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Hobbymat MD65 fixed steady

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DiogenesII14/01/2020 07:38:19
126 forum posts
50 photos

Emgee, thanks for the correction, I should have researched - now I think of it, I'm not sure I've ever seen one that was made by Prazi.. would love to know if anyone has.. The one illustrated seems to be the most common pattern in the UK.

It'd be an easy casting job, being open moulded..

Gene, it'd be interesting to see what you have/what you wish to know - if any interesting points arise from that, one could then create a new specific thread in response.

Roger B14/01/2020 10:29:27
107 forum posts
43 photos

I believe that this is a Prazi fixed steady. Not the best of pictures but the real thing is inaccessable at the moment due to a workshop move.

Fixed steady 2

Fixed steady 1

DiogenesII14/01/2020 14:04:29
126 forum posts
50 photos

Thanks, Roger, certainly looks a much more rigid set-up than the MESAS one.

Now there will be two of us looking for one...

Roger B14/01/2020 15:10:59
107 forum posts
43 photos
Posted by Gene Pavlovsky on 09/01/2020 19:12:37:

I am, and will be, checking for the BFE65 milling head, or the complete BF400 mill on various auction and classified websites. I've read on several forums, that when mounted to the lathe, the milling head doesn't give too good results due to severe lack of rigidity (this was also said about combination lathe/mills, in general). Perhaps that would be still quite useful for tasks where high precision is of less importance.

I like you have very limited space for a workshop and have the milling head on my MD65. This was purchased new from TECO, my secondhand lathe already had the adaptor block.

Support for milling head

It is not as rigid as a dedicated milling machine however I have made several working IC engines with it.

Two cylinder engine

AlanW14/01/2020 17:44:58
75 forum posts
10 photos

Hi Gerry,

It is nice to read that someone has actually made a fixed steady from my article and that it is working OK. Did you carry out the later mod to prevent clouting the stud on the 'stowed' base with the chuck jaws? If I recall correctly (I don't have the drawings any more), I pegged the nylon guide using a roll pin each side of the stud, removed the stud and modified the nut to be a bolt. It should be somewhere in a later issue in the digital archive.

Hi Gene,

Diogenes has already pointed out to you that the fixed steady article ran in issues 216 and 217. I had very little experience in machining when I made it, so don't be afraid. It isn't difficult, just time consuming on a small lathe. Although the Hobbymat is very capable, it is not designed for taking off huge amounts of metal at a time, so a degree of patience is needed. You will enjoy your new purchase, I guarantee.

Alan Wain

ps: If you do make this design, I recommend incorporating the later method of attaching steady to base.

Edited By AlanW on 14/01/2020 17:47:19

Gene Pavlovsky14/01/2020 20:05:54
87 forum posts
77 photos

Thanks everyone. Very helpful tips and pictures.

The Prazi original steady looks quite nice, although I read someone complained about it's limitations somewhere, there were no details though.

Anyway it's got to be hard to find, so I won't hold my hopes, better to make one. Should be also a good exercise.

Alan, I liked your articles, and am considering trying to build one according to those. Your article about an update to the steady is in issue 240, page 24. I found this by doing a google search for: steady wain

This is Harold Hall's index to MEW, which he stopped maintaining exactly after issue 240, so it's pure luck finding the article in this case

I'm gonna post my pictures and questions in a separate thread in the same forum, I don't want to pollute the steady topic with off-topic content.

Gene Pavlovsky14/01/2020 20:19:01
87 forum posts
77 photos

Roger, I see a T-slotted table installed on your top slide. Is that a standard bolt-on part?

I've been hearing that a T-slotted cross slide is a good thing to have on a lathe (for quickly attaching a rear toolpost, a lamp, whatever).

Roger B15/01/2020 08:19:32
107 forum posts
43 photos

A Hobbymat milling table does exist and appears sometimes on Ebay. The one in my picture is a Unimat one in which I drilled new fixing holes to match the Hobbymat cross slide.


Gene Pavlovsky15/01/2020 13:42:13
87 forum posts
77 photos

Does the T-slotted table stay on your cross slide all the time, or does it have any cons leading you to take it off sometimes?

By the way, I've found some mentions that there was an imperial version of Hobbymat MD65, what is the difference between it and the metric one? And how do I check for sure if mine is metric or imperial?

Roger B15/01/2020 14:17:04
107 forum posts
43 photos

The T slotted table is only fitted for milling. I the picture above it is just resting on the cross slide (the picture was taken to explain to Teco what I had and what parts of the milling head I needed to order).

Milling table in use

Gene Pavlovsky15/01/2020 14:28:35
87 forum posts
77 photos

I see, thanks. Did you find it easy dealing with Teco? I've sent them an email before, asking if they have parts/accessories for their SU300 lathe, but they didn't get back to me. Perhaps I should give them a call.

Did you buy the milling head directly from them, or from Emco Machines (their current price of the complete VF400 mill is GBP 1,656.00, I didn't see just the head mentioned on their website)? I may consider one of these options in the future, if I figure out where to put it. If I understand correctly, Teco's mill head is the same as BFE65? Teco's specs for the VF400 mill mention an MT2 taper spindle, while BFE65 was MT1 AFAIK.

Roger B15/01/2020 15:07:48
107 forum posts
43 photos

Teco were somewhat slow to respond but delivered what I expected to receive. I bought directly from Teco as it didn't make sense to ship the milling head to England and then back to Switzerland. They were also as expected cheaper.

The Teco head is ike the later Prazi ones with belt drive and MT2. The earlier ones had a geared drive and MT1.

Teco don't offer the option of a combined lathe and mill only the two separate machines so they don't have the adaptor block that bolts to the back of the lathe.

Roger B17/01/2020 18:10:06
107 forum posts
43 photos

I have found the box with the lathe accessories in so here are a couple of pictures of the Hobbymat fixed steady compared to a Minilathe fixed steady.

hobbymat and minilathe steadies 2.jpg

hobbymat and minilathe steadies 1.jpg

The Minilathe steady won't accept a 50mm bar whereas 60mm fits easily in the Hobbymat one.

Finally a picture of the Hobbymat fixed and travelling steadies. There are tapped holes in the carriage for the travelling steady.

hobbymat and minilathe steadies 3.jpg

DiogenesII17/01/2020 19:53:45
126 forum posts
50 photos

Roger, Many thanks for the extra views of the steadies - handy to see the base of the Prazi one.

The minilathe one certainly has a more substantial Body-Mass Index - it looks like there's enough "meat" in the base to make for a substantial mounting for the Hobbymat, if one had the means to cut to shape.. what's it made of?

The "traveller" is strikingly similar to the MESAS fixed steady in terms of the casting shape and the "coppery-looking" bronze(?) pins..

Roger B17/01/2020 20:12:26
107 forum posts
43 photos

Both the fixed steadies seem to be Cast Iron. I think that the Minilathe one could be modified but for my purposes a bore of less than 50mm would not work.

As you can tell by the discolouration I make quite a lot of use of the fixed steady very little of the travelling steady.

Gene Pavlovsky19/01/2020 18:15:53
87 forum posts
77 photos

It's almost as if the steadies were hand-painted with a brush.

They do look useful! It's interesting how the fixed steady's design was not made to follow the D-shape of the bed.

The user-made steadies seem to put much more effort to copy the D-shape (even if it's just a U-bolt grabbing the bottom), but perhaps that is really unnecessary, as your steady proves?

Gerry T05/05/2020 19:29:48
13 forum posts
20 photos


Apologies for the long delay in answering your questions above. I did make some slight changes to the design but not many. The largest change was around the plastic insert which sits on top of the ways.

I worked out an alternative method of manufacture, which was to turn down the inside of a piece of aluminium pipe to the correct diameter and once the delrin round had been turned down the the same diameter, superglue the delrin into the pipe, then machine down to the correct height. A sharp rap with a hammer seperated the remains of the pipe wall and the delrin on completion.

I aslo made a threaded brass insert that fits into the delrin piece. The securing bolt screwing into the brass insert.

I've not yet used the approach of pinning the delrin insert with roll pins as I've not had any need so far, should it become a problem then it does seem like the obvious approach. There are some pictures of my version of your design in my Album


Gene Pavlovsky05/05/2020 22:31:53
87 forum posts
77 photos

Thanks for the info Gerry. The pictures look very nice. I hope to get on with this project this year!

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