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Thread: head stock / tail stock alignment

  1. #1
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    head stock / tail stock alignment

    I have a year old 16/42 that I had been using exclusively for head stock mounted turnings.What I mean is that other than the occasional support from the tailstock I wasn't even keeping the tailstock on the lathe.Then over the holidays I started turning birdhouses and ornaments and nneded to turn between centers and had some problems.I started investigating and found that my headstock and tailstock were not aligned.I releveled the lathe and that helped a bunch.Then I checked again and it was still off.Removed the headstock and found a buildup of assorted wood based debri ,cleaned it off ,reinstalled the headstock and it is still off.Not much but it is off.Not sure what else I can do without shimming/rigging something into alignment.I'm getting ready to duplicate some fancy spindles for somebody and I believe this is gonna be a pita.Do I call JET ,it seems like the tailstock needs to be a little higher.The side to side is good but the height is lower on the TS end.What would you guys do?Thanx,
    Greg

  2. #2
    not sure if this would solve your problem. It's from Packard Woodworking:

    http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Merc...es-acc-mrstool

  3. #3
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    Greg,

    Is your tailstock center lower than your headstock center, or is the tail stock center higher than your headstock center? Also, by how much ie. 1/64th of an inch. etc. Let me know if you can, I may have an idea you could try.
    Remember, in a moments time, everything can change!

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Bender View Post
    I have a year old 16/42 that I had been using exclusively for head stock mounted turnings.What I mean is that other than the occasional support from the tailstock I wasn't even keeping the tailstock on the lathe.Then over the holidays I started turning birdhouses and ornaments and nneded to turn between centers and had some problems.I started investigating and found that my headstock and tailstock were not aligned.I releveled the lathe and that helped a bunch.Then I checked again and it was still off.Removed the headstock and found a buildup of assorted wood based debri ,cleaned it off ,reinstalled the headstock and it is still off.Not much but it is off.Not sure what else I can do without shimming/rigging something into alignment.I'm getting ready to duplicate some fancy spindles for somebody and I believe this is gonna be a pita.Do I call JET ,it seems like the tailstock needs to be a little higher.The side to side is good but the height is lower on the TS end.What would you guys do?Thanx,
    Greg
    Timely post. I had to realign my Jet 1642 the other day after building a ballast box under it and I noticed that my centers did not line up either. Just like yours they were dead on side to side but the tail stock point was just slightly below the headstock point, maybe a 64th to a 32nd. I haven't address the problem yet but will be watching this thread to see what solutions may be posted. If an easy one doesn't appear I will be giving Jet Inc. a call.
    ____________________________________________
    JD at J&J WoodSmithing
    Owingsville, Kentucky

    "The best things in life are not things."

  5. #5
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    James,

    It sounds like the extra weight you put on yours caused the bed to sag on you a little. First try to re-level the bed from end to end and front to back. If that does not work then you might be forced to put some type of shim under your tailstock, or remove some of those shingles in your ballast box.
    Remember, in a moments time, everything can change!

    Vision - not just seeing what is, but seeing what can be!

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  6. #6
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    I'm somewhat new to turning and can understand the alignment issue when the tail stock is up close. But as you start working with longer spindles how much does it really matter? How would you even measure it with the tail stock 1 or more feet back? How does the misalignment manifest itself in use?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Crumpton View Post
    I'm somewhat new to turning and can understand the alignment issue when the tail stock is up close. But as you start working with longer spindles how much does it really matter? How would you even measure it with the tail stock 1 or more feet back? How does the misalignment manifest itself in use?
    If the tailstock center is not in alignment then you have a different plane instead of the same one, and you end up with an elliptical,not true round shape, at least on one end.
    Last edited by Roger Chandler; 02-03-2011 at 8:08 AM.
    Remember, in a moments time, everything can change!

    Vision - not just seeing what is, but seeing what can be!

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  8. #8
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    On a metal lathe where the tool is fixed in relation to the bed, offsetting the tailstock is how you cut a taper. If you move a piece of wood off-center AFTER rounding, then you get an oval.
    Retired - when every day is Saturday (unless it's Sunday).

  9. #9
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    I have a big old lathe (1940s 19" swing by 73" length) I have turned everything from 1/3 inch ebony lidded box to 4 foot long by 5 inch oak machine handle and up to 14 inch bowls. I know my tailstock is off center by at least 1/4 inch. It hasn't caused any problems in my turnings. As Thom said if you have a geared travel cutting tool or move the center in the wood then you will have taper or oval. But, a fixed center is a fixed center. You are cutting by hand and hopefully adjusting the tool rest to the wood. A small amount of misalignment really won't affect the cut.

  10. #10
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    I turned on a Jet 1642 for 3 years and I had to fix an alignment problem several times. Sometimes the lathe might move a bit on a concrete floor that is not perfect or one of the leveling feet might loosen a bit.

    I had the best luck by moving the headstock to the middle of the bed along with the tailstock and putting points in both. I would use a good level on the bed at both ends and make sure everything was level from every direction possible.

    This method worked for me but it was time comsuming. I may have spent as much as an hour making very small adjustments to all the levleing feet to get it just right. I probably did this 5 or 6 times in 3 years. I was shown this method by a former machinist and long time woodturner (25 years) that has owned over a dozen different lathes. If you have a lathe with a stationary headstock, then you just bring the talstock up to it and do the same procedure.

    Another thing I found after doing this the first time, is that I did not need to add ballast to the lathe because the weight of the lathe was evenly distributed to the feet and everything was in balance, with all four feet contacting the floor evenly. I routinely turned 15" wet, out of balance wood with little vibration and or movement.

    Dale
    The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday

  11. #11
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    Aug 2008
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    To everybody,
    Thanx for all the replys' ,for the record my tailstock is down a little ,1/32nd or so, and it did not effect much up till I started to turn small items mounted between centers.I could not hold tight tolerances and get good results.Also ,when I move the TS up to support an already started project the TS tends to flex every revolution,like it's off from the c/L.I believe I'm gonna call Jet cause I'm also starting to notice a little vibration between 600 to 700 rpm whether the piece is balanced or out of balance.The whole lathe vibrates harmonically at about 620 and it peaks at around 700 and then goes away.Above that or below that it's fine.I guess I can mention the misalignment and we will see what they say.Thanx again,
    Greg

  12. #12
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    Greg,

    make sure your legs are bolted tight to the bed, then if you can take something like a ratchet strap and wrap it around both sets of legs [it will take a long one] and pull them in toward one another a little. It could be that your legs have shifted apart due to vibrations, and need to be reset in the proper position. This may help, some, and if it does not, then you may have a little sag in the bed of the lathe.

    1/32nd is enough to show up, but a level bed front to back and especially end to end should solve the issue. Sometimes when things get out of adjustment due to time and vibration, the bed can torque just enough to throw the alignment off. I hope you will try these, it might cure your ills, but if not, then Jet can get it right for you.
    Remember, in a moments time, everything can change!

    Vision - not just seeing what is, but seeing what can be!

    For information on my website, click on my profile or avatar


  13. #13
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    Roger,
    Thanx ,I will try a few things tonite when I get home from work.I'm borrowing a machinist level from work to really get it level.I did it when I first set it up but it must of settled over the year of turning and hopefuly that will cure my ills.
    Greg

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