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Finished My Lathe Steady Rest

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Been wanting to have one of these for my lathe and finally got around to making it. Had almost everything lying around the shop. Scrap plywood ~ 17" x 48" and a piece ~ 10" x 10". Hardware is all 1/4 x 20 machine bolts/nuts and fender washers. I may replace the wing nuts with knobs to make it a little easier on old hands. The cam action hold down has been in my "extras box" for a couple of years waiting on a worthwhile project. Got it from Woodcraft. The wheels are from an $8 pair of In-Line Skates bought from Goodwill.


The "circle" is made of 3 layers of 3/4 plywood. The wheel holders are made of Maple. There is a Maple "guide" on the bottom of the base that helps trap the assembly between the lathe bed rails.

I works pretty well, the wheel holders need a little sanding and bees wax to allow them to slide a bit more freely. The base may be a bit too wide although my large tool rest can allow access to the edge of the turning.















Thanks for looking! Comments are always welcome!


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Better late then never Lew, or sometimes at least! I remember this post well, are you still using the steady rest? Has it performed up to your standards?

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Sweet! The skate wheel idea is primo.

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Thanks for all of the kind words!


To answer the questions-



Mike- It is really easy to center the wheels. I just load the work piece. Slide each wheel until it touches and lock down the sliding bar. When I built it, I started with a solid circle and marked the location of the centers based on the position of the steady rest setting on the ways.



John- Still using it! I did shorten the base plate to allow the tool rest and banjo to get closer to the wheels.



Ron- Thanks! Skates and skateboard wheels are really useful. I used them on the bottom of my drum sander for mobility. A set of in-line skates, at the thrift shop usually run between $5 and $8- so there's 8 wheels and bearing.



Mark- Izzy is the master of unique designs! This was just easier for me.


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@lew steady rest up from the archives.

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