Using Steady and Follow Rests
The steady rest consists of a frame and three adjustable jaws which support the work, as shown in Figure 3-27. One purpose of the steady rest is to prevent springing or deflection of slender, flexible work; another is to furnish auxiliary support for the work to permit heavy cuts to be made; a third is to support work for drilling, boring, or internal threading. The over arm containing the top jaw can be unfastened and swung out of the way so that identical pieces can be removed and replaced without adjusting the jaws.
Figure 3-106. Using the steady rest.
A bearing surface must be provided for the steady rest jaws. The bearing surface is usually machined directly on the work, as shown in Figure 3-106. When the work is too small in diameter to machine the bearing surface or shaped so that it would be impractical to machine one, you can use a cathead to provide the bearing surface. The cathead shown in Figure 3-27, has a bearing you surface, a hole through, which the work extends, and adjusting screws. The adjusting screws fasten the cathead to the work. They are also used to align the bearing surface so can use a cathead to provide the bearing surface so that t is concentric to the work axis. Use a dial indicator to ensure concentricity.
Setting up the Steady Rest
To setup the rest, first machine and polish the portion of the work that is to be used as the bearing surface. Clean the portion of the ways where the steady rest is to be mounted, place the steady rest on the ways and clamp loosely. Open the top of the steady rest and place the workpiece in the chuck with the bearing surface over the adjustable jaws. Clamp the steady rest securely to the ways. Close the top of the steady rest and adjust the jaws to the workpiece. There should be 0.001 inch clearance between the jaws and the workpiece. Tighten the locking screws on the adjustable jaws. Lubricate the bearing surface generously with a heavy oil before turning the lathe on. Proceed with the machining operation Continuously watch the bearing surface and the adjustable jaws to ensure a film of heavy oil is between them. As the machining operation continues, also check the bearing surface and adjustable jaws as when the workpiece heats up it will expand, closing the distance between the jaws and the workpiece.
Figure 3-107. Typing the lathe dog.
Using Steady Rest with Headstock Center
When it is not possible to hold the work in the chuck, you can machine with one end supported by the headstock center and the other end supported by the steady rest. Use a leather strap or rawhide thong to tie the work to the driveplate and to prevent it from moving off the headstock center, as shown in Figure 3-107. Mount the work between centers and machine the bearing surface. Set up the steady rest. With the work mounted between the centers, tie the lathe dog, then remove the tailstock center and perform the necessary machining,
Using the Follower Rest
Long slender shafts that tend to whip and spring while they are being machined require the use of a follower rest (Figure 3-27). The follower rest is fastened to the carriage and moves with the cutting tool. The upper jaw prevents the work from climbing the cutting tool, The lower jaw prevents the work from springing away from the cutting tool The follower rest jaws are adjusted in the same manner as steady rest jaws. The follower rest is often used when long, flexible shafts are threaded, as shown in Figure 3-108, At the completion of each threading cut, remove any burrs that may have formed to prevent them from causing the work to move out of alignment.
Figure 3-108. Using the follow rest in threading.
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- Machining Handbook - adapted from the US Army's Handbook "Fundamentals of Machine Tools"
- Chapter 1. Introduction to the Machine Shop
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