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Lathe steadies

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larry phelan 127/02/2021 12:44:45
976 forum posts
14 photos

Good day, everyone, I wish to pick your brains ,since mine are not producing the answer I want.

My question is about setting up a steady on my lathe to support a piece of 50/60mm bar 600mm long.

I have read that the correct method is to set the work running true in the chuck [4 jaw ] and then set the steady close to the chuck, before moving it down the bed to the required position. OK so far, but how do I support the overhang while I am trying to get the chuck end to run true ? There is a fair weight in a piece of stock that length.

Some say to use a short piece of stock to adjust the chuck jaws and then replace with the job, but that assumes you have a spare piece to hand.

I ask this because I will need to do a job like this soon for a "friend" who thinks I know EVERYTHING, he is sadly mistaken, but I dont want to burst his bubble just yet.

All and any advice welcome.frown

Tony Pratt 127/02/2021 12:52:31
1472 forum posts
7 photos

Well a short bit of stock would be best but you could use the job itself as you will only be turning the chuck by hand but could be damm awkward.


Nick Hughes27/02/2021 12:56:37
246 forum posts
142 photos
One method

Edited By Nick Hughes on 27/02/2021 12:58:30

Howard Lewis27/02/2021 12:57:20
4683 forum posts
10 photos

I would favour the short piece of stock, presuming that it is too big to pass through into the Mandrel, in the 4 jaw to set the steady

If there is insufficient stock for this, how about turning another bit of metal to exactly the same diameter as the stock, and using this to set the steady? Possible?


Hopper27/02/2021 12:59:50
5404 forum posts
131 photos

Life would be easier if you could use the three jaw chuck, in which case you just hold the far end by hand and tighten the chuck up with the other. Then set your steady to fit the bar next to the chuck and then slide it along to the far end. You might loosen and then retighten the jaws as you put the steady in place just to make sure the job is not canted at an angle.

But if accuracy absolutely requires the use of a 4 jaw, then I'd set the bar up in the three jaw first, then use it to set the steady. The fit the four jaw chuck and use the steady to hold the far end while setting up the chuck to run true. You could then reset the steady on the now truly centred chuck end before sliding it back along to the far end.

Clear as mud? Good.

Edited By Hopper on 27/02/2021 13:03:17

JasonB27/02/2021 13:00:26
20289 forum posts
2218 photos
1 articles

Thread about it earlier this month

Just mark out and ctr punch the far end and add a ctr drilled hole with a cordless if you want end support while setting up, heavy punch mark may be enough. Or simply pack it up to approx level, that's how I did this one as it was too long to get the tailstock on the bed


Edited By JasonB on 27/02/2021 13:05:38

larry phelan 127/02/2021 13:33:23
976 forum posts
14 photos

My thanks to everyone, I note that using the 4 jaw chuck and a short piece of stock seems to be a good choice.

The reason I favour the 4 jaw is because I find myself using it more these days, due to it being more accurate.

I was using the 3 jaw all along, but was surprised how easy and quick it is to use the 4 jaw, with better results.

I do recall Sparey mentioned about the danger of the work walking out of the chuck

I will practice with a short piece of stock, before jumping in !

My thanks to everyone, you never fail !angel

larry phelan 127/02/2021 13:38:19
976 forum posts
14 photos

Hopper, just reading your answer again, and yes, it is perfectly clear !!

No mud !laugh

old mart27/02/2021 19:41:04
2850 forum posts
181 photos

Top answer, Hopper, I must remember the trick.

not done it yet27/02/2021 23:07:37
5790 forum posts
20 photos

A possible alternative if you get 60mm bar and need to turn it down to 50mm or less. You could mark and make a centre drilling at each end and turn it between centres for initial ‘trueing up’? Centres at each end will then be perfectly positioned. Then chuck it in the 4 jaw with tailstock support. Then swap to fixed steady when required.

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