Bowl Steady Rest

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Forum topic by Ron Ford posted 09-01-2013 07:45 PM 7192 views 5 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ron Ford

218 posts in 3064 days

09-01-2013 07:45 PM

As a new poster on LJ, I am eager to be a contributor as well as learn from the rest of you out there. I’ve seen some discussion on bowl steady rests and thought I would share my recent experience with making one. If you like to turn deep bowls, pepper mills, etc., – really anything longer that is supported on one end only, I’d absolutely recommend using a bowl steady rest. After having a few pieces tend to ‘whip’ at the unsupported end, I searched for plans on the web and saw several different ones. The one that caught my eye and bought for $4.95 is the one offered by Rob Sheffield at Sheffield Woodturning ( The plans were clear and well defined, and I found the few hours it took to make the tool very worthwhile.

Here are two pictures of the one I made mounted on my Jet 1642. It really made working the deep bowl easy to work on!

I notice that several comments on earlier posts indicate that some of your would prefer a 2 or 3 arm model. It would be pretty simple to modify these plans to build it either way, or even to allow multiple configurations.

Hope you find this useful!


-- Once in awhile I make something really great. Most days I just make sawdust.

10 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2959 posts in 3466 days

#1 posted 09-01-2013 09:42 PM

Ron, really nice steady rest!

Might checkout for jigs and other neat stuff.

-- Bill

View lew's profile


13486 posts in 5087 days

#2 posted 09-02-2013 01:29 AM

Very Nice!! +1 for

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 3956 days

#3 posted 09-03-2013 12:27 PM

Now that’s a sturdy looking rest. Great job, looks like it’ll last forever.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View patchy's profile


10 posts in 4851 days

#4 posted 09-18-2013 02:24 AM

While looking for a suitable piece of wood to make a steady rest similar to the ones shown here, I had to replace my toilet bowl seat, it is a padded one (at 84plus I am not too steady on my feet and often sit down heavily). The seat I changed was a vinyl covered padded one but the vinyl had split. Anyway I decided to see what I could do with whatever was buried in the padding – after stripping all the foam away I was left with a nice piece of hard formed composite material that I could use for a picture frame OR as the main item in a home made steady rest! So hopefully that is something I can complete during this winter.

View Woodknack's profile


13585 posts in 3712 days

#5 posted 09-18-2013 02:38 AM

Can’t wait to see the toilet seat steady rest Patchy.

Nice job on that rest Ron.

-- Rick M,

View HuckD's profile


312 posts in 3046 days

#6 posted 09-18-2013 03:05 AM

Well done! Looks great. I’m crazy about shop made tools and accessories.

-- Visit my Youtube Channel:

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27237 posts in 4437 days

#7 posted 09-30-2013 02:26 AM

Nice steady rest. Those roller blade wheels sure have a place there!! No marking and great bearings.

I have made one with 3 wheels and find it is adequate. They sure do help support extended situations so you can turn without worry!

I like the one you have made very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!................Cheers, Jim

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

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Ron Ford

218 posts in 3064 days

#8 posted 01-27-2014 12:52 AM

Here is an updated link to get to the site for this set of plans to build an excellent bowl steady rest. I have used mine extensively and couldn’t be happier with it and the service it gives. At $7.95 for the plans, it is still a bargain for a tool you can build yourself and use for many years.


-- Once in awhile I make something really great. Most days I just make sawdust.

View Wildwood's profile


2959 posts in 3466 days

#9 posted 01-27-2014 12:17 PM

Ron, link does not work. Lots of free information with pictures describing how to make a steady rest like yours online too!

-- Bill

View TheDane's profile


6029 posts in 4995 days

#10 posted 01-28-2014 12:10 AM

Built with free plan …
Click for details

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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