DIY Steady Rest

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Project by Mark_Green posted 09-16-2019 03:57 PM 2628 views 6 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Simple Inexpensive Steady Rest.

Items needed:
5 – EX-1010 – 1″ x 1″ Smooth T-Slotted Aluminum Extrusion – 16” length
16 – (COMBO-010-A) 10 Series 1/4-20 Economy T-Nut & 1/2″ lg screw
6 – (CB-010-B) 10 Series 2 Hole Inside Corner Bracket
4 – 82A 70mm Premium Rollerblade Wheels with Bearings
1 – 4-in x 1-ft Hot-Rolled Weldable Steel
1 – 3/4”x 4” Bolt with washer and nut

The pricing in this build out will be what you “may” have to pay. You may have better options to get the material less expensively. For the roller blade wheels you may be able to find an old pair of skates for free or next to nothing for them at a garage sale or thrift store. The steel I buy is a lot less expensive than what you may pay at Lowes or Home Depot but again I’m just showing you what you may expect to pay for this build.

Attached is the build list with where you can get the items and what you may have to pay.

The only cutting and drilling you will have to do is on the flat bar.
See picture with “Flat Bar Cutting and Drilling Information”
For the mounting of the hardware to the extruded aluminum use the pictures for reference.
The mounts for the extruded aluminum will be adjustable on the X and Y as well as the wheels.
Note: When placing wheels on extrusions make sure they will spin the same direction as the lathe.
I used ¼” bolts that I ground down to fit tightly to the aluminum yet would be lose enough to allow the wheels to spin unrestricted.
Now that you have the basics of how this goes together you can build and adjust a system that will work for your specific needs.
This setup isn’t as good and steady as the professionally built systems but will work well enough for the hobbyist and people like myself that have to work on a budget.
I hope this information is good enough for the DIY’ers out there!

5 comments so far

View Pete_LJ's profile


115 posts in 2081 days

#1 posted 09-16-2019 04:51 PM

Wow!!! Nice work!!

Did you come up with the extrudeed aluminum frame-work for this steady-rest?

Very new take on an old issue.

PS Thanks for the bill of materials.

View MrWolfe's profile


1680 posts in 1459 days

#2 posted 09-16-2019 05:56 PM

Thanks for the share Mark!
Great looking jig and anything that adds safety to a process is a huge Plus in my book.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27250 posts in 4441 days

#3 posted 09-16-2019 09:25 PM

Rel nice steady rest. The slotted channel is so universal for all kinds of projects!!

cheers, Jim

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

View Peteybadboy's profile


4336 posts in 3285 days

#4 posted 09-17-2019 07:56 AM

Nice job and thanks for posting

-- Petey

View asloanie's profile


55 posts in 3323 days

#5 posted 07-13-2020 08:14 PM

How does this steady rest do for wooden bowls (as compared to spindles). does it support well as compared to the more common design of a big wooden circle with 3 roller blade wheels?

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