Student Designed and manufactured traveling rest for Emco Compact 10 lathe

The Emco Compact 10 lathe had a well designed steady and center rest available when it was in production, which was not purchased with the lathes.  The travel rest is shown below as scans of the manual showing this as a photograph of the actual rest installed on the lathe and as an exploded parts view.  The problem is that these are now difficult to find as the Compact 10 is out of production, and we had no money in our budget.  The solution was to make our own, which provided our students with practice in design and layout as well as the actual machining.  As seen below we were able to "improve" the factory unit by incorporating a cross-slide that allows the use of a sliding bushing to support very thin material in addition to the standard support rods.  

Scan of photo in manual showing stock travel rest installed on Emco

A scan of the standard Emco travel rest exploded parts list


Class designed and manufactured travel rest installed on the lathe seen from above and behind the headstock.

View of the class designed and manufactured steady rest from the tailstock


Chapter 6 -- The Use of Steadies in the 1906 edition of "Practical Metal Turning" by Joseph Horner [reprint available from  Lindsay books] had several suggestions on the construction and use of lathe travel and steady rests.  The students evaluated these suggestions and selected figure 100 on page 97 as being particularly appropriate for their needs.

The FPC machining student's interpretation and implementation below allows the use of either the more conventional strut screws or the support block shown above.  Note that the support block can be easily drilled for either direct 360 degree support or to accept a hardened drill bushing when the support of very thin material in comparison to the length is required.  The block was machined from 6061 T6 aluminum that was available.

Troy Stephens, a third-term machining student, is shown hard at work drilling the support rod holes with the room temperature about 95 degrees.  Our students willingness to attend summer classes shows their dedication and motivation.

A better view of the above operation.  Note that the upper segment of the hole was drilled to body size for the 7/12X20 threaded support rod.  The lower segment of the hole was also relieved so that the actual threaded length was only about 3/4 of an inch or about 1-1/2 diameters.


Milling the "mouth" of the large hole at the top of the travel rest.  The bulk of the hole material was removed using a 2-1/8 hole saw.  The diameter was cleaned up using a boring head.


Showing a 5/8 diameter rod in position, ready to be 8  T.P.I. Acme threaded.  (see other sections for Acme thread tool grinding fixture.]  High stress/force operations such as Acme threading of small diameter parts is very difficult without a follow rest, requiring many repeated "dry" passes to remove excess material resulting from "spring."  


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last updated by GmcD on 27-May-14 14:59
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