Fixed and Travelling Steadies 3

Harold Hall

Workshop Projects


Next remove the centre and replace it with a small diameter end mill, I would suggest 5mm. Free the table's X axis (left/right)and traverse it by 33mm minus half the diameter of the cutter being used. If you use my suggested 5mm cutter this will be 33 - 2.5 = 30.5mm. Plunge the cutter into the assembly and rotate the rotary table, Photograph 11. Repeat, progressively lowering the cutter, until the centre is fully cut out. In addition to the cut out now being completed you will be left with two pieces of steel that look like candidates for the scrap bin, Photograph 12, but I have other ideas.


With the frame still secured to the rotary table (as in Photograph 10 rather than Photograph 13) set the top of the assembly at right angles to the table using an angle plate and a suitable width piece of bar, Photograph 13, note the bottom of the angle plate is parallel with the edge of the machine table. As the machine table has not been moved on its Y axis (towards/away) the cutter is still central and now, with a 12mm end mill, the 3mm deep channel at the top of the steady can be made. Rotate the part 120° and make the second channel and repeating again for the third.


A lesson I learnt from making these steadies is that when space is limited using a clamp sideways on may on occasions be helpful, unfortunately, too late for Photographs 9, 11 and 13 to show the method.


If the rotary table is a new process for the viewer, see my pages on Using a Rotary Table


Fix a fence onto the angle plate at an angle of 60° and use this to position the bottom frame for making the triangular recess at the side, Photograph 14. Note how the effective height of the angle plate is increased by allowing the workpiece to project into the T-slot. With the first side complete, remove, rotate and machine the second similarly.


Finally, make the two small curved areas that permit the top frame to hinge up by filing them. An M6 washer having the appropriate outer diameter enabled me to easily scribe the required curve.  


Arms (4) (12)

As the arms are the same for both steadies, except for length, next cut the five pieces required and machine their ends to length. Set a horizontal fence and a workpiece end stop onto the angle plate and secure the arm in place and machine the 3mm deep recess.