Alignment Video

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KenB259

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Dec 24, 2017
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I happened across this video on tailstock/headstock alignment. Thought someone might find it helpful.
 
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jeff

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I'm not sure what the point of that video is. (1) an out of level bed can cause misaligned centers? Yes, definitely possible. Or (2) twisting your bed can bring unmatched centers together? Might not be the best solution. I'd suggest getting the bed square and level, then addressing misaligned centers. Can someone enlighten me?
 

jttheclockman

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I agree. You need to start with level surface to put lathe on. The twisting part is a tough one in my opinion. Many other factors can come into play such as dirt or burrs on the ways or in the spindles., Is the headstock spinning true? I would start with leveling the platform and then leveling the lathe bed. I would not jack the stand up unless it needs to be before the lathe is placed on it.
 

KenB259

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My thought was it showed how an unleveled lathe could cause an alignment problem. I donā€™t think they are suggesting you twist your bed.
 

Todd in PA

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Feb 16, 2021
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Port Matilda, PA
I appreciate the video, Ken. My centers are slightly misaligned, and having read the manual, find no adjustment that has solved it. I figured the lathe is from Harbor Freight, and you get what you pay for. :confused: Perhaps my floor is the issue and it can be corrected after all.

I'm still not convinced that my 2 jaw chuck is up to snuff. šŸ˜« It's got a little *extra* wobble than any of my other chucks.
 

rherrell

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Pilot Mountain, NC
I built my own stand for my metal lathe and when I mounted the lathe and tested the alignment it was off by quite a bit. I ended up putting about .050" worth of shims under one of the mounting feet to get the "twist" out of the bed. "Twist" is a real thing and it matters. When we talk about "leveling" a lathe what we really mean is we're removing the "twist". Lathes don't have to be level, think about a lathe in the machine shop of a big ship, it works fine as long as it's not "twisted".
 
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