View Full Version : MC900 Tool rest

17th Jul 2004, 08:18 PM
Hei Guys,
I have decided I need another tool rest for the MC900.
When turning pens with the tail stock in close to support the end of the mandrel the standard tool rest fouls on the tail stock and can't be brought in close.

The carbatec catalogue only shows Vicmarc tool rests, will these fit?

I have a welder and some metal work experience, so another option is to make my own tool rests, has anyone done this - does the shaft have to be solid bar or would thick walled pipe be sufficient.
Does anyone know what I would pay for about half a metre of 25mm solid bar?

Kev Y.
17th Jul 2004, 08:32 PM
smidsy, from memory carba-tec have a set of tool rests with removable heads. why not give them a go?

Kev :cool: :rolleyes: :p

17th Jul 2004, 09:08 PM
I use a lathe very similar to the MC1100 and as far as I know the MC1100 and MC900 are the same lathe excepting for the length of the bed. I don't have the problem you outline. I use the Mandrel set from GPW (http://store.yahoo.com/gpwoodturning/index.html) I position the tool rest as far to the left as possible and in close as possible - (even though it may not be as close as I would like) and have no probs - have you tried to position it in different ways. Other than that if you can't get it in as close as you like maybe an idea to buy another one from the store you got it from and cut it shorter to suit and use it only for making pens.

17th Jul 2004, 09:23 PM

I had the exact same problem so made a new rest. Was lucky enough to have a high tensile 1" bolt which I cut off for the shaft and then used a 6" bit of 3/8" flat for the head. Shaped it much like the original and welded it on with about the same tilt as the original. Had to straighten it a bit with a hammer due to the weld deforming it slightly. Does the job. If you were to buy the 1" rod (or shafting if you want better quality steel) you will most likely have to buy a full 6 metre length from a steel merchant. Expect at least $30. You may be lucky for them to have a short bit. Another idea for the "T" is to use about 3/4" round to the length you want.

You may be lucky enough to find thick walled pipe the right external diameter; but it could be prone to collapse with a heavy dig in.


17th Jul 2004, 09:50 PM
Hei Ken,
If I could buy a 6m length of 25mm solid for $30 I would be very happy because you only need 100mm of the stuff. I suspect that I'd pay about $10 for the 100mm I need but I'll ring some steel suppliers on Monday and find out.

In regard to the pen mandrel Pete, I checked out that website and my mandrel is the same, but the length of the tool rest and the way it fouls the tail stock meant that the rest was about an inch from the work.
Maybe you old hands can get by with it, but a beginner like me needs the rest a lot closer for control - besides, I lashed out on Wednesay for my first decent chisel (a hamlett half inch skew chisel) and I don't want to bugger that.


18th Jul 2004, 01:38 AM

Same lathe, had same problem.
You can buy a 4" toolrest with 25mm stem from Vermec Machinery in Brisbane. Cost was $40... You would have to pay postage of course.
Works a treat. These guys make toolrests for VicMarc.
(07) 3284 3733

Alternatively you could get the Sorby modular toolrest system for a little bit more. I'll be posting a review of that on my website tomorrow. MIK in Adelaide sells this system. It would cost closer to $60 though for the stem and 4" crossbar, however, you can get other attachments later if needed to fit the stem.

18th Jul 2004, 02:56 AM
I was hoping to use a Vicmarc tool rest if I have to buy one, but I just checked the specs and they don't use a 25mm shaft - they seem to use all sizes but 25mm.

Getting one from from Brisbane would be a last resort because the postage would be downright nasty. If I can't make one I might try and scrounge one second hand to cut down.

I'll check out the Soby rest review tommorrow.

18th Jul 2004, 03:52 PM
i have ordered non woodwork things from brisbane before and max postage i payed is $10 and that was for a 1.5m spear and some other stuff for my speargun. so i dont think a toolrest would cost much.

18th Jul 2004, 04:37 PM

Where you bought your lathe, they have the replacement rest for about $29-00. They may have shorter ones but I doubt it. Save yourself a lot of buggering around, get one of those and chop the ends off with an angle grinder.

Short lengths of round steel is available from Prime Steels in Malaga. Be prepared to fork out heaps of $$$$$.

If you position your toolrest so that it fits snug up next to the protrusion on the headstock casting, wind out the quill of the tailstock a bit to fit the toolrest flush with the tailstock body, it will be more than close enough for turning pens. Remember with pens you take very fine cuts and the chances for a dig in is minimal, provided you keep on concentrating.

The guys and girls at Liddelow ( the club you belong too ) turned 46 pens for a project I was involved in, namely the Leprosy Mission, the other day with mostly standard tool rests. I have done well over a 1000 pens on an MC900 with the standard rest and the same mandrel-92. Jiggle the rest a bit and save $$$$$$$.

18th Jul 2004, 07:22 PM
Thanks Joe,
As usual the most simple solution (winding out the quill so I can get the tail stock housing out of the way) did not come to mind.