By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

Avoiding marking / scoring while using fixed steady.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Martin Dowing28/02/2021 22:30:18
350 forum posts
8 photos

Fixed steady is often useful device but unfortunately its phosphor bronze jaws have a bad habit of marking turned object along contact lines, particularly if it is made of rather soft and not ground material.

Does anyone have a remedy for this evil other than careful setting a steady and oiling its jaws?

I have thought about making a set of jaws tipped with Babbit alloy.

Any comments on it other than an obvious one calling for keeping Babbit tipped jaws cool?

Or maybe there are some better ideas dealing with this problem?

Nigel Graham 228/02/2021 22:38:03
1246 forum posts
17 photos

Funnily enough, I came across this tip only the other day in one of my older reference-books:

Cut a strip of card, oil it well, wrap it once round the work-piece like an electrical P-clip, and trap its ends in the steady clamp-jaws. Obviously the fingers would have to be set on the card surface rather than directly onto the metal, when adjusting the steady up at the chuck end.

I've not tried it, as I say I found it only the other day, but allegedly it is an old and well-tried trade method. I've never seen it mentioned by anyone else though.

Martin Dowing28/02/2021 22:46:25
350 forum posts
8 photos

Thanks Nigel,

Will certainly try it at next opportunity.

Easy enough and no need to fabricate anything.

David Noble28/02/2021 22:52:49
252 forum posts
11 photos

I've used industrial steadies and some tend to have roller bearings. Should reduce marking a lot but not sure if it would eliminate it.


Emgee28/02/2021 23:23:20
1980 forum posts
250 photos


! method that I used when turning an aluminium tubular part can be seen here:



Steviegtr28/02/2021 23:30:05
1969 forum posts
268 photos

I think Quinn of blondiehacks did a revue of a steady with a set of ball races instead of the slipper pads. Which made things much better.


Martin Dowing01/03/2021 06:21:17
350 forum posts
8 photos


Thanks for comment with nylon ring.

DC31k01/03/2021 07:40:19
419 forum posts
1 photos

Soft fingers, ball bearing fingers, a close fitting ring on the stock have been mentioned.

You could also try an old-style cathead and run the steady on that.

Possibly, a wrap of self-adhesive aluminium foil tape with diagonal butt joint might work.

Tony Pratt 101/03/2021 08:21:21
1465 forum posts
6 photos

If the steady is touching the part which it will be some degree of marking is inevitable. A close fitting ring loctited to the part may be worth trying?


robjon4401/03/2021 09:52:17
139 forum posts

Hi all seen this method in several textbooks & have tried it out, wrap shim stock in the same way as recommended for greased cardboard, works like a charm & is reuseable so put in small plastic bag & attach it to the steady with a rubber band, then you might be able to find it the next time you need it (I,m just saying because I could lose my own head if it wasn't fastened on)


Bo'sun01/03/2021 11:19:36
390 forum posts

I'm not sure using rollers is the way to go, because unless you can keep swarf chips away, they will tend to get pressed/rolled into the work, making the problem worse. I've had the same issue with the roller blade guides on my woodworking bandsaw compacting resin onto the blade.

Rather than use shim stock, why not try softer aluminium from drinks cans. Damn, have to drink more beer.

DC31k01/03/2021 17:36:50
419 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Bo'sun on 01/03/2021 11:19:36:

Damn, have to drink more beer.

Buy some pizza to go with the beer and use the box to make a shield that sits between steady and tool to stop the chips going places you do not want.

I saw a YT video where an O-ring was placed over the stock, I guess to stop the coolant washing the chips into the steady bearings.

not done it yet01/03/2021 17:46:58
5776 forum posts
20 photos

There is another way. Turn to final size after using the steady. An option for a lot of scenarios, but I accept it may not be appropriate for every turning job. Failing that, a strip of emery can work wonders.

old mart01/03/2021 20:15:54
2828 forum posts
178 photos

Even roller bearings can mark medium hard steel. The three rings made by the rollers can be seen, and I used a card swarf barrier. The marks were of no consequence in this R8 milling machine spindle, fortunately.


Hopper02/03/2021 08:45:10
5379 forum posts
129 photos
Posted by robjon44 on 01/03/2021 09:52:17:

Hi all seen this method in several textbooks & have tried it out, wrap shim stock in the same way as recommended for greased cardboard, works like a charm...

Brilliant! yes

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
JD Metals
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest