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Old April 20th 07, 02:59 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
Fred Fred is offline
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Apr 2007
Posts: 2
Default OT - Steady Rest

JJM wrote:
I am new to the group and not real good at doing detailed searches so this
topic may have been addressed in the past.

I am looking for a steady rest for my Jet full size lathe (14"). Woodcraft
has their own with bearings, OneWay has theirs for about $110 with rubber
wheels and then I see some homemade units that look really slick using the
roller blade type of wheels.

Question is: Throw me some opinions of what works and what does not work.
I really like the idea of making my own but I went to a sporting goods store
and just to buy inline skate wheels with the bearings and you can drop
anywhere from $40 to an insane $100+. My kids are grown and gone or I would
snag some from their old skates that we probably threw away a few years ago.

Thanks folks in advance for the help.


I have been reading this newsgroup for a good while and have learned
much from all the contributors.

I built a steady rest based on some other jigs I use on my lathe. It
uses in-line skate wheels. I have used it for finishing the bottom of
hollow vessels and working thin spindles and it works excellently. You
can put as much pressure on your work piece as needed with the adjusting
nuts and it is very steady.

I used 1/2"x2" bar steel with 3/4" threaded rod for the support, 1/2"
bolt for the T-nut underneath and 1/8"x1" bar steel for the wheel
brackets. The spacer bushings on the 3/4" threaded rod for the wheel
brackets are cut from pvc water pipe. Any or all of it could be made
from oak or some other hardwood. I originally planned to weld ends on
the wheel brackets but tested it before I did and like the ability to
slide the top single wheel brackets to completely remove them from the
support without loosening the threaded rod nuts very much. The ability
to slide the wheels sideways a bit, allows adjustment to center the
rotating work. This is one of the neatest fixtures I have built and
used. My threaded rods are 10" on center only because they are the
base supports for another jig I use. Also, the wheel bracket is in the
way of the work piece if the wheels are separated more than this jigs
allows. The bottom bracket could be make longer to support larger
pieces, but the wheels cannot be spaced much farther apart with this design.

I drilled extra holes in the supports to provide other positions for the
wheels for various diameter work. The top and bottom wheel brackets can
be exchanged for additional wheel positions.

I will copy this post with photo's to

Thank you all for the helpful responses on this newsgroup.

Concord, NC