woodbowlsandthings

December 22, 2012

LATHE STEADY

Hi all. A couple of weeks ago I decided I really needed a Steady for my hollow forms.

I searched the internet and asked on several forums if anyone had any good ideas about making a “C” style steady that will allow a laser to travel the full length of the form with no wheels or framework in the way.

I must admit I was more than a little surprised when I only got a few interested parties making suggestions. At that point I did some soul searching thinking that maybe my idea was without merit.

After spending more time with my Kobra hollowing system and thinking a little more about this project I decided that it was what I wanted even though it seemed that I was one of only a few who was interested.

I was pretty lucky as I had some 3/4″ solid phenolic that I was planning to use and I had some “T” track which I also had planned to use.

I drew a 16″ circle cause my lathe has an 8″ swing and then drew another smaller circle 1 1/2″ inside that.

Then I used a portable jig saw and cut out the centre.

Next I laid out the notches for the “T” track. I cut them 1/4″ deep and drilled holes for the Tee bolts

Next I cut the opening for the “C” shape and knocked off the corners of the C.

I notched another piece of the phenolic and drilled and tapped it to the bottom of the C

I then cut another piece of the phenolic and notched it to fit into the space under and between the ways of my lathe.

I found some nice rubber wheels at Lee Valley and bolted them to the ends of the T track.

Mounted it to my lathe and Walla!!

That’s about it. It works great!

BUT there are two changes I would make if I was to do it again.

1. I would cut the slots for the T track on the tail stock side of the steady

2. I would make the piece that attaches to the ways only on one side, the head stock side.

Both these changes would allow me to position the steady closer to the opening thus providing more support.

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