The stead rest on the Mini Lathe is cumbersome to lock down to the ways. Same for unlocking and removing it.
You have to push the clamp and stud up from the middle of the chip laden lathe bed, align it to the steady sitting on the bed,
and then put the washer and nut on for about 8 or 10 threads which probably will have some debris in them and make for a
fun assembly. What if you could keep the steady,clamp,washer and nut all assembled at all times?
What I think is needed is a simple mod of the supplied clamp and the addition of a knurled knob.
The pictures below show most of the details. The steady rest clamp is modified as shown by cutting off some material
form the sides. The template shows a .950 width that is positioned very close to the welded bolt. (about 1/16").
The leading ends as you rotate it to the right (CW) are ground with a radius. The clamp is installed on the stead rest while it is on the bench.
Put on the washer, nut, and knurled knob. The length of mine was perfect from the factory. The brass knob only uses the top 3 threads and
leaves just the right amount of stud left for the original washer and nut. (10mm thread). The brass knob is secured with blue loctite.
To install the steady you now only have to hold it in place over the lathe bed, align the clamp with the slot in the ways and set it down.
A quick twist of the knurled knob to the right will lock the clamp and then just tighten the nut (about 1/3 of a rotation) and the steady is locked.
When you are ready to remove it just loosen the nut, rotate the knurled knob CCW about 1/4 turn and you can lift it off the bed.
No more searching thru the chip pan for the nut or washer you dropped or cleaning the chips from the lathe bed from your hands as you
used to do while positioning the clamp up through the bed.
Back to the shop.
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