Bowl / Hollow Form steady rest

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Mark Hepburn, Apr 22, 2014.

Tags:
  1. Steve Doerr

    Steve Doerr

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Joplin, Missouri
    Mark, I made the metal bowl rest and have been very, very happy with it. I did all of the cutting, drilling and grinding and then had a local welder do the welding. I have a Jet 1642 EVS2 and use it all the time.

    Good luck on the decision making process.
     
  2. JeffSmith

    JeffSmith

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    Lummi Island, WA
    Mark - I built a variant of this with the instructions john Combs put up on Sawmill Creek. I've attached the file here. It's a pretty easy build, even resurrected long dormant welding skills. Best of all, it's a sturdy piece of equipment and works well. I modified the plans for only three wheels, and tilted them about 7 degrees to starboard so they're out the way of the top of the vessel...thinking about adding the bowl steady bracket.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    8,119
    Location:
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    Mark, the two most critical parts of building a steady rest are getting the ring perfectly perpendicular to the bed and not having any canting in the skate wheels. The second part is more of a challenge and it means that the tubes welded to the ring must be perfectly flat and that they do not have anything that causes the arms to not be square to the ring. Also the surface where the wheels are attached must be flat. It would be worth getting good quality steel tubing. If the wheels do not track true, they will continually try to pull the arm to one side or the other and this is not the best situation to have because it won't be doing the best possible job.

    When you are using the steady rest, the wheels are supposed to make contact with the wood, but not be applying force to it. If the wheels are pushing against the wood, it will actually make things worse because the wood will flex slightly under the pressure which leads to vibration.
     
  4. john lucas

    john lucas

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Messages:
    5,820
    Location:
    Cookeville TN USA
    I've built 2 wooden ones and now have an 87lb metal one I bought from an estate. They work but I've also played with the Carter and it works better. I really like the thin support rails because I use a laser to hollow and it doesn't block the laser as much. It's very solid and works perfectly. A lot of money but I guess it goes back to the old you get what you pay for adage. My wooden ones always wobbles a little. didn't seem to hurt the turning but bothered me. I don't know if it's wheel tracking, type of wheels, or some other problem. I made them as accurately as I could.
     
  5. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,170
    Location:
    Houma, Louisiana
    Thanks Steve. I hadn't considered doing the work up to the welding. I have never welded but can easily have it done. And with a near zero cost for materials it becomes a simpler decision. I have that same jet lathe. I'll probably keep that lathe until my grandson is ready for his own, so a good rest that'll last is a must.
     
  6. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,170
    Location:
    Houma, Louisiana
     
  7. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,170
    Location:
    Houma, Louisiana
    Jeff, thanks very much for he link. That is a really good set of plans and, the more I look, the more I realize that this is not a huge undertaking. And he gives good info on the right skate wheels to get, which was a concern.
     
  8. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,170
    Location:
    Houma, Louisiana
    Bill. A buddy of mine I showed the plans to also said that it must be absolutely vertical, and also suggested a guide at the base that let's it track along the bed ways so the rest is perpendicular to the axis of the workpiece. He thinks a piece of tubing inside the base will help alignment. I think it t makes sense and will probably do this.

    I know some guys at a local fab yard who do high precision machining for ultra high pressure oilfield applications, so having it true should be no problem
     
  9. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,170
    Location:
    Houma, Louisiana
    John, that wobbling is one if the things that sort of makes me lean toward buying. On the other hand, saving a bunch of money is tempting especially with my good access to skilled machinists.

    One of the guys I spoke to suggested heavy aluminum, and he happens to be a very good welder who does a lot of aluminum. I wonder what your thought are on maybe going that route? 87 pounds is one heckuva rest. No doubt it's stable :)
     
  10. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    718
    Location:
    Brandon, MS
    Goodwill

     
  11. JeffSmith

    JeffSmith

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    Lummi Island, WA
    Mark - believe me, if getting the ring square and the base secure to the bed was at all challenging, I would not have wound up with one that works well. The fact is, following the plans by Combs, if you take your time cutting the base of the ring, mark everything true and square then clamp before you weld, it's pretty simple. The brackets are secured with bolts until welded. The base has a plate that fits between the ways to keep it square. I also don't have a lot of metal working tools; just used an angle grinder, drill press and hand tools. Sanded all parts on a small benchtop belt sander.
    If you do it, get a ring that matches the swing of your lathe, or larger if the exact size isn't available. I used a 26" ring for my 25" AB and it works fine. Just had to extend the base slightly for the extra width. Mine weighs in about 20 or 25 pounds I'd guess and is very stable in use.
     
  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    8,119
    Location:
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    Mark, I agree with Jeff that it certainly is feasible to build your own steady rest. I was mainly wanting to point out that one needs to build it with care and as much precision as you can and not just throw something together. The better it is built, the better it will work.

    It needs to be sturdy so it won't move around or shake. With all of the effort going into making one, I would't cheap out on the wheels. Sinner and Robust do not use skate wheels. The ones used by Robust are industrial wheels that look like oversized skate wheels but have harder rubber and more rugged bearings. The Sinner steady rest uses a different type of wheel. A lot of people use skate wheels with success and I think tha"t it would be worth getting some that are high quality.

    The cost of buying a steady rest seems high, but after I got an idea of the cost and time involved in making my own, buying one didn't seem so bad after all. I bought the Robust and it is very heavy and solid -- probably the most sturdy and solid out there.

    A feature that I have seen on some of the steady rests including my Robust is a safety feature that prevents a finger or tool from getting pinched between the wheel and turning. On the Robust it is a roll pin on each side of the wheel that just clears the surface of the wood.

    Here is another tip: always have the steadyrest wheels running at the largest diameter of the hollowform. The reason is that the wheels will want to climb uphill. By being at the highest point, they will run straighter. Also, have a slightly raised rim where the wheels will run. The reason is that the wheels will mar the surface slightly. After you finish hollowing, you can san the raised rim away. A thickness of 1/16 inch is sufficient.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  13. JeffSmith

    JeffSmith

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    Lummi Island, WA
    Amen to what Bill said above. I priced out what I needed to build rather than buy, and at less than $100, the build won. The wheels are skate wheels, but heavier duty ones with larger bearings and larger diameter. It is not as elegant as the Robust version, but still works well, doesn't vibrate at all (so far).
    Here's a couple of small pics I shared with another guy building it...I haven't painted it yet - it's still in 'proof of concept' mode. Haven't figured out why iPhone images want to rotate to horizontal when they preview fine...
    photo 2.JPG photo 1.JPG
     
  14. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,170
    Location:
    Houma, Louisiana
    Bill and Jeff,

    Thanks very much for your thoughtful input. It has helped clarify my thinking. So the plan is for me to build a rest with the help of a friend who welds. As it happens, I have several feet of square tubing in 1" and 3/4". Heavy gauge. Also some C channel that I could use as the base.

    So what do you gents think of using a square or octagonal frame as opposed to a round flange? I'm thinking of putting a metal blade on a small spare miter saw to cut the parts and dry fit. Then off to welding.

    This would allow me to use the plans you both provided almost exactly as they are.

    And Bill. Thanks for the tips on how to use it. The extra ridge is a gat idea. I'm working on my second segmented firm now. Mothers day gift for LOML, it's a sort of elongated ginger jar and already has that ridge.
     
  15. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,170
    Location:
    Houma, Louisiana
    Steve, thanks for that. I'm convinced and going to make my own. And as you did, outsource the welding to a pal who wants a baseball bat for his nephew. I have the same Jet and love it.
     
  16. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    8,119
    Location:
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    If the metal is thick -- maybe a half inch. The Steve Sinner steady rest is flat and really thick. I'm not positive if it is a half inch, but it appears to be. That would make it very heavy. The round right angle flange is inherently stiff without the need to be heavy. Welding up flat assembly and keeping it flat will require some work. The flange is easier, but more expensive.
     
  17. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,170
    Location:
    Houma, Louisiana
    Bill,
    I'm thinking half an inch is way beyond necessary. We ship containers into the gulf if Mexico daily. They're lifted by crane onto boats and tare weights are just under 10,000 lbs and the total probably nearly double that. the pad eyes that are welded are about .5 thick plate. As I recall, the safe load test on them is 5x the safe working load so that's pretty strong.

    Bit I take your point. I know a bunch of engineers who design oil platforms and components. They must have some tables or maybe a cad app that can give me the strength and load capacities do you think? I personally wouldn't know how to approach that question, but the answer is the difference between making all my cuts today or ordering that ring. :)

    And thanks again; I've learned a ton from all your replies to my posts and appreciate that!
     
  18. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    8,119
    Location:
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    We're talking apples and oranges. You're talking about structural integrity. I'm talking about flexing a tiny amount. Any flex that puts the wheel out of plane gets amplified by the arm length to the wheel as well as allowing vibration (which a steady rest is meant to snub out). Things like wide flange beams, box beams, hollow tubing, and even the lowly 3/16" thick angle stock used to make the round flange provides a very large stiffness advantage over flat stock of the same thickness. A half inch is overkill, but is 1/4" stiff enough? Depends in a lot of things like how wide the material is and the diameter. Maybe one of your engineer associates could look at your design and give you an assessment. Tell him/her how it will be used, lathe speed, and that no discernible vibration or deflection of the wheels are the design goals. The point being that the name "steady rest" is also it's purpose. There's not much market demand for a flimsy rest. While a steady rest that flexes and vibrates a small amount is usable I would be disappointed if I made one that didn't quite live up to my expectations. Not being a mechanical engineer, I wouldn't be able to provide a highly qualified assessment on how well your design will work, but I mainly wanted to point out the difference between using flat stock and other options that save weight and improve stiffness.

    If you don't want to buy an angle ring, another idea is to use straight angle stock to make a six or eight sided "ring". That ought to be no more difficult to fab than flat stock, but would be significantly stiffer.
     
  19. Dwight R Rutherford

    Dwight R Rutherford

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    Sacramnto Ca
    The 16"steel flange I got from McMaster-Carr for my Jet 1642 was only $21.50. I agree with Bill about the structural advantage this has over using flat stock. Mine is "steady" and quiet.
     
  20. Steve Doerr

    Steve Doerr

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Joplin, Missouri
    Mark, a couple of things that I might suggest based on what I made. 1. Put five or six brackets on the rim to hold the armature for the wheels. Three on the left half and three on the right half. I spaced them so that four of them are 90 degrees to each other and then offset 45 degrees from vertical. The other two bisect the 45's and are horizontal. This allows you to use four wheels for bowls, three wheels for hollowing (plenty of room for my laser rod on my monster hollowing tool. 2. When mounting the system on your lathe, have the tightening screws for the armatures to be on the head side of the lathe. That way, you can move close to the jig without having to worry about the screws being in the way, (This is the opposite of what is shown in Jeff's pictures above.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014

Share This Page