View Full Version : Teknatool NOVA "Woodsurfer" bowl rest

10th May 2016, 12:01 AM
I have been looking for some time for a large heavy duty cast iron bowl turning rest. I already have various steel 'S' profile bowl rests, but was looking for something more substantial to cope better with roughing down irregular blanks.

I recently purchased the new Teknatool NOVA "Woodsurfer" bowl rest (http://www.teknatool.com/products/lathe_accessories/other/rests.htm) to try that.

Here is a pic of the one I bought.


It has a 1" post that fits my lathe, but the removable post and thread into the base of the rest had to be adjusted to give me sufficient clearance below centre for the way I like to turn bowls. It was a bit of work to do that with my inadequate metalworking skills, but I was prepared to do that to be able to use this rest. Check out the centre height for your lathe before considering the Woodsurfer. If you have the Nova 1624 or XP DVR, or another lathe with those centre heights, you won't have to thinks about that.

As you can see from the above pic, the top of the casting hasn't been machined smooth. For my purpose that doesn't matter, a smooth top is not necessary for roughing down blanks. If I was to use it to final turn pieces I would file it smooth.

It performed very well for the purpose I purchased it for. The full length of the curved section worked well on the outside of the blank and the straight section for truing across the top face of the blank when reversed ready to turn the inside. It is rock solid without a hint of vibration when doing heavy duty interrupted cuts.

If you turn the inside of bowls with just the straight rest then you could also complete the roughing out with just this rest. It will certainly not budge if you are comfortable with a long tool overhang. I prefer myself to turn the inside of bowls with a curved rest that reverses into the bowl but the design of this rest, which is optimised for turning the outside of bowls, doesn't lend itself readily to that in both the depth of the rest and the offset at the top of the rest so that it would be about 40mm back from the blank when reversed. And, for me, a heavy duty rest is not a needed when you get to turn the inside of a bowl blank where you usually only have continuous wood to deal with.

I rough turn a lot of bowl blanks at a time, so for me this rest certainly has a valued place now among my tool rests. It is definitely worth considering if you also prepare a lot of your own bowl blanks from logs or other irregular shaped bits of wood, like burls.

10th May 2016, 07:54 AM
Check out the centre height for your lathe before considering the Woodsurfer.

Neil, it is not the center height they should check but the available height from top of banjo to the lathe center. I have two original Woodfast banjos that have two different heights from lathe bed to top of banjo - very handy in this sort of application.

I doubt these will work on many of the generic lathes available at the moment as most banjos are tall, and barely able to be lowered sufficiently for "normal" tool rests or even with the supplied tool rests. See the Grizzly lathe debate in the USA.

10th May 2016, 09:05 AM
Neil, it is not the center height they should check but the available height from top of banjo to the lathe center.

Yes, Moby, you are right. It is the available height above the banjo collar to the centre that needs to be checked.

I should also work out what the height of the rest sitting above the collar would have been before I 'adjusted' it. I should be able to work that out and add that necessary bit of information here.

10th May 2016, 08:03 PM
OK, here is the rest after I adjusted it.


So, after modification it is 62mm from the bottom that sits on the banjo collar to the top of the toolrest. I had cut 10mm off the bottom where the post attaches with a 1mm cutoff wheel, giving an original size of 62 + 10 + 1 = 73mm.

To give you an idea of the shock absorbing potential of this rest, it weighs a hefty 4.25Kg or 9.5lbs.

You would not want to drop this one on your toes.... :crutch: