Some lathe manufacturers don't seem to appreciate how important a good toolrest is. Many are either poorly cast or made from low grade steel and tend to be relatively soft. As a result , when a square
tool, like a parting tool, is used it can dig into the rest creating notches, making it very difficult to produce a smooth flow along the rest.
The Modular Tool Rest System from Robert
Sorby is designed to overcome such problems, allowing you to upgrade your lathe, or to obtain additioonal toolrests at a very moderate price. The cross bars are made from hardened steel, greatly reducing scoring
and marking by tool edges, enhancing the ease and enjoyment for the turner.
Selecting the parts you need could hardly be easier:- first choose the stem, or toolpost (not
to be confused with "ToolPost"), that fits your lathe - stems are available in 1/2",5/8",3/4",1",11/8", 25mm and 30mm diameter. You may need to use a vernier or dial caliper, or even a micrometer, to measure your existing stem,
unless you can find the size in the manufacturer's literature or instruction book.
Next, select the Crossbar, or toolrest, which suits your requirements. The two items, stem and crossbar, are simply screwed
together to make a perfect toolrest. The stems all use the same screw fitting to mount the crosspiece with securing flats machined on the stem to ensure a perfect fit when screwed into the toolrest. So, once
you have the stem you can just keep on adding different crossbars - though for a small extra cost why not order a stem for each and have the luxury of being able to replace the complete toolrest assembly instead of
screwing and unscrewing parts each time?
The Crossbars are available in three straight bar lengths of 4",6" and 9" together with a 9" 'S'
bar for internal and a reverse 9" 'S' bar for external bowl turning. Also available is a box scraper platform for easy access and extra stability when working into the bottom of boxes.
Also listed is an adaptor we produce to allow owners of VB36 lathes, with the mighty 40 mm toolpost size, to use 1" diameter toolposts in their lathes. It is a simple device, approx
200mm long, which slips into the VB toolpost support and has a 1" bore with a couple of hex. socket screws to lock the inserted toolpost into place. Once attached, the toolpost and
adaptor can be treated as a single unit with the adaptor left in place, unless you have several 1" post toolrests to adapt.
Finally, if you have a banjo where the toolpost socket is 30 mm (1.25") but you wish to have
access to the larger range of toolrests with 1" stems (toolposts) then the 30 mm to 1" adaptor sleeve should fulfill your needs. Owners of older WivaMac and Poolewood machines, for
instance, may find this useful, along with Vicmarc lathe owners.