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Min lathe steady rest for up to 65mm diameter

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andrew lyner26/12/2018 22:57:47
254 forum posts
4 photos

One of the 'excuses' I used for buying my Mini lathe was to allow me to make up 2" extension tubes and adaptors for my astro telescopes. Ideally, they have internal threads to suppress reflections from the sides of the tube (shallow and no particular pitch required). The lengths of tube involved would be up to say 150mm, which is a lot of overhang so I wanted to make a steady rest so I can work inside the tube safely.

There are dozens of designs on Google Images to give me a clue as to a design for a steady that I would have a chance of making but my main question is just how chunky it needs to be. It would be easier if I could make it mostly out of aluminium, and to use some tough 40mm steel angle to sit on the bed. There would be a good area of contact so the off-plane clamping arrangement would not be a problem I think.

I do have some 6mm steel plate of the right size but I hesitate to try to mill it on my mini lathe vertical mill slide. I could go easy, I suppose and I could weld it to be steel angle base. Mig welding is another thing I am getting into so it would be a suitable learning project for that skill. Unfortunately it could end up looking like a dog's dinner right next to the nice new painted lathe.

I guess home made steadys must be a popular project so maybe a member might have some experience and ideas about my prob. The large diameter means I can't buy one afaics - not that I would really want to for £££.

Ady126/12/2018 23:11:23
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5067 forum posts
734 photos

Drummond owners tend to do their own

The original Drummond M had a very poor fixed steady

Ady126/12/2018 23:14:31
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5067 forum posts
734 photos

I tried ball bearings to start with but the loading was too heavy, they dig in

Nice fat (phosphor?) bronze finger tips worked best for me

Nicholas Wheeler 126/12/2018 23:15:44
910 forum posts
87 photos

You could easily fabricate a steady from your 6mm plate by screwing and welding it together after cutting out with a jigsaw; barely any milling required.

Michael Gilligan26/12/2018 23:36:47
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20097 forum posts
1042 photos

This was a popular design a few years decades ago: **LINK**

https://auction.newengland.co.uk/lots/4-point-fixed-steady-suitable-for-myford-lathe

The concept would adapt, I'm sure

MichaelG.

Robbo26/12/2018 23:52:55
1504 forum posts
142 photos

Have a look at this page on Harold Hall's website homews.co.uk - **LINK**

There are lots of designs about

Michael Cox 127/12/2018 09:17:42
549 forum posts
27 photos

Here is my solution:

http://mikesworkshop.weebly.com/large-fixed-steady.html

Mike

roy entwistle27/12/2018 09:43:49
1504 forum posts

At a pinch could be made from wood but keep lubricated.

Roy

Mick B127/12/2018 10:03:05
2161 forum posts
119 photos

Go for the easiest solution you can afford. If there's a suitable 3-point for your model of mini lathe, or one you could modify, don't waste time you could be using to make the things you actually want. It's too easy to become enmeshed in tooling projects that never leave you free to pursue your real interests.

Neil Wyatt27/12/2018 10:06:52
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Moderator
18993 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

Here's an alternative approach...

lathework 6 (20).jpg

Neil

Ian P27/12/2018 10:47:58
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2578 forum posts
114 photos

This was a quick lashup on a Boxford. (Tailstock and carriage obscure where the contraption is fixed to the bed)

Ian P

quick fixed steady.jpg

Edited By Ian P on 27/12/2018 10:48:32

JasonB27/12/2018 10:51:12
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Moderator
22588 forum posts
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How much excess meat does the supplied one have, there may be room for enlargement?

andrew lyner27/12/2018 14:37:27
254 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by JasonB on 27/12/2018 10:51:12:

How much excess meat does the supplied one have, there may be room for enlargement?

The lathe comes without one. But I have only a small milling slide and no circle facility either.

andrew lyner27/12/2018 14:40:08
254 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by Mick B1 on 27/12/2018 10:03:05:

Go for the easiest solution you can afford. If there's a suitable 3-point for your model of mini lathe, or one you could modify, don't waste time you could be using to make the things you actually want. It's too easy to become enmeshed in tooling projects that never leave you free to pursue your real interests.

That's a good point but i need the practice and the steady wouldn't;t be 'on show' if it ends up a bit scrappy.

It seems that I cannot do multiple quotes in one post - is that true? I have to say, the forum software is not as good as many others i have used, even down to what the Return Key does!!
I can't find a 'like' button either.

Edited By andrew lyner on 27/12/2018 14:42:58

andrew lyner27/12/2018 14:43:59
254 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by Michael Cox 1 on 27/12/2018 09:17:42:

Here is my solution:

http://mikesworkshop.weebly.com/large-fixed-steady.html

Mike

Very nice Mike.

Paul Lousick28/12/2018 10:30:20
2015 forum posts
712 photos

The January, 2019 edition of MEW has a design for a fixed steady with ball races.

Paul.

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