When you turn long thin items on the lathe you get many vibrations which make the turning process much more difficult.
I made this spindle rest out of plywood and scrap spruce pieces.
First of all I used my calipers to take a couple of measurements from my lathe’s rails.
I then cut the basic shape of my rest on my table saw and bandsaw.
At the end of the jig I created a tenon the fits snuggly between my lathe’s rails. I then drove the jig against the chuck on which I had added the center chuck. This way I marked the exact center of the turning on my plywood.
With this center I created two circles. I then divided the circles in three equal parts using a compass.
I cut the outer circle on the bandsaw. I drilled an entry hole on the drill press and used my jigsaw to cut the inner circle.
I then used the table saw to cut the sides. I I used my cross cut sled with a stop block to cut the piece in three equal parts.
I marked the size of each piece on the spindle rest and used my router to open up three grooves. I completed the routing in two passes with a straight bit. I finished the groves with a sharp chisel and a mallet.
On the side pieces I drilled entry holes and cut out an inner piece on the scroll saw. Using a file I cleaned up the scroll saw marks.
I rounded over the edges on the disc sander.
I then used the bandsaw again, to cut a circle out of plywood. This piece pushes against the rails and locks the spindle rest in it’s position. A bolt goes through the spindle rest and the circle and washers and butterfly nuts, hold them in place. I cut the bolt to size with a hacksaw and rounded over it’s edges on the disc sander. I did that in order for the nut’s threads to grab smoothly on the bolt!
I then turned the three wheels on the lathe out of a scrap spruce piece. I used a caliper and a straight chisel to turn them to size. I then used the parting tool to isolate them. I also used a spindle gouge to round over their edges. I drilled a hole through all three of them using the drill chuck on my lathe’s tailstock. I used a flush trim saw to part the wheels of the chuck, I then sanded them flush on the disc sander.
The wheels, should spin freely. To achieve that, I first added a screw which I secured in place with nuts. I then added a washer and then the wheel. I added one more washer and then added two nuts screwed against each other. This way the nuts stay in place and the wheel can spin freely like it would if it had an inner bearing.
My spindle steady rest was ready. It need a few fine tunings but it works really well.