View Full Version : Help a brother out!!

02-01-2008, 02:35 PM
Hi All
Anyone in the Albuquerque area have time to help me out. I got a new lathe at home, and though I am not new at using a lathe I am new at setting one up.

I need help leveling it and adjusting the thing to work right. I have been using it for a couple days, and it cuts very well but I have to keep messing with the tailstock to get it to not cut a taper. I think it is a leveling problem but need some help, as I do not have a machinist type level.

Look forward to hearing from someone!!


02-01-2008, 03:02 PM
This topic has been the subject of numerous posts in the past, so a search of the archives ought to yield a ton of information and conflicting opinions.

In brief, the idea is to ensure the lathe bed is not twisted when it's bolted down. Leveling is one way to achieve that end. Put a sensitive level across the ways at the headstock end and the tailstock end, and be sure the readings are same.

Another method I like is generally known as "Roland's Father's Technique," since it was first brought to general attention by Roland Gaucher. It's been described, so search the archives.

The ultimate proof, however, is how the lathe cuts. To check, chuck a hefty bar (maybe 1.5" dia) about 10" long in the lathe chuck WITH NO TAILSTOCK SUPPORT. Turn two collars on the bar, one near the chuck and one out at the end. Then, lock the cross slide and compound (tighten the gibs) and take a light finish cut across both collars at that same setting. Then measure the collars. They should be equal in diameter. If they aren't, shim the right front leg of the lathe up or down a bit and try again. I leave it to you to figure out which way to shim it. :D

Peter N
02-01-2008, 03:44 PM
Walt, to follow up a bit on the advice given by SGW, have a look a this page here:

This explains which leg to adjust depending on which result you get from the cut on the 2 collars.

This was originally written and hosted by a clever UK model engineer named Chris Heapy. However, his site and all the useful information disappeared a few years ago, but was (probably without permission I imagine) copied and mirrored by the japanese site above, which incidentally is a very useful reference in it's own right.


02-01-2008, 04:33 PM
I have sent an email offering help.