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No Lathe Steady Rest? Use Discarded Ring Gear

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  • No Lathe Steady Rest? Use Discarded Ring Gear

    So you find you could use a Steady on rare occasion, but they don't go for chump change.
    A discarded (Jeep) ring gear to the rescue. You do need to throw it into the woodstove for a
    couple of days before attempting to machine it.

    Meanwhile, make a V-base applicable for a Clausing 5900 and an under-way clamp plate with
    stud projecting up thru V-base to the ring gear. Then weld an appropriate-height mounting
    pad to the ring gear with 1/4" plate. Allow a pocket for two bolts down into the V-base. And
    a center nut to pull up the clamping stud. 5/8" threaded arms/locknuts, or a more elegant
    design of your choosing.

    Theoretically, the ring gear portion is easily re-adaptable to another lathe via a new base block.

    And no, don't use it enough to have bothered with a hinged or bolt-opening feature.

    Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    That’s pretty clever!

    I was thinking “starter ring gear……that’s preposterous!” As I scrolled down your description.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by wbc View Post
      And no, don't use it enough to have bothered with a hinged or bolt-opening feature.
      That's a pretty good reuse of a discarded ring gear. I have a 10" lathe with a factory steady. I recently needed to support a 3.5" bar in my steady, only to find that it only goes to 2.75". WTH? A new, larger mouth steady is on my todo list and something like your ring is a good place to start. However, I DO recommend that you put in some kind of hinge feature. The bigger the work requiring holding, the more necessary (to greatly simplify mounting the part in your lathe) the hinge feature is. There's nothing like trying to manhandle a 100 pound piece of steel thru the hole, then onto the chuck to start your day!

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      • #4
        You really don't need a hinge on a steady rest on a small lathe.
        Cataract never had one, but only on their QC swing lathe.
        Anyhow, super cool project. Big gears are awesome.
        I love those little boxy Clausing lathes. They are so cute
        and have a well thought out design.

        ---Doozer
        DZER

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        • #5
          That is just marvelous!! A great way to repurpose an old ring gear.---Brian
          Brian Rupnow
          Design engineer
          Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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          • #6
            Did you have to anneal the gear before drilling and tapping ?? Or are Jeep ring gears soft ? Wouldn't surprise me if they are.

            Your pretty close...............

            I can't think of how few times I've used either of these but when I needed to they came in pretty handy.

            Click image for larger version

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            JL....................
            Last edited by JoeLee; 01-15-2022, 09:42 AM.

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            • #7
              ^ Per post #1: You do need to throw it into the woodstove for a couple of days before attempting to machine it.

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              • #8
                That is very neat. Bet it's seriously stout too. Looking cool is an extra plus!

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                • #9
                  ...and if you need something a bit bigger, the Ford Corporate 10.25/10.5's are really common in the junkyards these days...

                  hee

                  That wins purely on aesthetics.

                  t
                  rusting in Seattle

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                  • #10
                    I can attest to thew hardness of Jeep parts. I have an older YJ, the shafts and gears are nearly un-machinable until completely annealed. Great use for the ring gear! the Dana 35 deserves no less
                    25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                    • #11
                      How deep do the mounting bolt holes go into the ring? Did you have to drill thru any holes when you drilled the ring?

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                      • #12
                        SLK: Only drilled 3 tapped holes for the 3 arms, plus machining 3 flats for the jamnuts. Hence, the woodstove.
                        A rectangular base of 1/4" plate pieces is welded to gear and that is where two bolts go thru to the V-base piece.

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                        • #13
                          And button-head hex screws in the arm caps so can adjust with a cordless drill...adjusting long screw arms becomes less tedious.

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                          • #14
                            That's pretty neat. If I had an old ring gear I could do the same, if I had a woodstove...

                            George

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                            • #15
                              I still can’t believe you could drill and tap a ring gear..... learned something new.

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