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retrofitting lathe steadies

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  • retrofitting lathe steadies

    I have a Boxford 4 1/2 read (Southebend 9inch USA)lathe I cannot afford , or as you know me as a good Scotsman am too misserable to fork out on the high cost (if you can find them) of original steadies.About four months ago I bough a couple of Chinese Jobs new,both for about $60 US .
    They almost fit my lathe exactly only the final quarter inch or so needs to be filled to suit my lathes bed pattern .In some parts the quarter inch gap reduces to around a sixteenth or so being very near the bed.I had originally tried vaselineing the bed
    ( that part is not intended for Thrud )and simply sitting them down on car body filler to take up the gap.It worked good however the gap is so close in some parts that it broke away.Should I remove more from the bottom of the steadies and try again?,or make a wax pattern and cast a fine fitting spacer from metal?or any other ideas would be appreciated I held the steadies in a bar which was centralised in the chuck for exact height during this process.
    best regards to my friends out there from Alistair
    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

  • #2
    Alistair, what do you mean "almost an exact fit..." Do you mean the base of the steady where it beds down on the ways? If there is enough metal left on the base, I'd do a bit more filing. If there's not enough metal to file down the base,I'd make a spacer and fasten it to the base with epoxy resin or some teeny tiny flat head counter sunk screws. Let's see---'bout a 6 or 7 BA ought to do it. Besides, you're going center what you're turning from the adjustments not from the base.

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    • #3
      Al.
      The bed is a vee bed and so is the steady but they dont match exactly also centre height is a bit low I undestand you can adjust this, but the bed width is fine but the vees etc don't quite Marry up Alistair
      Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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      • #4
        I've done this a couple of times by completely milling the base off, leaving enough to fasten to and making a new base to suit.
        The body filler is a good idea also. Rough up the surface to give something for the filler to bite to. Use a small grinder & gouge it up. Clean and degrease thoroughly with lacquer thinner, alcohol or acetone and apply filler. I would recommend a steel filled epoxy rather than body filler. Over here we have JB Weld, great stuff.
        Jim H.

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        • #5
          Alistair,

          This is what I would do/have done for my South Bend.

          Correct the height by milling the steady flatway to accept a standard piece of gauge plate, this will have to be thick enough to bury the head of any screw into (suggest you use a c'sunk allen head such as a 2BA or a #6-32), when you've done this measure the vee way miss match and either hog it out enough to allow you to fit a piece of 1/4" thick aluminium angle (screwed in in the same fashion as the gauge plate), then you can trim the angle section down to suit the rest of the casting.

          At the end of the day all you need from the steady is for it to be somewhere near 'on centre', and for it to not mark the bedways when clamped up (as well of course to be pretty steady when under load!!)

          RR

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          • #6
            Thanks guys sounds good so far I will regrind the foot of thre steadies and make a plate to fit or metal epoxy after making a wax base of the correct thickness and surround it with plaster then boil out the wax and fill it with plastic to make a perfect fit Alistair
            Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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            • #7
              Thanks guys sounds good so far I will regrind the foot of thre steadies and make a plate to fit or metal epoxy after making a wax base of the correct thickness and surround it with plaster then boil out the wax and fill it with plastic to make a perfect fit Alistair
              Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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              • #8
                Alistair,
                When you make a new sole plate either make it so that it has two vee's in it or that it's reversable.
                Many steady's are designed so that the minimum overhang is next to the tool
                i.e. right hand side of the steady.
                This is OK but often you need to get the fingers as close as possible to a shoulder and the frame of the steady fowls a larger diameter.
                Classic example of this is an electric motor rotor. By the time you get the fingers on the bearing diameter the fins are buried so deep into the steady the job can't revolve.
                Pull it out enough to clear the fins and you can't get on a decent diameter.
                At the point you are a little forethought helps in the future.

                John S

                [This message has been edited by John Stevenson (edited 11-28-2002).]
                .

                Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                • #9
                  All great ideas. Except for the vaseline...

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                  • #10
                    Thrud:
                    You always down me when I'm on a winner you know the vaseline is the best idea I've had this year.

                    I suppose if you dont have any vaseline which makes a great seperating medium a little meatloaf grease will suffice.
                    Yours huffy puffily Alistair
                    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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