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Thread: Long Tool Rest for Spindle Turning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    20

    Long Tool Rest for Spindle Turning

    I'm a turning newbie. Making my first Galbert perch stool. It's interesting to me that the Galbert-style spindles are somewhat segmented. Turn a segment, move the tool rest, turn a segment, move the tool rest...etc. Not sure if the segmented design might be intentional for ease of turning by the novice turner with a basic (+/- 10") tool rest. My Oneway 1224 tool rest is 11-in.

    I'm interested to know a) what length tool rest the more experienced long-spindle turners use and b) do you custom make your own or purchase said tool rest?

    Unless there are good reasons not to, my plan is to custom make my own long wooden tool rest(s) like I see Pete Galbert, Curtis Buchanan, Elia Bizzarri et al using.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    8,208
    Robert,

    How long are your spindles? As you imply, a rest long enough to cover the entire spindle is very much desired. I turn a lot of thin spindles and I use the 14" Robust rest which is good for most of my spindles. As a bonus, the Robust rests are my favorites because of how they are made.

    Brent indicates he can make a rest to order up to 36" long, as per the bottom of this page: http://www.turnrobust.com/tool-rests/ I have no idea about the cost.

    A long rest will, of course, require a second banjo or at least a shop-made banjo-like support.

    I've seen others make long rests from wood. If making one, I would be inclined to use a length of steel on the top for longer wear, perhaps a strip screwed to the back side of the wood support. In fact, if you have simple metal-working capability or know someone who does, you could easily weld a couple of steel posts on the bottom of a long steel rod, tube, or better, a piece of angle iron such as 2.5x1.5". (I personally don't like thick round tool rests.) I've made tool rests this way.

    JKJ


    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Galey View Post
    I'm a turning newbie. Making my first Galbert perch stool. It's interesting to me that the Galbert-style spindles are somewhat segmented. Turn a segment, move the tool rest, turn a segment, move the tool rest...etc. Not sure if the segmented design might be intentional for ease of turning by the novice turner with a basic (+/- 10") tool rest. My Oneway 1224 tool rest is 11-in.

    I'm interested to know a) what length tool rest the more experienced long-spindle turners use and b) do you custom make your own or purchase said tool rest?

    Unless there are good reasons not to, my plan is to custom make my own long wooden tool rest(s) like I see Pete Galbert, Curtis Buchanan, Elia Bizzarri et al using.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    70
    I wouldn't say I am super experienced with spindle turning, but of late I have been dabbling a fair bit more since I have started to turn stools. I very recently purchased some tool rests from Vicmarc that they made up specifically for me; custom made if you will. Custom made because Vicmarc lathes larger than their Vicmarc 150 lathe, have 30mm tool posts, whereas most other lathes of similar size in the world use either 25mm or 25.4mm (1")

    The tool rest I really wanted was their 400mm long unit, which at almost 16", it is everything I hoped it would be. Much of the spindle work I undertake is usually between 280mm to 350mm and a 300mm tool rest is just slightly short. Once you are over 400mm you are getting into two post rest territory, which means you either go the home made wooden rest, as you are thinking, or get a two post rest made for you and run a second banjo.

    Vicmarc make a variety of tool rests, including two standard two post units, 600mm and 1000mm (just under 40"). I'm sure they will make anything you wish for. The same as some manufacturers in the USA would no doubt do.

    Here is a link to a very brief Vicmarc clip on their tool rests.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmGSWmOoH3E

    Attached are my then new tool rests, in one picture you can see all of them, including my standard 12" Laguna tool rest for comparison. The Vicmarc tool rests are 100mm, 200m and 400mm. They are so nice to use I am considering getting a 300mm one to replace my OEM Laguna 12" (304.8mm) rest. The rest used in the picture with the bowl that has just been cleaned up after coring, is 200mm for a size comparison.

    Mick.


    Vicmarc_Toolpost_Group_IMG_20190731_092329 (002).jpg Vicmarc_Toolpost_Group_IMG_20190731_092408 (002).jpg Vicmarc_Toolpost_Group_IMG_20190731_092212.jpg Spotted_Gum_IMG_20190801_161914 (003).jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    20
    Thanks John and Mick for your assistance. Because I'm new to spindle turning and chair making I think I'll custom make a couple of wooden tool rests, for now. One for the leg spindles and a shorter one for stretchers. I like the idea of embedding or attaching a length of metal across the top of the tool rest for wear resistance and smoothness.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    8,208
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Galey View Post
    ... I like the idea of embedding or attaching a length of metal across the top of the tool rest for wear resistance and smoothness.
    If you look at the Robust rests, you might see they have a 1/4" rod on the top of their rests. They use a hardened tool-steel rod so the steel won't get dented or gouged. At first, they simply epoxied the rod to the steel but sometimes it broke off if the rest was dropped. Now it looks like they tack weld it then fill in with epoxy before painting. But even a mild steel rod or strip would be better than wood!

    JKJ
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 08-19-2019 at 4:15 PM. Reason: wording

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