Duncans Metal Pages
Myford ML7 fixed steady
Last updated: 30 Apr 2017

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Chicken and egg.  To make the metal gears for the milling machine, I need a gear hob.  To make the gear hob, I need some means of holding milling bits in the mill (not the chuck!).  To make the toolholder, I need a fixed steady on the lathe...

15-Apr-2003: Time to start knocking this one up - the bank holiday weekend fast approaches, and there's castings to be made.  This is going to be my first attempt at a split pattern, there are four 6mm tapered steel pins holding the two circular sections together.  The "legs" are starting to go on, and will be followed by the base which will also be pinned.
18-Apr-2003: The casting is now done, and will be heat treated prior to cleaning up and machining.  You can click here to see how the casting was made.
19-Apr-2003: After the heat treatment, the casting has been faced flat on both sides.  A paper template has been printed and fixed to the casting with 3M Spray Mount (expensive but good).  Sadly, the capacity of the mini-mill will not allow all four slots to be cut at the same time so there's a bit of re-jigging going on here...
Machining now completed, items remaining are the work holding fingers and the retaining bracket.  The casting has been put on the lathe to check the fit between the rails of the bed.
20-Apr-2003: The fingers are being trimmed off at 45 degrees, I'm taking lots of care with this so that the whole thing lines up when using the steady on small diameter items.
One of the fingers fitted to the casting, it looks OK.  They are made from aluminium rectangle stock rather than castings as I had some 2"x1/2" handy.  Only another three to go...
21-Apr-2003: An alternative use for the lathe necessitated by the milling machine being a bit too small to drill an 8mm hole in the casting when help upright.
The retaining plate has been made from another slice of the 2"x1/2" aluminium plate and threaded to take an M8 bolt.  I will probably use a little adhesive to hold the bolt to the retaining plate, it's impossible to get a spanner underneath.
All done - looks pretty good to me.  Must get rid of all the wood chippings...
 

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Warning: These pages consist of images and descriptions of equipment which can reach high temperatures creating hazardous and potentially dangerous situations.  These pages should not be taken as a step by step guide on how to construct any items or carry out any particular procedure, nor should any references to safety contained herein be taken to guarantee safety in all situations.