Woodturning with a Steady Rest
This important accessory prevents spindles from vibrating. Ernie Conover shows how to use a commercial steady rest and how to make your own.
Chair legs, stair balusters. and other spindle turnings have one problem in common: The long, thin workpieces flex while on the lathe from the pressure of the tool pushing against the wood. You can sometimes keep a spindle running true simply by holding it with one hand while manipulating the turning chisel with the other. A more reliable alternative is a steady rest–an accessory that clamps onto the lathe and keeps the middle of a spindle in line.
In this video, longtime woodturner, teacher, and author Ernie Conover shows the right way to use a commercially available steady rest. He also shows a simple alternative that you can make in the shop.