Like the travelling steady, some workpieces will be impossible to machine without
a fixed steady. However, in most workshops, the fixed steady will find much more
use so is an essential item.
Photos 1,2 and 3 show an item that would be all but impossible to machine without
one, it is a body for a milling cutter chuck. With the material held by the chuck
and supported by the tailstock four surfaces are machined, left to right, the chuck’s
taper, a surface for the steady to support, the thread for the chucks closing nut
and a parallel portion for locating the closing nut, Photo 1.
Photo 2 shows the fixed steady being set whilst the part is still supported by the
tailstock, the tailstock then being removed and the bore for the chucks collets made,
Photo 3. This ensuring that all the surfaces are concentric, including the bore.
Whilst the tasks in Photos 4, 5 and 6 could be carried out by other means there are
advantages in using a fixed steady.If needing to support a workpiece between centres,
centre drilling its ends accurately is not easy. Using a fixed steady as in Photo
4 is easy and produces a very accurate result.
Photos 5 and 6 are material saving setups. In Photo 5 large washers are being made.
Had a short length of material been held in the chuck, then after making a few a
short stub would be left in the chuck which may never find a use. Particularly wasteful
if a large number of washers were being made.
The photograph also shows that parting off is possible, as easy, if not easier,
than parting off near to the chuck.
Photo 6 is a similar situation where a number of spacers are being made.
Not available with all steadies but Photo 7 shows that in this case it can be opened
up enabling the part to be removed and replaced without the need for resetting the
steady, a worthwhile facility.
Do see my pages on using steadies LINK