A riser or spacer block is used to increase the diameter of material that can be turned on the lathe. A steady rest is used to position small diameter stock. While these two requirements might seem to be mutually exclusive, there are times when a steady rest could be used on a lathe with riser block in place. Some people who consistently turn larger diameters find it convenient to leave their riser blocks in place all the time, for example. When center drilling a small diameter, it is quicker to raise the steady rest to the proper centerline height with this simple block than it is to remove the headstock and tailstock riser blocks. Another example of where this accessory might be useful is when turning a large diameter part that has a small shaft that needs to be steadied.
The steady rest riser is clamped to the dovetailed steel lathe bed. The steady rest is then clamped to the raised dovetail on the riser block to return it to center. The split clamp design allows it to be installed and removed very quickly.
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