Lathe - Tailstock



9" tailstock feed handwheel (Mar 22, 2001) Tailstock offset (Nov 10, 2003)
Tail stock maintenance (Sep 5, 2001) Tailstock clearing saddle (Nov 12, 2003)
Tail stock (turret) (Oct 19, 2001) Tailstock taper question (Jan 4, 2004)
Tailstock nut (Jan 31, 2002) Tailstock rebuild? (Feb 1, 2004)
Tailstock alignment (May 20, 2002) Tail stock set-over adjustment (Feb 4, 2004)
Heavy 10" tailstock help (May 23, 2002) Heavy 10 tailstock adjustment (Aug 22, 2004)
Shimming the Tailstock (Jun 24, 2002) Tailstock Spindle Tread (Aug 30, 2004)
Tailstock height adjustment (Jul 26, 2002) Lever tailstock (Sep 1, 2004)
Mystery hole in tailstock (Jul 30, 2002) Tailstock Quill Honing (Oct 6, 2004)
Fixing a grooved-up tailstock spindle? (Dec 17, 2002) The tailstock bore (Oct 7, 2004)
Thread of the tailstock adjuster screws? (Dec 23, 2002) Tailstock #2MT reamer revisited (Dec 20, 2004)
Need Tailstock dimensions (Jan 1, 2003) Need help on 10L tailstock base (Dec 24, 2004)
Lever operated tailstock for 9" lathe (Jan 5, 2003) Tailstock wrench (Jan 2, 2005)
Help in centering tailstock (Apr 12, 2003) Tailstock? off list (Jan 26, 2005)
Tailstock centering (Apr 13, 2003) Tailstock alignment (Feb 10, 2005)
9 Inch SBL Tailstock Spindle (May 9, 2003) Fix For Worn tailstock - SB 9" Model A (Feb 13, 2005)
Stuck center in tailstock ,10k (May 29, 2003) Tailstock is 0.12 " too low (Feb 28, 2005)
9" tailstock feed handwheel
I have decided that one of the first things I need ( want ) to do to my poor old beat up lathe is to replace the ugly brazed on piece of pipe that serves as the tail stock feed hand wheel. I am thinking I will cast my own ( just to say I did ) if any one would like to volunteer an Idea as to how I might make a pattern ( correct from an existing handwheel ) and somehow transport that pattern to Alaska without destroying it I would be more than happy to listen. I was kinda hoping I could come up with a simple way and then impose upon someone with a good hand wheel to press theirs into a mould for me. possible ? feasible? just plain stupid? (373)
Could you use your own carriage handle to make the mould? Or at least a wood pattern in the diameter similar in design? (375)
Dave, I have been watching dragonpit and that's what lead me to believe that I can cast my own. No I cant use mine as a pattern, I have just the hub and some uneven nubs to which a small piece of old water pipe has been brazed. (377)
Daniel, Have you thought about an aftermarket replacement handwheel? I know KBC Tools has a nylon/steel one about the right size for about $16.00. As I recall, other places sell generic cast iron and steel handles that you could bore for a good fit and a great look. I believe the wheel is just over 3 inches in diameter and the rim is just over a half inch thick. Should be easy to track down. Paul R. (379)
I'm going to be making a new one for mine it has a chuck out of the hub. I can either cast one for you with mine, or if you want to cast it yourself I'll share my pattern with you. It could be a month or two before I do it. the one I'll cast will be aluminum. Henry (Wood Dragon) (380)
I have to remember to finish my train of thought before I hit the send button. the one I cast will be out of aluminum cast onto a crs center that will have to be bored out to fit the shaft of the tail stock. or something like that I think I need sleep. will not be on cam tonight. Henry (381)
Dan, I would recommend getting a handwheel from someone like MSC, Reid Tool Supply Company or McMaster-Carr. MSC has a pretty good replacement for a price cheap enough to prevent most from trying to cast their own. For example: Part No: 06915045 - 4" 3-spoke unfinished handwheel - $3.70 ea. Part No: 06916043 - 4" 3-spoke finished chrome plated handwheel - $10.36 ea. I get the unfinished ones and finish them myself. These are a little hard to hold in the standard Cushman 5" 3-jaw chuck but the 4-jaw will work fine. Buy two at this price in case you screw the first one up. They also have machine handles but you can make that part if you wish. You can contact MSC at: http://www.mscdirect.com  Webb (382)
Why don't you buy one from MSC or somebody and put it on like Southbend? Bob (385)
Tail stock maintenance
Now about this t-stock maintenance. Here is some input: 1.Can you get a new one? Doing this will also be a tighter fit for the O.D. of the quill. Thus making a more accurate tail stock. 2.A MT-2 hand reamer is going to put you back anywhere between $25-$60 from M.S.C. 3. Have you thought of lapping out the quill? If there are only very small dings in the bore you may get away with just cleaning them up. 4. Some wood working tool places sell a clean-out tool that could be used as a lapping tool. They are plastic and cheap. You can also make one out of copper or brass. IN general, I would start by doing a hi-spot check using a magic-marker on your test taper. Just to see how bad it really is. I'm not sure if holding the reamer in the head stock will gain you much. The second your reamer gets seated in the bore, it will conform to whatever the bore is anyway. You only want to take off the high spots, not re-machine the whole thing. While your at it, I'd check for the amount of drop between t-stock and head stock. There is usually some wear on the ways, (and the bottom of the tail stock). Should you decide to shim this, be sure to shim it parallel to the ways. That way the t-stock will not be pointed off at an angle. Ron (1474)
It's not dinged. It's slightly galled. Probably from a drill chuck arbor slipping in the taper. (1480)
Tail stock (turret)
Here is a picture (I hope) of my 9" south bend lathe can some one tell me about the tailstock (make, model) I have not seen one like it before. (1916)
What you have there is a turret tailstock, usually used in a production like setting, but I've wanted one before when I was doing a project with a lot of similar parts. What you can do is set up a different tool in each spot on the tilted round thingy and then rotate them into position as needed. For example, you might have a center drill, a small drill, full size drill, reamer, and counterbore. You can simply use each tool and then rotate the next one into place. It may be actuated by a lever rather than a handwheel. If you decide you don't want it, I'm sure you can sell it for enough to buy a normal one. Looks like you got a good toolpost, too. Chris (1919)
Tailstock nut
Would someone with a 9" or 10K please measure the distance across the flats of the nut that locks the tailstock to the bed? My lathe came with what I believe to be the original SB tailstock wrench, but it's too big for the nut. I suspect someone has changed the nut for some reason. BTW, the nut I have is 13/16 across flats. Raymond (3023)
The correct wrench is 13/16". rays (3024)
My 1941 9" is 11/16" Paul R. (3025)
Raymond; I think someone changed the wrench, not the nut ;-( My 9 inch tailstock wrench measures a loose 13/16 between flats on 2 sides, and a tight 13/16 across the third pair of faces. It's a loose fit on the nut. The nut measures 0.775 +/- a few thou across the flats. This is on a 1939 Workshop C. If your wrench happen to be just over 1.060 across the flats, it's from a 13 inch. Should this be the case, and you don't have a desire to keep the wrench, please set a price and contact me. I'm looking for a tailstock wrench for my 13 inch SB. I didn't see any at Cabin Fever, and having the original would be nicer than using a 1 1/16 wrench. For what it's worth, tailstock wrenches in good shape but needing paint for the 9 inch lathes were $15 to $20 at Cabin Fever. You might be able to get one from Plaza Machinery, Sobel, or Dave Ficken. I'm pretty sure Sobel had a few at the show. His number is 201.768.9645. Stan (3028)
I have a 1942 model B. That nut is a heavy 3/4 of an inch, on that particular one. I have not measured it, but was turning a taper Thursday evening, with the compound. This rendered the factory wrench unusable. I picked up a standard (craftsman) 3/4 combination wrench and found it an extremely tight fit. I only used the open end part to sneak under the body of the compound, it was tight across the flats, but it did go on the nut. My Logan 9B28 lathe has a standard 3/4 nut in that spot, that's where I grabbed the wrench from, but I had to make a new nut for my Atlas 10 because it had a nut that only fit a strange "gas cylinder" wrench that came with that Atlas. Check the fit of that wrench on your gear nuts. The one on my B model fits both the tailstock and the big nuts on the changegears. That might tell you whether the wrench or the nut is wrong. RC (3032)
The wrench I have measures ~.93 (15/16) across the flats, but does not fit on a 15/16 hex nut I have lying around. Perhaps it's 7/8? Regardless, in the recess of the handle I can make out what I believe to be the South Bend insignia, and the number "55R1", if that allows anyone to help identify it. It doesn't seem to fit anything anywhere on my lathe, so if anybody is interested, let me know. Raymond (3065)
Tailstock alignment
My tailstock on my 10" SBL is off vertically (was off horizontally as well but fixed (?) a twist in bed). When I put new dead centers in the headstock spindle and tailstock and push them together there is about a 32nd inch+ drop of the tailstock center point as compared to the headstock. I have a lot of wear on the tailstock ways (my first lathe and all = cheap) that tapers off to no wear halfway towards headstock spindle. I use the lathe as a mill as well and made my first part that really needed a centered tapped and drilled hole. I didn't achieve this. Is there any way to correct this problem other than having the bed reground? I haven't bothered with a test bar yet as it's obvious it's off. Tim Q (4258)
Tim; Before you go much further, you might check that the tailstock is low a pretty consistent amount the entire length of the bed. If it is, life is easy. If it isn't, pick a point around 6 inches from the chuck jaws and use that point as the one to get on center. More on this below, but the math gets sort of long winded, so I'll get to the point here. If you don't use tailstock setover often or at all, simply shim between the tailstock base and tailstock body. Brass is OK, steel shimstock is better if you do much taper work via setover. I suggest 6 inches as the point to get dead on as variations in vertical height matter more as the work gets smaller, and you aren't likely to be using the tailstock to center small work over long distances. If you do lots of stuff at 3 inches, use 3 inches. Just pick some point that is a good compromise. If the tailstock is low over the entire length of the bed this isn't a consideration. The following is from discussions we had on the Taig group about tailstock height and how much variation you can live with. This also applies in the case where the carriage ways are a tad worn, but not enough to create binding or so worn that the carriage can bang around in the worn area. The comment about lapping the tailstock down a few thou isn't the answer for CI parts, the Taig uses aluminum extrusions for the tailstock. **** Paste of old message begins **** To a great extent, the effect of a given amount of vertical offset of the tailstock is determined by the diameter of the work being done. I worked this out pretty carefully several years ago while making a fixture to allow me to regrind a badly worn 7 foot South Bend bed in my shop. The answers I got surprised me, to the point that unless you can rock the saddle or bind it hard over the range of a travel, I usually give the advice NOT to regrind a bed, provided there is not a lateral (horizontal) displacement of the cutter with respect to spindle centerline. A thou in and out of the cutter gives 2 thou variation in diameter. Not a good thing. An offset tailstock front to rear (tailstock set over) will give twice the error in the finish diameter. A vertical offset generates less error than you would expect. It is a non zero error, but things have to be pretty far out of kilter before it ruins your day in most tasks. The original post stated the offset was a few hundredths. That would be quite a bit. Any chance the post should have said thousandths? If it is in fact a few hundredths, I'd suggest the tailstock or headstock are out of spec, or one or both centers are incorrectly ground. If a few thou, and not a matter of the centers being off center, ignore it or cut down the tailstock. It won't take long to do this, I'd think a few minutes at most with some 400 grit oiled down to the bed, and sliding the tailstock back and forth on the abrasive would do the job. I'd also ask the method used to determine the offset, getting a really accurate test of this requires an accurate test bar held between centers. If you hate math, here's the bottom line. If the centerline of a workpiece raises 11 thou over the length of the cut, and the target finish diameter is 1/2 inch, you'll see a half thou of taper over the length of the cut. 11 thou is quite a bit of offset. The larger the diameter of the work, the less a vertical offset contributes to any taper. If you want to see how I got here, the math follows. ASSUMPTIONS: 1) If the cutter drops x below the starting centerline, it has the same effect as the workpiece centerline raising x above the starting centerline. Simply stated, it doesn't matter if the cutter lowers 5 thou over 2 inches of cut (worn bed), or if the work is inclined between centers so that the workpiece centerline rises 5 thou (headstock or tailstock center high). 2) The workpiece is of large enough diameter, and the cutting edge sharp enough, that a few thou above or below centerline does not change the cutting angles sufficiently to result in different cutting behavior of the tool. Obviously if you have the effective cutter height change by 30 thou while cutting a 50 thou diameter this entire explanation is completely invalid, as you would go from cutting to being completely clear of the work! 3) When determining worst case taper for a given amount of cutter to centerline vertical variation, the staring point of the cut is dead on center. This simplifies things a bit, if you think through the results of starting above centerline, and ending below centerline, you will end up cutting a very shallow concave surface over the length, rather than a taper. 3a) The starting diameter is exactly the desired diameter, so that the distance from the nose of the tool to the effective centerline of the work is the adjacent side of a right triangle. 3b) The cutter drop (or rise) is the opposite side of a right triangle. 3c) The actual diameter produced is the hypotenuse of a right triangle. 3d) The juncture of the adjacent side and the hypotenuse is at the effective centerline of the work. Yes, this means I've flipped the right triangle from the conventional representation. It's upside down, and the vertical or opposite side is to the left. 4) The tailstock and headstock centers are perfectly aligned horizontally, i.e. no taper is being created by tailstock set over. 5) Flex in workpiece and tooling is not considered, the work and lathe are perfect, so only changes in effective cutter height effect the resulting diameter of the workpiece. 6) Tool wear is discounted. If you have a tool wearing fast enough to generate significant taper, you have the wrong tool, and no doubt a very poor finish on your cut! Now dust off old Mr. Pythagoras, and give this a thought. If the cutter drops one thou while cutting a one inch diameter piece of work, what is the change in diameter of the work piece? a^2 + b^2 = c^2 Let a = target radius of the work (0.5 inches, or diameter / 2) Let b = cutter vertical drop, in absolute numbers, i.e. always positive as it will always result in an increase in diameter, assuming the cutter setting in a above is dead on center at the starting point of the cut (assumption 3a). Let c = the actual radius of the cut workpiece, or actual diameter / 2. Quick check with no vertical variation in cutter height: a = .5000, b = 0 .5000 ^ 2 + 0.0000 ^ 2 = 0.2500 SQRT (0.2500) = 0.5000, therefore diameter (c) is 1.000 inch. No surprises so far. Now, lets introduce 1 thou drop: Again, a = 0.5000, b = 0.001 0.5000^2 + 0.0010^2 = c^2 0.2500 + 0.000001 = 0.250001 SQRT(0.250001) * 2 = 1.000002 diameter or if you prefer, two millionths of an inch over target. Now do it for 1/4 inch diameter: 0.1250 ^ 2 + 0.0010 ^ 2 = c^2 0.015625 + 0.000001 = 0.0156256 SQRT ( 0.015626) = 0.125004, ( times 2 for diameter) giving a diameter of 0.250008. With this rather windy set up, lets figure out how much the cutter has to drop to generate a half thou error for a 1/2 inch target D. c = 1/2 Actual D(0.5005), or 0.25025 a = 1/2 Expected D (0.5000) or 0.2500 c^2 - a^2 = b^2 0.25025 ^ 2 - 0.2500 ^ 2 = b^2 0.062625 - 0.0625 = b^2 0.000125 = b^2 0.011183 = b, or simply, the change in effective cutter height has to be about 11 thou to generate a half thou error in a target diameter of 0.500. Repeating the exercise for a one inch diameter show that the cutter height must change by just over 15.8 thou to generate a taper of half a thou. Stan (4260)
Tim, Shim if you must. A quick alignment check that I use often is to mount a dial test indicator in a collet or chuck at the head stock end and sweep the id. of the tail stock hole, or od. of the tail stock center ,or a short piece of round stock if using a drill chuck. You can quickly see and correct alignment problems with this method. I like a Federal indicator with the ball mounting stem ( fits right into a 1/4" collet ). If your careful ,you can dial the horizontal to with in + - .0005". Your on your own with the vertical. Shim, regrind, scrape? If the vertical is too far off you will get oversized holes if using a reamer without a floating holder, same for drilling. Steve (4268)
Heavy 10" tailstock help
I'm ready to reassemble the tailstock for my Heavy 10" but still need to resolve the Mystery Ring issues first. When I disassembled the tailstock I found a brittle black ring in there that resembled a leather washer. After looking at everything a second time I'm thinking now that it was a piece of felt wicking placed there to help with oiling and lubrication. It was found in the rear of the casting close to the oil cup so it would make sense. Can anyone confirm this ? I'd like to get it back together but don't want to leave out the wicking if it's supposed to be there. Where can I get some or what should I use. I have several scraps of green felt left over from relining a tool chest, any chance it would work if cut to dimension or is it a special felt that's used for oil wicks ? does anyone have photos of the motor installation in an underdrive cabinet ? I have a the cabinet and drive assembly but no motor. I also need the belt tensioning handle for the front of the cabinet if anyone has one. I've posted more pictures of the tailstock parts. I've gotten the headstock, tailstock, back cover, bed and feet all painted. Hoping to get it put together soon G Dark Ford Blue that I may use on the 9A. I was going to trade the smaller machine for a shaper but haven't found one yet, might paint it while I'm looking. I've even thought about painting it black like the old machines, might look good. Any help with the tailstock would be greatly appreciated, I'm holding off on the reassembly until I know more about the wicking or washer or whatever it is. Pictures of the tailstock in question are in the Photos section in the Heavy 10 Restoration folder. Dave (4302)
I think your "washer" may be the buffer that goes on the screw. Prevents the quill rear-end from smacking metal when the quill is drawn all the way to the rear. (4303)
There are different grades of felt, available in various thicknesses. Have you tried to clean the old one with carburetor cleaner or brake parts cleaner? I was able to clean and reuse my 45 y.o. Logan wicks. Ken (4305)
David, The washer on older machines was made of leather. Newer machines used a synthetic rubber washer. As others have commented its a bumper stop. If you need a parts break down, with part numbers contact me off list. Steve (4309)
Shimming the Tailstock
My Hercus 9A clone came with a non-matching tailstock that was too low. I thought shimming it would be an involved and tiresome operation. It wasn't, it was very quick and I now have a totally accurate and concentric tailstock. Check it out at: http://steammachine.com/hercus/page6.html  Charlie (4733)
Nicely done, Charlie, and an interesting web site. I hadn't thought of using a ruler to rough-check the alignment of the head and tailstocks, although I do use a ruler for setting cutter height. Very clever. Paul R. (4736)
Tailstock height adjustment
The center of the tailstock on my new/old 10 heavy appears to be about .040" lower than the center of the headstock spindle (checked using a "precision ground" point from work in a collet and my shiny new live center in the tailstock). I know how to adjust the tailstock from side to side, but how do I adjust it vertically? It has 2 full-size shims totalling .020" in it already, do I just add more? David (5392)
Yep. You can see how I did it at: http://steammachine.com/hercus/page6.html Don't forget to check to see if there is any difference in height between the barrel fully retracted and cranked right out. You may need to put a slightly thinner shim at one end to compensate and bring it dead level. Charlie (5438)
Where is the best place to get the correct color paint for the SB lathe? Any one know what to ask for? Clint (5443)
Charlie, thanks for the reply, and nice site. I enjoyed reading about your problems (sorry!) and learned a thing or two as well. Hope you will keep updating it. David (5472)
The Jacobs model 50 chuck and set of rubberflex collets arrived OK, and I've used a couple of them just in testing. Unfortunately I've been unable to go into the workshop much at all in the last 3-4 weeks and so haven't taken any pics or updated the web page. I'll let you guys know when I do. Charlie (5478)
Mystery hole in tailstock
I'm trying to figure out the function of the vertical hole (and bump-out in= the casting) in the front of my tailstock. I've got quite a bit of SB literature, and some pictures show= the hole empty while others show something inside – what looks like a spherical head on a pin of= some sort. Does anyone know what this is? I suppose it could be a convenient place to store= your center drill, but I can't find mention of this feature anywhere. Jeff (5473)
Back in the "olden days" when most turning was done between solid centers, the hole held a dauber and oil for handy oiling of the center held by the tailstock quill. It just consists of a small handle, with a pin, or stem, protruding. The stem picks up the oil. The handle is usually shaped like the handles on your various control wheels, tailstock, carriage, etc. (5474)
Well I'll be... you know, that actually makes sense - like most of the other parts of my SB lathe! Pardon the clich, but "They just don't make 'em like they used to"! (5479)
It wasn't for oil. White lead was used as the lubricant. White lead will lubricate under high contact pressures. Ken :-) (5504)
Fixing a grooved-up tailstock spindle?
The tailstock spindle on my 10L is in pretty bad shape. Looks like it has had a lot of "spinning within" :(. Nobody wants to sell just the spindle, and the rest of the tailstock is OK. I thought of trying to bore it out to 1" and inserting a MT2 sleeve, but I don't think there would be enough material around the sleeve. Another thought I had today was to face about 0.1" off of the front and recut the taper a touch further. Sort of "pushing the taper further in". Any comments/suggestions? My 10L has a taper attachment - anyone think a newbie would have a snowball's chance in hell of pulling this off? Think a "real" machine shop would be willing? Wallace (8065)
I think you have the right idea with fixing the one you've already got. Why not buy or borrow a MT2 reamer and clean up your existing tailstock ram. C (8067)
Wallace; I've cleaned up quite a few rams and spindles with MT2 and MT3 finishing reamers. I think an MT2 finishing reamer is around $35 or so, it's been a while since I bought mine. Lots of oil, firm pressure, advance the ram an inch or so to be sure not to hit the end of the tailstock and screw, and lock the ram so it doesn't chatter on you. Never turn a reamer backwards, you'll ruin the reamer and may damage the taper socket. You could face off the end of the ram IF the tooling seats too deeply after cleaning up the taper. Don't worry about getting every pit or scratch out. Once the center seats with a nice plonk sound and when firmly pressed in requires the ram to be retracted to eject the center I consider the job done, even if the taper socket isn't "factory new pretty." Stan (8069)
Wally, Why not get a MT2 reamer and before you clean-up the old one make a new one. That way if the reaming of the old one is not to your liking at least you will have one .And while you are at it check your head stock for galling( scoring) and buy an MT3 to clean-up that one as well. (8070)
I have bored the taper in the tailstock spindle of an 1890's lathe, without a taper attachment. The taper was Jarno, and I could not purchase tooling. I read through some old books and found that i could make a bushing with the same thread as what was in the tailstock barrel. I then threaded the solid bushing into the end the barrel and drilled a center hole into the bushing. This was also made on the same lathe. I the placed the barrel on a center in the spindle with a dog. The dog is clamped to the piece and then rope is used to VERY TIGHTLY tie the barrel onto the live center. The other end of the barrel is placed in the center rest. The center rest is adjusted as close as possible to the correct offset for your particular taper. A boring tool is used and very light cuts are taken inside the barrel. after a cut is taken, put chalk all over a taper plug gage or accurate taper-shank drill, this is then pushed into the barrel and turned 1 revolution and then pulled out. Look at the shank or gage, if the taper is accurately cut, all the chalk should be evenly rubbed off. If it is not, adjust the center rest in the correct direction and take another cut. Repeat until taper is accurate (all chalk is rubbed off evenly). As this is my only lathe, I had no other way to cut the taper. This process is very time-consuming and requires great accuracy. It would be easily done in a similar manner using a taper attachment. Nick (8076)
Rather than use the taper attachment, a better way would be to ream it out to clean it up. You can get MT2 taper reamers in rough and finish versions, if it's as bad as you say you'll probably need both. One word of warning about using reamers, NEVER BACK THEM UP! You're virtually guaranteed to get a chip between the relief of the cutting edge and the work piece you're reaming. As there is *no* support for the cutting edge on the forward side you will almost certainly chip out the cutting edge by the force of the chip wedging between the work piece and the back side of the cutting edge. To extract the reamer, continue to turn it forward as you are pulling it out of the bore. Put a center in your spindle to support the back of the reamer, slide your tailstock towards the headstock until most of the clearance has been removed, lock the tailstock to the bed, then, while turning the reamer by hand, advance the tailstock spindle by using its hand wheel. When you think you might have taken out the grooves pull out the reamer (remember not to reverse it) and check. No harm in doing this early, it's easy to take another pass. Keep in mind that a reamer of this sort requires a heavier force than you might think so if at first it seems to just be skipping over the surface try again with more end force. Repeat the process with the finish reamer. Keep in mind that during this process you're trying to remove the minimum that will give satisfactory results. When you've finished cleaning up the taper and before you cut anything off the end of the tailstock spindle, insert a good MT2 adapter to check the fit. You want it to properly without requiring a lot of force to seat it, it should resist turning and being pulled out by hand, and it should not seat so deeply as to cause problems. If all of these parameters are met leave the length alone. If the adapter sits uncomfortably close to the mouth of the spindle bore, shorten the spindle by the minimum that solves the problem. The other possible problem is that the adapter will not sit sufficiently deeply to cause a problem with the feed screw knocking it out before you want it to. If so you may need to dismantle the feed screw and remove a bit from its forward end, remember, the least amount to solve the problem. Where are you located? Anybody on the list that has the necessary reamers that's willing to loan them out? Anthony (8089)
Thread of the tailstock adjuster screws?
I just got a 9" model B and it is missing 1 of the 2 adjuster screws. I think I am going to make a new one. Does anyone know what thread that is? Jamie (8225)
Jamie The adjuster screws for what? Clint (8230)
Clint: did you ever get either a factory manual or the PDF army manual? I think that you would find it invaluable in your learning. Scott Logan posted either a link to the army PDF it or posted it to the files area. you can always look at John Wasser's pages online. Jamie: are we talking about the setover screws? I think that they are the same 12-28 or 14-28 that have been recently discussed for the saddle/compound. Chances are you are going to have to scrounge or make them. dennis (8233)
The side to side adjusters to center the tailstock. I was hoping that they were 1/4 20 or something that I could easily find. Are they some weird thread? Jamie (8237)
Have you got a parts break down. If not I will try to look the up when I go out to the shop later Clint (8238)
Jaimie, I was about to run downstairs and measure the thread on my tailstock setover adjustment screws when I reread your post. You have 1 of 2 if you are only missing 1 of 2, or am I missing something? Glen (8246)
Glen, There are 2 setover screws in the tailstock and I am missing one of them. Are all or most SB screws a funny thread size? I need a new knob for the power switch too so I wondered what thread that is. I was able to get a 1/4-20 nut on there so I thought that was correct. Jamie (8250)
My tailstock has 5/16-18 thread set-over screws. Nothing odd about that. (8252)
They're just regular dog-point setscrews. I think that's what they're called--where the point is flat and a little smaller than the minor diameter of the threads. (8255)
Jaimie, I apologize for the sarcastic sounding reply last night. I have been around my in-laws for 4 days. What can I say? The setover screws are like Lurch says, 5/16 - 18. The drum switch knob is 1/4 - 20 on my unit. SB may have used several vendors for the switches, but 1/4 - 20 would be a real good bet. Glen (8256)
Need Tailstock dimensions
The 9" SB I bought came without a tailstock but it did come with a raw CI casting. I'm going to try to make a tailstock out of aluminum before I try working with the CI. I've taken a look at a lot of pictures on eBay and have a pretty good understanding of what needs to be done. But I do need the dimensions of the quill and what thread is the adjusting screw is? I also haven't been able to determine how the key to stop the quill from turning is arranged. John (8431)
John, My SB 9A TS has 5.125 long 1.060" dia barrel with a 3/16" full length keyway on the bottom and the rear thread is 1/2-10 tpi acme. The casting has a key on the bottom of the bore 1" in from the left end. It appears like it seats in a 5/16" drilled hole, but there is no clue how this hole was drilled from inside. There is no corresponding external patched hole and a look inside above the key shows no patch so it must have been from below in the rib under the neck which has rough grinding marks showing thru the paint. I can shoot pics if needed. RichD (8433)
Rich I've saved quite a few pictures off ebay. Like you say it is not apparent how the key is installed. Anyone have any good ideas? What is the size of the keyway? On the pictures it looks about 1/16". I'm also assuming the 1/2 acme is left hand. One other question. Does the plug/bearing on the right hand end screw into the tailstock or is it pinned? If it screws in what are the threads? I've finished the pattern for the base and will be casting in aluminum this weekend. The pattern can also be used for the final CI base. I haven't decided whether to make the aluminum tailstock look like the SB part or just make something that is functional and easy to cast. John (8436)
John, Yes the thread is LH and the key/keyway are 3/16" . The bushing for the rt end of the screw is threaded 1.125-16 tpi and the wheel is taper pinned to the end. There is more . Will send later. Rich (8438)
I have several tailstocks here; one of them there's absolutely no way to tell, another one looks like the hole was drilled up from underneath then plugged and ground so the plug doesn't show, the third has a bigger flat pad where the hole would be on the bottom, kind of a 'web' between the metal around the ram bore and the metal forming the vertical support...definitely 2 different casting patterns although other than that pad they're the same, not a radical difference like a 9 vs. a 10K casting. My guess is they took a drill through for the pin and then one of those needle nose right-angle milling heads [like a quillmaster I think they're called] to mill the key slot inside...or maybe a slotting head? If you're making your own, and the purpose of the key is to stop the ram from rotating, does it have to be on the bottom? Or, if you drilled down through the top, you'd have your key hole and your oiler hole both with one drilling operation. (8439)
Lever operated tailstock for 9" lathe
Does anyone have a drawing or parts breakdown for the above? I would like to build one for my South Bend and can't figure out the spindle from the picture in the catalog. I'd be happy to pay photo copy and mailing costs if anyone can help. Hugh (8510)
Hugh I have several articles dealing with tailstock mods posted here including two that illustrate hand lever operation. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mlathemods/files/TailstockMods/ JWE (8512)
A fellow at the place where I work has one of those things that he doesn't want. I will send you his email adress tomorrow.Its on my desk at work. RC (8521)
Here is a link to a scan of an article in Popular Mechanics from the late forties or so describing how to fabricate a lever: http://www.kinzers.com/don/MachineTools/lathe_projects/tailstock/lathetailstock.jpg (8523)
Help in centering tailstock
I recently changed my headstock. I am trying to center the tailstock to the headstock I inserted a MT3 to MT2 adapter into the spindle. I inserted a MT2 to 3/8 end mill holder. This (conveniently) takes the adapter on my test indicator. The tailstock has a "dead" center in it. I can adjust the left-to-right with the two tailstock adjusting screws. It appears that the tailstock is about 0.007" low. Is it permissible to use brass shim stock?. It there some other way to adjust it? Am I missing something? Is the procedure ok? The "How to run a lathe" Book sees to tell you to just adjust to the points on two centers to line it up. This seems to be very inaccurate. Especially with my eyesight. I would need a 50 power microscope to get within a few thousands. Jim (10170)
Jim, Stick a magnetic indicator stand to a face plate or the face of a 3 jaw chuck screwed onto the spindle. Set up a DTI to bear on the diameter of the center in the tailstock (or the bore). Rotate the HS spindle by hand to show how the TS is aligned. Interposing shims between the TS bedplate and the body should work ok. RichD (10171)
Jim, You can put a piece of flat metal between the points of your centers and the misalignment will show up by the way the metal deflects. It kind of magnifies the alignment errors. If it were not so late I could probably give you the amount of deflection on the end of the flat stock depending on the distance from the centers, sines and tangents and stuff but you get the idea. Shims are OK. A microscope and sewing needles works, too. Glen (10174)
Tailstock centering
I bought a 1944 model A and have been fighting one problem after another. I have reset the spindle bearings, replaced a bushing in the gear box etc etc etc. I am now down to two problems if someone can help. #1, tailstock center is lower than the headstock. I shimmed it up and it is close, but is there an easy way to know when it is correct? #2 I have an American made Skinner 3 jaw that seems to be in good shape but the jaws are out. I did all the stuff I know and the runout was reduced. It was still excessive so I turned a big thick ring true and expanded the outside of the jaws against it and used a toolpost grinder to true the insides of the jaws. It was late and I put a piece od rod in and it seemed true. Today I chucked a machined piece of stock and it was out by .010. What do I do next? Did I grind the jaws wrong? max (10178)
Jeff: Please instruct me in VERTICAL centering of a tailstock. My "center-indicator" strip leans approximately 15^ to the right, telling me that the tailstock center is too low. Johnny (10191)
9 Inch SBL Tailstock Spindle
Dave, My part list shows PT201NR1 as the part number for the tailstock spindle on the 9" lathes. Gib screws are part number: 122 x 444 which cross references to a 12-28 x 1-1/16" slotted cup point set screw. Cross feed nut depends on whether you have a taper attachment or not. Webb (10935)
Webb, I think I need part number AS65NK1 for a non-taper attachment equipped lathe and a 1.75" dial (as seen on page 10 of the Army Tech Pub I had mentioned. I'll send my want list to Rose with the serial number of the lathe and code number on my saddle. Dave (10939)
Dave, The 1.75 diameter graduated collars came in two type: standard (0-99 grad.s) (AS64NK2) and direct reading (0-199 grad.s) (AS1266NK2). I noticed something. In my parts manual, Form 902D Section 1 11-15-64, it lists the part number for the non-taper cross slide nut as: A665NK1. Later in the book, Form 960C Section 1 11-15-64, the part number is: AS65NK1. I assume that the latter part number is the correct one and the former is a misprint. Anyone else noticed this? Webb (10944)
Dave, How does one cross reference the screw identification number to the actual size? Bob (10953)
Bob, I'm not quite sure what you mean. Once you identify your part in the exploded view, take the number and look at the corresponding part number in the manual. If it is a screw, bolt, etc., you can go to the link identified in the "Files" section of this forum and go to "Commercially Available Hardware Items - Form 1178.pdf". If you look to the left of your screen you'll see a window with several links starting with "Home", "Messages", etc Go to the "Files" section. That will cross some of the fasteners over to commercially available fasteners. I'm still trying to locate some of them that are supposedly available commercially, with some difficulty. I hope this helps. Feel free to write me directly if you would like. Dave (10957)
Dave, You have solved my problem. Bob (10960)
Like those very strange setscrews for the cross slide! What, 12-24 or 10-24, or something. I had measured them and searched several sources. I had hoped to find Nylon Insert types so they would stay put, but that was futile. (10962)
If you are talking about the setscrews holding the jibs in the dovetails, they are #12's and standard items. I just got a couple for myself with the intention of using one with a welded in T as a carriage lock. I had my choice of set screw or Allen head cap screw. You'll probably need to go to a fasteners site and not just a hardware store. Dave (10969)
Rose, would you please look up: A665NK1 AS665NK1 AS65NK1 and tell us if any of these numbers are valid, what each one is, and for which application it applies? Anthony (10983)
I think the ones on my SB13 are 12-28. I know it's an NS thread, taps are available, but for clean up I just made a tap to chase the threads. Course you need access to another lathe to do this, but it only takes maybe 15 minutes. Stan (10996)
The correct part number is AS65NK1. This is the crossfeed nut for a 9" or 10K lathe without a taper attachment. Rose Marvin (11025)
Stuck center in tailstock ,10k
I have a stuck center in my 10k project lathe tailstock. It will not back out when I retract the spindle. Now, I have the spindle out of the tailstock and soaking in Kroll oil hoping to loosen. Anybody have any other ideas? Jim (11553)
My tailstock centre doesn't back out either, I keep a thin aluminum drift ready, and run the spindle right out and tap the centre out that way each time. Same thing for my tailstock chuck. Len (11556)
I had the same problem with an old lathe of unknown origin. I did not want to scar up the 100+ year old machine so I made a drift tube to sit the spindle on ,and drove the center out with a piece of rod stock and a hammer. When I got the center out I determined that it was bent. I also soaked it before doing the hammer thing. If you find something obvious like a bent center, your probably home free. Otherwise the spindle bore should be checked carefully, to avoid a repeat performance. RC (11581)
Most centers don't have a self ejecting tang. Either drill and tap the end to take a small bolt or if you're not comfortable doing that put a small piece of barstock in the tailstock before fitting the center, it's easy to fish out afterwards with a small magnet. Bernard (11591)
Jim, how about a short piece of barstock inserted through the screw hole, then use the screw to press the center out? Jeff(11597)
Tailstock offset
Today I turned one of the shafts with a collar on each end to check when returning the tailstock to center position. I was amazed at how sensitive it was when adjusting the set over screws. Is there a secret to getting it to only move a tiny bit? seems like I get within a couple thou, and then it moves a whole bunch? I release the lockdown and backoff the front screw (if that is the dir needed) and then tighten the back with a dial indicator against the tailstock. maybe I should not backoff the lockdown all the way? Dee (14887)
Dee, First make sure the tailstock moves freely, no dirt or burrs and have way oil on the surfaces. One trick I do, which may or may not be correct, is to bring each adjusting screw up against the tailstock but not tight and then loosen the hold down. Then I tighten the appropriate adjusting screw. This gets a movement of just a few thou. The surfaces typically don't get oiled but I open my tailstock and oil the surface if I am going to use it just so I don't get choppy movement. I am a firm believer of plenty of oil, sometimes to excess. JP (14898)
Tailstock clearing saddle
I have been running southbend lathes in my gunsmith business for over 30 years and owned several but this is a first. I bought a used heavy 10, wide range quick change gear box with a 42 inch overall bed length, a 1977 vintage with flame hardened bed in what appears excellent condition. This is a short machine about eighteen inches between centers most of the time with a chuck in use so you need all your bed you have to use. We had this a couple of years before we started using it and the first time I ran the tailstock up to the chuck area I noticed something binding at the saddle. The base of the tailstock which is vee cut on the bottom hits the saddle and wont clear to move up in between the two fingers of the saddle pointing to the tailstock of the lathe. The saddle is also vee cut so it doesn't move front to rear and neither does the base of the tailstock, so was this built this way and if so does anyone know why. Or was the saddle maybe reground or replaced in the past and not properly fit. I can grind the finger of the saddle and clear some off the base of the tailstock and fix the problem without anything being bothered but does anyone know possibly why this may have happened? (14933)
Get the "unit numbers" from the shipping records of the machine and see if they match the ones on the machine you have. These numbers are on the individual components, three digit typically. You may have a frankenlathe. RC (14934)
RC, Just for info. From a 10 heavy owner. I have a SB lathe that was bought in 1939. The invoice called it a 9" Gunsmith Lathe. It doesn't match anything I have found. It seems a lot more like a 10 Heavy but I don't know much about them. I have used it for years and I always thought it was a standard 9" until I tried to fit a quick-change gear box on it and it didn't fit. Let me describe it and if you can compare it with yours you might be able to tell me what matches. 1. three flat belt drive (the steps are 1 1/4" wide) 2. The spindle has a 1 3/8" bore to admit gun barrels. 3. The spindle head is 2 1/4 x 8 threads 4. The spindle taper is (I believe) a #5 MT and the collets are 5C. 5. The large back-gear has 63 teeth (DP = 14) 6. The gear train gears are 1/2" thick and DP=16 7. The distance between the outside V's on the bed is 6 5/16" (Is this the same as your 10 Heavy?, it is wider than a standard 9:) 8. Spindle bearings are solid with shims. 9. Spindle centerline to bed is 4.75" (bigger than a 9 but not big enough to swing a 10) 10. The lead screw is 3/4 x 8 11. Last but not least, the three mounting holes for the quick-change box are spaced (from the left hole) 1 1/4 inch and 3 1/4 inch (from left hole) I have been looking for a quick change box that would fit. Now, My tail stock will slide right up against the saddle. tailstock clearing saddle (14937)
I have heard of a "Heavy 9" that looks just like a Heavy 10 but there are 2 Heavy 10's : the one looks like a 13" (with the 87 zillion pound door) and the Heavy 10 that I have with the sheet metal bench with the hoop looking legs Sorry to be less than definitive with my nomenclature but , as the purpose of language is communication. (14938)
If it would help in your diagnosis, On my heavy 10" (1957, but claimed to have all current subassemblies) the tailstock base clears the wings of the saddle by perhaps 0.1" on each side (by eye), and the width of the tailstock base is a few thousandths under 4.8" (by calipers). Frank (14940)
I have a 1959 Heavy 10 with the 87 zillion pound door. The tailstock clears the saddle without any problem. The base on the tailstock is narrower than the top of the tailstock. It makes a smooth curved profile, not a step. The bottom piece of the tailstock on yours may be from another lathe. Level the lathe first to less than .003"/ft across the bed to eliminate any twist and then check the tailstock to spindle alignment. JP (14947)
Frank I finally figured out at least in my mind. The lathe had been in a school and was a 1968 instead of 77 that is the other heavy ten I have and I am pretty sure that the lathes tailstock was probably lost and replaced by the fellow who I bought it from. I removed and machined the base of the tailstock and got it going but I had never ran into that before. The rest of the lathe is pretty much mint except for it has some adjustments out of whack like the head stock bearings need set and such but such is life. I do have another question though for any later ten owners. Under the front of the headstock under it toward the operator or gearbox is a silver shim about 8 inches long screwed down to the bed the headstock sits on and on the 1977 model bed I have there is no place for one. Any idea what when or where or why for they did this. Maybe just on shorter tool room lathes which is what my 68 model is and not on the 77 which is a 4.5 ft mod. Grumpy (14951)
There isn't supposed to be any shims under the headstock, it should sit on the bed directly. Like the tailstock it was probably put there to compensate for the lathe being set up out of level or a change in the tailstock. The headstock and saddle may now be out of alignment, as they are fitted together at the factory. I would remove it, level the lathe and modify the tailstock to fit if needed. JP (14955)
Tailstock taper question
I am a complete novice to lathes and metal turning but have been reading up before I start. I have a Jacobs chuck which fits my SB lathe headstock quite snug. But when I put it into the tailstock it shoulders before the taper interferes. This means that the whole chuck would turn if I tried drilling with it. Does this mean that the internal taper is worn and if so what does one do about it? Skimming 2mm off the end of the tail stock would give extra clearance and would no doubt make it function but this would remove some of the vernier markings. Am I missing something obvious that seasoned operators take for granted as common knowledge? (16225)
Well I'm no expert either but with my setup I too notice that it didn't seem to fit just right. But all you need to do is run the tailstock out a bit and it's OK. Then to remove the taper crank it back in and the taper pops out. If this is not the way it's done I'm sure someone will tell us :) Mike (16227)
I had the same problem and just cranked the adjuster out about an inch and it seated just fine. (16229)
Thanks for your input. I understand where you're coming from and yes backing off does eject the taper, but even with the tailstock spindle removed from the tailstock I can't get the chuck to seat in the taper as it hits at the shoulder first. Anyone else got any suggestions I really don't want to butcher the tailstock spindle. (16233)
Haven't followed the whole thread here, but it sounds like your taper is/has been reamed too big/deep. Replace the spindle, face off the front, or bore it oversize and sleeve it down. Scott Logan (16235)
Would removing a fraction of an inch off the small end of the drill chuck arbor morse taper give you enough to bite? It would still fit the headstock, but just be a bit shorter so that it doesn't bottom out in the tailstock. Dave (16237)
The headstock is a shortened MT3 taper. The tailstock is an MT2 taper. If the taper on the chuck fits the headstock, it shouldn't fit the tailstock. I am assuming we're talking about a 9 inch or 10K, if not, the tapers will be different, but I think they will still have a different taper on the headstock than the tailstock. Glen (16239)
Your taper is to big for tailstock go down one size. If it fit your headstock it is to big for tailstock. My old 21" has a bushing that fits in the headstock to take a #4 morse taper. Duane (16240)
Duane is right I didn't read the post correctly. The tailstock doesn't have the same taper as the h-stock. If a M-3 goes in the head it'll take an M-2 for the tail. (16241)
No, each Morse taper is different. They vary from .598"/ft to .625"/ft The #2 and #3 are close but you need a friction fit for the entire length for it to operate properly. JP (16242)
Point taken. #9 SB should take a #2 morse in tailstock. Duane (16243)
But if you removed the material from the tang (with the given the chuck arbor has a tang), wouldn't it work? (16245)
Yes, but shouldn't have too. Turn arbor in tailstock see if there is a slot in there for the tang to go into. If not cut tang off. Duane (16246)
No, you shouldn't have to. I agree with Scott Logan in that the spindle taper is oversized. I think his suggestions to correct the problem are ideal. But if you're on a budget like many of us, I would think cutting off or shortening the tang might do in the interim. If you have to remove the tang completely, I'd be concerned about removing the chuck after use. For my live center I built a spacer that goes over the spindle and presses against the back of the center. Works like a charm. I've read where others have drilled and tapped the end of the taper for a machine screw to act as the tang. My concern with using the spacer I made on a drill chuck mounted on an arbor with a JT end would be the chuck would come off the arbor and the arbor to stay inside the spindle. Maybe you could just start taking a portion of the tang off at a time until it fits. Maybe they'll be enough tang left to kick out the arbor. If not, go from there. Dave (16247)
It would most likely wobble a bit. The tailstock doesn't lock the tang like a morse taper drill arbor. If it slips you begin to wear the tailstock socket unevenly. It would take a lot of slipping to ruin it but none the less that is where you would be heading. Morse to Jacobs arbors are cheap, it shouldn't be a big deal to get the correct one. JP (16248)
The tang does serve to kick the arbor out. If the spindle is an odd size, like the Heavy 10 you can make up an adapter. I picked up an unhardened 3 to 5 morse sleeve and recut the outside to the correct size and taper for the spindle. Its easy to get the correct size if your not sure what it is. Get some 'Cerrobend' and cast it. This material is metal and melts in boiling water so you won't harm the spindle heat treating. Use a double boiler arrangement to melt it. Use a Pyrex measuring cup. Plug the ends with a wad of cloth, pour the Cerrobend in. I a few minutes you will have an exact replica of the spindle hole. Make an adapter from the measurements. Cerrobend is a fusable link alloy if you want to do a search on it. McMaster and Enco both carry it, MSC may as well. JP (16249)
Before cutting or reaming or defacing any part of the lathe, you should identify each of the tapers that you are dealing with. Get a chart from the literature and use a micrometer to measure the male taper. The inside tapers are morse on South Bend lathes, but the headstock tapers are abbreviated. Are you using a sleeve in the headstock when you fit that chuck arbor in there. That sleeve could be for a jarno taper. Jarno tapers look like morse tapers, but they don't fit. A micrometer will tell you. If you can find other tapered arbors that are marked you can use them to id the spindle tapers. Look in how to run a lathe to determine the taper sizes for your lathe. Then verify them by measurement or with a known arbor. RC (16250)
No Dave the problem is the chuck itself hits the spindle before the taper engages properly. (16251)
You guys are brilliant. First thing in the morning off I go to the engineers shop and see if I can find out exactly what I'm talking about. Seems to me that it could be : the wrong size taper for the t/stock the wrong kind of taper for the t/stock needing a sleeve to adapt it needing an arbor to adapt it needing sleeving if its none of the above needing much more reading! As I get more knowledgeable I'll be able to talk in Lathe terms so that you'll all understand what the hell I'm prattling on about. Walter. (16253)
Are we talking about the taper not fitting in the headstock spindle or in the tailstock quill? If the shoulder of the chuck itself hits the quill (the part that moves in and out with the handwheel rotation) the the taper is too small, maybe a MT1 like my Sherline headstock taper. But I thought you said it fit snugly in the headstock, which should make it too big for the tailstock. I hope your engineer friend can straiten this taper caper out for you. Glen (16257)
That is right way to do it. On standard morse tapers (not on most lathe tail stocks and head stocks) there is a slot near the narrow end. You drive a wedge into the slot to pop out the taper drill, tool whatever has the matching morse male taper. Otherwise it would be impossible or difficult to remove the morse taper. On a lathe you can use a brass or bronze (or broom stick) to put into the spindle from the rear and knock out the headstock morse taper. On the tail stock you crank the tailstock ram in and there is a projection that knocks out the taper. John (16258)
writes: Anyone else got any suggestions I really don't want to butcher the tailstock spindle. Don't do that until you try other tapers in the tail stock, Morse taper to Jacob taper are fairly inexpensive compared to fixing a butchered up tail stock ram. John (16259)
Don't cut the tailstock. It should be a #2 Morse taper. Look on the chuck and it will be marked as to what the jacobs taper is for the chuck. Get an arbor that matches the chuck taper and a #2 Morse taper. It should be under $10. The tailstock has to be moved out about 3 turns to put the assembly in and hold. When you bring the tailstock back all the way the chuck and arbor should pop out. The arbor should measure about .6 at the tang and .7 near the chuck. If what you have fits in your spindle snugly then you may have a sleeve still in the spindle. The 9" lathe should have a #3 morse taper in the spindle. You may have a #3 to #1 sleeve in the spindle. This would make the arbor you have fit into the spindle and bottom in the tailstock. Take a look and see. JP (16261)
Go to the drawers where the large drills are stored. These drills have morse taper shanks. Look for the morse taper sockets used to adapt between the sizes. They have a slot in them and are generally marked on the tail end as to what they are. Usually there are a bunch of them thrown in with the drills. With an assortment of those sockets you should be able to sort out the mystery in a few minutes. RC  (16274)
Tailstock rebuild?
I am currently in the middle of the clean/strip/paint/rebuild of my SB9a. I have had many problems with the tailstock since I bought this machine, and now am trying to decide what to do as a repair. The current situation is this: The base was worn .005 at the front ( both ways) so I machined this straight on my shaper, and scraped it for bearing, planning to bond a .005" shim to bring it up to correct height. I placed the ram in the headstock chuck, and indicated it. With the bolt removed and the top and bottom of the tailstock assembled loosely. I slid the ram into the casting and snugged up the lock. Top casting is now hanging on the lathe spindle, and to my way of thinking should be pretty well aligned. I measured the gap between the top and bottom castings and find that the gap is .025+ at the back and .020+/- at the front. SO... what now?? I have thought about bonding shimstock on the bottom casting to bring it up to the correct height, or I could inject moglice into the gap. Does anyone have experience with moglice? Does anyone know how tight a fit the tailstock ram should be in the casting? Can anyone tell me how to get the key out of the bore for the ram? Pete (16980)
When I got my Heavy Ten Toolroom lathe every thing was in super shape except the tailstock. I suspect it was not the original because it had a very thick shim and it was still about .020" below center. I guess I could shim it up and use it, but everything is in such good shape I hate to have a heavily shimmed up part. I decided to call Rose at SB and she quoted $ 300 for just the base not including shipping. Even if I gagged and paid it I could not be sure the centers would line up or need shimming or worst yet machine some off. Since the base is mainly a rectangular block I decided to fabricate one using my 12" Sheldon Shaper. I could have gotten a steel plate for not much money, but decided to go for cast iron. I got an oversized piece of continuous cast iron (excellent machining) from an ad on the net. Paid $ 40 for it but found out later that continuous cast iron is made by one US mfg. and they sell thru a lot of suppliers. Found one a few miles from me that I could have driven over and picked it up cheaper than $ 40. Anyway I machined the V and flat on my shaper after measuring the depth of the V. In order to keep everything parallel I put on my vice a sacrificial CI block and machined it flat, thus taking out any error due to the tilting table, wear or anything. After shaping one side of my new CI block I screwed it down on the sacrificial block. I shaped the V and flat to my measurements of the SB base. Unscrewed and blued my bed. Found it not exactly fitting so bolted it back for a correction cut. After the third try one side of the V blued nicely and the other blued part way. Close enough, so I am going to scrape to fit. Then I plan to shape the other side to the correct center line. If you plan to get the CI I used go to Google and type in continuous cast iron and find if they have a local supplier. Walt (17001)
Are you referring to Metals Express? JP (17006)
Tail stock set-over adjustment
I was wondering if anyone had some suggestions as to how to accurately adjust the tail set-over on my 9" Junior. I was playing with a 6" long test plug in a 3-jaw (no tail stock support) and can take a finish cut that tapers about .0005 which I though was pretty good. I center-drilled it and installed a dead center in the tail stock and measured taper were not acceptable. If I adjust the upper tailstock set-over screws, I can get it as close as .0015, but my next adjustment WAY overshoots, or pushes the diameter the other way (???) which makes no sense. I guess a test bar would be the way to go. Andy (17037)
Andy, I test bar will get you close. Probably, a bit better than you are now. To get the lathe lined out, you will need a test cut piece. Do this between centers. A 12 inch piece would do. Take a cut to true up the diameter for a 1 inch length by the headstock. Make sure the tool tip is off the part. Stop the lathe. Don't move the cross slide. Take the part out and move the apron back, so you can cut the piece at the tail of the lathe. Put back in the part and take a cut. Measure the difference and adjust the tailstock 1/2 as much. Repeat till the diameters are the same. I see two problems you might be having. First could be you are adjusting the total difference in diameter instead of 1/2. That would be good news, as you could easily correct this. Next one might be the tailstock itself. Check to see if the quill in it has any slop. If so, then its going to be hard to get any even results. And then when you lock the quill, it will deflect forward. You could adjust with the quill locked, but this will only work for that length. Any variation in length of the part or depth of counter sinks will affect the taper. Tom (17049)
For a start put centers in both the head stock and tail stock. Pinch a thin steel rule between the centers, if the rule is at right angles to the bed your tailstock is aligned (at that position, at least). A good hint is to use two wrenches one on each adjusting bolt head. As you loosen one, tighten the other one at the same time. (same thing for centering in a four jaw chuck) otherwise you are chasing the position all over the place. (17060)
Heavy 10 tailstock adjustment
I recently acquired a heavy 10 and am working on getting things adjusted. I'm a novice, and after reading all I can about setup, I am still puzzled. When I place centers in both head and tailstocks and slide the tips together, the tailstock center is about .025 lower that headstock centre. I cannot see or feel any wear in the ways; certainly no groves or ridges, and when I run a test gauge mounted on the crosslide along the top of a long straight bar, I observe a steady, smooth drop as I move the crosslide from headstock toward tailstock. No bumps or signs of uneven wear; just a steady increase in distance. My conclusion is that the ways are just fine, but the tailstock lies about 0.025 lower than headstock I see the adjustment screws to move tailstock crossways for taper cuts, etc. but no adjustment for up and down. Am I missing something here? What is the remedy? Dave (20633)
Dave, Sounds like you are going to have to shim up between the base and the top section of your tailstock. Slip a shim under the front and rear and check it out. If it solves the problem ,GREAT! If not you will have to look a bit deeper into the problem. (20634)
Dave Is it possible that you might have a tailstock from a 9" junior on your machine. A lot of the heavy 10s came with bed turrets and at some time in the past a machinery dealer in a hurry might have just put any tailstock he could find quickly on the machine in place of the turret to make a sale. The 9" turret I have came cheap because it had a spacer plate bolted to it to raise it for a 13" machine. Took off the spacer plate and saved a couple of hundred dollars because the dealer did not know what it was. JWE (20635)
On my 9 inch south bend, the bottom of the tailstock was worn aprox that amount. I cut shimstock to fit between the tailstock where it separates, sweeped it with di and presto I was at proper height. freddy (20637)
Tailstock Spindle Tread
Does anyone know the thread size and pitch of the 9A tailstock spindle? I am trying to repair one that has been abused. It looks like about 1/2-13 but does not look quite right. I could always tap it whatever size and make a new threaded shaft, but would prefer to put it back to original. Ron (20713)
Ron, It's a 1/2in-10tpi left-hand Acme. They are not real hard to turn, I've made a few. Tex (20717)
It may interest some users to know that Green Bay Mfg. www.greenbaymfgco.com has an impressive number of sizes of acme threaded rod and nuts in their catalog, most of it available immediately or in stock. I have a small LLC corp that I buy and make inquiries under, so they sent me some of their sales information which might not be available to individual buyers. The 1/2 x 10 tpi left-hand rod is part number 1001-16 (1018 steel) for 3.94 per foot; 1005-16 ( I believe 4140 steel) for 5.97 per foot. There are various round, square, and hex shaped nuts available in this thread as well in bronze and grey iron. I have not ordered from them yet but I plan to soon but there is no indication of a minimum order, although it is realistic to expect one. It still might be cheaper than a new screw made locally or bought from LeBlond for those of us not confident to make our own.  Bill (20727)
Lever tailstock
Does anyone have any information on the lever action tailstock. Basically I am looking for exploded drawings or pictures, etc. I have an extra tailstock for my 9 inch model A and would like to try converting it to lever action. The last one I saw on Ebay went for $300.00 +. Jim (20729)
Jim, I have one that a machinist did a nice job on sitting downstairs. I could try and send you pics if it would help. Paul(20731)
Paul, I would appreciate it. Jim (20746)
Jim: I have a copy of this in parts break down from a 1965 parts list. If this would help we can e-mail it to you. Dave (20782)
Dave, I would appreciate it very much. I am late in my response and I thank you. Jim (20914)
I have one of those tailstocks, I can send you pictures or dimensions if you would like. Let me know. It is actually a modification of the regular tailstock so you could probably duplicate it. (20926)
Tailstock Quill Honing
The inside of my tailstock has a small bit of damage in it, and my #2 morse taper centers don't quite fit snug. Can I take a brake cylinder hone to the inside to clean it up? (What is the preferable method?) (21218)
There are morse reamers in various grades (rough, medium, fine). using a fine reamer would probably be the way to go. But.. as usual these things can be pricey. I know ENCO carries them. Don't remember the price. If you are friends with a machine shop you might be able to borrow one, that's what I did. (21219)
We use to use a tapered reamer to clean them up. That might not be available to you though. Don't know if a machine shop around you would have one or not. You could try the hone and if it don't work, then find a reamer. Maybe use a stone first to take off the high spots. Tom (21220)
I bought a set of finishing reamers #0 through 3 from a guy on eBay. They are new reamers and pretty reasonably priced. The 4 piece set cost $90. Singles are $25 to $35. http://stores.ebay.com/XKUT_W0QQsspagenameZl2QQtZkm Check out his store. No connection, just a satisfied customer. Glen (21221)
The tailstock bore
The quill of a tailstock is nothing more then a cylinder with a tapered hole. Sending it out to a shop that is properly tooled for this kind of operation may be the way to go. The thing is over time rust, chips and poor handling can cause problems. Tools that slip cause a galling action to the bore. Buying the right tool can be expensive if used incorrectly. All you need to do is take out the high spots. Taking too much may really damage the true axis of the bore. I'd get a 2ond opinion from SBL. After all they made it. Perhaps they will clean it up for a fair price. Then you will have a re-conditioned piece from the maker. Ron (21223)
I have also seen a tool that can be bought for no. 1 or no. 2 tapers that allow you to do this clean up at home! They might be on Horror Freight or maybe even e-bay. This should be cheaper than sending the unit out!!! just my two cents worth. bill (21261)
I think I'll buy the #2 and #3 and all you guys can send me the quills and headstocks you want reamed. It should take about 2 weeks to pay for top of the line parts as much as we discuss it here. It will go from cheap to more expensive every time I do one. Guys in first get the best price. Do not buy Cheap reamers! They are a waste of money and will not "true" the bore. Paul(21265)
Hmmm, I'm thinking about what Paul wrote. I know that line reaming a bore is a finishing job once the initial hole is bored. The reamer is more about sizing then truing an axis. So it would seem reasonable that any quill that was originally bored can be cleaned up with a tapered reamer. Provided it runs fairly true in another machine. Any thoughts on this? regards, Ron (21272)
I use to do the reaming in the original lathe. I'd put a center in the headstock. With a crescent wrench, I'd turn the reamer a bit. I would turn the wheel on the tailstock to feed the tailstock spindle forward. Not to much pressure. Doesn't take much to clean it up. This is assuming a good alignment of the tailstock sleeve, tailstock bore (and fit) to headstock. Also have to be aware that the tailstock has a cross pin or something to keep the morse taper attachments from turning. Tom (21275)
Sort of related query.... Has anyone got any tips for modifying centers without "tongues" to self eject from the tailstock? I can see several ways of doing this, but I'm sure someone will have come up with a "best" way. Currently, I remove the whole quill and drift the centre out with an aluminum drift. Anything with a tongue on the end self ejects OK. Len (21276)
You might think about putting an extension on the back of the center about the same length at the 'tongue' is. Basically as I remember, the end of the 'tongue' contacts the thread part of the tailstock. This 'ejects' the center or other morse taper item. Since your center isn't that long then , or I should say the diameter is also too big, it can't contact the screw or threads to eject. So try extending the length with a diameter that the same as the width of the 'tongue'. Tom (21278)
I have one MT-2 item which came with a screw in the rear (Non tounge). This needed to be adjusted to self eject. As I remember it was a live center. I recently bought a small 3 jaw chuck, this was non tounged and would not self eject. The MT-2 part was threaded into the chuck. I removed it held the threaded portion on a collet, drilled and tapped the MT taper end, 1/4-20 and used a flat head screw. It now ejects fine. Jim B. (21280)
Drilling and tapping for a small socket head cap screw is my solution for extending the length of a MT tang. (21282)
Sorry, I hit send accidentally with my last... thanks to everyone for some good suggestions. Len (21284)
Len, I always thought that the extension on the end of a taper shank was called a tang. so, I looked it up in American machinist handbook and discovered that your terminology "tongue" is correct and we can dispense with the quotes. a lesson learned for me. joe (21285)
Joe, they say that the only thing that divides the Americans and Brits is a common language!... I just called it a tongue without actually knowing, and I guess tang is just as usable, even if not terminologically correct. Len (21287)
I have added a brass piece on several centers so they self eject. They have turned out to be different lengths for different pieces so they all eject at about the same spot. (21289)
Just a note; to be 'very' careful when reaming. Take only the amount of metal off that cleans up the bore! It is truly amazing how taking off too much (no matter how small) will allow a taper shank to go remarkably deep. Ken (21300)
Tailstock #2MT reamer revisited
I posted a question some time ago about cleaning burrs from my tailstock, and the end result was to use a finishing reamer. I am very new, and I am ready to tackle this. In an ideal world I would chuck up the reamer in the headstock and use the handwheel to feed the tailstock quill into the reamer. During restoration of my (Heavy 10) lathe, I noticed that the previous owner shimmed the tailstock. I still kept the shims, but did not install them during assembly. I assume that the shims were installed due to wear on the bed close to the headstock, or that the tailstock is not the original, and doesn't match the headstock. I don't have a headstock spindle adaptor (yet) so I can't line up two dead centers between the headstock/tailstock to see how far off they are. Now for my question: Since the alignment between my headstock/tailstock is compromised, I need to find a better way to clean up my tailstock quill. Enco sells a Morse Taper "Hand Reamer". Do I just jamb it in the tailstock and spin it with a wrench/Drill?? This seems too crude, and maybe someone has some better advice. By the way I can see a (brand-new) #2 live center move in the tailstock under a load, which leads me to believe that I don't have a perfect fit, and need to clean up the tailstock via a reamer. (23232)
The rotating center (slang is live-center) is absolutely fixed on axis. As far as the work goes, it would not see any difference between a solid and rotation center. The ball bearings are not there to allow for any mis-alignment. You really need to get the tailstock aligned properly. As for the hand reamer, it should work. A #2, MT finishing reamer would cost about $30.00 from a supplier. I had bought one a few years ago and offered to pass it around the 7x10minilathe group, but it got lost and never made it home. I too would like to use one to clean up a tailstock. Depending on the part, I might make a holder-wrench for the tailstock sleeve, chuck the reamer in the 3-jaw and slide the sleeve over the reamer. Then use the carriage to put some feed pressure on it and rotate the spindle by hand. Dave (23234)
Chris, I think first you need to determine where the movement in the live center/tail stock is. If its between the live center and the quill, then yes you will need to ream it. Also, check between the quill and the tailstock housing. I wouldn't use a chuck to align the reamer. Or if you do, turn the taper/angle on a piece of steel rod and don't remove it from the chuck. If you have collets, then that will hold a piece of round stock to be turned also. Or hold a center with a straight body. Then you can check the alignment by eye. I would roughly align by eye, then use a test bar and a dial indicator. Both from the side and from the top. You can also use about a 12 inch piece of round stock and turn it between centers to see the taper. Then adjust the tailstock to take out the taper. Only after you have aligned the tailstock to the lathe would I ream it. Tom (23235)
Chris Mount your dial indicator on a faceplate or chuck. If you have a good MT arbor mount it in the tailstock and take readings on it as you rotate the headstock chuck by hand. Adjust the tailstock with shims and the adjusting screws to get a consistent reading at the top and both sides of the arbor. This will get the arbor end of the quill lined up but won't guarantee that the quill itself is horizontal. Fully extend the quill and with the test dial mounted on the xslide check the top of the quill along its length and shim as necessary. You might have to repeat the operation a few times to get everything lined up. You should be able to hand feed the reamer. Unless the socket is in really poor shape the reamer will line its self up. You should be only taking a skim cut anyway. John (23237)
Chris, Now is the time to get old fashioned. Use the reamer with a hand wrench, like a tee handle tap wrench to clean out any burrs or high spots. Use a known good #2MT something and some markym dye to find how you are progressing. It is too easy to cut too much with a machine feed, do it by hand and take your time. You can align the headstock to the tail stock when you are done. Chuck up a piece of round stock and machine a point on the end and leave it in the chuck. Then align the tailstock to it with a center in the tailstock. I am assuming that the lathe has been checked for level before this alignment procedure is done. JP (23238)
I agree. More than likely just simple hand pressure with a reamer will clean up the MT bore. Bill C. (23239)
When I did my drill press, the internal burrs were pretty hard. I found that taking one good cut was enough and that there was no noticeable increase in how deep the other tooling went. Dave (23241)
I ordered a hand reamer, and some marking dye from Enco this morning. Last night I mounted the work into the lathe with the tailstock quill fully extended. While pushing on the work, I measured the travel of the tailstock quill and the live center. The Tailstock quill moved less than .003 The live center moved about .010 (I was pushing pretty hard when measuring) I have not been able to make chips without a lot of chatter. Hopefully this is will fix the problem, and I can go onto learning. bill (23252)
For all measurements, I did have the lockdown engaged. Is .003 still acceptable? (23269)
Need help on 10L tailstock base
I am making a new base to replace my badly worn heavy 10 tailstock base. LeBlond wants $300 for a new one, so I ordered a 6" square X 1" of Durabar ( continuous cast iron) and started cutting this nice stuff but found getting the V depth right in relation to the flat is difficult. I did find the unworn top and bottom are parallel so my thought is to place a .250 dia pin in the V and measure down with a depth mike it would be easy to duplicate a new one. Does anyone have a not to worn base they could measure for me? Incidentally I got the Durabar from an advertiser in HSM for $ 40 , but later in using Google I found the manufacture of Durabar near Chicago. I am pretty sure you can't buy small quantities from them they list many cities that stock there products and I found one 15 miles from me near Grand Rapids, Michigan. I am going to try my next buy by going directly there. Walt (23366)
If anyone helping out Walt would also help me out by measuring the thickness of their 10L tailstock base, I would greatly appreciate it. I would like to see if there was a variation in sizes since my lathe looked to be all original but the tailstock sits .018" too low and the bed isn't worn THAT much! Roy (23392)
My tailstock sits a little low. I had considered milling the base down 1/4" or so and making a spacer that I could just bolt to the base that had the same profile as the original base. What do you think about that idea? sbwest2002 (23454)
Kevin: If any of that wear is in the "Vee" then you will have to mill it right out to start again. What about a 1/8" cut off flats and vee and then "Turcite Liners" ? You will of course need an accurate measurement of an unworn vee to the flat in order to reference your finished size. I might also add that you will need a measurement from the side of the casting to the C/L of the Vee so you will probably have to take clean-up skim off the side and measure from the side to the centerline of the Vee. This also can be done on a mill with a dial indicator or with a good depth mic by letting your rod or bar stick out the end of the vee and a measurement to the edge of the bar plus 1/2 the diameter of the bar. Take as many reference measurements as you can think of as you never know which can help you in locating the finished surfaces correctly. Ron (23456)
By how much is it low? Roy (23458)
I read on another message site a few months ago about guys having trouble with tailstocks slipping under load after Turcite or other low friction materials were added to the base surfaces. The general consensus seemed to be, don't do it, it makes the tailstock difficult to lock in place. I have a 1940 era SB 10". After scraping everything my tailstock was about .040" low. I shimmed between the base and the upper part. When I need to offset the tailstock center for tapers, I use an attachment that fits in the MT2 socket, so I never need to offset the tailstock itself. Under those conditions, the shims don't cause any problem. (23460)
You can shim up between base and tailstock. I did it successfully. sorry my English. Capipio (23463)
It is .006 low. I have it shimmed now but wanted something better. I figured that if I had to offset the tailstock, it may mess with my shims. Kevin (23464)
Mine was 0.008 in front and 0.004 at wheel side. I did it with 1" x 3" shims. No problem when offset for taper turning. Best wishes. Capipio (23471)
Tailstock wrench
I have a 15/16 tail stock wrench- no casting number- just some gold paint in the recess of the swan necked handle with a tapered hex hole . I need a 11/16 tail stock wrench for my 10K. Some one want to trade? Darrell (23684)
Darrell and anyone else out there with tailstock wrench problems I found a solution that I like much better than the factory wrench. I went to sears and bought what they call a Stubby 7/ 8 open end box end wrench (heavy 10 size) and I think it is wonderful. You can put on the wrench at twice as many points (12 point instead of 6 ) and they are really a nice size wrench. I even use one on the quick change tool post which also works with the same size as my H 10 tailstock nut. You should try one in the size you need I think you will like it unless your going for originality. Grumpy (23688)
Grumpy, thanks for the idea. I have an extra flarenut wrench with a socket on both ends, from which I amputated the unwanted other end box with chop saw. Ground the cut handle smooth and it works great. Darrell (23700)
Tailstock? off list
Fred, while you are convalescing, would you happen to own or know of a South Bend Lathe 9" model "Lever Tailstock". I would like to buy one or ask a few questions regarding the lever assembly dimensions. I'm prepared to make the parts to convert a standard tailstock to a lever style. Rich (24301)
The 9" Boxford uses a lever stock, it fits the ways of a 9" sb, however it might need to work to get a perfect line up. I just sold a complete Boxford and its bed is just like the 9" SB. (24302)
Ok I can now say for sure the Boxford and 9" use a VERY similar TS (someone lacking knowledge on Ebay sold me a heavy 10 TS, and when the package came I am now the proud owner of a 9" TS) I put them both on the bed and they both line right up with the HS on a Boxford lathe. (24304)
I second that, I had the same machine before I left the UK, very nice lathe and its supposed to be the down market side of Colchester, another very highly respected UK lathe. Bernard R (24307)
I have a lever type tailstock that came with my lathe, wouldn't be without it! I'm not sure if it is a SBL accessory or maybe off another makers lathe? Maybe others can tell? I have posted 2 pics in the "misc" folder on the photo website. Tim Q (24329)
Tailstock alignment
I am wondering how to tell if the tailstock on my 16 inch SBL, model 117C is in correct alignment. I put a Jacobs chuck in the taper of the tailstock and started to center drill a piece in the 3 jaw when it seemed the drill was running off center, as indicated by a visible wobble in drill bit. Any advise appreciated. Is it possible the lathe being out of level could do this? I haven't checked its level in a long while. Mark (25046)
Mark, Assuming (always dangerous) that you snugged the T/S barrel clamp, there is not too much play in the barrel, the taper holds the chuck arbor tightly, and (most important) the tailstock is in alignment, are you using a center drill to start? A center drill would take a lot to make it wobble. A drill will wobble if the flutes are not ground equally, but normally will be pulled into center if you first used a center drill (a short bit to put a center into the end of stock). George (25047)
Yes, being out of level could do that. A periodic level check is a good idea. JP (25048)
A simple way to check tail stock alignment requires good centers in both the head and tail stocks. Bring the tail stock up till the centre points almost touch and eyeball their relative positions. If necessary, adjust until they look about right then try to gently trap a thin straight metal bar between them. Bar need to be as thin as possible commensurate with remaining straight, about 3/8 wide is plenty. See last couple of sentences for what I use. If the points are exactly on centre you can get the bar to stand up straight or lie exactly at right angles to the bed. Any error tilts it, handily indicating the direction of error in the process. With good sharp centers its frustratingly accurate. Ball ended "centers" are perhaps more manageable for this task. Ball ended "centers" are easily made if you have a couple of gash soft centers or blank end MT arbors to sacrifice. Simply set-up in the head stock, turn a shallow conical recess about 1/2 to 2/3 the chosen ball diameter and silver solder a ball bearing in place with the arbor standing vertical so the surface tension of the silver solder pulls the ball central. OK to make them different sizes. These are handy things to have around being much kinder to the centers drilled in the work when taper turning between centers. Light cuts please as, being fabricated, they are not so strong as solid centers. Can also make them for the replaceable point type of rotating tail stock centers but now careful work is essential if the result is to be accurate. A similar trick can be used to see if a tool is exactly on centre height. Set-up or turn a true running rod, reasonably slim but big enough to be stiff, 1/2 to 1 inch OD works fine. Probably the best thing to use is an MT ended test bar, if you have one, but promise to be very, very careful! Gently trap your thin metal test bar between the tool cutting edge and the rod. If it stands up straight you are on centre. Tilting top towards you means the tool is low, away from you its high. The smaller the rod diameter the more sensitive the test. I use my 5th best 6" flexi-rule as the thin straight metal bar. Cheapy-Chinee free gift taped to a magazine cover. Distinctly marginal accuracy but with nice deep graduations and seemingly indestructible despite being used for all the grot jobs and frequent residence in the swarf tray. Clive (25055)
An out of level lathe bed can certainly cause strange things and should be checked first. However, to check the tailstock you will need a dead center in good condition to fit the tailstock spindle, a "Last Word" type dial indicator with a flexible arm, and a small mirror. Put the center in the tailstock and the indicator shank in the headstock chuck. Bring the tailstock up to the indicator with the spindle retracted and lock it down with the indicator contacting the center about halfway between the point and the shoulder. Rotate the headstock chuck by hand and note the indicator readings with the position of the indicator. If the indicator reads high/low at the front/back of the center, you can adjust the tailstock front to back with the setscrews. If the reading is high/low top/bottom, it is likely the tailstock is low due to wear. A shim can help, but you will need to take multiple readings in order to get the dimension for a happy medium because the bed is not likely worn evenly throughout it's length. Roy (25057)
Mark, Try putting a dial indicator in the head stock, then by hand check the inside taper for run out by turning the chuck by hand. The set over will be easy to zero in this way. Any up down adjustment is another matter. (25064)
I understand what the statement below is saying, and I believe I understand the procedure. " Put the center in the tailstock and the indicator shank in the headstock chuck. " My question is: does the indicator holder have to be dead nuts on center in the chuck in the headstock? or does that not make any difference? I have some issues also with my tailstock also I 'm trying to sort out. Alex (25065)
I do not always understand all that you say as I am a beginner at this. The suggestions that I do understand are priceless, when I can make sense of them. The cutting tool on center with the cheap ruler trick, I will never forget, as it makes perfect sense. You can use the same cheap ruler between sharp dead centers for a quick check of tailstock alignment, right? Thank you, and please keep the tips coming. Nick (25070)
Leveling will certainly make a difference and should be done before trying to align the TS. I was recently having a similar problem with the spotting drill wandering around trying to center. Having a mill, I also have a Blake co-axial indicator, which I mounted in the headstock and ran it against a MT drill arbor, but ways can be found to rig virtually any dial indicator. I found the TS was below center line and was not parallel to the bed, tested by measuring with the TS ram retracted and then at maximum extension. After shimming both ends of the TS, between its two parts, and centering there is now no wobble on spot drilling and turning between centers is within 2/10ths over 8", which is close enough for my type of work. Due to the age of the lathe there is movement between the ram and housing, and care needs to be taken to be consistent with how much torque is put on the ram lock. Bernard R (25072)
No, it doesn't matter if the dial indicator is centered or not, because it won't be touched throughout the operation and will remain relative to the axis of the spindle as the chuck is rotated. Roy (25073)
TS, between its two parts, and Thanks to all input on tailstock alignment. I am a bit confused though about reference to setscrews in the tailstock for alignment, mounting dial indicator in chuck, and also about shimming the TS. I don't see any set screw? It also seems to me that to use a dial indicator in the chuck that its mounting shaft or axis of indicator should be centered? Someone said no, and my spatial geometry is letting me down? As to shimming, if I place a shim or shims under tailstock, won't they migrate out of align when I move the TS? Thanks again for all the great suggestions and input. This group has been wonderful (with the exception of one posters vulgarity). I only wish the collective group were in the shop to show me by example all the great ideas. mark (25088)
Mark, I'll try and go through the points as you raise them in the text. (25090)
Even if it is not centered it will rotate about center. Thus the displacement of the indicator from center will be constant at any angle of rotation. That is all that is needed. Jim B (25092)
Mark, Imagine (or try) mounting the dial indicator in a 4 jaw chuck say one inch off centre. As you rotate the chuck the mounting point will sweep a perfect circle. It doesn't matter if the chuck is running true or not. Frank (25095)
My take on this running thread, is to first level the lathe as stated before. If you have a center for the headstock, you can put a center on each end of the lathe (headstock and tailstock) and visually align the tailstock. If your ways are worn or your tailstock was replaced, then you might need to shim up the tailstock vertically. So don't panic on that yet. There should be a setscrew on each side of the tailstock. You will need to loosen them up. Then turn the opposite side one in to move the tailstock towards the other side. You can try and use a dial indicator in the headstock as suggested before. I usually use a aligning mandrel between the two centers. Then I usually turn a piece and check for differences between diameter near the headstock and tailstock. Then adjust the tailstock 1/2 the difference of the diameters. Tom (25097)
Once again, my thanks to all the responses on this issue. My first action will be to relevel the lathe. I would like to try the method using centers in HS and TS. I don't have a center for the spindle, but I do have a hardened round socket with 3MT sleeve. Could I chuck that in 3 jaw. I presume I would then put a dial indicator on the center tapered face to check it is not running out? mark (25106)
A solution that is more simple: put a chunk of steel in your chuck turn a 60 point directly in the chuck and leave it there until your lathe is aligned. Your headstock center for the process will be perfectly centered This way, you won't need to center the headstock center. Don't forget... the centers are not used for intensive duties when aligning a tailstock. Guy (25109)
Guy, Thanks, that is so simple I should have seen it. mark (25112)
Mark writes: Sorry if this has been covered before, it seems like a basic question. I am wondering how to tell if the tailstock on my 16 inch SBL, model 117C is in correct alignment. --- Dealing just with the question of how to tell if the tailstock is in alignment with the spindle, I presume what you want to know is if the tailstock spindle is in lateral, vertical, and axial alignment. Thinking a bit on the subject, try the following: Put dead centers in both the headstock and tailstock spindles. Either manually or at slowest speed, turn the headstock spindle and check the center to be certain that it's running true (if not take whatever corrective measures are required). If you have the ability to do so, check the tailstock center in the same way, if not, at least look it over to see if you can see any flaw which would make it unreliable as a gauge. With the center in the tailstock, retract the ram to determine at what point the center will release from the taper. Leave the center in this "just released" position. Now slide the tailstock towards the headstock until there is just 1/8" to 1/4" of clearance between the centers. Reset the center in the tailstock so that it won't rotate. Wind the tailstock spindle out towards the headstock until the centers points come in contact with each other and check them visually to see if they are "point to point". As a better check, do the trick of lightly pinching a 6" rule between the centers and see if it tilts in any direction. To check that the tailstock center is true you can retract the ram to release the center, rotate the center maybe 90 degrees, reset it in the ram, and reperform this test. And do it at several more positions of rotation. You have just tested the tailstock ram and center for proper lateral and vertical alignment with the headstock at minimum extension of the ram. I hope this first test was satisfactory. Release the tailstock and slide it away from the headstock. Now run the ram out until it releases from the screw. Having determined this position, reengage the ram with the screw and retract it about 3/8" to 1/2". With the ram in this position, reperform the tests you ran when the ram was at minimum extension. If the results of this second test matched the first you have verified the same conditions for the ram at maximum extension. You have also verified that the ram is in axial alignment with the headstock spindle. If the results are different you can tell in which direction the tailstock axis is out of alignment. Regarding corrective actions, it is important to make certain that the alignment is correct at minimum extension before checking for axial alignment. Once you've verified or dealt with the alignment at minimum extension you can then take whatever steps are needed to maintain the alignment as the ram extends, but if you start adjusting before you've established a solid base position (minimum extension) any "corrections" you make are likely to agravate whatever problems you may have. These tests have checked that the tailstock is in alignment with the headstock center, but the have NOT tested that the headstock axis is in alignment with the bed and tailstock. That's a different problem. Using the machine to check itself is a good practice if you can determine a method that will work. Anthony  (25114)
Fix For Worn tailstock - SB 9" Model A
It is somewhat hard to measure as I do not have anything that serves as a height gauge. However, a center in the tailstock is about .010 lower than one in the headstock. I have some .003 shimstock and have been inserting it in layers between the upper and lower halves of the tailstock. Is this the best way to deal with this? Yes, this lathe has had LOTS of use. With the help of parts from Sobel's and others, I have renovated it as much as practical. For now, I am using the tailstock from my Model C, which has very little wear; and, it cuts pretty straight. Still, I would like to not "cannibalize" one lathe for the other. Any suggestions for fixing the tailstock that came with the lathe would be appreciated - especially since I have invested in a quill and handle for it. Andy (25172)
Andy, I sometimes get the feeling that tailstocks get moved from one machine to the other. Mine was out of tram with the bed quite badly and I ended up with different shim packs front, back and both sides. You need to shim all four sides, not just front and back, otherwise different torque on the central clamping bold can change the alignment. I think you can buy different shim stock from car accessory stores, 2, 5 and 10 thou work for me. Bernard R (25174)
Tailstock is 0.12 " too low
The tail stock on my sb 9" is off by quite a bit( very low), are there any tricks to bring it up to height or should I be looking for a replacement. I will be doing a lot of center drilling with 2-4MM drills. (25634)
It can be shimmed if off a little but .125 is a LOT. Makes me wonder if there isn't some previous-owner-butchery at work.(25635)
It does seem a lot. Is the Tailstock Quill pointing down at the headstock end for any reason. Mine was pointing up when I got it, due to shimming at one end of the sub-base. Jim (25636)
Are you sure that you don't have a twist in your bed. This can appear to make the tailstock off. Check out the archives on leveling before you start to shim. Jim B. (25647)
Check the bed before doing anything else, it could be old and warped, it could be distorted by heavy bolting down on an uneven surface. But it's quite likely that your machine could have a tailstock (or headstock) taken from from another lathe. Normal wear on a tailstock's base eventually lowers the tailstock, but not that much. One hundred and twenty thou difference is a lot to account for, so I don't think your all of your lathe is original. Most unusually, my tailstock was about 10 thou high, and the headstock was warped, which I put down to the strains of manufacturing in 1943. And that's as great a height difference as I've ever encountered. If the base face of your tailstock is in acceptable condition, and if the headstock's mandrel is parallel to the bed, set up a dial gauge or "Verdict" style indicator gauge to read inside the internal taper of the tailstock when the mandrel is rotated -- this will give you an accurate measure of TWICE the height difference. A piece of thick gauge plate (commercial annealed carbon steel used for tool making) can be ground to the required thickness, cut into two parts, and inserted between the upper and lower half of your tailstock. Between the two pieces of gauge plate you'll see a long "key" and keyway that control alignment of the the tailstock during cross movement when the tailstock is set-over for taper turning. You will have to extend this "key" to retain proper tailstock alignment, especially for work with small drills. If the base face of the tailstock is in poor condition, its probably cheaper to get another tailstock with much less "wear", but your existing stock's wearing surface could be ground on its flat and vee faces to remove the worn area, and a even thicker piece of spacing gauge plate used to lift the top half of the tailstock. Grinding that base perfectly parallel to the tailstock's barrel needs work of a good professional standard. Alan (25648)
Further to the excellent advice from Alan. If you don't happen to have a "Verdict" type indicator an alternative is to release all the tail-stock fixings, extend the barrel and grasp it in the chuck so you can measure the gap twit body and base with improvised feeler gauge scrap sheet stacks. Obviously you need to be pretty confident of the chuck, I'd be inclined to remove the mandrel, set it true in the four jaw then slide the tail-stock into position (carefully) before holding it in position by tightening up the locking lever. A minor potential advantage of this approach is that you can do "cut try" with your gauge plate or, more likely, selections of steel sheet from the scrap box. At least with a big discrepancy you can use engineering methods to make and fix the new spacers. Faffing about trying to fix 10 thou or so of shim in when its only a bit out can be a right PIA. A point that the inexperienced among us might not be aware of is that, despite the calibrations, a dial gauge is not a measuring instrument. Its an indicator (hence Dial Test Indicator) or comparator and for accurate work you are looking for "same indication" when compared with a gauge block stack or moving against whatever you are aligning. This is especially true of lever "Verdict" types which, basically, derive the needle movement via a pair of balanced hairsprings. Plunger types use a rack and pinion so they come closer to being a measuring instrument but are less versatile than the Verdict type. If you have a slide type adjustable boring head which can be mounted in the tail stock you can use the centers tilting ruler method to measure the offset. Start by making a centre to fit the boring tool mounting holes in the head and get it running true. I'd be inclined to put the beast in the head-stock taper, mount up a short bit of round stock to make the centre from, get it all running true and cut the centre in situ. Transfer to the tail stock with the adjustment slide running straight up and down and adjust until your test strip (e.g. gash 6" ruler) does not tilt when trapped between the centre in the boring head and one in the head-stock. You could trust the boring head calibrations but if you have a plunger DTI you can work directly off the moving slide then use the DTI as a comparator to get the shim stack or ground plate the right size. Its a lot easier to do it the way Alan advises! Clive (25668)
I used a crude and rude method for tailstock aligning that was meant to be just for starters - might have been a fluke but it was all I had to do. What I did was put a sharp centre in the head stock and tailstock and brought the two points together with the tailstock spindle wound in. Using a magnifying glass I centered the points with packers in the tailstock and then checked the points with the tailstock spindle wound out. Using brass shim it didn't take long at all and doing the odd parallel cut over a reasonable length since the alignment (using the tailstock) shows the lathe to be quite accurate. Dave (25682)

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