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Larger steady rest for my lathe

frank46

Aluminum
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Location
louisiana, USA
I'm in need of a larger steady rest for my lathe. The present one will only go to just under 3" and I have to have a steady that will do at least 6". The manufacturer of my lathe does not offer anything bigger for this model. The lathe is a 13x40 made by jet and some of you run larger lathes with larger steadies. So do anyone kinda sorta reccommend a larger one for my lathe?. Used is fine abused is not. I realize that the cutouts on the underside of the steady where it sits on top of the lathe bed may be different that what is on my lathe.Any assistance or help of course is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Frank
 
There is typically a fairly large selection of steady rests available on eBay. Sometimes reasonably priced.....sometimes not. It's not likely that you'll find the exact steady you want for your lathe, but if you find one with dimensions you can work with, you can adapt it to your lathe. That's what I did for my lathe. Some pics attached.
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Good luck,
Ted
 
It's not hard to make on out of plate.

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jimsehr
 
If you should find a deal on a good used one, don't worry to much about getting it dead nuts centered. Side to side or up and down. It doesn't care where it's at. Just having the fingers centered around the workpiece is what matters. Oh, and square to the ways. Real square! I was gonna say, "perpendicular", but can't spell it.
 
My lathe came with a big one they'd made for it, as well as the factory unit. I keep meaning to take a pic of it for another thread. I'll do that and put pics here too; they did a nice job.
 
I made one for a co. that wanted to be able to hold bigger stock, there biggest would hold 10" or 12", they wanted to hold 16", drew it up went to a local co. they drew it up so it could be cut out of 2" thick plate using there CNC cutting torch, made a half lap joint, then slotted the top half for a toggle bolt, cut 3 blind slots for the support bars , by doing a blind slot I could drill and thread for the adjusting screws. Traded the steady rest for a DSG 21" X 15' estimated cost of the steady was $1,200.00, 9 months later sold the DSG for $5,800.00.
 
The first size constraint is typically the lower front adjuster running into the carriage wings.
 
If inclined you could build your own like I did,about 8-9 hours start to finish IIRC.
 

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If inclined you could build your own like I did,about 8-9 hours start to finish IIRC.

I remember you posting this before. I have to say I really love your design, plus the craftsmanship is outstanding. I need to build a bigger steady for my Acra-Turn lathe for up to maybe 12". The factory only supplied the machine with a 6". If you don't mind I may use some of your design cues when I build mine.
 
If you should find a deal on a good used one, don't worry to much about getting it dead nuts centered. Side to side or up and down. It doesn't care where it's at. Just having the fingers centered around the workpiece is what matters. Oh, and square to the ways. Real square! I was gonna say, "perpendicular", but can't spell it.

There's a joke about a Saint Louis cop that sees a crime in progress on Pestalozzi Street, but proceeds to chase the perp to a street name the cop can spell.


Or sumthin like that.

9100 might know.
 
Here's a few pics of the one that came with my Webb. This was built by the seller at some point to handle larger stock. I also got the factory unit. I have not yet used either.

The brass thumbwheels on this one are a nice touch; makes for very smooth adjustments.

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In '68 I bought a 12" Robling (German) lathe and in '80, I made a larger steady for it. The removable steel base in the pics fit's that lathes ways and is replacable with another that fits a different lathe. In my "wisdom", I provided the ears protruding downward from the lower aluminum piece, installed 3/8-16" thread inserts, with which to "micrometrically" (0.0625 per rev) cross-adjust it for each lathe. Seemed like a good idea on the drawing board.

In practice, I mount a workpiece in the chuck, drop the top piece around it and screw the rollers up to it. Then I lock the steady down to the base and ways and fine adjust with the roller screws, good enough and I have a spare pair of 3/8 screws stored for another project......?

My point in posting: wanting this steady to have rollers, while drawing it, I realized that a circular body only added bulk to the steady, not greater capacity. With the rollers retracted for a large part, it still clears the triangular opening. Not so important for this milled body, even back then I had a couple of rotary tables, used one of them to set the various 120° relationships, but straight sides could really ease a fab'd steel build with rollers.

With an allen wrench, the steel slide cap guides lock the slides in place.

As you can see, I keep it highly polished:o, didn't look as bad carrying it into the kitchen for good light and comparisons for size. Gawd, the camera really made that thing cruddy.....

The apparent distortion at the bottom of the first pic is a camera anomaly, I assure you that the ceramic tile is not bent.

Bob
 

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Bob,
Boy is that steady rest cruddy looking. Sheesh! What a mess. Oh wait, maybe you''ve used it. I made one for my small lathe and it's a whole lot gooeyer than that. Like your design. By the way. Oughta get that tile replaced. It's bent!
 
J.Ramsey do you use your lathe ? Man thats clean :D And nice steady.

Just thinking about it now, the issue with clearing the saddle wings is one thats pissed me off many times. Would it be possible to make one with a bottom jaw with say 20mm movement, and have teeth like a soft jawed chuck for rough adjustment? Just a thought. Thinking along the lines of the steady by J.Ramsey. That style of support bar. Havent really sketched anything out yet, will give it some thought later. You really need to have the bronze pads or rollers resting on a screw not just clamped. I havent searched yet, but im wondering what kinds of bearings out there are better then the ones we use. We use the cam rollers, because they are small and have a thick outer ring for support. I would like to see a sealed bearing, because they are hard to keep clean and lubricated inside. So far the best method of keeping stuff out of the rollers I have found, is making a rubber ring, with a mm or two smaller hole in it than the shaft your turning, and a bigger diameter than the hole in the steady. It sits tight on the shaft your turning, and acts like a slinger. Oil coolant swarf just flies off, and because it seals on the shafts reasonably well, its hard to get rubbish under the rollers. The downside, is one ring fits one size. But they work. I used 3mm thick rubber. It needs to be stiff too.
 








 
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