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scooby

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As a newcomer to turning (started in Feb) could anyone explain what the purpose of the cylindrical tool rests is please?
I’ve seen the S shape ones to get inside bowls, pretty self explanatory but I’ve seen quite a few people using straight ones on spindle turning.
 

Lazurus

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It sounds like just a variance on a theme some are flat plate, some angle iron some cast vee section, cyclindrical are just another manufacturers slant on it. Sorby rests are often cylindrical, or maybe a home made, easy enough if you weld.
 

marcros

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The sorby modular system is cylindrical. I would guess that if you want a different toolrest to the one supplied with the lathe, this is the easiest system to get what you want. You chose the stem for your large and the top whether it be long, short, inside, outside etc. Once you have the stem part, the additional tops are cheap.

I have this system for that reason but although useful to have several options, i dont like the profile because it is hard to get nice and close. I would sell it but I can't/don't weld so replacing would cost me quite a bit. So I make do.
 

scooby

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marcros":1khwhils said:
The sorby modular system is cylindrical. I would guess that if you want a different toolrest to the one supplied with the lathe, this is the easiest system to get what you want. You chose the stem for your large and the top whether it be long, short, inside, outside etc. Once you have the stem part, the additional tops are cheap.

I have this system for that reason but although useful to have several options, i dont like the profile because it is hard to get nice and close. I would sell it but I can't/don't weld so replacing would cost me quite a bit. So I make do.
The modular aspect makes more sense. Thanks for highlighting the issue with having the rest as close as possible. That’s something I wouldn’t have thought of but it’s easy to understand why.

Thanks for the reply (Lazarus also thanks)
 

Sideways

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There's one other twist on this. Classic cast iron rests get notched and chewed by the corners of square / rectangular shank turning tools.
Over time, this becomes bad enough to interfere with smooth cuts that involve sliding the tool along the rest.
The classic method is simply to smooth off the top of the rest from time to time. Another is to use harder steel for the top of the rest. Often this takes the form of round bar. These can be welded to form the top edge of a cast toolrest (see the "Robust" brand rests on Phil Irons' website), or the plain bar style of the Sorby modular system whch I imagine use harder bar than simple cast iron.
 

scooby

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Thanks Sideways. I saw a video by worththeeffort mentioning the rest becoming notched and filing it.
I’ve only had the lathe for a few months and I haven’t done lots with my skew so the rest is still ok.

I wouldn’t mind getting a longer rest at some point. I might go for a modular cylindrical setup. I’m still learning the basics at the moment.
 

merlin

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I got fed up with the Wadkin type on mine so got some of the "Robust"ones, very pleased with them.
They come with what ever post size you have.
 

CHJ

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I have found Tool Rests are a bit like the Tools themselves, another one of a different form seems a good idea at the time, (admittedly sometimes is necessary to get safe or better access.)

But after a time I found that one became my favourite go-to that suits my day to day turning subjects and the others only ever come out by necessity on rare occasions.

The Go-To is the first one in this link.

Ihave Other odd balls for such as pens and the standard heavy duty ones that came with the lathe.
 

Duncan A

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I looked into buying modular round bar tool rests and decided against them because I couldn't see the benefits.
The principle makes, Axi and Sorby are of a harder metal than traditional CI tool rests - a good thing - but they are not cheap and the components are not interchangeable between manufacturers so you are tied into a system.
Every time you want to change your tool rest, you have to unscrew the bar from the post and screw the new bar on. A waste of time.
On the longer ones, leverage towards the end of the bar can (although not often) cause them to unscrew.
As already pointed out, the round bar can make it difficult to position the tool support close to the workpiece.
You might still want additional toolrests for specific jobs.
I came to the conclusion that they may be OK for smaller lathes but not really suitable for larger ones.
Others are free to disagree!
Duncan
 

Lazurus

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It is a simple job to draw file the top of a rest and then finish with emery paper, I do this as and when required. The cost of raw materials to make a custom rest is pennies so find a local welder and make what ever you need.
 

marcros

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I find that the "find a local welder" part the hardest. I don't know anybody who welds, and if you find a local company willing to do it, they want £20+ and it negates any saving from buying a commercially available one. Add to that the material cost of pennies which if you have to buy the bits and pay postage is probably getting on for a tenner.

I don't disagree with what you say though particularly if you know a few people who can weld and have a scrap bin of offcuts.
 

Lazurus

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I didnt really think about it like that, as I weld i often get "can you just" from friends and family - how about an add on local social media, there are lots of hobby welders and fabricators. I get all sorts of offcuts from local fabrication companies pre lock down.
 

Dalboy

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I have the Robert Sorby modular system but found that changing the stems can be a pain but having said that I have two lathes and for the little inconvenience of changing from one stem to another is bearable.
The distance from the workpiece is minimal and nothing to worry about, the advantage is that I find the tools slide along them just nice compared to my castiron one which can get little dings along its edge and can prevent certain tools from sliding without a little bump and yes I do redress the top edge occassionally
 
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