Sunday, December 8, 2013

Anti-Hand Burning Device

As a spindle turner on occasion I have to turn something longer than should be turned between centers. This was the case last week when April made the spinning wheel and we had to turn a wool bar the was over 40'' long and only 1 1/2'' in diameter. Needless to say I almost burned up my hand trying to keep this thing from vibrating. It just flexed way too much.
 I am sure many of you have seen different ways to dampen vibration with a steady rest. There are several commercially made versions that cost more than I could rationalize. Making one seemed the only option. The first thing to come to mind is the old in-line skates that me and my wife purchased in the early 90's and no longer use. I can't believe we still had them. Gravity has made it unsafe for me to skate anymore and my hockey career never took off. So lets see what a steady rest looks like.
 The wheel come off easy with an allen wrench. I took off the spacers and a 5/16th bolt fits perfect. Next I mapped out my design on poster board and cut out the body out of 3/4 plywood.
 Some scrap wood and some hardware and I was in business.
 As you can see the adjustable wheel mounts are set in dados in the body. This keeps it lined up and strong. One wing nut to adjust and it stays very firm.
 I built the base so everything lines up with the drive centers on the lathe. One bolt to hold this in place.
 In use it works really well. I have several cant hook handles to turn which are 42'' long so now I won't burn my hand trying to hold out the vibrations.
 Last week I made a trip to Johnny Watson's farm in Dickson. He wanted to show me the wonderful hardwood forest he has. To my surprise it was covered up with these perfect white oaks. Johnny just became my best friend.
 Here is a shot of one of the sheds at Johnny's farm. He has lots of old tools that need handles. I guess that steady rest will come in handy.

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