Modifying a 9" Steady for 11" Lathe?
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  1. #1
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    Default Modifying a 9" Steady for 11" Lathe?

    Been unable to procure a factory steady for my 11" Sheldon, so I've been scanning Fleabay for one that might work with minimal modifications with no luck.

    The Sheldon has a wider bed than any lathe in it's class that I've seen, even every larger 12" steady is still too small to span the 5-3/4" from vee to end of the flat.

    Rather than buying a larger lathe steady and hacking it up (and no experience welding cast iron), it occurred to me that I could simply add a 1" base plate to an extra 9" SB steady I have that would bring it approx. to the correct center height.

    In addition to creating the female V-way in the adapter base to ride the lathe bed, I'd need to mill the top surface of the plate with a male V-way in the correct location to center the steady on the adapter and keep it perfectly square to the bed.

    Seems I'd need to oversize the plate thickness by the height of the "male" V-way and use a 60 degree end mill to cut each side to proper depth, then mill away the rest of the plate surface. I could then D&T the 9" steady permanently to the plate, and make a new bottom plate to ride under the bed.

    Any issues with what I'm planning? Aluminum would make for much easier machining- but I'm guessing I Should use steel plate for this? What would be the best way to measure the height of the V on the lathe bed, and top flat so that I can machine for a perfect fit?

    Appreciate any tips/advice, thanks in advance.

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    lost creek machinery has one of the tools for cheap steady rests that is made to accept adapters to fit different machines....it has the @[email protected]$ adapter but you could easily make one for your Sheldon, they are great rests for your purpose,"semi-telescoping" style with replaceable brass tips....their price is a bit high but bet they would take an offer if you call them.

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    Took a look at it, thanks
    I haven't yet measured the height of the v-way, but it's probably not far from the 1/2" which would be the thickness of the adapter plate I could use with a 10" steady.

    I don't see an advantage of using that over the SB steady I already have- what am I missing?

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    Two "rounds" in a square channel make a fine "vee" if the right distance apart

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    most gun guys seem to like the replaceable brass tips, otherwise no real advantage I can tell.

    the only personal experience I can give is the tools4cheap steadies were actually quite nice, I used one on my Sheldon 10".

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    Thanks for the input.
    I have both styles for the SB (cast iron fingers, brass micrometer) and I often prefer to use the hard fingers for some jobs, such as riding on a thread tenon when circumstances require that. Brass wears too quickly under conditions like that and introduce error.

    I'm going to try to come up with an adapter for them whereby I can interchange/use whichever is preferred for a specific application, but still have sufficient rigidity.

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    I don’t think you need the inverted v on the riser. Mill a recess slot in the riser for the steady to fit in. Locate the steady on the riser as accurately as you can front to back then drill and ream for two dowel pins (from the bottom). The dowels will keep things located cross wise and the recess will take care of side to side. One bolt to secure through both will hold it all to the bed.

    Don’t over think all this. I have a large steady of unknown manufactur that had an inverted channel riser with two bolts to hold it all together, very crude.

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    I have both a 9A and heavy 10 (10L) I have a very nice 9 inch steady rest and wanted to use my heavy ten to make a part but need a steady rest. So I made a very simple spacer for the 9in steady to fit the heavy ten works great been using it 3 or 4 now works every time.
    Chet
    steady-rest-adapter-1.jpgsteady-rest-adapter-2-.jpg1-9-10-steady-rest.jpg

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    ^^^
    That's it...
    The inverted V looks to be different material added.
    What did you use, how attached? Drilled/tapped from underside?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tobnpr View Post
    ^^^
    That's it...
    The inverted V looks to be different material added.
    What did you use, how attached? Drilled/tapped from underside?
    The square stock was first milled in half then a small channel (.015 deep) cut into the spacer plate to alien the angle piece then screwed from the under side.

    Chet

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    I made two different schemes to adapt steady rests to a 13” Regal. The first was using a tailstock base and a precision milled slab of steel to adapt a 9” SBL steady to the machine.At that time the little steady rest was perfect for the job.
    Later on I purchased what a dealer swore was a round head Regal steady rest. Turns out there were two versions of that machine. One was used by trade schools and merchant marine academy’s. The other had a heavier bed and was for regular work. The steady I got was the larger one. Again an adapter plate was made, but I had to turn quite a bit of CI off the lower half of the steady rest. I still have that gizmo and it works well. The machine is about 1942 vintage as are both of my SBLs.


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