Doesn't Ding Like Cast Iron

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Review by OSU55 posted 11-05-2014 08:50 PM 3335 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I have the HF 34706 lathe (review here: The tool rest that comes with the lathe is serviceable to get started but became a pita. Mine wasn’t quite level, about an 1/8” difference over its length, and the soft cast iron would ding very easily. The fit of the arm and rest posts into the respective holes were the primary culprit for the misalignment. With the rest mounted directly in the saddle the misalignment was worse due to tapering at the bottom of the post, and the post wasn’t really long enough.

I decided to try Woodcraft’s straight rests. These are modular, having different length rests and different height and diameter posts purchased separately. I have the 12” (Item #123582, ~$58) and 4” (Item #123580, ~$30), and the 1” dia 3.5” tall post (Item #141931, ~$16). The banjo hole was drilled out to 1” on a drill press, which didn’t remove much material. I had previously filed/lapped the saddle base to get the hole perpendicular to the lathe axis and smooth/clean up the base. The tool rest is now parallel with the lathe axis. These rests have a 1/4” hardened steel rod along the top, and an acrylic 45° “wedge” to fill in the gap of the steel L bracket. The wedge could be removed, but I find I like it being there. After close to a year of use, I haven’t had to smooth out a ding in the top of either rest. I would definitely buy again, and will probably add the 6” rest as well as 1 or 2 more posts, although they are simple and easy to change out.

View OSU55's profile


2651 posts in 2800 days

2 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile


3645 posts in 3994 days

#1 posted 11-05-2014 10:12 PM

I have one of these rests and it is very solid. I’m not impressed with the arcrylic wedge piece… mine is poorly glued in place, but it has no impact on performance. The rest never moves on me and is smooth when sliding tools across.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Wildwood's profile


2879 posts in 2945 days

#2 posted 11-06-2014 06:06 PM

I prefer Robust tool rest with life time guarantee.

Bought a 6” for turning small items and like it a lot. When the iron bar came off after dropping on the deck, called Brent’s told free number and told to ship it to him, replacement would cost nothing. Since did not want to find a box & pay small cost of shipping recommended using SB weld epoxy to glue it back on. That was three or four years ago and happy with the SB fix.

I still use the big 14” cast iron tool rest that came with my late and use a file to keep off the nicks.

Good luck with new rest!

-- Bill

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