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17 –The tool rest

Right, so we need a rest which will support the chisel during cutting. After a little experiment with a piece of channel clamped to the workbench, the limitations of that approach became apparent. Namely, it could not be moved in close enough to the wood – you always want the tool rest to be as close to the wood as possible without it catching when the wood spins. What I needed was a banjo. That’s right, a BANJO, a piece that fits onto the bed and supports the actual rest. Bring forth a scrap bike frame, an angle grinder, and I was on my way (see pics)… Something reasonably rigid that swivels and can be moved towards and away from the wood and be locked in place, and that has something that the gouge can slide along, side to side.

Donor bike. This is going to form our banjo. Banjo banjo, what a lovely word.
Most annoyingly the aluminium seatpost was completely seized into the steel tubing and required a good dose of angle grinding, hitting, heating, WD40 and grunting before it would budge.
Here is our new banjo cleaned up a bit. I had to make a shim for the tube because the only spare clamp I had knocking about was a bit big. The shim just consists of a cut off section of the tubing bent open.
Cut some groves in the alu seat post for the rest to fit in.
Here I have started cutting out the tool rest from what is left of the monster thick steel plate.  Time to replace the angle grinder disk I think.
This should make a decent tool rest.
Smoothing out the sharp edges
Two bolts clamping in the rest.

 

angle grind my slot…

 

After flattening out the bottom tube a bit in the vice it looks about right. Just need to make a clamp to sit underneath the banjo.

 

This was the (badly flawed) first design for the underside clamp. I later changed to for a thicker piece of steel with a single bolt – this makes the banjo quicker to undo and adjust as well as more versatile as it can rotate more freely.
We have adjustment banjo… And a Rest adjusted to about the right height. As you can see  from the wood shavings some testing has occurred… Weeee.
“Euston, we are turning wood. Repeat, turning wood!”  It has a bit more flex than I would like, but works ok.
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