I have lined up a young machinist to make me two tool rests for Rockwell Model 3400 wood lathes. One would be for the normal lathe setup. The second would be for two lathes that I have mounted end to end with the tailstock ends being lined up and the two headstocks one at each end. I actually have 5 of these lathes with about 7 or 8 banjos and the eight inch or so tool rests. What I am proposing to have him make are two round steel (1 inch dia.?) bars that would be machined flat at two intervals along the length so that the current tool rests could be attached, one at each of the two intervals. They would be attached with flat head machine screws that would be flush on the inner round surface with the machine screws tightened into the 8 inch rest. The second would be a longer tool rest that would run the length of the two lathes mounted back to back. Again the bar would be machined at four intervals being careful not to machine it at the point where the two lathes are butted end to end.
This way I would have tool rests that could be used for spindle turning with one for spindles with a maximum length of about 34 inches and the second for spindles with a maximum length of about 68 inches. I have already built a steady rest for the longer spindles to prevent wobbling.
Any comments on this idea? Would one inch steel barstock be ok, i.e. would it be able to withstand pressure of the chisel and not warp or bend?