/images/catalog/106-b11.jpg

Cheers ;)

.

philbur
09-13-2010, 04:27 PM
Or better still maybe one of these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-STEADY-REST-SOUTH-BEND-16-LATHE-/400074042475?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d26456c6b

Phil:)

toolmaker76
09-13-2010, 05:13 PM
I have an old Sheldon that I don't have the steady rest for- figured if it really got to be an issue I would just build one.

It would seem to me that the bottom of the rest is the most critical part of it, where it would fit and be clamped on the ways of the lathe. Have to do some angle measurements and all that.

For the top part, your really don't have to be all that precise, because where ever things wound up, you would compensate for it when you indicated the part you were going to turn. Basically three supports 120 degrees apart.

If you went with the bigger rest you spoke of, you could always make a "sub-block" to fit around your workpiece, and use it as an adapter to fit the larger steady rest.

Good luck!

MrDan
09-13-2010, 05:52 PM
Hate to state the obvious, but the manufacturer's web site ....

http://www.victormachines.com/site/CatalogProducts/106


Cheers ;)

.

No please, the obvious is usually what I miss. I did see those pictures on their website. Unfortunately I'm ignorant of how these steady rests adjust. I cannot tell how close in they adjust from those pictures since the rest seems to be in it's most open setting. You guys that are more experienced with these things, do you think that rest adjusts to a smaller setting than 3"?

As for having two different rests for different work, I'm with you. The problem is, according to the vendor they only make one model of steady rest for my lathe. The more I think about it the more I think it HAS to adjust to less than 3", but I sure hate to order a $700 rest and be wrong.

ADGO_Racing
09-13-2010, 06:18 PM
As stated above, most OEM's tend to be PAINFULLY Slow, in getting anything out the door.

A steady rest is not a difficult item to build. I have built two of them. Both times I figured out what I needed to mount to the ways, I drew the item up in Solidworks, and had the parts plasma cut from plate. Make a riser block that mounts to the bed first, and then build the rest of it.

Toolguy
09-13-2010, 07:24 PM
Just buy one from the factory and simply make another set of spokes for it that close to a smaller size. Those will be cheap and easy to make. If you need to turn something bigger, it only takes a few minutes to change them out.

garyphansen
09-13-2010, 08:00 PM
I will third the idea to buy one from toolsforcheap and adapt it to your lathe. He is a nice guy and from people that have bought his china made steady they would well. (I have not seen his steady myself.) You can just google toolsforcheap and call him. He will be able to tell you anything you need or want to know. Gary P. Hansen

MrDan
09-13-2010, 08:20 PM
I will third the idea to buy one from toolsforcheap and adapt it to your lathe. He is a nice guy and from people that have bought his china made steady they would well. (I have not seen his steady myself.) You can just google toolsforcheap and call him. He will be able to tell you anything you need or want to know. Gary P. Hansen

I sent him an email. We'll see what the response is. I didn't know about his website, so thanks to all for the leads.

Dan

lane
09-13-2010, 08:20 PM
I run a victor 1660B every day . the steady rest will go to about 2.500 inches if brass tipped if roller bearing type 3 inches max .
No you want be doing gun barrells unless you modify it and you can do that. Just make longer stems and replace the factory ones. Thats what we do for small stuff.

Dr Stan
09-13-2010, 10:19 PM
MrDan,

You may want to check with Craig Donges over at the Practical Machinist. I've conducted business with him and was quite happy with what I purchased.

Stan

ulav8r
09-14-2010, 03:09 PM
At a former job we had a 20" Monarch, the steady that came with it from a dealer was the wrong steady for that machine. In order to use it we used two 2x4's to adapt it to the bed and to get the steady up to the right height. It worked fine by keeping the cuts light.

Black_Moons
09-14-2010, 03:22 PM
I think the reason its limited to 3" is because a steady that big would have really wobbley fingers if it was extended all the way, and any wobble on a small diamiter makes a large change in distance, where as on a large diamiter its very little change.

Id recommend making your own steady for the smaller peices, or using a spider (Spiders are useful with steadys, as you can even use them on unfinished surfaces or uneven surfaces, With the right 'pads' on the spider fingers, it can be non marring too)

madman
10-27-2010, 10:37 AM
Made up a bunch of steadys out of old crap and some Paint. They looked good and were simple to make. Search function and perhaps pics are still there. Painting them after the colour of youre Lathe is important.

camdigger
10-27-2010, 10:56 AM
Is there a specific reason this isn`t scaleable?
http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/Shop%20made%20tools/PB291373.jpg

KEJR
10-27-2010, 12:41 PM
Depending on how your lathe bed is shaped it seems pretty easy to make an adapter and then buy the steady from Jeff at Tools4Cheap. I've had good luck so far with his products. I don't know if they sell one without the lathe bed adapter but it is worth asking.

KEJR

Davo J
10-28-2010, 12:35 AM
I see some of the larger lathes come with 2 steadies as standard.
https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=L174

I need to go the other way on my 12x36 as the standard one only goes out to 85mm, so I am going to make one that goes from 85 to around 150mm. Looking around on the internet there are a few good designs out their for homemade ones.

Dave