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Thread: small tool rest

  1. #1

    small tool rest

    Hi,

    I fairly new to turning, I've made lots of pins and other simple things. Now I have a short (4") 3/8 sqr piece of cherry I need to round over both ends to fit in a 3/8" hole. I have a Nova chuck, but there's no way to get the 6" tool rest any way near the part. Do they make extra small tool rests or should I try to fabricate something that will work out of wood?

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    San Diego, Ca
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    1,036
    I made a box rest like item G in the Lee Valley page for which Barry provided the link . I found that it was hard to position the banjo exactly in the center for hollowing work. But it would work for outside turning (which is what Jim wants to do. Then I made a second generation improved box rest that is offset. For inside work, it makes it easy to position the banjo.

    I have also made a "regular" tool rest that is only 2" wide.

    I buy 1" dia. hot-roll at a local steel yard in lengths from 3' to 20' and buy it by the pound. IIRC, it is premium "scrap" and I think that I pay around $1.50 a pound.

    Jim, if you don't have the equipment or skill to weld your own rest (this is NOT meant as a criticism), consider just getting an extra regular tool rest and cutting it to the width that you need.

    IMG_0013 (768x1024).jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    6,596
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Allen View Post
    Hi,

    I fairly new to turning, I've made lots of pins and other simple things. Now I have a short (4") 3/8 sqr piece of cherry I need to round over both ends to fit in a 3/8" hole. I have a Nova chuck, but there's no way to get the 6" tool rest any way near the part. Do they make extra small tool rests or should I try to fabricate something that will work out of wood?
    I have some very short homemade rests for this, a 4" rest from Robust, and a short box rest from Best Wood Tools.

    If just needing to make one part I'd consider making a wooden tool rest just the right size and shape.

    However, do you have the pin jaws for your Nova chuck? Seems like you could grip the piece of cherry tightly by one end and slide the tailstock out of the way, round the other, then reverse and round the first end. I routinely turn finials and other spindles 6" or longer, holding them by one end, steadying with my left hand as needed, and taking light cuts.

    If you want to support it from the end with the tailstock, will the quill on your tailstock crank out far enough to get the 6" rest into place? I sometimes make wooden extensions for my tailstock to give me more working room. For this, my favorite method is to turn a short #2 Morse taper on a piece of wood and jam it into the Nova live center which as a 2MT socket. This live center is so adaptable I bought two of them. I see they are now offered on Amazon for $50, the lowest price I've ever seen. I paid nearly $70 for one.
    https://www.amazon.com/NOVA-5015-Cen.../dp/B0064JIZGC

    Also, if you have an old spare tool rest that fits your lathe you might cut of the ends and make a very short one for tight spots.

    JKJ

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Sparta Tn
    Posts
    270
    Why do you need a short rest to turn the ends. If you can chuck it up it's pretty simple to turn just the end without any other support so it could be done with a 12" tool rest. That being said there are some short ones out there. About 4" I think. Don't know if Robust sells one that short but I think Bestwoodtools does.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    TX, NM or on the road
    Posts
    806
    Get a steel rod the diameter of the tool rest post. Cut a piece for the post, and a 3" long piece for the tool rest, either weld in place or. This works, but is not my choice, drill and tap the end of the post rod for 1/4" threads. Drill the center of the cross piece about 80%, then tap it to 1/4" threads. Cut a small piece of 1/4" all thread, thread it to the cross piece, then screw it in to the post. Twist it TIGHT. I have one that is 40 years old and still going strong.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    IL.Quad city area
    Posts
    779
    Advanced lathe Tools LLC makes a excellent 3" too rest. I have 2 of them one for my midi Rikon & one for my Powermatic.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Carterville, Illinois
    Posts
    357
    Several years ago I cut down a tool rest to make a 2" tool rest, like Brice suggested. I just used a hack saw to cut it with, then smoothed the edges with a file. I have used it fairly often, and it is quite handy for very short spindle projects.
    The hurrier I goes, the behinder I gets.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC Lucas View Post
    Why do you need a short rest to turn the ends. If you can chuck it up it's pretty simple to turn just the end without any other support so it could be done with a 12" tool rest. That being said there are some short ones out there. About 4" I think. Don't know if Robust sells one that short but I think Bestwoodtools does.
    Robust has straight tool rests in 3", 4", 6", 9", 12" & 15".
    "Only a rich man can afford cheap tools, as he needs to buy them again and again"

  10. #10
    I want to thank everyone for your helpful suggestions, I've purchased a 4" tool rest from Rockler, but that still wouldn't have done the job, what I ended up doing for this small job was to use a 5/8" wooden dowel as the tool rest and it worked fine.

  11. #11
    Jim - I can't seem to vision why you needed such a small tool rest for. Can you provide a picture? I am very curious. Thanks, Jake

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wetter Washington
    Posts
    866
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Allen View Post
    Hi,

    I fairly new to turning, I've made lots of pins and other simple things. Now I have a short (4") 3/8 sqr piece of cherry I need to round over both ends to fit in a 3/8" hole. I have a Nova chuck, but there's no way to get the 6" tool rest any way near the part. Do they make extra small tool rests or should I try to fabricate something that will work out of wood?
    I know just today Jimmy (Boxmaster tools) called my wife on her custom order for a 2-inch tool rest (for her Grizzly so it's 8-1/2 tall).
    Jimmy's tool rests are all round stock and completely case hardened .

    I've also made our own box rests (1-1/2x3/8) welded to the vertical, but those are all mild steel, so they ding.
    Making sawdust mostly, sometimes I get something else, but that is more by accident then design.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by jake Niedling View Post
    Jim - I can't seem to vision why you needed such a small tool rest for. Can you provide a picture? I am very curious. Thanks, Jake
    Ok, I can't show you the exact setup since the parts are already assembled, but I put together something that is similar to what I had.

    20180707_095134.jpg
    Best regards,

    Jim
    Lakeside, Oregon

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Sparta Tn
    Posts
    270
    Here is my mini tool rest. Used it to turn my miniature goblets. It steps down to a 1" post and fits my Powermatic 3520.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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