Author Topic: A Hand Steady Rest for the New Lathe  (Read 623 times)

Offline vtsteam

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A Hand Steady Rest for the New Lathe
« on: May 12, 2022, 10:16:26 PM »
A couple of recent mill projects have come together to facilitate this new one. The first was my DIY bluetooth DRO this is the first actual use it has been put to. The second was my Antiquorn junkyard mill sharpener, which supplied the mills that did the cutting, basically resurrecting them from the blunt.

The project is a hand steady rest for my new lathe. I'll be making interchangeable Tee rests to fit it for both wood turning, and, I hope, metal, as well.

Below are most of the pieces that the mill and lathe churned out from mostly hot rolled tough-to-machine steel. The design is largely based on one published by Frank Mclean, who used to write for Home Shop Machinist back in the nineties.

The Tee rest is composed of an upright post with a 45 degree chamfer that bolts onto a piece of angle iron. The bolt is mainly for positioning the angle iron parallel to the lathe ways vertically, as the Tee rest is later brazed to the post.

One interesting machining point is the upright socket, with a shoulder and through bore turned off-center in the 4-jaw chuck. The reason for the eccentricity was to allow more substance on one side of the part to house the set screw.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2022, 08:19:02 PM by vtsteam »
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sDubB0-REg

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Another Steady Rest for the New Lathe
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2022, 10:22:26 PM »
Here are the pieces placed together. There is still more to be done, but this gives the general idea.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sDubB0-REg

Offline efrench

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Re: Another Steady Rest for the New Lathe
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2022, 03:57:44 PM »
A piece of hardened drill rod or use hard facing welding rod on the top edge will help keep it ding free :)

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Another Steady Rest for the New Lathe
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2022, 07:36:59 PM »
I'm sure that's true efrench, but this particular Tee will see very occasional use making wooden patterns.  :beer:

The Tee I'm more interested in and will make shortly will be for metal graving. But I probably won't harden that either. We'll see how it holds up. I have Kasenit, in case it's needed.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sDubB0-REg

Offline efrench

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Re: Another Steady Rest for the New Lathe
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2022, 02:41:13 AM »
Are tool posts for graving just a flat plate or platform?

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Another Steady Rest for the New Lathe
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2022, 11:57:09 AM »
Not sure on that one efrench because I've seen a couple of opposite mentions by older authorities. Tubal Caine (the older Model Engineer one, not the new YouTuber) said flat topped, but no illustration except a grainy photo found so far. Frank Mclean shows a version with a thick 10 degree angled vertical plate but flat (horizontal) top surface. I have an old pamphlet from Lindsay Books on that subject, which I haven't checked yet. They are all so easy to make, and the socket makes it easy to change, that I bet I'll figure my own preference after I make one of the others and use it a bit.

Maybe I'll try the Mclean version first.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sDubB0-REg

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Another Steady Rest for the New Lathe
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2022, 12:44:42 PM »
This was the final piece needed for the Mclean steady rest -- a retainer nut. It wasn't difficult to make but the drawing for it was confusing. Unfortunately no mention of it at all in the text, the dwg seemed included as an afterthought. This rest in general was mentioned as suitable for South Bend. Logan and Atlas lathes. My DIY lathe has the same bed dimensions as a Craftsman 12" (Atlas).

Anyway, I pretty much understood why it was that shape -- figured it rotated into place beneath the ways, but for the life of me, I couldn't come up with the missing dimension "to suit".

I finally just scaled the drawing, which was half scale, and made the part. It didn't fit between the two strip ways on my lathe, so I had to trim it down on the mill. Afterwards, seeing it in use, the real life dimensioning seemed simple and obvious, but the plan dimensions were just wacky.

I'm including the drawing below, and my finished part. I'll draw what should have been included in a bit and add that, because it's really quite useful as an accessory hold down for any lathe with similarly divided ways.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2022, 01:10:00 PM by vtsteam »
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sDubB0-REg

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Another Steady Rest for the New Lathe
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2022, 01:24:06 PM »
Here's my explanation for what is needed to make one of these with corrected dwg. below.

1.) On your lathe, measure the inside distance between ways (the top surface of the bed).
2.) Measure the distance between the shears (the vertical supporting surfaces of the bed)
3.) If a bandsaw is available, set the miter gauge over to 75 deg.
4.) Cut one end of a piece of 2" X 1/2" (50 x 12mm) bar stock to that angle.
5.) Mark on the stock, square to the cut edge, the distance between the shears you got earlier, minus a small amount for clearance.
6.) Make your second angled cut. This yields the rough piece. A parallelogram faced prism.
7.) Measure across the closer corners on your piece.
8.) Subtract from that the distance between the ways you got earlier, plus a little more for clearance..
9.) That gives you the amount you need to mill off of the two corners. Divide that by 2 to get the amount you need to mill off each corner.
10.) Set the part up in your mill vise, adjusting the long edge of your part against a combination square's 45 degree edge to clamp it at that angle.
11.) Mill down to your depth figure (in step 9).
12.) Flip the part and mill down the other corner to your figure. Done.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2022, 10:03:19 PM by vtsteam »
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sDubB0-REg

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Another Steady Rest for the New Lathe
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2022, 07:06:12 PM »
The steady in position with the clamp piece securing under the ways. Quite convenient to put the steady in place. The clamp turns sideways to pass through the slot in the ways, then rotates to lock against the shears as you tighten the bolt.

In fact I'm considering replacing the clamp on both my other steady rest and the tailstock, which use a cast Craftsman/Atlas style slotted piece and bolt under, also shown below. That type requires sliding the loosened assembly on from the end of the bed, or assembling it on the bed from separated parts -- inconvenient and messy. When sliding on from the end, it often rocks and catches, or slips wrong way around, and you can't turn it to the correct orientation without removing the whole unit and starting again.

I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sDubB0-REg

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Another Steady Rest for the New Lathe
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2022, 03:18:56 PM »
I just finished the second Tee rest for the new steady. This one is substantial, made of 3/8" bar brazed to a 3/4" post. It's angled in toward the lathe center 10 degrees. I hope it will work well for metal turning with a graver. We'll soon find out. It may need some beveling on the top edge..... or not. Don't know yet

And a photo of the metal turning rest and wood turning rest, ready to try out.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2022, 04:16:05 PM by vtsteam »
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sDubB0-REg

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Another Steady Rest for the New Lathe
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2022, 07:18:45 PM »
Had to try it out, even though I haven't even made up proper gravers -- I took an old triangular file, ground the teeth off and sharpened the end on the Antiquorn. Then heated the tip up to cherry red, plunged it in a cup of water, heated again to temper color and plunged again.

I didn't have any "good" steel in the tiny shop, but did have a piece of 3/4" hot rolled rod, and so I put that in an MT2 collet after pulling off the 4-jaw chuck. What the heck, if it cut this stuff at all I'd be happy.

I didn't bother taking off the backplate for this test. Just switched on the new lathe and started cutting. I broke the tip off my new tool a couple times. It turned out the slot was too short in the steady's base and I couldn't get close enough to close the gap tighter, so I stopped the lathe, ran down to the shed where the mill is, and gave the slot in the base another 3/8" of travel.

Back at the lathe that did the trick, and I began cutting again without the problems. And on poor turning steel, too. It took a little practice, before I "got it", but then I started to be able cut where and how I wanted!   :ddb:

I can see some things I will probably refine in both tooling and practice. But Very happy with the new capability on the home built lathe!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2022, 10:39:46 PM by vtsteam »
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sDubB0-REg