Steady as She Goes

Machine shops are inventive operations. Learn how one uses a steady rest in a different way on one of its two-turret CNC lathes.

I recently wrote this article that explains how an aerospace shop uses a steady rest in an atypical way. The shop integrated a self-centering steady rest from Kitagawa-Northtech onto the lower turret of this two-turret Mori Seiki lathe:

Although the lathe loses a few tool positions, the steady rest enables the lathe to center the OD of a workpiece and perform end machining and boring operations. It can also function as a follower rest to support slender parts that are prone to bend during machining. Plus, the lathe can now take heavier cuts.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a turret used in such a way. The cover shot for our July 2010 issue shows a fixture installed on the turret of a turn-mill for added workpiece support:


That shop’s owner offered a candid take on turn-mills, by the way. Integrating turn-mills was one of the most challenging endeavors his shop undertook (but he’s certainly glad they did it). Learn more in this article