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Ever made your own steady rest?

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  • Ever made your own steady rest?

    I need one and the only one I can find goes for about half what I paid for the lathe (Atlas-Clausing 6x20). I have an idea about how I would go about it, but is it worth the trouble to build my own? Would aluminum work, or do I need to use cold-rolled steel?

  • #2
    Check out Andy Lofquist's steady rest kit at http://www.statecollegecentral.com/m...the/index.html

    If you want to do it completely on your own, I don't see why aluminum wouldn't work. You might have to use slightly heavier sections to get equivalent rigidity, but otherwise I don't see any problem. Get fancy and put ball bearing rollers on the tips of the work supports....


    ----------
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
    Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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    • #3
      Nimrod,

      Here's a very good idea that was submitted by John Stevenson, a member of this board.
      He told the group it was okay to copy.

      I made one and it works great. I used a Class 7 roller bearing and it is as accurate and rigid as the chuck itself. It's like having a lathe with a thru hole of four inches. You don't have to use a Class 7 bearing like I did, just use whatever bearing you want that will meet your desired accuracy . Take a look!

      http://homepage.ntlworld.com/machines/Steady1.jpg

      Other than the bearing the rest can be made from common materials. If you can't figure out how to construct it from the picture I'm pretty sure John will reply and tell you how to make one.

      -Jim


      [This message has been edited by Jake (edited 07-17-2002).]

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      • #4
        SGW,
        Ball bearing rollers aren't such a good idea.The wedging action can and will take chips under the rollers and roll these into the work. I used to have one on a big Herbert lathe. It came with two finger steadies and this ball race steady. I though like you that it would be better but after I'd locked the job up a couple of times in the steady and spun the work in the chuck it got relegated to back of the suds tray.
        My current big lathe a 22" TOS has hardened steel wear pads on the ends of the steady. Provided they are adequately lubricated they don't mark the work and require less adjustment than the bronze finger type.

        John S.
        .

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



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        • #5
          John what if you used sealed bearings? Wouldn't that keep the chips out?

          Spkrman15

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          • #6
            Hey, thanks guys. The fellows over at Roderus Custom said you were a friendly and helpful bunch, and they weren't kidding!

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            • #7
              Spkrman15

              No sorry I didn't expain carefully enought.
              It's not the chips getting into the bearings but chips getting under the outer races where its running on the work. A decent sized chip will act as a wedge between the two. The flatish bronze finger type act as wipers and brush the chips away. The bearing type where the bearing and the work are revolving in opposite directions will drag anything into the gap.

              John S.
              .

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



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              • #8
                Hmmm...interesting. I have brass fingers on my steady rest, always thought it would be a good idea to make some with ball bearings sometime. I guess not!
                ----------
                Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

                Comment


                • #9
                  Had to machine something on a long delicate tube for an instrument once. I made teflon caps that slipped over the brass tips. Worked fine. No marks on the work.
                  O

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                  • #10
                    I'll agree with John about the rollers, chips will roll in causing grief.

                    Stready rests aren't that hard to fabricate. Some plate, cutting torch, welder and make up a weldment in leau of casting. Then machine it up in mill. Fingers can be made from rectangular bar stock, braze up the end for bearing area. When braze wears through, braze it up again.

                    Make a mock up first from cardboard, see how things clear machine when it opens up, etc.

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                    • #11
                      I tried the ball bearing thing once, abandoned it when chips kept getting jammed under the bearings, as already stated. Went back to the brass pads. Put STP oil treatment on the piece when turning with the steady. It lubes like crazy, prevents galling, etc., and will still be oil at phenomenal temperatures.

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                      • #12
                        Try using roller lifters from a camshaft, I used some old GMC 6-71 roller lifters, no problems.
                        Non, je ne regrette rien.

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                        • #13
                          Hi
                          I have a friend who suggested to me to run a coolant line to the steady rest(via a tee fitting off the main line and valve etc) and use nylon or some other type of plastic for fingers.I did and it worked very well/even at high speed.
                          Just a though.
                          eddie
                          please visit my webpage:
                          http://motorworks88.webs.com/

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                          • #14
                            John stevenson,
                            Cut a piece of cardboard as a shield for the bearings and bend a welding rod as a clamp to hold it in place.
                            Done it for years.
                            Cost's next to nothing works like a champ.
                            Old machinist showed me that thirty some years ago.

                            nimrod

                            made a couple of rests over the years out of cast, and burned plate.

                            have to be careful in your layout that the slots, or holes point to the lathe center of rotation.

                            Leave lots of clearance between the rest base and carriage wings.
                            Make it too close and a couple of blue chips cat torque the rest and spoil the job.

                            I don't put a hinged top on, but make a flat joint so the top bolts on front and back.

                            mite

                            [This message has been edited by metal mite (edited 07-18-2002).]

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                            • #15
                              Metal Mite,
                              I don't have a steady now with rollers to try this cardboard trick. All my steadies are the finger type. I made a big one a while ago fabricated from 10mm thick plate.
                              In fact it was 1998 when I made it as I've just found the file and pic on the metalworking.com page in the retired 1999 section ( don't time fly when you are having fun!! )
                              Two pics and a text file show it all. Might be a wee tad bigger than most people need but the idea is there.
                              Files are:-
                              http://www.metalworking.com/dropbox/...es/STEADY1.JPG

                              http://www.metalworking.com/dropbox/...les/steady.jpg

                              http://www.metalworking.com/dropbox/...les/steady.txt

                              John S.
                              .

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



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