This is a welded follow rest to fit a Hardinge TL-10 lathe. Feel free to adjust it to fit other lathes! It is designed to be cut from 1/4" plate using plasma cutting, though waterjet and laser would work fine too. CNC would also work.
The key to success on this is to pay attention to the cut-off tabs and leave them in place till you finish welding. Start by cleaning all the slag off your parts and grinding to bare metal any place you will be welding. Stack up the front and back plates and line them up carefully. Clamp them at least 4 places and then tack at least 6 places. DO NOT weld in the finger slots! Weld up all the edges EXCEPT where the brace fits in the corner. If you are going to mill the slots, go ahead and do it now. You can remove the tabs now if you want to. On mine, I used 1" x 3/8" cold rolled steel for the fingers, though the plasma cut fingers would have worked fine. Please be aware if you cut the finger slots a little deeper than 1/4", you will later have to mill the end of the back finger a bit thinner; otherwise it will catch on the two front fingers.
After doing any finish work on the slots, weld the foot and brace in place, and smooth all corners. Try to get the foot square to the front/back assembly.
You need the foot to be flat. After welding and grinding, you can either create a flat surface on it by putting epoxy on the foot and setting it on a flat surface that has been treated with mold release, or mill it flat. I milled it, then had some fun scraping it even flatter.
The three bolts to hold the fingers are 3/8"-16. The holes are undersize so that you can drill them to size and ensure they are round.
In use, move the follow rest as close to the headstock as possible, and slide each finger firmly against the work piece, and clamp them in place. Lube the work/fingers regularly.
I don't recommend using rollers on these; they will tend to suck chips in and either ding or bump the work. Tried it...