Site icon The Broken Tradition

Steady on now!

Ok, calm down. You all (both of you) know that I prefer and promote hand tool woodworking, or as I often call it Pre-Industrial Woodworking.

But i’m getting old (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it), 62, my back is all achy, knuckles scream and hurt etc. And since I don’t have and can’t afford real apprentices, sometimes I use power tools to do the hard parts (planing, Sawing etc, you know .. Apprentice work) and save the nice parts for my hand tools. Last passes with a handplane to clean off power tool marks, joinery, carving, etc.

A few years ago (before covid 19) I built a treadle lathe. Using it is serene, and exhausting. I have had an old Rockwell wood lathe for over 15 years, (before that I had a Sears crafter)

Not long after acquiring the Rockwell I found a good deal on that mfg’s steady rest made for that lathe. But was it really a good deal if I won’t use it?

I’ts big, gets in it’s own way sort of big, it has no rollers, just metal bars to let skid on the wood, to set it up requires removing/replacing the tailstock. And working past the steady requires taking everything apart and putting it back together… Some people solve this by getting a second tool rest and banjo.

but I’ve seen steadys that come in from the back side… have 2 wheels or a simple notch to stop vibrations, can be worked right across without moving. So this is what I’m thinking about today.

go make something

first update:

so I’m thinking something like this.

2 rollers (blue) mounted into a pivoting bracket (cyan) supported on a pivoting arm (green). support (honey) rides on surface mounted T track, locks in place for use, clears tool rest when not in use, has small roller (yellow) to press the pivoting arm assembly against the work

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