Author Topic: Homemade fixed steady  (Read 9937 times)

Offline latheman

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Homemade fixed steady
« on: December 07, 2011, 03:58:29 PM »
A few months back, I tried to drill some holes using the vertical drill. Placed the work on the movable table - and didn't have enough room for the drill bit! Moved the work onto the base - and found I couldn't reach the work with the drill bit! Talk about a rock and a hard place!

Now, back in the dark mists of time, Alex Weiss had the same problem with a very similar vertical drill, in fact probably the same drill but a slightly different designation, and he cured his problem by extending the drill column. And so a project was born. Thanks Alex for the idea.

So, obtain a suitable lump of ms, and then turn it down to match the column. Now I don't know about you, but I'm not too happy having a 150mm x 50mm lump of steel whirling around when only held in a 160mm 4-jaw chuck. So out with the fixed steady. Er, hang on a minute, I haven't got a fixed steady. So make one, and so I did.

I based the design on Harold Halls design in MEW June/July 1991 but with the modified arms in his later article in MEW 173/174, but then modified to suit my lathe, a Warco 220 (Mashstroy C210T). Thanks Harold.

Photos 1 & 2 show both sides of the steady.





The base part, painted green, is mild steel, welded together and then faced to get a smooth surface to sit on the lathe bed. The silver parts are 13mm thick aluminium whilst the brass parts are, well, brass. You will notice that the aluminium parts are made up of three separate pieces. These are glued together using a very well known brand of two-part epoxy glue plus some screws, two of which can be seen in one of the photos. The black knob came of a roof rack cycle carrier and is used to clamp the loose dovetail part at the front onto the bed. The matching part at the other end is bolted into place.

On one of the photos will be seen some circular disks. In fact, they are not disks, but steel inserts into the rather soft aluminium, the idea being that when bolting up, the steel will withstand the screwing forces rather better than the aluminium, thus there is less chance of stripping the threads.

It will be noticed that the aluminium support is offset. This is because the saddle projects out towards the headstock beyond the normal position of the compound slide. Therefore by offsetting the supports as shown, the supports can be brought nearer the cutting tool to give better support. Interestingly, the official Mashstroy steady does the same, but I hadn't realised why until I made this device. The last photo shows the saddle and cross-slide along side the fixed steady when all will become clear (I hope).



Is it pretty? No it darned well isn't!

Does it work? Don't know - it's too darned cold at the moment.

It's been an interesting project. For a start I've had to resurrect the lathe vertical slide in order to mill the aluminium (the milling machine is in bits at the moment having had it's table reground), and frankly I was dead scared about the overhang from the vice jaws. In the event, I only had one accident, and even then it wasn't that bad. A bit of silver-white epoxy putty to fill the gouges and all was well. Although I started by doing a drawing, that soon got abandoned as modifications took place. Nevertheless, the drawing was used to create the basic sizes of the structure. One problem that I did have was that of determining the positioning of the upright onto the base structure as the lathe centre line is NOT over the bed centre line. In the end I cheated by mounting a 5mm diameter rod into a 5mm collet inserted into the headstock. I then drilled through the base of the upright, then clamped the upright onto the rod and spotted through the holes. Job done.

Cheers,

Peter G. Shaw
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 11:58:23 PM by Brass_Machine »

Offline Stilldrillin

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Re: Homemade fixed steady
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 04:33:06 AM »

Is it pretty? No it darned well isn't!

Does it work? Don't know - it's too darned cold at the moment.

Peter.
Pretty? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder........

Does it work? Most certainly..........

Personally, I would say, sturdy and purposeful. And another great Modder project shown!  :clap: :clap:

Thanks for that......  :thumbup:

David D
David.

Still drilling holes... Sometimes, in the right place!

Still modifying bits of metal... Occasionally, making an improvement!

Offline krv3000

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Re: Homemade fixed steady
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011, 08:14:37 AM »
HI and well dun

Offline Bernd

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Re: Homemade fixed steady
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 08:56:01 AM »
I think it looks pretty good. I'm sure it functions wonderfuly.

That's all that counts. Fine job.  :thumbup:

Bernd
You can't fix "STUPID".

Offline unc1esteve

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Re: Homemade fixed steady
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2011, 02:09:42 PM »
I have been working on a Bonelle Tool and Cutter Grinder.  Following the Professer's instructions for boring the spindle I needed a fixed steady with four guides instead of the normal three.  I made a steady with four guides using ball bearings instead of brass wear guides at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 position.

Rob.Wilson

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Re: Homemade fixed steady
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011, 02:51:00 PM »
Nicely done Peter  :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Looks a good sturdy bit of kit  :dremel:




Rob

Offline fatal-exception

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Re: Homemade fixed steady
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2011, 04:51:52 PM »
Just a general question here, and no poke at your design Peter, but why are almost all steady rests made with brass guides rather than bearings?

Offline Bluechip

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Re: Homemade fixed steady
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2011, 05:02:14 PM »
Just a general question here, and no poke at your design Peter, but why are almost all steady rests made with brass guides rather than bearings?

You can use ball-races, but you'll probably  find they tend to cause chatter .. the solid ones seem to damp it out.

I suppose it's the clearance in the ball-race.

Or, at least mine did ...

BC

I have a few modest talents. Knowing what I'm doing isn't one of them.

Offline Stilldrillin

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Re: Homemade fixed steady
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2011, 05:55:16 PM »
Stray pieces of swarf often roll between bearing and workpiece.......  :bang: :bang:

A brass pad will, (usually) not allow this to happen.  :thumbup:

David D
David.

Still drilling holes... Sometimes, in the right place!

Still modifying bits of metal... Occasionally, making an improvement!

Offline latheman

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Re: Homemade fixed steady
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 05:45:38 PM »
Well, I used it - the homemade steady that is!

Made a mistake, didn't I. Used the DTI to set the bar true at it's end, setup the steady - and it vibrated somewhat. Later on I realised what I should have done, ie set the bar true at the chuck and then set the steady adjacent to the chuck. Anyway, it worked ok when I did that. So, ok, it's the first time I've used one, and I've learned a lesson.

Anyway, cleaned up the end of the bar, put a centre in, removed the steady and used the live centre instead. Started turning away merrily. All was going swimmingly - until I took too much off. Oh well, it's a good job I bought three times as much as I needed. Second attempt was better.

Discovered that I need to use a clamping device (split tube over the outside and tightened up) to ensure that when the extension is glued in place, it is lined up correctly. Found some old clothes post tube which seemed suitable, but needs the inside boring out. But I haven't got a boring bar.... So make one. I think we've been here before!

Also needed to clamp the tube to the cross-slide, but it does seem rather difficult on the existing cross-slide. However, I did get a replacement T-slotted cross-slide when I bought the lathe, only 16 years ago. The major problem being that I need to transfer over the cross-slide leadscrew and associated parts. Which means drilling and tapping the T-slotted cross-slide.  Then I realised that the new cross-slide gib adjusting screws could not be locked in place, so I now needed to make new, longer, screws that will allow the use of a locknut. Ended up making another guide for my diestock to Stan Bray's design in one of his books.

When will it all end? Will I ever get to extend my vertical drill? And meanwhile the grass is growing, the hut and the porch need some repair work. And my head hurts from banging it against a brick wall.

If I was drinking man, I'd go and get drunk before the price goes up. Otherwise...

Goodnight & Regards,

Peter G. Shaw

Offline doubleboost

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Re: Homemade fixed steady
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 06:36:43 PM »
Hi
Peter
That looks to be a great accesory i bet it is more use than my Boxford steady
Well shown & described
John