Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17

Thread: Steady rests

  1. #1

    Steady rests

    Buy one or build one,is one better than the other,not meaning name brands,is manufactured better?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    sykesville, maryland
    Posts
    682
    Depends on your skills. The clark is really nice, but you can make one similar that likely works just as well. The other metal ones are pretty nice too. Not sure any would be better than something you make. That depends on what/how you make it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Palm Springs, CA
    Posts
    1,068
    I think it all depends on the type and size of the work one plans on turning. I wasn't sure if I would be doing much hollowing, so before I sank a lot of money into something I wasn't sure I'd use much, I thought I'd build one out of easy to work materials. This one is made with Baltic Birch and Home Center 3/4" ply and didn't cost much to build. It works fine for my needs, but it just doesn't get much use. Maybe one day I'll get more active with deep vessels.

    DIY Steady Rest 1.jpg

    DIY Steady Rest 4.jpg

    DIY Steady Rest 3.jpg

    DIY Steady Rest 2.jpg
    Dick Mahany.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Lummi Island, WA
    Posts
    581
    I built mine to some plans that were making the forum rounds several years ago. While I hadn't welded in over 40 years, I borrowed a rig, got a little practice and built a steadyrest modeled after the Nichols version based on a steel flange. results were so impressive I went ahead and built a Jamieson hollowing rig to Lyle's dimensions while I had the equipment.
    I look at it now, about 8 years later and find it easily as sturdy and useful as any of the manufactured versions and it comes complete with that all-important pride of authorship...the welds are a little ugly, but a little time with an angle grinder and they're borderline beautiful.

    3702E0E0-8EBC-407D-B02E-AF909D7E5174.jpg
    Last edited by Jeffrey J Smith; 04-17-2021 at 9:49 PM.

  5. #5
    Jeffery that is nice, almost would justify buying a welder 🙄There is a good wielding shop local, that possibly could make it for me. For now I`ll make it out of plywood and see how much I use it.
    I like to make tapered stave bowls, and I don't have a way to hold them to finish the inside.
    I would think that steel flange would be expensive?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    sykesville, maryland
    Posts
    682
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Elett View Post
    Jeffery that is nice, almost would justify buying a welder There is a good wielding shop local, that possibly could make it for me. For now I`ll make it out of plywood and see how much I use it.
    I like to make tapered stave bowls, and I don't have a way to hold them to finish the inside.
    I would think that steel flange would be expensive?
    The ring is a duct flange. Reasonably cheap at mcmaster-carr.

  7. #7
    Thanks Tom I assume that the trade size means how big the opening, i,m thinking 17 inch? In steel?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    sykesville, maryland
    Posts
    682
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Elett View Post
    Thanks Tom I assume that the trade size means how big the opening, i,m thinking 17 inch? In steel?
    If you want to get the max out of your lathe, you have to account for the wheels/mounts. Two inch wheels will take at least 4" from your diameter. Nothing says you HAVE to go to full capacity though. Just make sure it is reasonably centered on your drive center.

    I haven't built one yet, but plan to. My lathe is 22" swing. I'll probably go with 26 or 27", which is a huge thing to store. Cost will drive my choice. I see no reason to pay extra for anything but plain steel. Just prime and paint when done with assembly and testing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Lummi Island, WA
    Posts
    581
    The rest in the picture was based on a 26" ring - the lathe swings 25" + a bit. Its big, and I seldom get it any where near maxed out, but the extra space allows the camera strut on my hollowing rig plenty of room. I also rotated the wheels by about 7 degrees for clearance at the top.
    It works well - I used the plans that were available from J D McComb (I think the name is correct) still have the plans somewhere...

  10. #10
    Thanks for the great info guys

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    San Diego, Ca
    Posts
    1,490
    I use a steady when the aspect ratio (length over diameter) is greater than, say 4:1 or larger, or I'm getting movement and I cannot use the tailstock to hold it. It seems like when someone is building a steady rest, that many make it the maximum swing of their lathe.

    But for me, I make bowls, vases, boxes, platters, some thin finials, goblets and have not yet encountered a situation where I would need a 22" diameter steady rest. (I've thought of making a huge vase as an art object, but haven't come across the wood for it.) The down side of making a really large steady rest is that you have to make them really "beefy" to make them solid. Especially if you're making it out of plywood. I've seen some youtube videos of a huge home made steady that wobbled when used.

    Years ago, I built a steady for my previous (small) lathe. I think that it's capacity is only about 10 or 11 inches. So, when I sold my little lathe, I kept the steady and built a platform (1/4" box steel) to get the steady to the right height. I knew that the steady had some serious size limitations but it is super sturdy (all metal with welds) and easy to lift and store. I resigned myself to building a bigger one when the need arose. In fact, I looked forward to it as new project. But, funny thing is, the need has not yet materialized after five years.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Lummi Island, WA
    Posts
    581
    If you use either a laser or camera system when hollowing a larger dia steady comes in handy. Mine is truly huge, but it is very stable and has never wobbled in use - one of the benefits of metal I guess. I seldom use it for smaller work - its just not necessary when the piece is about 8" or smaller. As Brice mentioned, its valuable at any diameter when the length to diameter ratio gets beyond a point of 3 or 4 to 1...

  13. #13
    Here's my steady rest. Originally designed and constructed for my craftsman lathe which has a 7.5" swing. But I retrofitted it with a riser to fit the grizzly which has an 11" swing.
    This steady rest has served me well for many years

    20210423_161005.jpg
    ~john
    "There's nothing wrong with Quiet" ` Jeremiah Johnson

  14. #14
    I finished my rest and although not a pretty one, it worked for the project I was turning. I have plenty of free materials and lots of time if I ever make another one. Thanks for the replys..

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    2,736
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Elett View Post
    I finished my rest and although not a pretty one, it worked for the project I was turning. I have plenty of free materials and lots of time if I ever make another one. Thanks for the replys..
    Just for reference here is a link to a steady many copied by Jeff Nicol: https://www.ncwoodworker.net/forums/...dy-rest.46025/

    I was ready to build it but I too had no welder. I made one from extrusions I had and later got a great deal on a Carter Multi-Rest. But, later I wanted a Lift Lock 'n Roll mobile base for my PM3520B but it seemed WAY to expensive so guess what I bought a cheap HF welder and made it and was still ahead $ wise (well, until I found out I liked welding and bought a better welder). If you have time I suggest you buy an inexpensive welder - it comes in handy for many projects. (BTW - I have a PDF of the Nicol design. If interested PM me).

    Mike

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •