Steady Rest for wood lathe

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 04-08-2010 08:04 PM 15656 views 26 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been thinking about building a steady rest for years and even acquired the roller blade wheels last year but never got around to it. Yesterday I started my first lamp and I needed to cut a relief in the bottom for the touch control box and needed to support that big chunk of wood without a center in it. So I bought a 24×24 top from Steelcase employee sales for 50 cents and started cutting it out to a design I drew up in the morning. I had the wheels, tee-nuts, steel bar stock and bolts so I never had to leave the shop until it was done at 1:33 this morning. I used it today on the lamp and it worked rather well. SO, now I have one!!

It makes turning that long/big diameter stuff less stressful!!!!!!!!!!

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

10 comments so far

View Cher's profile


965 posts in 4333 days

#1 posted 04-08-2010 08:13 PM

Thanks for sharing Jim. Looks good.

-- When you know better you do better.

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 5230 days

#2 posted 04-08-2010 08:24 PM

nice.. I already have one of those on my to-do list as well.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 4959 days

#3 posted 04-08-2010 08:49 PM

Pretty impressive! So that’s how it’s done!

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5486 days

#4 posted 04-09-2010 12:49 AM

looks well made, nice and sturdy. Just how I’m going to build my next one.

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

View 4woodturning's profile


187 posts in 4220 days

#5 posted 04-09-2010 01:57 AM

very nice, I have been thinking of building my self one for years but every time i get started i find something to turn. I might have to copy yours…great job.

-- Jeff, Missouri ,"Just because your not bleeding, dont mean your turning safely!"..............

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4765 days

#6 posted 04-09-2010 04:08 AM

A really nice support! You did a great job and have given me ideas.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4600 days

#7 posted 04-09-2010 04:28 AM

Nice job…well done.

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4669 days

#8 posted 04-09-2010 06:45 AM

Great job Jim. Just how small does it go? Will it handle a thin diam. spindle? Looks very well made.

Thanks for posting.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12837 posts in 4396 days

#9 posted 04-09-2010 06:48 AM

wow, nice looking rest.. best I’ve seen yet…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26776 posts in 4344 days

#10 posted 04-09-2010 02:53 PM

Hi Guys. Thanks for all the nice comments, this was built out of urgent need.
Scrappy, It goes down to about 2 1/2” right now. I knew I needed 9” arms to go as small as I would have liked, but the piece of 1/4” steel I had was a little over 21” so they became 7” arms . I can make longer arms later when the pressure is off. Also on the drawing board were bigger wheels and much smaller wheels for getting down to real small stuff. I was worried that the particle board top would not be strong enough but it held up. I really wanted aluminum but when I priced a big piece like that, it was as much as my small lathe,

One improvement I need to make right away is to put a handle on the nut that goes under the steady rest so you cn hold it in place from above the ways. My hand just does not fit below to line it up with the hold down bolt. Great turning to you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

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