Steady Rest: What do you use for followers?
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  1. #1
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    Default Steady Rest: What do you use for followers?

    My steady rest came with solid bronze followers. They have a tendency to mark the work so I tried ball bearings. They proved to be VERY fragile. I broke 6 of them before I decided to replace them with oilite bushings on the same shaft that held the bearings.

    They melted.

    What should I try next?

    Gary

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    We made a carrier head for each and installed McGill cam followers. Needle bearing rollers. Worked good for our purposes.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

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    Whatever you use will leave some sort of a mark. My experience is ordinary ball or roller bearings grind crap into the job. You used to be able to get special bearings made for the purpose that had a slightly domed outer race. They left a fine line.

    The old guys always used brass pads with a leather or canvas belt trapped in the steady between pads and whatever it was they were turning. That seemed to be ok.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ESTEFFEN View Post
    We made a carrier head for each and installed McGill cam followers. Needle bearing rollers. Worked good for our purposes.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
    I used the same thing on follower I built. Same results - works for me.

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    Cam followers here, too.

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    And a disk of cardboard with a hole about the size of the shaft (to keep loose swarf from getting under the rollers)

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    Sounds like you are tightening the fingers way too much. Should just be able to rotate the bearing by hand if bearing is being used. Bronze finger, adjusted with light pressure on the work piece. Piece of leather between the fingers and work piece sounds like a good idea, never tried it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garyrice View Post
    What should I try next?
    Respecting the real-world limits of the materials you are using. Work AND pads.

    Wearing out Oilite I is one thing. Even worse if it were Oilite II or Oilite 16.

    MELTING any of the above, or trashing roller-bearings, either one sez you are overly optimistic as to swept bearing area, overly aggressive as to SFM, unit pressure, or all of the above.

    Step back. Start over. Think about the meaning of "rest" not "spindle".

    Slow TF down!

    And get filtered flood lubricant onto the zone to clear chip. make it slipperier, and keep it cooler.

    It didn't ask to be a dry bearing run on too small a bearing area, too fast, at too high a unit pressure for the materials.

    But that's what you have. Either of proper roller-bearings or Ignorant solid bearing Bronze should do yah - if but utilized properly.

    Worst case, yah shrink or press a hardened sleeve onto it, press-off or score and split it off later. If the cost is justified vs just motating at a more realistic rate of turns.

    Read "damned seldom." Or "TANSTAAFL"

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    Tyrone- guess I've been an old guy for a long time. Steady with steel or bronze fingers- take a piece of abrasive cloth and turn it over (abrasive side toward fingers- old heavy belt sander belts work even better. Loop around the part and trap the front edge in the split part of the steady so it clamps the cloth and keeps it from scooting out with rotation. Adjust your fingers, keep it oiled and it wont mark even a ground shaft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan from Oakland View Post
    Tyrone- guess I've been an old guy for a long time. Steady with steel or bronze fingers- take a piece of abrasive cloth and turn it over (abrasive side toward fingers- old heavy belt sander belts work even better. Loop around the part and trap the front edge in the split part of the steady so it clamps the cloth and keeps it from scooting out with rotation. Adjust your fingers, keep it oiled and it wont mark even a ground shaft.
    *sigh* high-tech youngsters and their synthetic tits...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan from Oakland View Post
    Tyrone- guess I've been an old guy for a long time. Steady with steel or bronze fingers- take a piece of abrasive cloth and turn it over (abrasive side toward fingers- old heavy belt sander belts work even better. Loop around the part and trap the front edge in the split part of the steady so it clamps the cloth and keeps it from scooting out with rotation. Adjust your fingers, keep it oiled and it wont mark even a ground shaft.
    Yes, I've seen people do that also.

    Another vote for the little piece of cardboard etc to keep swarf out of the " nip " between the rollers and the workpiece if you are using a roller steady. It's not perfect but it'll cut down most of the problem.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan from Oakland View Post
    Tyrone- guess I've been an old guy for a long time. Steady with steel or bronze fingers- take a piece of abrasive cloth and turn it over (abrasive side toward fingers- old heavy belt sander belts work even better. Loop around the part and trap the front edge in the split part of the steady so it clamps the cloth and keeps it from scooting out with rotation. Adjust your fingers, keep it oiled and it wont mark even a ground shaft.
    I use the same setup. Well lubed, no marks.

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  19. #13
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    We also do the abrasive cloth approach.

    One other thing to add: if your bed is out of adjustment it can put added stress on the steady. I've had a couple of jobs that the steady was trying to compensate for some misalignment in the work or machine and it made it hard to get a running contact on the steady.


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