The large Yam lathe I bought last year came with a significant amount of tooling. A three point steady rest was one of the tooling pieces. Initially everything looked pretty sweet. My large secret project has need of several long large diameter shafts which is one reason I chose this particular lathe. I figured get the big Conan lathe first and hold out for the sweetheart deal on a really nice smaller lathe when it appears in my machinery shopping sights.
During the secret project design phase I made a decision that was connected to the lathe acquisition. Since it is so long I decided to increase the basic size of the project considerably. Hey, if you're going to go to the trouble and expense to build your own secret project then go for the gold medal. Who the heck wants a bronze anyway?
So it turns out the steady rest that came with my lathe is way too small. It can pass 7.85 through the frame and I need to pass at least eight inches through. So this is how a tooling project is born. A steady rest is a pretty straightforward project in a machine shop. There is nothing too fancy or critical to the proper functioning of a steady rest so if your lathe is missing one I encourage you to go ahead and make one.
Nowell Steel in Antioch. These guys do all my heavy steel cutting. Talk to Ted or Chris if you need some steel cut.
I have been documenting the build with video. Check out the Oxtoolco YouTube channel if you want to see some live machine shop action on this project.
Thanks for looking.