Skateboard Wheeled Steady Rest

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Project by Les Casteel posted 01-11-2010 10:08 PM 10392 views 18 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When turning long vases/urns on the lathe, you have to have something that is rock-solid, adjustable, and woin’t scar or scratch the wood. This is what I built after seeing several ideas in magazines etc.

-- Les, Missouri,

11 comments so far

View whitedog's profile


652 posts in 3966 days

#1 posted 01-11-2010 10:27 PM

i’m not a turnner , but looks like a hell of a good idea to me

-- Paul , Calfornia

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3795 days

#2 posted 01-11-2010 10:43 PM

Looks great to me. Good design. Simple but effective.


View Wade Putnam's profile

Wade Putnam

148 posts in 4238 days

#3 posted 01-11-2010 10:45 PM

I have been looking to build one of these.
I like your design, can you tell me what you mounted the wheels on, I Assume it’s some aluminum shape??

-- Wade, Nashville,

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3583 days

#4 posted 01-11-2010 10:56 PM

I am a turner and I like this basic design – with one exception. One would have to pull the tail stock back, insert the steady rest and then reapply the tail stock. No big deal – but it is simpler if the steady rest has a “C” design so you don’t have to pull the tailstock back. OTOH, a “C” design would compromise strength and if your basic structure is wood, that could be a big deal.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Les Casteel's profile

Les Casteel

160 posts in 3568 days

#5 posted 01-11-2010 11:26 PM

Well, to answer Wade, I just used “U” shaped aluminum track. On the opposite side of the picture I used some star shaped knobs with “T” nuts. To answer Rich, on this turning the tail stock was going to be pulled back so I had to use a steady rest that completely enclosed the turning. I pulled back the tail, slid on steady rest, moved up the tail, spun it on the slowest speed and set the wheels on the steady rest. When the wheels were set I pulled the tail back and finished turning the top of the vase.

-- Les, Missouri,

View Wade Putnam's profile

Wade Putnam

148 posts in 4238 days

#6 posted 01-11-2010 11:57 PM

Thanks for the quick response.
What is the maximum diameter turning this will handle?
Maybe you could post a picture if the other side??

-- Wade, Nashville,

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4755 days

#7 posted 01-12-2010 12:14 AM

I made one of these a couple years ago and it has served me well. The only thing I would have done different would have been to make the 3/4 material that the wheels are attached to thicker, then again I made mine out of MDF. I like yours very much. You can see mine in my gallery.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23372 posts in 3614 days

#8 posted 01-12-2010 01:26 AM

That is real solid. It is on my list to do this spring. I’m looking for some 1” aluminum for the frame. You can cut that stuff easily on the wood band saw. Use beewax to lube the blade.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Bricofleur's profile


1464 posts in 3702 days

#9 posted 01-25-2010 02:31 AM

Since I’m back to woodturning after more than 20 years, I find your jig very inspirering.

Thanks for sharing. (this applies to Mike as well)



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4157 days

#10 posted 01-25-2010 02:34 AM

very very cool.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Roger's profile


21011 posts in 3313 days

#11 posted 01-01-2013 08:03 PM

This is a very nice rendition of a steady rest. Super nice. I know they work very well.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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