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Flexispeed fixed steady

Where to find a fixed steady

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Geoff Mathews16/12/2020 11:52:41
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32 forum posts
6 photos

I am having difficulty in locating a Flexispeed fixed steady for use on my Meteor Il lathe. I have searched eBay, advertised on this site, and contacted suppliers such as Sheffield Tooling without success. I would be grateful for any suggestions regarding suppliers that have an interest in miniature lathes. Thanks Geoff.

Martin of Wick16/12/2020 12:16:55
249 forum posts
5 photos

Have been through this with an EW lathe. I am afraid you have a vanishingly small probability of acquiring an original item at any price.

Your options are

  • to fabricate one from scratch - much the cheapest option
  • to adapt one to fit from a similar sized machine (say Cowels or more realistically one of the ubiquitous small Chinese lathes C0, C1, C2/3, small Proxon, Peatol etc class of machine

suppliers include M-Machine metals for material , Arc, Cowels, Axminster,  on line markets, etc.

Edited By Martin of Wick on 16/12/2020 12:21:25

Bob Stevenson16/12/2020 13:09:52
579 forum posts
7 photos

Geoff,...It's going to be a long wait probably to find the real Flexi steadies, and for a collector important. However, if you actualy want to use the Flexi to make stuff, then the steadies are not actually essential and there are many other ways of steadying the work........watchmakers make up their own tiny steadies and if you take a look at 'The Amateurs Lathe' by L.H. Sparey you will find directions for making quick and quite adequate steadies for specific jobs etc. Nothing that you are likely going to fit onto a Flexi requires a big or highly engineered steady...one of the benefits of a small precision lathe like a Flexi.

old mart16/12/2020 15:12:40
3775 forum posts
233 photos

I made two for the museums Smart & Brown model A, the genuine ones on ebay are stupidly expensive. The first was a little Chinese one with a 50mm bore mounted on an aluminium adaptor which fits the lathe bed and sets the centre of the bore on the spindle axis. The second one is a bigger hinged one with a bore of about 3 1/2", also with an aluminium base. I made a set of roller ends for it, so there is a choice in addition to the original bronze fingers. The bigger one can fit either side of the base centre line for greater versatility. Of course, I was lucky to have a mill to do the work with.

Ady116/12/2020 15:39:24
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5091 forum posts
736 photos

After much searching and effort I found one for my Drummond M which kindly broke after a year, it was actually pretty rubbish

So I went the fabrication route and made a far superior version which has done sterling service to date

Originals are handy for collectors but a fixed steady is an excellent useful project to consider

Michael Gilligan16/12/2020 16:23:34
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20185 forum posts
1053 photos

There is a wonderful design here: **LINK**

http://wwlathetools.blogspot.com/2014/04/step-1-imagining-ww-lathe-steady-rest.html

... intended for a WW lathe, but surely adaptable.

MichaelG.

Adrian R217/12/2020 09:52:04
164 forum posts
5 photos

There are several nice things on that site, thanks for sharing it Michael. It says the maker has tried offering the steady rest as a 3D printed kit in metal but not found enough of a market, shame.

Geoff Mathews17/12/2020 14:52:41
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32 forum posts
6 photos

Thank you everyone for your comments. I am interested in he work of Brian Perris, and one of his fixed steadies for my Meteor Lathe would be fantastic. However in the meantime I am contemplating modifying an existing design, the main challenge is the way the steady is fixed to the lathe bed which does not have a gap up the centre.

Keith Long17/12/2020 15:42:49
877 forum posts
11 photos

Geoff personal message sent, please check your account inbox.

Keith

Howard Lewis17/12/2020 15:47:33
6113 forum posts
14 photos

If the lathe has a dovetail bed, there is the risk of pulling things slightly off centre when clamping up the base. But adjusting the three steady feet should accommodate that.

In the past, I made a Saddle Stop for a dovetail bed Myford ML4, so something using that as a base could be a starting point

Possibly a dovetail base to carry a modified steady, that is available, from a lathe of similar size?

There have been articles, at various times, in MEW about making fixed steadies for various lathes. So maybe, adjusting the scale of one of these designs, to fit the lathe and the different mounting foot, may be the way to go.

Howard

John Rudd17/12/2020 16:15:41
1450 forum posts
12 photos

I have a steady for a C3 style lathe for sale in the FS section......( not sure which flavour of mini lathe...) if interested....( same centre height as an ML7 .....or not far off...)

smf17/12/2020 17:12:03
34 forum posts
34 photos

When I had a Flexispeed, I designed and 3d-printed a fixed steady with brass fingers. It was a prototype, meant to be replaced by a cast aluminium version. However, gven the size of work I was doing on the lathe, it was reasonably sturdy and I never got round to replacing it. I sold it with the lathe earlier this year. I'll try to find a picture. I'd be happy to send the stl file if that would help.

smf17/12/2020 17:17:07
34 forum posts
34 photos

Found it - Flexispeed steady top right in the photo

Bazyle17/12/2020 19:16:10
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6324 forum posts
222 photos

smf is the handle printed too? I'm guessing it is in the style of the flexispeed. Perhaps you could put the file for the steady on Thingiverse then in the future internet searches would either find this thread or that entry.

I didn't see a picture of a Flxeispeed steady on the Lathes.co.uk site so did they ever make one or did I miss the aspect that the OP was looking for a compatible one from one of the later clones?

Edited By Bazyle on 17/12/2020 19:18:16

Andy Carlson18/12/2020 07:37:14
432 forum posts
132 photos

Bear in mind that the Cowells (and likely at least some Perris lathes too) has a 'T' slot in the centre of the bed. My Cowells factory steady fixes into this slot and has nothing bearing on the outside of the dovetails.

AFAIK the Flexi has the centre filled in so you'd need a steady with proper dovetails on the base.

Regards, Andy

smf18/12/2020 09:25:40
34 forum posts
34 photos

Bazyle - the handles in the photo were the original handles - a previous owner had replaced them on the lathe with some aluminium ones.

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