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One of the most important turning accessories for your lathe is the humble tool rest. Vital for keeping your turning on track, there is lots to consider when investing in a tool rest.

There are many tool rests available on the market from solid, traditional, cast iron rests, to modern, lighter and stronger designs. But here at Axminster Tools, we have developed an interchangeable, modular tool rest system, to help you get the best out of your rest, making it one of the most flexible woodturning accessories in your workshop.

Why buy a modular system?

There are many benefits to investing in a modular tool rest system.

Versatility and simplicity

Mix and match the post size and rest length to build the rest you need for the job at hand. Not only can you put together the right rest for your project, but the interchangeable system means it is easy to adapt and move your tool rest from lathe to lathe. If you have more than one lathe, select the appropriate post size and use the same rest.

The system is also very simple to use – change the rest on the post by simply unscrewing it!

Clever design

The tool rests features a round bar design, which has many benefits.

The round bar allows for easy movement along the rest for a smooth turning experience.

It also provides great access for the support hand which allows you to get up close to your project.

The rests in this system are all made from high quality stainless steel (with the exception of the S Shaped rest), providing a long lasting, durable tool rest that will not rust.

Tool Rest 12

Cast iron alternatives are easy to dent and nick with your turning tools, if not careful.

Dents and chips in a cast iron rest will mean your chisel will judder when moving along, and will give an uneven finish.

There is less friction with the stainless steel bar, and due to it’s tougher nature, you are unlikely to cause damage to the rest, meaning you can glide smoothly along the rest and achieve a fine and even finish every time.

The stainless steel rest is therefore a durable and long lasting alternative to cast iron, making the tool rest system a wise, long term investment.

Affordable

The interchangeable Axminster Tool Rest System provides an affordable solution for the turner who requires numerous rests.

One post and three rests from the Axminster Tool Rest System, could cost you the same as a standard, one piece tool rest, meaning you can get more tool rest combinations for your money when investing in the modular system.

This makes investing in a modular system a serious contender when considering the many rests available on the market.

What’s included

Available in the Axminster Tool Rest System is a range of post diameters, rest lengths for various different turning projects, as well as other accessories, including a mounting plate, collars and rest stops.

Posts available in the Axminster Tool Rest System include:

Rests include:

Accessories available:

Get the right fit

Tool Rest Set Up
It is important when buying a tool post from the Axminster Tool Rest System that you get the right post to fit your lathe banjo. Once you get the right fit, then all you need is the rest!

Below are the tool posts that fit our current range of lathes.

Lathe Banjo diameter and post
AC240WL 16mm (5/8in)
AC305WL 16mm (5/8in) 
AC355WL 25.4mm (1in)
AC370WL 25mm
AT350WL 25.4mm (1in)
AT406WL 25.4mm (1in)
AT508WL 30mm
Powermatic 3520C 25.4mm (1in)

If your lathe isn’t listed, then simply measure the diameter of your banjo and select from the posts available to get the right fit.

Mix and match with our range of rests, detailed below, to get the right rest for your project.

Size matters

Our range of rest sizes means you are able to get in closer to your workpiece and handle projects of all shapes and sizes, meeting all your turning needs.

100mm

This smaller rest is perfect to get in closer to small projects and for working in confined spaces.

A more traditional standard sized, cast iron tool rest would limit your ability to get up close when working on smaller projects. However, simply select the small rest from the system, and attach to your post and get closer to the action.

It is the ideal rest for box turning, for example.

short rest

150mm

This rest is good for general turning, and provides great support for mid-sized, everyday woodturning projects. This is a good standard rest from which to build on your tool rest system.

250mm

This longer length rest allows for deep support for the chisel inside bowls or longer pieces between centres.

250mm-rest

200mm long reach

This rest features an off centre mounting hole, allowing for a longer reach.

The longer length rest also allows for deep support for the chisel inside bowls, or longer pieces between centres

Tool Rest 1

S Shaped

The S shaped design allows you to gain greater control and get closer to a bowl when turning.

Use for both turning the inside and outside edge of the bowl.

s-reat

Additional features

Mounting plate and collars

The mounting plate and collars are useful for carving, drilling, and finishing.

Simply attach to a post and use the mounting plate with the collars provided, to create a support table. Use your lathe as a drilling machine, as a sanding table or even as a carving support. There are many ways to change your lathe with the mounting plate to complete a variety of tasks.

mounting-plate

Tool rest stops

Put a stop to accidental slips with the cleverly designed Axminster Woodturning Tool Rest Stops.

Developed by the ‘Blind Woodturner’, Chris Fisher, these split collar stops help prevent chisel slips along the tool rest and help keep your turning on track. Simply clamp them onto each end of your rest, and prevent your tools from slipping off the end or disastrous nicks and chips to your workpiece.

The stops clamp on to the rest rather than screw, preventing damage to the bar.

They can also be used as a marker to create repeat patterns.

tool stops

Summary

If you require numerous different tool rests to suit a wide variety of turning projects, then look no further. The Axminster Tool Rest System provides, not only versatility, quality and durability, but this modular system enables you to get a range of rests, in a cost effective way, giving you greater flexibility in your turning.

Get in touch!

If you use the Axminster Tool Rest System, we’d love to hear from you! Comment below or send us a photograph. Alternatively, get in touch via our social media platforms. Find us on Facebook or connect with us on Instagram – search @Axminstertools.

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