Standard Modern Center Rest
Here is a short series of pics showing a quick (not so much) and dirty (very) center rest that I made up to help me with an armature shaft I had to turn. It all started with the base, because if I couldn't do that, the whole thing  wouldn't be happening. All I have is a lathe, shaper, and welder, so I had to use those tools to do it. The base was made from 1"X2" steel bar, and it was the first piece I ever cut with the shaper, so the surface finish isn't the greatest, but it will do the job.

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After determining that a considerable amount of one's life can be spent shaping metal, I decided to speed things up to flower blooming speeds by rough grinding out the majority of the steel with an angle grinder for the clamp nut.

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I couldn't get the shaper to cut a slot without chatter, but it's not a critical clearance. I had to cut the frame slot in two stages to cut down the travel and reduce chatter. I used a 1/8" parting tool to do this.

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The steel frame plate was positioned on the base, so the center could be marked.

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Then the plasma cutter function on my china welder was used to rough cut the frame. I wasn't sure that it would work on 1/2" steel, but it did, after I figured out that the tip cannot actually touch the steel, but that it has to be held very close instead. Touching led to very short nozzle parts life. I only used the plasma once before to cut painted sheet metal, and that turned out great. In retrospect, the paint is what kept the tip from touching and revealing my lack of knowledge!

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The frame was then ground with an angle grinder (my portable mill) and then roughly finished with a flapper wheel. This step took a lot of time.

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Parts were cut and spacers were machined.

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The guides and base were then welded. The guides were filed for smooth travel. Inserting a 1.5thou feeler gauge or shim stock before welding, would have probably prevented this. The filing sucked....

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I forgot to take this finished pic until after I used it. A single coat of paint was slapped on to cut down on rust. A couple of other things worth mentioning are that the base clamp was made out of 1"x1" bar that was drilled with an hex bolt fitted. Also skateboard bearings were utilized for the arms.

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That's it. Hope you enjoyed it.
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"Hope you enjoyed it".
Sure did, nicely made and nicely shown. Thumbsup 
 a child of the 60's and 50's and a bit of the 40's Smile
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Smiley-signs064 Smiley-signs107
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Nicely done, like seeing shapers used. like you said they're anything but quick.
Thanks for posting.
Free advice is worth exactly what you payed for it.
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Very nice! I need to make one for my SM lathe. What diameter did you make the ring?
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When I bought my Logan about the only thing it did not have that I wanted was a steady rest. Its a 14" swing so I just looked on EBay and found a Chinese one with little to no wear. Took the tailstock off so I could get dimensions on the Vee and simply made an adapter plate. I don't remember what I paid for it, but it was way less than what material would have cost. I also added roller bearings to replace the bronze tips.

I used it to stub a motor shaft and was quite pleased with myself.
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