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Travelling Steady

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  • Travelling Steady

    I have a Logan 820 lathe and I want to build a travelling steady. (I know, I can buy one from Scott for $165.00 but that is not the point.) I have a copy of a design that appeared in HSM in the '90's by Paul Holm. His was for a SB model 9C. I intend to follow that general design but have two questions. First, the design shows the adjustable supports mounted at 90 degrees. That is, one vertical above, and one horizontal opposite the cutter bit. Should these supports not be mounted 60 degrees above and below the horizontal, so that they and the cutter act as a balanced three spoke wheel? As it is , it appears to me that the system is three spokes of a four spoke wheel and therefore the forces are inherently unbalanced. Second, would the supports not be improved by the use of small ball bearings? As I understand the use of a travelling steady, it is for fairly light cuts on slender shafts, and thus the forces it has to withstand cannot be very great. the design calls for 1/2 inch steel, but I have aluminum and it is much easier to work. Am i worrying about not much?
    Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

  • #2
    Your talking about a follower rest and the follower stops are in the places proven over a hundred years of machining. When the tool is cutting the force pushes the work straight up and slightly to the rear so the roller needs to be on top of the work. The follower at the back is to help keep the work centered front to rear and cut down on chatter.

    You can experiment on the location of the rollers but what is the point when some of the best machinists and machine builders have determined the correct location.

    Of cource you can reinvent the wheel if you so choose.
    It's only ink and paper


    • #3
      Frank Ford has a design that uses aluminum for part of the frame, ball bearings for the contacts, and also allows you to experiment with the contact angles:

      Seems close to what you're considering so it is worth a look.

      Location: Newtown, CT USA