To use my steady rest on the hex rods, I needed to make a mild steel carrier sleeve with my lathe that was a light interference fit over the hex rod. This allowed me to use the steady rest (only finger push and mallet tap to adjust right now) to center it all up for center drilling on both ends. This was so satisfying and it worked perfectly!
I wouldn't want to stop here and just go with finger push forever though because I've seen many a steady rest with the brass fingers mushroomed from "tapping" as a way to micro-adjust. It's also just not that accurate as its easy to overshoot your goal causing you to have to reset and start over aligning the part (even more of an issue if you have a sensitive dial gauge in contact with the part while tapping).
|5/16 stainless Hex rod with round sleeve in slid into place|
|center drilling hex rods (both ends were quick and easy with the steady rest)|
|Hex rods ready to turn between centers|
PS: you can see the neat adjustable drive belt pinch rollers I made to dramatically increase belt traction. Works like a charm. My lathe rarely slips traction now even taking deeper cuts on stainless stock. It had the unexpected benefit of actually reducing the amount of tension I needed thereby reducing wear on the cone bearings in the headstock. More circumferential contact = increased traction. That's another worthwhile project I'll post at another time as there were a couple other upgrades I made that improved traction performance dramatically.
|Using the dial indicator to center stock|
|The offset clamp used to hold dial indicator on tailstock shaft|
|Rotating indicator to set fingers correctly|
|Turning between centers (on one of my custom faceplates)|
|Dimensioned lead screw from hex rod ready for threading to 8-32|
|Stainless hex rod becoming lead screw|
|Threaded and completed lead screw|
|Finger marked out for drilling|
|Inserting lead screw into clamp and brass finger|
|Perfect fit right to garter shoulder|
|Looks great, just needs the garter|
|Garters shaped and scribed for drilling and filing|
|Slot added to garter|
|Garter test fit on lead screw shoulder before recessing into finger face|