smooth-action tool rest for a wood lathe - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-21-2017, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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smooth-action tool rest for a wood lathe

I've been turning some 3.75" x 3.75" 27.75" white oak spindles (table legs) on my wood lathe. I start roughing to make the stock round with a large gouge without trimming the corners of the stock off (because I need the square top of the legs to attach to table skirts, though I could trim the corners part way up to the square top of the legs). When I move the gouge slowly across the length of the tool rest with the gouge held firmly cutting the wood, even after I've got the corners knocked off, the tool rest does not allow me to consistently move the turning tool evenly and smoothly across the tool rest but instead the turning tool in my hand moves more like intermittent fits and starts. When I first bought the tool rest, I ground (on my grinder) the top of the tool rest (where the turning tools ride) to give me more surface for the turning tools to rest on without incurring little dents in the tool rest surface that inhibits a smooth action across the tool rest length. I think maybe the tool rest steel might not be so hard, because sometimes it seems to dent easily (I am not catching the wood with the turning tools). Are there tool rests available out there that might not have this problem and that would facilitate moving the turning tools more smoothly and even-paced across the length of the tool rest? Maybe some of you have suggestions to address this problem or can identify tool rests that might not do this. All comments are welcome.
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-21-2017, 10:06 PM
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When I built my lathe, I bought a couple of steady rests that have a tool steel rod welded to the rest for the turning tool to ride on. Very hard steel and very smooth motion. For the life of me, I can't remember the brand of tool rest right now, but I'm sure I'll remember later. I ordered them from a turning tool catalog, but can't remember that either. Sorry, I'll try to find the source and post back.

Update: I purchased the rests from WoodCraft. They are the Pinnacle brand. I also found similar rests at Craft Supplies USA. They are the Robust brand. The prices are rather robust also.

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Last edited by Jim Frye; 05-21-2017 at 10:33 PM. Reason: added information
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-22-2017, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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thanks, Jim, I'll take a look at those sources.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-22-2017, 05:50 PM
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One Way is another that makes the tool rest you want I do believe
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-22-2017, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, Catpower, I will take a look
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