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Tool Rest Options

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Ron Vasser, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. Ron Vasser

    Ron Vasser

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    My rest that came with the lathe doesn't get close to the bottom of this bowl. I would appreciate any advice from some of you guys that turn large bowls.

    P1105700.jpg P1105702.jpg
     
  2. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    I recently got one of Robo Hippys tool rests, very good build quality and works quite well with the 14 to 16 inch bowls Ive been turning.
     
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  3. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    You will probably get loads of replies on this on this, because there are loads of options.

    Personally, I have settled on the rests from http://www.turnrobust.com/tool-rests/ after trying a few others including those from Oneway, Craftsuppliesusa, and Dway.

    Then again, there are professionals, like Ellsworth, who don't use a curved rest.
     
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  4. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    Bigger, longer rest? Not sure what you are looking for. Specific recommendations? I have a big curved rest from Robust that gets me nicely inside the biggest bowls I've turned so far. They offer a j-shaped rest that is said to be good for a variety of shapes, I got one with my new lathe this week but haven't tried it yet.

    I got by for a long time with a big (12") straight rest that I could angle into the hole, I also made long handles for my tools so I could work comfortably 4-5" off the tool rest. Life seems easier with the curved rest that keeps that extension down to an inch or two.

    It's important I think for both the rest and banjo to be sturdy enough so that you don't introduce vibration as you get farther away from the tool rest post. It would't take much to initiate nasty chatter.
     
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  5. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    There are those that like the curved rest, however I’m not one of them. When I had my PM 90 I bought the Robust curved rest. I also bought their low profile rest. I had a Laguna with their rest that is similar to the Robust comfort rest. And like you found it wasn’t optional for the inside of a bowl. I bought the Robust J rest and that is what I use. The low profile rest was useable for bowls, but the J rest is better. For me it works very well even in the bottom of a bowl. The curved rest was ok when using a scraper, but if the tool is getting short the post seemed to get in the way.
     
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  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    When hollowing bowls, I like the rest to reach near the bottom a little past center.
    Your rest is too short for the bowl and the design of your banjo takes and inch away too.

    Consider a Robust J rest.

    this bowl is 10-11 inch diameter from the a video returning a dry bowl. Clubs a Robust comfort rest. This rest is similar to yours in thick support under top of the rest and length.
    07438A5A-6C91-4534-9DB4-51010E5C9562.jpeg 7EFF7D34-7824-42C2-9EC4-4D51BD18811F.jpeg Sort of at its limit on this bowl

    this bowl is the same10-11” size being rough turned. The wall thickness would hit the bottom of the comfort rest
    so I switched to the Robust J rest. My favorite for hollowing bowls. It works on 16” bowl’s nicely.
    2EE5DE0B-ED71-48FC-BA4A-6D02E0D82D17.jpeg AFF1FCD1-154C-43C3-A0BB-178FAD3C95A7.jpeg

    The standard ONEWAY rest does a fine job on most bowls. This is 12” diameter .NE bowl.
    315BCF72-706E-4BC6-9FA9-CBB4D09AB857.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
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  7. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    +1 on your tool rest post costing you depth. You don't have to turn your rest all the way into the bowl, but it definitely gives you more stable support on deeper bowls. A bottom feeder style gouge in a stout size might be a simple and adequate solution for dealing with the extra overhang.
     
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  8. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    the reason for keeping the rest so close to the work is to avoid chatter, vibration etc. A heavier tool with longer handle will correct much of that. Watched a German video of a guy turning inside a large diameter piece and his rather massive tool was a good 6 to 8 inches over the tool rest. The tool appeared to be a hefty piece of (maybe) 3/4 inch x 3/4 inch steel two feet long and an equal length handle. One of RoboHippy's big ugly scrapers would probably do great extended that far. Russians do spindle turning that far over the rest also. The Russian rests are not even movable, just a board running the edge of the table.
     
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  9. Rob Price

    Rob Price

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    +1 One the robust J rest. I bought the curved inside bow rest but the post gets in the way for the way I turn.
     
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  10. Daniel Warren

    Daniel Warren

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    I had the same issue with my 18/36 tool rest. Purchased the robust j rest and am very satisfied particularly with some recent turnings in the 12-14” diameter range.
     
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  11. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    Robohippy's (Reed Gray) tool rests are great. 5.5", 7.5" and 10". Solid right to the end of the rest when cutting.
     
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  12. David Shumaker

    David Shumaker

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    I would not recommend the curved rest from Nova. Although having both a small and large curve seemed like a good idea, the part that screws onto the post gets in the way when turning. It was a budget decision at the time of purchase. I had a J shaped rest for my old Delta that worked well. Unfortunately the banjo on my laguna wouldn't hold it. Planning to order the Robust J rest today.
     
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  13. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I like the J rest. I use the Robust, @robo hippy (Reed Gray) donated some beautiful rests to this years FloridaSymposium. They are a j design as well.

    the J rest works well for me because I am pretty good with a bowl gouge. Most people at the advanced beginner stage with the bowl gouge can use the j rest.

    Keep in mind that curved rests are a tool and Like any tool their usefulness depends depending on your turning style and skill level. Nothing wrong with using them if they suit you.

    for me curved rests tend to be more nuisance than helpful, often in the way of my hand moving with the cut and the curve sometimes forces me into awkward positions to ride the bevel.
     
  14. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    With a welder, torch and a piece of 1" cold rolled steel you can fabricate any size and shape of tool rest for any size of turning project. Basic metal fabricating skills can pay off for the wood turner over the years if they expand into the larger projects on the lathe. Network with other tradesmen in your area and you can barter many of these projects. There are many crafts people out there that fabricate metal and have a small shop or garage that they work from, a case of beer and several hours of time can usually solve your special tool needs if you have a few of these people in your network of friends and business partners. Many times you can collaborate on projects that involve wood and metal components.
     
  15. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    The first curved bowl rests were maybe a 1/3 section of a circle, from Robust and the Oneway version. I didn't like either because they required a lot of adjustments with the banjo and set screw, as you turned out the inside of a bowl. Add to that, the Oneway would bounce when out on the very end of it. My old favorite was the blue S curved (small curve on both ends, and mostly kind of straight in between the curves) one that Craft Supplies used to sell, not sure if they do any more or not. It was cast iron, and more wide and flat than upright. If you were using it on the outside of a bowl, you couldn't drop your handle for high shear angled cuts. Since it didn't have the hardened drill rod on top, I didn't like it any more.... I haven't tried the J rest, but would expect that it would work fine on the outside of the bowl as well, and that would save you from swapping out rests when going from turning the outside to turning the inside. I do have one of the curved outside rests from Robust, and liked it, but the curve was a bit tight for me, though Dale Larson thought is was perfect. I wanted one more open like the Oneway outside rest. I have seen some that are like a big letter S, which I think are intended for both inside and outsides of bowls, but never even considered buying one. I have tried one or two of the 1 inch round bar rests, but didn't like them. I think it might have been mostly from what happens when you raise or lower the handle, your pivot point/fulcrum moves. They would still work inside a bowl I guess, since you tend to hold your gouges more level when turning the inside of the bowl. If I knew how to use a torch for things other than setting off fire works, I might have made my own....

    robo hippy
     
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  16. Ron Vasser

    Ron Vasser

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    I want to thank all of you for your input. I did research many tool rest before asking for your suggestions but I didn't want to buy one that goes in the never use again drawer.

    A rest that will reach close to the bottom of a large deep bowl and still be ridged. I leaning toward the J rest after reading the replies.

    12 inches is what I have and I also have a bottom bowl gouge with a 30" hickory shovel handle I made and it's off the end of the rest before I get to the center or too much overhang.

    Very observant on the design of the banjo. It does shorten the reach by an inch and that part is hidden when you get everything in position so it takes a while to get used to. Thank you for the helpful information!

    I'll be ordering the J rest today based on research and most of all the experience of this group of woodturners.
     
  17. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Be sure to get the correct tool post length and diameter.
    Robust has a page on the web site with lots of lathes listed.
    Or if you call to order they will sell you the correct one.
     

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