Author Topic: Fixing a Three Point Steady  (Read 4387 times)

Offline sbwhart

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Fixing a Three Point Steady
« on: May 01, 2010, 12:16:54 PM »
The three point steady as delivered with my lathe when new a few years back now has a lot to be desired I don't like its design and build quality at all, but I didn't worry too much about it at the time as its one bit of kit you don't use a lot, in fact the one and only time I've used on was way back in my apprentice days.

But I now need one to trim the 3 3/8 dia copper tube down to length for my boiler, it has to be square and neat.

Here's the steady.



What wrong with it well for a start when it's clamped on the lathe it wobbles more than Dolly Parton on a bad bra day, the hinge is very sloppy the clamp doesn't pull up tight on the lathe bed, and those pointed steadies are just not right, I don't think the frame is substantial enough, I cant do anything about the frame but the other things I can.

To fix the hinge I opened the hole up from 8mm to 3/8" first with a letter U drill then a 3/8 hand reamer, and fitted a 1mm copper spacer to take up the slide slop.



The rusty pin is the one that was supplied.

The points on the steadies are just brass I thought they would be screwed in but No they were glued in place, once I worked that out I managed to nock them out. Then turned up some new ones that will give a nice supporting area and fixed them in place with supper glue.





As the new brass bits have a larger diameter than the rods they have to be assembled from the inside, they wouldn't assemble as the bars had just bin left as parted off no chamfer, back in the lathe and a chamfer was added: job sorted, the build standard of some Chinese made parts have a lot to be desired its a great pity as people remember the bad things and not the good.

I'll make some new clamping block to fix it firmly to the lathe, but thats a job for tomorrow.

Cheers

Stew



A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline 75Plus

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Re: Fixing a Three Point Steady
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2010, 01:38:15 PM »
Nice work Stew, it is a shame that it was necessary though.

Have you considered adding a ball bearing to each of the rods. The bearings used on router bits work well in that application. They are also inexpensive and readily available.

Joe

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Fixing a Three Point Steady
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2010, 01:43:59 PM »
Hi Joe

Yes I did think of adding ball bearings, but decided against it as I'll be running the lathe on slow speed to trim the boiler, and I just don't see me having much call for using the steady that much, if a job comes along though that having bearings would help, I would go that way.

Cheers

Stew

A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Fixing a Three Point Steady
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2010, 12:06:13 PM »
Ok now for fixing the clamp set up, what's wrong with it ?,

1: The clamp area is too small to give a stable fix,
2: Its fixed with a dove tail arrangement, one half of which hooks over the back of the bed, whist the other is slotted and your supposed to press this into  bed way vee and tighten it down, no way does this pull the steady tight.
3: The dove tail hooks are steel they will damaged to bed ways.

This is it



Quick rummage in my ally stash for some suitable material this is the first bit to increase the clamping area



Drill some and counter sink some 8mm holes in it for cap screws.
Then drill and tap the steady M8.



OK that's the first bit sorted.



Now for the clamps:- put a angle on two nice bits of 75 mm long ally.



Sorry the pics crap.

Then back to the base bit at a suitable position drill two more 8mm holes.



Then with a nice bit of packing clamp so that the angle will pull down on the bed, and with the other end is hooked over the bed with the old clamp, and mark position. (note to self get some transfer punches), drill and tap M8, repeat for the other side.



Thats it Job sorted: when you tighten the two clamps up they pull the steady down onto the bed and because they are ally they won't damage the bed.
All the wobble has gone I will be a lot more confident using the steady now




I can get back to the boiler build know.

Cheers

Stew






A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline Topos

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Re: Fixing a Three Point Steady
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2010, 07:05:09 PM »
Three Cheers for Three Point Steady improvement.  The poetry in metal of your elegant
and effective solution was palatable.

Many thanks for sharing and inspiring. Your solution has the potential for many 'offsprings'.  :beer:

Compliments from the Colonies.

Offline duckman

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Re: Fixing a Three Point Steady
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2010, 10:13:17 AM »
I like your fix but the only thing that I would have done is use less packing, about .010" would be enough, drill and tap, then remove block and machine the top edge for clearance where the packing was and leave about 1/8" uncut, the way you have it now the bolts are being bent when you tighten it up. JMHO

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Fixing a Three Point Steady
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2010, 11:23:45 AM »
Your spot on correct duckman I did have too much clearance I fixed it by making some spacers.

Cheers

Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire