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  • Bearing steady rest plans?

    Looking to make a bearing type steady rest for a 14 1/2" South Bend Lathe.
    Anyone have a set of plans, or even a picture of a nice unit they'd care to share?
    thanks,
    -Armen

  • #2
    No plans; but,

    New or used roller lifters from an engine work nicely, I used GM 6-71 roller lifters on my 12x36"
    Non, je ne regrette rien.

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    • #3
      I am not sure if this is what you had in mind.

      http://picasaweb.google.com/shopm8/Mach
      Jim

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      • #4
        Bond77 and others

        Try this recent thread.

        Lot of good pics, and info.

        http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/sho...ghlight=steady

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        • #5
          Pillow block bearing steady rest

          Armen, I have no drawings or pictures to show you but I do have a pillow block design that works well for me.
          I use a 1.375 pillow block bearing which is mounted onto a platform that attaches to my carriage assy. I then have an assortment of both 1.375 and 1.00 inch OD drill bushings. I simply insert a 1.375 drill bushing of appropriate ID size through the pillow block bearing and run my workpiece through the drill bushing. For smaller diameters, I insert a 1.375 OD bushing with a 1.00 inch ID, and then insert a smaller 1.00 inch OD drill bushing which has the appropriate hole size. BY doing this, I basically have an assortment of hole sizes that utilize a single bearing, that can range in size from very small up to about 1.250 inches. In my set-up, I probably have a total of thirty dollars invested, and some shop time. Of course, the cost would vary depending upon how many drill bushings you feel you need. In my case, I only use a few sizes, but I have many other sizes that I can use should the need arise.
          In my area, we have a surplus dealer where drill bushings have been very plentiful and cheap which has made this system affordable for me. Without this surplus source, this addmittedly could become expensive, but if you limit the number of sizes to commonly available dimensions, it isn't too bad.
          The advantages of this system (for me) have been cost, ease of operation, and a device that does not in any way mar or damage the shaft material. This is important to me since I typically work with wood (I make cue sticks), and the normal steady designs tend to damage the wood.
          The hardest part of the whole thing is getting the initial allignment set up to be dead nuts accurate, but you only have to do it for the initial alignment. After that, it should be in perfect alignment unless either the headstock or tailstock would ever be offset for any reason. My design is both easily removed and re-installed and has proven to be repeatable. My lathe is a Clausing, but that should not be an issue. You would have to design your own baseplate for attachment to your carriage or lathe bed if you prefer. The sizes I've described here are those that work for me in the work that I do. The same concept would work for either larger or smaller sizes equally as well.
          Of course, there are applications where this system would not work, but then show me any tool that works in every application! All I can say is that it has worked well for me. I hope this idea helps, since it can be easily adapted to other shop tools as well as the lathe.
          There is no shortage of experts, the trick is knowing which one to listen to!

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          • #6
            I recently built a steady and it seems to work OK - I've not used a steady before so I don't have a good basis for judging other than it allowed me to work a fair distance from the chuck without chatter. This design uses bearings that roll on the work so it does mar the work slightly; on steel it leaves two "polished" rings (I haven't used it on other materials yet). This design uses square tubing for reasonable strength with light weight.

            For details see: http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/SteadyRest.html

            John

            Location: Newtown, CT USA

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ed Tipton
              I use a 1.375 pillow block bearing which is mounted onto a platform that attaches to my carriage assy. I then have an assortment of both 1.375 and 1.00 inch OD drill bushings.
              ...
              BY doing this, I basically have an assortment of hole sizes that utilize a single bearing, that can range in size from very small up to about 1.250 inches. In my set-up, I probably have a total of thirty dollars invested, and some shop time.
              That's very, very clever Ed! You've make a quick-change ball-bearing follow rest!

              I think I have the stuff laying around in my shop to make that...
              "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by GadgetBuilder
                I recently built a steady and it seems to work OK - I've not used a steady before so I don't have a good basis for judging other than it allowed me to work a fair distance from the chuck without chatter. This design uses bearings that roll on the work so it does mar the work slightly; on steel it leaves two "polished" rings (I haven't used it on other materials yet). This design uses square tubing for reasonable strength with light weight.

                For details see: http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/SteadyRest.html

                John

                beats me why lathe manufacturors didnt make them like that in the first place .

                you would need smaller bearings though for anything smaller than 1/4 inch.

                all the best.markj

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by aboard_epsilon
                  beats me why lathe manufacturors didnt make them like that in the first place .
                  I would guess that it's because CI has better damping ability as well as efficient manufacturing options.

                  But that is a very neat little steady there. I would think it would work fine as long as the work pieces doesn't really want to move much. But I expect it would flex and allow a fair amount of movement should the piece be unbalanced in some way. Ideally, if using structural steel for this, I think you would want to design it to convert radial workpiece forces into tensile forces within the stead rather than loading it in bending. And the obvious way to do that would be to make the tube frame a triangle with the fingers at the vertices. Wouldn't cut down that much on capacity since the fingers need room for their rollers, and it would be a much more stable design. Sure wouldn't look as nice though!
                  Russ
                  Master Floor Sweeper

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by aboard_epsilon
                    beats me why lathe manufacturors didnt make them like that in the first place .
                    The reason??.......

                    Yeah, the idea seems so simple it's unbelievable they don't all come that way. But, there is a problem.

                    What do you think happens if a large chip gets rolled under one of the bearings?

                    With the plain tips on steadies there's a tendency to wipe the chips away rather than "eating" them as with rollers.

                    There's a place for both types. I wouldn't use a roller type near where the chip action is.

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                    • #11
                      I have read that taping a cardboard or heavy paper stock wiper/scraper before the bearing will keep swarf from getting underneath and messing up things.

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                      • #12
                        Steady there

                        I've used roller bearing steady rests almost exclusivly for 40 years. The polished band can be erased when the job is done by polishing with fine emory cloth. (no real material removal) It can also be minimised also by running way oil on the roller path. Be carefull not to overtighten the wheels.
                        The chip problem is easily addressed by cutting a hole barely bigger than the shaft in some gasket paper and using this as a mask on the tailstock side of the steady rest, anchored to the frame of the steady. Save them up for different diameters for the future.

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                        • #13
                          As said above all you need is a piece of heavy paper or cardboard and cut a hole to fit the bar or whatever.I use small magnets to hold it to the steady.You can slice the cardboard thru from one side to the hole and twist it onto the shaft if the end is larger.

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                          • #14
                            Flingers

                            The previous three posts (macona, lwbates and j king) are variations of the traditional (oil-) "slinger" which works very well.

                            Use of a "spider" (aka "cat-head") instead of having the steady "bearings" locate directly onto the job might be a feasible option as well.



                            The discussion so far seems to limited to "fixed" steadies instead of including "traveling/moving" steady rests.

                            I rather liked this idea from Chief:
                            Originally posted by chief
                            New or used roller lifters from an engine work nicely, I used GM 6-71 roller lifters on my 12x36"
                            Particularly if there is sufficient "adjustment" in the rocker arms (as on a "push-rod" OHV engine?) as "its all there" almost just waiting to be bolted to a steady frame. The range of adjustment is very wide as the pivots of the rocker arms has only to be moved to another hole on the steady. And they have proved themselves in and engine environment.

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