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View Full Version : How do I set up my steady?



Tony Ennis
01-20-2013, 12:49 PM
I bought a steady but have only used it once before yesterday. Now, it seems pretty obvious how to use it. I chucked a round and put the steady near the end. I fiddled with the plain brass fingers until the end of the bar ran as true as I could make it.

When I started my operation, it produced a significant squeak. Oil helped. However, to my surprise, the rod turned in the chuck and was eventually pulled out. I was not hogging off a bunch of material.

Clearly my fingers were too tight, misaligned, or something.

So what's the *right* way to set up a steady?

Peter.
01-20-2013, 12:58 PM
I got over this by moving the steady right up to the chuck and setting the fingers there, then moving it to the end of the stock.

John Stevenson
01-20-2013, 01:04 PM
What Peter says is the right way to do it.
If you set a steady on a long bar it's bound to run true not not forced to be in line to the machines axis.

If it's not in line this can cause the bar to walk out the chuck so it wobbles at every rotation.

If is something you can't set up near the chuck, say a casting or the part is a different diameter near the chuck, then chuck up a bit of scrapbinium [TM ], turn this to size and set the steady up on that. Then replace it with the job.

TexasTurnado
01-20-2013, 07:43 PM
Good one, John.... :D Glad to see you have the trademark on that.

SGW
01-20-2013, 08:38 PM
Yes -- held in a steady rest, the outboard end of the bar will always appear to be running true, even if it's not aligned with the spindle axis. Set it up next to the chuck, then slide it out to the end of the bar...or take appropriate measures to achieve the equivalent.

LKeithR
01-20-2013, 09:09 PM
The way I've always done it is to set the shaft up between the chuck and a centre in the tailstock and machine a seat for the steady to run on. This pretty much ensures that the C/L of the shaft is true to the C/L of the lathe. When you set the steady up the fingers should just touch the material with no drag--use lube, of course. It's a subjective thing that you have to work on till you get a feel for it. For some applications you can take a single piece of emery tape, soak it in oil and put it between the finger and the workpiece--with the abrasive side against the finger, not the workpiece...

Toolguy
01-20-2013, 09:10 PM
Also, if you have something with a center or hole in the end like a rifle barrel or other tube, you can put the hole on a live or dead center, set the steady, then send the tailstock over to the end of the bed.
Edit - great minds think alike - right Keith?

Don Young
01-20-2013, 09:16 PM
With the fingers retraced you can tap the tailstock end into running true and then carefully set the fingers to just make contact without moving the work. This does not work, of course, if the work is too long.

gzig5
01-20-2013, 09:17 PM
If the shaft is too long to get between centers or of unequal diameters along its length it can be tricky. I found that turning a short stub out of scrap the exact diameter that I want the steady to run on to work well. Turn the stub in the chuck out of whatever, bring the steady to the chuck and set the fingers on the stub, then move the steady out to where it needs to be.

becksmachine
01-20-2013, 10:22 PM
All good advice so far, here is a somewhat different method.

If the piece is of a length that can be supported and rotated using the chuck alone, no matter how insecurely, try this.

With the steady jaws backed off, rotate the chuck slowly and observe how the free end of the workpiece will lift up above the spindle centerline.

Slowly adjust the two lower steady rest jaws incrementally upward until the free end will no longer lift up off the steady jaws when the chuck is rotated. Then adjust the top steady jaw to just touch the top of the workpiece.

I maybe should emphasize that it is best to do this rotating by hand, or at the slowest spindle speed possible.

Dave

dstig1
01-20-2013, 10:41 PM
I'm curious as to the acceptability of the steady rest practice shown in post 32 on the link below. It is discussed a few posts below that, for more detail. Seemed logical, but I was wondering how good or bad of an idea it was. If it is helpful, great, if it is a bad idea, I'm sure some would be interested to know that, myself included.

http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=233671&page=2

-Dave

3jaw
01-20-2013, 11:08 PM
You can mount an indicator to the end of your workpiece and indicate the tailstock using the steady rest fingers. Get the front and back indicated first using the bottom fingers and then rotate the part until the indicator is in line with one of the bottom fingers, set the indicator to zero and rotate the part so that the indicator is in line with the top finger. Observe the indicator reading and using the bottom fingers adjust out about a third of the indicator reading with each finger. Repeat until indicator reads zero all around. This is the way we do it with long parts at work.

John Stevenson
01-21-2013, 04:48 AM
I'm curious as to the acceptability of the steady rest practice shown in post 32 on the link below. It is discussed a few posts below that, for more detail. Seemed logical, but I was wondering how good or bad of an idea it was. If it is helpful, great, if it is a bad idea, I'm sure some would be interested to know that, myself included.

http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=233671&page=2

-Dave

Looks perfectly good to me as does the explanation lower down.

taydin
01-21-2013, 04:59 AM
http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=233671&page=2

Those exhibition quality welds in post 29 ... Are those made by a robot or by a human being? (I wish it is a robot :) )

dian
01-21-2013, 05:12 AM
"For some applications you can take a single piece of emery tape, soak it in oil and put it between the finger and the workpiece--with the abrasive side against the finger, not the workpiece... "

why should that be better than using the brass fingers? oiled cloth as a sliding surface?

Spin Doctor
01-21-2013, 05:47 AM
Plus use a 4 jaw. The reason most 3 jaw chucks have a tapped hole on the OD is so you can screw in an eye bolt. The eye bolt is so you can attach the rope when you use the three jaw as an anchor when you go fishing. :p

Timleech
01-21-2013, 06:38 AM
Plus use a 4 jaw. The reason most 3 jaw chucks have a tapped hole on the OD is so you can screw in an eye bolt. The eye bolt is so you can attach the rope when you use the three jaw as an anchor when you go fishing. :p

You think it's only 3-jaws with that facility?
:rolleyes:

Dunc
01-21-2013, 08:53 AM
Have a look at
http://www.homews.co.uk/page83a.html

becksmachine
01-21-2013, 11:23 AM
"For some applications you can take a single piece of emery tape, soak it in oil and put it between the finger and the workpiece--with the abrasive side against the finger, not the workpiece... "

why should that be better than using the brass fingers? oiled cloth as a sliding surface?

With the emery cloth soaked in oil, a small amount of oil will be present at the sliding interface for longer than if the brass fingers were running directly on the workpiece. The abrasive side against the brass jaws prevents the emery cloth from being ejected.

The downside is slight loss of rigidity, usually insignificant.

Which brings up another aspect of successful steady rest operation. Temperature/pressure of fingers on workpiece, and state of lubrication must be constantly monitored.

Dave

Forestgnome
01-21-2013, 11:56 AM
I'm curious how long the emery cloth backing holds up until the abrasive starts peeking through.

lakeside53
01-21-2013, 12:05 PM
Plus use a 4 jaw. The reason most 3 jaw chucks have a tapped hole on the OD is so you can screw in an eye bolt. The eye bolt is so you can attach the rope when you use the three jaw as an anchor when you go fishing. :p



HUH? Sometimes you should do that with the entire lathe! ;)

RussZHC
01-21-2013, 01:47 PM
http://www.youtube.com/user/KEF791

his latest project, "Broken Beaver", has a fair number of clips of him using/setting up a steady rest (I was more interested in the order of ops to keep things all on the same axis etc. as different ends were worked on)

Tony Ennis
01-21-2013, 06:26 PM
I watched every episode of Broken Beaver last week. Is that the same guy that made the 'exhibition quality' welds in the thread mentioned above? I noted that the Broken Beaver guy had one of those rotary welding stands too... same guy, I suppose.

michigan doug
01-21-2013, 06:55 PM
Yup, I also like Keith's videos. He has a lot of skills. Git-er-done!

Notice how his follow rest used cam followers with bearings?? That fixes a lot of problems from fixed point brass fingers.

HTH,

doug

dstig1
01-21-2013, 09:59 PM
Nah, not the same guy. Zap is an incredible TIG welder, but he works for someone else. I was just curious about his steady rest set up. It seemed to make sense to me, but I didn't know if I was missing something due to lack of experience or something.

Tony Ennis
01-24-2013, 08:53 PM
Thanks for the advice - I tried some of the techniques here are got a far-improved result.