I should have listened to my Ol’ Man…*

Pop once told me that the surest way to make an ass of yourself was to use “seat of the pants” engineering.  All puns aside he was usually right, and as a mechanical engineer he  generally considered all the angles (sorry) before proceeding.  Unfortunately, I decided to  wing it when building a steady rest for my lathe.


When turning the walking stick, I had some problems with whip stocking.  Whip stocking is when the work piece starts translating (orbiting) instead of simply rotating.  It usually causes tool chattering and can easily ruin the work.  Using a steady rest keeps the piece in line and cutting smoothly.

So I decided to build a steady rest.  I grabbed up some leftovers I had laying around the shop and went to work.  Well, I had it more than half built before the wheels showed up in the post.  When assembled, the wheels are so large that the size range of adjustment is only about 2″. Duh


For walking sticks, that’s fine, but I was hoping to build a more useful tool.  For now, I’ll leave it be, but I think that I might also build a larger ring to accommodate the other parts. I probably won’t make a drawing first though, … sorry Pop.


*Apologies to Sir Elton (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road).


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