Turning Archive 2006
Ken Grunke from SW WI
>Here's a steady rest I fabricated for the General Maxi lathe, actually a midi lathe. Our AAW chapter owns one, and I had it in my shop for almost a year but recently had to say goodby to it. I never got around to making a mounting clamp for it but will be doing that soon. I failed to measure the gap between the bedrails before it went on to the next guy, but Gil Jones has the same lathe and he provided it for me.
The frame is made from 3 layers of laminated medium density fiberboard, 2" thick total. After cutting a 7" circle from each layer, the middle layer was marked out for the 3 bearing arms, and cut into 3 pieces minus the spaces for the arms. Then they were glued and screwed together. I ran the bottom edge across the jointer so it sits good and flat.
The arms were milled from 3/4" maple, and are held with 3/8" x 16 socket head setscrews. I milled a shallow groove on the arms where the setscrew will bear, so they won't jam up from the setscrew marks. Can't remember where I got the bearings, just little 1/4" bore units with nylon outer sleeves.
This design is pretty easy to make with regular woodworking tools, no welding needed.