South Bend steady rest with rollers on tips
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  1. #1
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    Default South Bend steady rest with rollers on tips

    Hi,
    Was just using my 10k steady rest today.
    Worked ok, but wondered if anyone had added ball bearings to the tips so that marks would not left on round part being machined.
    If so, do the ball bearings work ok and do they securely hold the part?
    Thanks,
    Dan

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    I added ball bearings to a steady a few years back and it worked OK for quick and rough work, but in general it's not going to be as accurate as solid tips. Solid tips means there's only one moving part to adjust for run-out; the work itself. Adding bearings adds 3 more potential places for run out that can't really be adjusted, and they're still going to mark the work since they're rolling against it. I just found that they made it faster to zero in loose tolerance work.

    If all you're trying to fix is marking on the shaft there are a few tricks to help, like wrapping a piece of emery cloth (grit side away from work) around the shaft and securing it under the clamp. Or you can make a cat-head (sleeve with set screws to zero on the work) and have your steady tips ride on it instead. Then the only potential marking would be from the screw heads. I'm not sure if there's any way to keep the tips from polishing the work where they ride, but if they're wearing on the work they are either out of adjustment or there's not enough lubricant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    Or you can make a cat-head (sleeve with set screws to zero on the work) and have your steady tips ride on it instead. Then the only potential marking would be from the screw heads. I'm not sure if there's any way to keep the tips from polishing the work where they ride, but if they're wearing on the work they are either out of adjustment or there's not enough lubricant.
    Use brass or plastic tipped screws to hold work in cathead if you can not mar the workpiece.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    I added ball bearings to a steady a few years back and it worked OK for quick and rough work, but in general it's not going to be as accurate as solid tips. Solid tips means there's only one moving part to adjust for run-out; the work itself. Adding bearings adds 3 more potential places for run out that can't really be adjusted, and they're still going to mark the work since they're rolling against it. I just found that they made it faster to zero in loose tolerance work.

    If all you're trying to fix is marking on the shaft there are a few tricks to help, like wrapping a piece of emery cloth (grit side away from work) around the shaft and securing it under the clamp. Or you can make a cat-head (sleeve with set screws to zero on the work) and have your steady tips ride on it instead. Then the only potential marking would be from the screw heads. I'm not sure if there's any way to keep the tips from polishing the work where they ride, but if they're wearing on the work they are either out of adjustment or there's not enough lubricant.
    Bingo.
    I've always used the emery cloth "trick" on rifle barrels in the steady and it never mars them. Oil the cloth well...

    I have never used rollers because of the runout issue, and I have also heard from those that have that they are more- not less- likely to grab a chip; then you may really have a problem.

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  7. #5
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    Thanks for the info.
    Question: Doesn't having the Emory paper grit towards the steady rest cause wear of the clamp fingers, even with the paper oiled?

  8. #6
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    The paper does not rotate, the two loose ends are closed in the joint between the two halves of the steady rest. The motion is between the work and the oiled inside (non grit) part of the emery paper


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    The emery grit grabs the fingers and holds, the oiled cloth side slips on the workpiece. You can cut a round shield out of cardboard to deflect chips away.

    It looks like ripper was answering ahead of me. I hadn't used the ends clamped between halves but will now.

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    Thanks for that info.
    Dan


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