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Need Help With my SB 13 Steady Rest

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Janderso

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#1
Hi,
I finally found one and it is made for my SB 13 single.
The three fingers are steel. I need to add brass fingers/feelers?
I can drill and tap, add what ever you suggest?
Thank you!
Jeff
 

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dlane

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#2
Bearings on the end of them.
 

Asm109

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#3
South Bend sold that design for decades, thousands of machinists have used it over the years.
Use it. If you find a job where the steel tips are marking up your part to an unacceptable level then figure out a way to make soft tips.
Til then run what ya brung.
 

Janderso

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#4
Bearings. Genius.
I can see many applications where it wouldn’t matter to mar the surface.
Ok, got it.
Thanks
 

Technical Ted

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#5
I have a steady similar to yours on my SB15. I believe my "fingers" are made out of cast iron and would suspect that yours are as well. That is of course if they are original. CI is a very good bearing material for running steel shafts as long as it is lubricated. My steady works fine. I suggest you try it and I'll bet you get very satisfactory results with it just the way it is.

Ted
 

Asm109

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#6
Its all fun and games until a piece of swarf goes through the nip and gets ironed into the surface of your part.
 

Janderso

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Hey Ted,
The fingers are original but I will make some knurled hand tightening knobs to replace the grade 5 hardware bolts that came with it. In pics of these properly equipped they have the knurled adjusters I speak of, in addition to various soft jaws. I am thinking black oxide screws with the pinned knurled adjusters. Hey, I need projects to improve my skills.
Cast iron, yes probably. I think I will give it a go. I need to clean it up and paint it first, I do like the bearing idea also.
My OCD will not allow otherwise.
Swarf, ya, that would be ugly.
 

Technical Ted

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#8
If you have a critical application where you're worried about chips running under the bearings you can easily make up a cardboard guard with duct tape (or whatever) to protect things. We had a steady with roller bearings at a place I used to work and found that roller bearings can capture crud easier than non roller type bearings, because the wheels can suck in chips easier than they can get sucked in with the minimal clearance of a non roller type bearing surface. Even though oil or other lubricant can make chips stick they usually, will just lay between the bearing and workpiece waiting to be cleaned off when you stop between cuts. The clearance is so small it's hard for things to work their way in, but the wheels will grab stuff, put it under are easily roll over it. Using wheels, make sure you keep your rags, etc.. well away!

Typically, you'll get a mark on the workpiece anyways with either type of bearing just because of the contact. A lot depends on how much you actually run the part in the steady. Only putting a center in the end of a shaft doesn't take long, but doing extended operations on a workpiece is another story.

I'm sure others have different experiences and that's fine... that's why we post here to share ideas and experiences.

Like most things, what is better or best "depends" on a million different variables. Experience helps immensely, but we always have more to learn!

Ted
 

Janderso

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Ted, I think you bring up some very good points I had never considered.
Each application, duration of time exposed all bring up options.
That's the beauty of experience. In my case I have none with regard to a steady rest.
Yes, this is a great forum. It seems all participants are treated with respect and this forum covers all skill levels.
 

Technical Ted

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#10
A very important safety measure came to mind. When putting a workpiece in a steady, make sure that the bearing surface where the steady is riding is running in the same axis as the lathe's center! If not, the workpiece can kind of "screw" its' way out of the chuck, and that is NOT a good thing!

So, to exaggerate things a little to make it easier to visualize, if you have the steady setup 1/2" too low (so the workpiece's end on the tailstock side is running 1/2" lower than the spindle axis of the lathe) every revolution of the spindle the work piece will creep out of the chuck a little bit. This situation will also cause you to bore and/or turn a taper, but that's just a size issue where coming out of the chuck is a huge safety issue!

This happens when the workpiece is ridgid enough that it does not flex. If the workpiece is slender it may just flex before working it's way out of the chuck, but regardless, line things up the best you can and measure how far the piece is in the chuck so you can check it from time to time to make sure it's staying put.

I have had parts start to move out on me, but luckily I caught it before it was too late. I know that is has happened though to some of the guys I used to work with.

Ted
 

Janderso

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#11
""""A very important safety measure came to mind. When putting a workpiece in a steady, make sure that the bearing surface where the steady is riding is running in the same axis as the lathe's center! If not, the workpiece can kind of "screw" its' way out of the chuck, and that is NOT a good thing!"""""

Whoa, I am so glad you said this. I had no idea. Of course I will be very careful to have the axis aligned between the spindle center and the steady center. But, wow, that could leave a mark.
 

Janderso

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#12
Over the weekend I watched a youtube video where a guy used a piece of emory cloth turned out so just the cloth was rubbing between the fingers and the work piece. The ends did not wrap around they came out through the fingers allowing a protective stationary barrier. he just oiled it well and it worked great.
 

RandyM

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#13
Over the weekend I watched a youtube video where a guy used a piece of emory cloth turned out so just the cloth was rubbing between the fingers and the work piece. The ends did not wrap around they came out through the fingers allowing a protective stationary barrier. he just oiled it well and it worked great.
A link would be great.
 

Janderso

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#14
Here is the link. Man, I wish my ways looked like his.

 

Bob Korves

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#15
An easy way to set the steady if you are using stock of the same diameter along its length is to fit the steady to the work up by the chuck and then slide the steady down to the end of the work. Barring major way wear, the steady will be on center.

Cast iron is very good for steady rest fingers. Better than brass, better than bearings, depending on the work. Bearings like to smash chips into your stock. Brass is soft and traps grit and chips. Which brings up another easy trick. Make a shield out of cardboard that just clears your work and attach the outer edges of the cardboard to the outside limits of the steady. That keeps the trash away from the fingers.

When working with a steady, do not use more spindle speed than is necessary, and don't let it spin if you are not working on it. Keep the work wet with lubricating oil., and keep adding more at intervals after wiping off the older oil.
 
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