Lathe Steady Rest

New Home Forum Random or Off Topic Lathe Steady Rest

This topic contains 53 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Bill 4 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #78606

    Bill
    Participant

    Uh oh… I bought a lathe today, since I’ve been taking too darn long to design my “MPCNC Lathe Edition”. I lost a tip on my break cue last week and wanted to be able to clean up the new tip, so lathe time! This guy is pretty simple, it’s an old Craftsman 12″ Wood Lathe that has actually never been used. Looks like almost all parts are there and he swears he’ll be able to find the cutting tools. 🙂

    Anyway, it comes with an add-on four jaw chuck that I can use to hold the shaft, but I really need a steady rest to hold the tip end centered while I shave away the excess glue and tip sides, then polish and shape. I can’t just push the tip up against the live center after all. A quick search on Thingiverse doesn’t come up with anything that looks workable. Anyway, it looks like RMWoodCo makes something like what I think I want, for about triple the cost of the lathe:

    steadyrest

    Anyone with actual CAD skills want to mock one up that I can cut out on my MPCNC? It looks like skateboard wheels, but I need to pull the center down to 10-12mm, so they might be too big. Our 608 bearings might work, especially with a rubber band glued to the outside to give a little give. Even better would to tweak the design so when you moved one leg the other two would move with it…

    Attachments:
    #78636

    BillW
    Participant

    Hello Bill,
    I might be able to help you, I would need dimensions, I would find it difficult working “remotely” but willing to give it a go, maybe better off forum, PM me, we could post final drawings when finished.

    I took up wood turning in 2010 but had to give it up, could not find a way of managing dust, respirators don’t work when you have a full beard.
    Attached it one I made earlier for a mini wood lathe.

    I don’t normally feel the need to show off my work but as the goblet is in the picture of the steady here’s the finished goblet, I tell people that the rings were soaked in Polish Vodka for two weeks before stretching over the base (-:

    Goblet

    Regards,

    Bill.

    I only work in metric.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #78644

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Frank Howarth had a video last week where he used and made one like that. It was about his carving mallets.

    (About 9:50).

    That one you posted almost looks like you can get the arms from inside the hole. That always seems useful. Maybe instead of designing the whole thing for 608 bearings, you just add another small piece for fine work, but use wheels most of the time?

    #78652

    BillW
    Participant

    On the reverse side of the “fingers” are bearings similar if not the same as used for the MPCNC, bloody noisy.

    On a metal lathe it is common to use just brass/bronze pads on the end of the fingers and the steady is usually hinged.

    #78754

    Bill
    Participant

    Interesting that Polish vodka does such a better job of allowing the rings to stretch… I would have thought Czech would have been better.

    I’ll pull the lathe out of my truck today, at least far enough for measuring.

    #78853

    Kelly D
    Participant

    Hijack……you can PM on this forum? I don’t recall who or why but I was looking for that a few weeks ago.

    Oh wait, I recall why. Don’t tell Ryan…..

    #78865

    BillW
    Participant

    Ah, didn’t realize there was no PM facility, no problem.

    Two things to consider Bill.
    What is the diameter of those wheels, it may restrict you holding the thin end of a cue, post the dims and I will draw them see what we end up with. (Imperial or metric)

    Do we have a problem with copyright, the steady does not appear to be available anymore but the triangular parts are used on another steady on their web site, if this was done privately it wouldn’t bother me in the least.

    At the very least we could do with Ryan’s input on this as it’s on his forum.

    Bill.

    #78873

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Do we have a problem with copyright, the steady does not appear to be available anymore but the triangular parts are used on another steady on their web site, if this was done privately it wouldn’t bother me in the least.

    I’m not a lawyer, but if you draw the design in cad from looking at this image, that’s not infringing on copyright. Posting the image here technically is, but I don’t think anyone will care. If they have a patent on the design, then they could argue that your work is similar enough to sue, but open source it makes that hard. If you copy their logo, or use their name, then they could argue you’re infringing on their trademark. Copyright is really the only danger here, and it would only cover things like their plans or that image.

    Ah, didn’t realize there was no PM facility, no problem.

    There used to be, and some bot got a username and pmed everyone. There was some backlash so Ryan had to turn it off. You can mention someone in your personal feed, but anyone could read it.

    #78874

    BillW
    Participant

    Thanks for input Jeff, that’s the way I feel about it, funny old world ain’t it.
    I would like a final say from Ryan.

    I know exactly what you say about bots, I used to run a forum.

    Bill.

    #78877

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    I would like a final say from Ryan.

    What is it that you’re asking? Are you asking if it’s ok to post the design here?

    #78898

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I really have no advanced knowledge of any of this stuff. If you are going to make something posting it here is kind of burying it, thingiverse or something similar would be a much better options.

    #78922

    Bill
    Participant

    So, my current visualization has two feet at the base, wide enough to give a nice stable support. Finger joints to the upper portion should be good enough since I don’t see much side load on it. The three triangle pieces should have arms that make it so pivoting one pivots all three. That means (I think) that all three need to pivot in the same direction, as opposed to the example. The center need to dial down to no more than 11mm (typical cue diameters are 12-13mm at the smallest point), hence the thought about switching from the wheels to bearings.

    The lathe is a Craftsman 113.228162, 12×37″. The tube that forms the long base is 2 1/4″ (actual measurement is 2.22″ with my vernier). Height from table to center line is 9″. That means the feet need to be at least 2.25″ apart, so maybe 60mm? Height to center of bearings needs to be right on 9″, 229.6mm. Widest piece theoretically could be 12″, but realistically 3-6″, maybe 100mm or so? As stated above the smallest needs to be no more than 11mm, the bearings can’t touch at center or else they’d bind, and it’d be nice to put a wide rubber band around each bearing.

    My quick calc says that 40mm diameter bearings touch when the center shaft is just over 11.5mm, so the bearings need to be no more then 40mm in diameter, including a bit for the rubber band. Looks like this size might be doable at 35mm or maybe these at 37mm.

    #79119

    BillW
    Participant

    Hi Bill, sorry for the delay, sometimes every thing happens at once, had a busy couple of days.
    A few thoughts,
    Glad you decided against the skate board bearings, not only diameter but the rad on the perimeter would put a concentrated pressure on the cue marking it.
    An opposite  thought to the above has  come to mind, a cue has a slight taper so the edges of steel bearings would put more pressure on the cue, (can’t win).
    But you would need a fair bit of pressure on the cue or you could get chatter which may lead to splitting the cue.
    I don;t think I have ever seen a steady rest auto center if I have understood you right, a normal way of setting up would be to hold the work piece with the tail stock while the fingers were adjusted.
    Although I am quite happy to draw the parts, I think the end of the cue would be better dressed on a disk sander, a small jig taking taper into account.

    Is your lathe amongst any of these http://www.lathes.co.uk/craftsmanwood/

    I had a quick draw the other day pdf attached, the three circles are 60mm, the triangle/quadrant is just to see how things worked out, started with a 100mm triangle.

    I have set up a temporary email that will be deleted at the weekend should you wish to contact me.

    [email protected]

    Bill.

    Attachments:
    1. Steady-rest.pdf
    #79186

    Bill
    Participant

    This oneCraftsman 12 is similar, but older than mine.

    If you go back to the original image and turn that lower right side triangle plate around so they all pivot in the same direction you can place another pivot on the outer corners such that when you move one arm in all three arms are constrained to move the same amount. It ties in the the properties of a Reuleaux triangle. I’ve seen this used in other things and I believe it can be done with gears as well. I’ll look for examples, though this Youtube video is similar

    #79195

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    How strong does it need to be? I guess if you where making the one from the original picture, could you do it with 1/4 cheap ply or does it need to be stronger? I really have no sense of the kind of loads this would experience.

    Min max diameter that needs to be constrained?

    #79221

    Josh
    Participant

    You need an iris, use a three blade with small urethane wheels.  I threw this one together in about an hour for a class my daughter was giving on photography.

    #79322

    Bill
    Participant

    Dang, lost my message by accidentally clicking on Josh’s picture. 🙁

    Ryan, I believe the strength requirements are fairly small, 1/4″ plywood would likely be fine. There should be next to no force acting lengthwise on the work piece, it’s end is fixed at the chuck. There should similarly be little force side the side since the pieces of the cue are already pretty well balanced and round. There is quite a bit of spinning force when you start or stop the lathe, but it should spin at a constant speed once it’s going. Ideally the bearings (wheels) would have very little stiction as you get things spinning so it would put as little load on the wood surface as possible.

    Josh, that’s exactly the direction I’ve been going, though it took me a while to come up with the word ‘iris’ in my searches without having to wade though page after page of flowers. 🙂 The design would either need to be clamped into position after running it in to the wood surface or be spring loaded to do the same thing, yet be easily pulled back open to allow the next piece getting inserted. When I make my MPCNC based CNC lathe I’ll revamp it to fit there instead, but for now I need it to work with what I have. Maybe when that’s done I’ll try to make a cue or two from scratch, but right now I need to fix the tip on my break cue…

    #79329

    Josh
    Participant

    Mechanical Iris is the term you are looking for.  The spring loaded part wouldn’t be hard I’m just not sure what to use as a roller.  I have a 113. Lathe as well and If a guy had a 3D printer I dont think a mount would be hard to come up with.  I am currently traversing Montana for a V.A. appointment but if you still need something when I get home I would be happy to help.

    #79335

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    I’ll just mention, because I don’t want to rain on your parade, that the arms moving in unison is going to create backlash. It will get you close, but you’ll still want to lock each one individually and adjust them each a bit. Once you do that, is it worth it for them to move together? Seems like the original design with three individual arms makes it a ton simpler.

    The iris thing does seem like more fun.

    #79336

    Barry
    Participant

    I think you can still do this with skate wheels.  Put the two bottom wheels side by side, and almost touching.  They can be on the same mount.  Make this part moveable up and down to center your work piece.  Have the third bearing on a hinged lever arm above, and outboard of the bottom wheels. Can be held down with a bungie, or threaded rod.  Probably easier than an iris.  Save that for bigger pieces.

    #79438

    Bill
    Participant

    The issue with skateboard wheels is how close you can get them together. Unless they are not on the same plane you can’t get them close enough to touch all sides of an 11mm shaft. That’s why I’m suggesting the design use bearings instead, with a wide rubber band around the outside to give the ‘cush’ that provides protection to the wood surface. Backlash shouldn’t be a problem since we’re not really having it move around, the iris design should help it self center while spinning…

    #79444

    Josh
    Participant

    A spring could take up any slack or backlash and an O-ring wrapped around a bearing with a little E-6000 to hold it in place.

    #79455

    Josh
    Participant
    #79525

    BillW
    Participant

    Bugger ! I just did what you did Bill, clicked on Josh’s link and lost what I had wrote, Oh well.
    Attached are two DXF files one of my steady rest and some layout for Bill’s.
    Mine has a line drawn under it at about 9″ from the center to give an indication of size if it was used on your lathe, it will support about 170mm dia max.
    Bill do you have a means of opening and measuring dimensions of a DXF file.
    Bill, the lathe is what is called a Round Bed, does it have a grove down the length ?.
    I really don’t think rubber rings would work well.

    Josh I only had a quick look at your link, it reminded me of the method Lace Bobbin turners use, one hand holds the work piece and the other holds the chisel, a very delicate touch required.

    I would find it hard to put my heart into some of the complicated options mentions, I believe in KISS.

    Bill.

    #79540

    Barry
    Participant

    The issue with skateboard wheels is how close you can get them together. Unless they are not on the same plane you can’t get them close enough to touch all sides of an 11mm shaft. That’s why I’m suggesting the design use bearings instead, with a wide rubber band around the outside to give the ‘cush’ that provides protection to the wood surface. Backlash shouldn’t be a problem since we’re not really having it move around, the iris design should help it self center while spinning…

    That’s why the top one is offset.  The two on the bottom are almost touching, so 11mm will just ride lower between them.  The top just keeps down pressure on the que so it doesn’t hop out.

    #79561

    Bill
    Participant

    Josh has been a busy boy! I kind of like this one, it looks like the right idea. The center wheel moves the arms in and out, using the iris design. As Barry suggests we could just stagger the wheels to allow for tighter clearances without smaller diameters than easily available. Perhaps a four wheel with NE and SW in front and NW and SE in back and a hard limit of, say, 10mm apart? If we use springs to hold the iris in we could just manually pull it open to insert the work piece and let the springs pull the wheels in to fit.

    This one is another example of the same type of design.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #79562

    Bill
    Participant

    Hmm, a Longworth chuck is pretty similar as well, just leave the center open.

    #79588

    Barry
    Participant

    Frank posted his build.

    #84290

    Bill
    Participant

    OK, this thing has been percolating through my head for a while now, so I think I have a better handle on the design. There are six part types used to create it: The two base pieces, the two ‘ankle’ pieces, the outer stand, the inner ring, four arms and four petals. There will also be some hardware, four skate wheels and potentially some pivot dowels.
    The base, ankle and outer stand are each held at right angles to the other pieces in order to securely form a stand. Each base at the bottom, laying flat, each ankle upright forming a wall front to back on each base, the outer stand then attaches to both base/ankle to be the main stand. The outer stand is somewhat an inverted U shape with the upper portion a circle 13″ in diameter with a hole 7″ in diameter in the middle. The circle has four holes drilled equidistant around the perimeter 1″ from the edge that will form the pivot points for the four arms. The two legs of the inverted U are each 6″ wide, 7″ apart and at the appropriate length to place the middle of the circle even with the lathe center. The outer stand has vertical grooves cut to hold the ankles, the outer stand and ankles have toes cut to fit grooves in the bases, the bases have grooves cut to fit the toes.
    Now for the iris assembly. The four arms are curves with a radius of 12″, forming about 60° of an arc, with the arc extended in all directions to be 2″ wide. There are holes drilled in each end to form the pivot points. One end of the arm is attached to the outer stand, the other will be placed at pivot points on each petal. The petals have an outer arc (or potentially a straight edge) that is also 60°, the outer corners each have a hole drilled 1″ from the edges to form pivot points. When the petals are placed in four quadrants of a circle the clockwise pivot will attach to the arm and the counterclockwise pivot will attach to the inner ring. The inner ring is a circle 13″ outside and 7″ inside, just like the outer base, but with four equidistant holes drilled 1″ from the inside edge. These holes form the inner pivots connected to the counterclockwise pivots on the petals. The outer base outer edge has four protrusions that are each drilled to fit a spring. The inner ring also has the four extrusions drilled for the other end of the springs, plus a larger extrusion that forms the sizing handle. The petals each form a triangle such that if the outer curve were the base the triangle would be an isosceles with the height appropriate to place wheels near the center of the steady rest. There are holes drilled at the inner point such that there is 1″ of space surrounding the center of the hole. There are four skateboard wheel, two mounted to the top surface of the petals and two mounted to the bottom surface of the petals.
    When fully assembled there are four layers of material surrounding the center line of the lathe. Two skate wheels touch each other at one side and two skate wheels touch each other on the other side. The springs at this point are relaxed, but not fully relaxed since we want some tension even when fully in. As you pull the sizing handle the springs are stretched and the skate wheels are pulled equally apart until you have enough room for your work piece to fit. As the piece rotates in the lathe the wheels are pushed, along with spring pressure, tighter in toward the center. I might have my clockwise-counterclockwise directions above reversed, but you can just turn the steady rest around backwards if that is the case. when done with your work piece you pull the sizing handle to release the wheels and remove your work.

    What am I failing to describe? I’m thinking there’s a reasonable chance this can be cut from two 2’x2′ pieces of plywood, 1/4″ or 1/2″ should be plenty, but the grooves cut into the bases, ankles and outer stand will need to reflect the thickness chosen.

    #84294

    Josh
    Participant

    Bill I’m sorry I lost focus on this, weather has been raising hell with arthritis.  I have just acquired Autodesk LT and am loving it for cnc.  I can almost justify the $390 a year subscription.  If you can provide a rough sketch I could try and get something drawn up for you.

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