STEADY REST- please turn safely!
The Clark Steady Rests are an integral accessory for
hollowing. Forces exerted by the hollowing system are tremendous. The
wood can be much more easily torn from a faceplate or chuck without a
steady rest. Any wood-turning task can potentially be dangerous! Proper
protection, instruction and experience are necessary. A three arm steady
rest is effective for smaller lathes, but I am becoming convinced that
more wheels on the wood is better. I believe that a perfectly round
block of wood that is well balance will turn smoothly. However, many
deal with very heavy, out of balance pieces of wood that actually
change shape while being hollowed. More wheels underneath a heavy piece
help to distribute the weight. But the steady takes nearly all the
pressure off of the faceplate but most importantly the HEADSTOCK of the
lathe. There is less vibration when using more wheels when the piece
changes shape over time. Change in shape is a major factor that induces
vibrations. There is an additional source of vibration realized by Jon
Leggett. Leaving a project on the lathe with wheels engaged but not not
turning even for a short period produces flats on the wheels. Harder
wheels take longer to recover, but running the lathe cures the problem.
Apparently this happens to automobile tires too.