Steadies may be one of the lesser used lathe accessories but eventually a task will
emerge that would be impossible if one were not available. This project therefore
provides designs for both fixed and travelling steadies that will, if made, be available
when a need arises, Photograph 1. The dimensions suit a Myford Series Seven but being
a simple design, and made from standard steel sections, adapting them for other lathes
will be relatively easy.
As there are two steadies I have taken the opportunity of using alternative methods
for some operations, these consist of using the rotary table for one and the lathe's
faceplate for the other. The reader can choose which is preferable for their workshop
and use it for both. Unfortunately, I found as the manufacturing process advanced
that I could have adopted a better method of mounting the fixed steady onto the rotary
table. Some of the photographs do not therefore line up precisely with the method
I am suggesting in the text, I will though attempt to make this clear within the
The Fixed Steady
Top Frame (2) and Bottom Frame (6)
Having prepared the pieces of steel place these on the milling machine table and
mill the step Photograph 2. Reposition the bottom frame on the machine table, this
time spaced off, and make the recess by traversing a small mill around the three
sides Photograph 3. Set the X axis (left/right) stops to define the width, also,
if available, the Y axis stops for its depth.
Mark the position of holes A on the top frame and clamp the two parts together, drill
M6 tapping drill size through both, dismantle and open up the holes in the top frame
to 6.1mm diameter, tap the bottom frame M6.
Cut a piece of 30mm square steel just over 100mm long and machine to a length of
100mm, Photograph 4, followed by fitting in the vice and machining the two steps,
Photograph 5. Note I have given the width of the raised part as 1-3/8” as the Myford
is made to Imperial dimensions and it needs to be a very close sliding fit. The reason
for the need is that in some cases the steady will be set at one point on the lathe's
bed but then moved to another where is will be used, if it is not a good fit the
accuracy of the setting may be lost.