Quick Steady Rest

  • Advertise with us
Project by mtalley posted 09-29-2015 02:13 PM 7630 views 20 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed to reduce the diameter of a long mallet handle by 1/4” and don’t have a shave horse, so I thought the lathe would be my best choice… except that the bed on my little lathe is way too short. I put my thunking cap on and decided to put together a stead rest out of scrap parts – I know, it is WAY past time for me to build/buy a real one…

I had some cut off ends of 10mm all-tread and 8 old in-line skate wheels. No matter what my wife says, I am not a horder. I am a pack rat because I use the odd bits that I keep – eventually-ish.

30 minutes later with a little tweaking and WD40 for the bearings, I had a steady rest. I chucked up the head of the handle in some grippy bowl jaws and spun it slowly while adjusting the rest height to get everything centered. Worked like a charm and was able to take care of the handle in about 10 minutes. Showed my wife, explained how MacGyver has lustful dreams about me and my big ol’ brain, and waited for her to swoon. Still waiting…

12 comments so far

View calisdad's profile


334 posts in 2750 days

#1 posted 09-29-2015 03:10 PM

Thanks for posting!

I recently was given a lathe with an 8’ bed so I know I will make one of these, maybe two.

-- Groveland, CA.

View fatman51's profile


335 posts in 3077 days

#2 posted 09-29-2015 04:14 PM

Great ingenuity! It is always nice when a project justifies the collection. Perhaps your wife figures your hair cant compete with MacGyver’s.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View woodcox's profile


2386 posts in 3252 days

#3 posted 09-29-2015 07:04 PM

Pretty slick Matt, nice job.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3247 days

#4 posted 09-29-2015 10:11 PM

Nice! Thanks for sharing!
Gonna add this one to my favorites, for possible future use!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Pointer's profile


465 posts in 2351 days

#5 posted 09-30-2015 01:32 AM

I love backyard engineering. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Great idea.

-- Joe - I am not entirely worthless, I can always serve as a bad example.

View JohnnyB's profile


106 posts in 3629 days

#6 posted 09-30-2015 04:35 AM

Wives get over swooning soon after the wedding! Nice solution to the steady rest problem.

-- JohnnyB - - Sometimes determination can substitute for skill.

View jeff's profile


1386 posts in 4705 days

#7 posted 09-30-2015 08:01 AM

Really a nice solution.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View Shuja's profile


287 posts in 2807 days

#8 posted 09-30-2015 02:39 PM


-- shuja

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


489 posts in 4868 days

#9 posted 09-30-2015 09:46 PM

Way to cool. I’m swooning now. :-)

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View mfwoodshop's profile


52 posts in 2503 days

#10 posted 09-30-2015 11:21 PM

Love the simplicity. it probably works well also

-- Thank You

View Oldtool's profile


3321 posts in 3431 days

#11 posted 10-01-2015 10:51 PM

Nice design, great lathe accessory. I’ll bd copying this, thanks.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View mtalley's profile


112 posts in 2716 days

#12 posted 10-03-2015 12:27 PM

Couple of lessons learned:

1. Use nuts and washers on both top and bottom. any material vibration will make the nuts loosen if one is not there or oppose.
2. either use new wheels or true the wheels up on lathe before starting. mine were worn and made the handle track and wobble until I took them off and trued them up with a gouge and sandpaper.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics