How to remove/install steady rest fingers

Janderso

Jeff Anderson
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I removed everything that made sense.
There is a pin in the knurled knob?
The brass ends that are currently installed have never been used, I have a new/old set of roller bearings I’d like to install.
Any ideas?
Thank you,
Jeff0ABF84A6-D198-42F9-B2B3-9FCD71482DAC.jpeg9A32536B-A454-441C-8F5D-531065C2E181.jpeg441091FD-49FE-45D5-8EF7-FB665A914360.jpegB83873AC-673B-4C9D-B731-7756D27D864A.jpeg
 

Cadillac

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Does the keyed shaft spin within the the knurled knob section? I would think so. Is it threaded? Coarse adjust from the knurled knob and a fine adjust through screw in end of knurled knob?
 

Canus

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Do the roller bearing shafts have a groove machined down their length to provide alignment? If so, they will not work with the existing knurled knobs.
 

mmcmdl

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Jeff , our Colchester steadies all have bearings and the keyed shaft does not rotate .

I may add they are sitting in front of me at the moment . I could take pictures with my cell phone but I have absolutely no idea how to load them onto the site . :grin:
 

seasicksteve

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IIRC the keyed shaft with the brass tip will unscrew from the knurled/threaded housing. Been a while since I swapped them on mine. I think that its a LH thread as well but not 100%sure
 

Bob Korves

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Jeff, if you are modifying the steady rest permanently, no easy return to the brass followers, then I suggest you consider it for a while first. Roller steady fingers certainly work, and lots of machinists like them. They do, however, roll on the work, which doesn't rub on the shaft (usually,) but it can crush grit into the work. The ones that rub can also have problems with grit getting under the fingers and then scratching the O.D. of the work around the circumference. The smart thing is to start with everything quite clean, and then keep it clean by keeping the swarf away from the fingers. That can be done with a larger piece of cardboard with a hole to slide over the work shaft, big enough to keep the chips and grunge from reaching the steady and the work. Both styles of fingers need to be kept clean and well lubricated while the work is spinning, even more so as speeds increase. FWIW, I like the brass tipped ones better, especially on softer work, like aluminum. I find them more multi purpose, and perhaps a little bit more rigid because they can be snugged down tighter than the ball bearings like, to help control chatter. The best answer is probably "both" if that is possible, and without compromising either.

Edit: the roller fingers can also take up space so that it effectively makes the maximum shaft size that will fit in the steady smaller.
 
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mmcmdl

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+1 on what Bob said . They each have advantages and disadvantages . I've also used plastic ( possibly Delrin ) years back on the large cylindrical grinders . Not that it would most likely make any difference for a hobby shop , but you never want to run a steady on any kind of bearing journal or diameter needing a low rms finish . They all will score if they get contaminated .
 

Janderso

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God informative responses, as usual.
both sets are keyed and do not turn, they just slide in and out as adjusted.
the fingers are threaded (female) on the ends so the brass knobs must unscrew.
I was hesitant to gro on the knobs until I knew how they were attached.
There is a roll pin in the knurled section of the brass? Maybe i’Lloyd knock that out to see how it all works.
Interesting about the response on rollers or brass nibs. I too can see the advantages and disadvantages.
I don’t have a project in mind yet but I wanted to take it apart to clean and oil as needed.
Probably leave the brass installed.
It was missing the clamp piece, had to make that.2D97DDC8-62B5-41E7-AEC6-A34447405922.jpegE38723EC-1FC3-427D-B0A8-5894A0AC87BA.jpeg
 

seasicksteve

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Maybe this will help, they simply unscrew righty loosey/lefty tighty in this case.
If you are asking about how to remove the brass inserts IDK how they are affixed
The roll pin secures the threaded stud to the knurled housing
IMG_2700.JPG
 

Janderso

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That's it Steve.
The pin is used to replace the brass feelers. These must have been made when brass was cheap?
It's a one piece design.
When I unscrewed the fingers from the steady rest, it was not as smooth and lubricated as I would like to see.
Rusty, dirty oil in there.IMG_3797.JPGIMG_3798.JPGIMG_3799.JPG
 

Cadillac

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Mine are just like Steve showed above. The keyed shaft has to be able to spin within the knob. The shaft is keyed so it shouldn’t spin and only moves linear.
997190B7-BEAD-4B4C-9DD2-1E08F5BC3B49.jpeg3C62A399-5FDA-4BF9-AAE5-A602071E4DE5.jpeg
I made brass rollers for the fingers also. Haven’t used yet but good to have.
 

mksj

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My last lathe came with brass fingers, but I opted to make my own roller type fingers using some O1 rod stock. They lock in with the side guide channel and are internally threaded. The bearings were something like 1/4" ID 5/8" OD and I use an oilite bearing that was 5/8'ID and 3/4"OD cut into pieces to go around the bearing. So less chance of marring and the outer bearing surface was easily replaceable. My new lathe came with roller fingers as stock. I was deep boring some large 3" stock at 300+RPM, not sure how long the brass fingers would have held up. I may ultimately make or modify the fingers so I can press on the oilite outer ring.
Steady Rest and Follow Rest Finger bearings.jpg
ERL-1340 Steady Rest.jpg
 

Superburban

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My SB 16, came with another brand steady rest, that is missing the fingers. I have been planning on making the fingers with changeable tips. big fat brass ones, medium to fine brass, and rollers (made from the cut down tips from a set of roller lifters I have). Depending on travel, maybe extended ones that will come together, while allowing the regular ones to open to the maximum of the hole. But it is still in the dream phase, as I have a ton of higher priority projects ahead of it,.
 

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darkzero

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I actually like the brass fingers, well that's all I've ever used though. :big grin:

Used the steady rest that came with my lathe for the first time yesterday. Surprisingly the brass didn't mar the tube at all, 500 rpm, I used vactra #4 as lube.

Figured I'd have to do some work on it but that thing is a piece of junk. Had to shorten the fingers & adjuster screws to use it with 2.5" diameter. That wasn't a big deal & got the job done but it's going in the trash. New one I'm gonna buy will come with rollers but I may make brass tipped ones to have anyway. The follow rest I have has worked fine without issues though.

20191104_192116.jpg20191104_191942.jpg
 

darkzero

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@mksj That's a pretty cool idea using oilite on the bearings. :eagerness: Did it make a big difference compared to the bare bearings?

I've seen some guys use cam rollers. What are your guys' thought on this, good, bad? They're needle bearings so they should support more load than a normal ball bearing of the same size?

3-4-CR12-Cam-Follower-Needle-2.jpg
 
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