My Lathe #2: Solutions and Fixes!

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Blog entry by Jerome posted 03-21-2019 08:12 PM 338 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Problems with Securing Stock Part 2 of My Lathe series no next part

Today was a fact finding mission that began with a trip to Woodcraft. I looked ot other lathes and their construction. I also checked out some drive spur options and tailstock options. While I was at it, I priced some new lathes with variable speed, spindle locks, lathe stands, and full sized lathes. Still, my mission was to find out why i was having my issue, and I narrowed it down one by one!

First was the fact that my tailstock was slipping. I took it apart and inspected it. I searched for washers that would suffice as replacement parts, but ultimately there was no problem with my existing tailstock. As it turns out, the camshaft is slipping a bit. My solution was to tighten the bolt with a ratchet wrench to ensure it didn’t budge.

Secondly, while looking at other lathes i noticed the quill travel was 2-3 inches. mine would only travel and inch or so. I figured that problem out and fixed it. I also picked up a new drive spur with deeper teeth and a spring action center point. With all this figured out. I mounted my OLD piece of cherry. I powered it up from a distance and there was still too much vibration and the piece was moving. Luckily, I picked a brand new 3×3x36 piece of cherry. This was fresh and ready for its trial. Finding the center was easy and i punched center holes in both ends. I did not make any relief cuts. I mounted it to the lathe, bolted the tailstock, and advanced the quill. From a distance, i powered it up. It ramped up speed and this time it stayed in place!

I watched it run for a minute of so just to see what happened and all was well. All i could think about was if I could just slow it down some. I saw on youtube that someone replaced their motor with a variable speed motor and it worked well. I didn’t have time for that. I removed the stock from that lathe and decided to check the speed. It was on the lowest setting, or so I thought. My instructions show the speed chart, but the pulley wheels are not labeled and it depends which way you’re reading them (front or back) I placed the belt on the opposite end and powered it up. This time it was much slower, at 760 rpm vs. 3200!

This was just a reminder to put tool through their paces when you get them to learn a few things. a nice tasty slice of humble pie. Yes some people will express some RTFM talk, which i did, but I learned my lesson today. Even so, the workpiece stayed on the lathe at 3200 and at 750, so while roughing at 3200 is not preferred, It probably wasn’t the main reason it was slipping off.

Learning lessons:

1. You don’t need a faceplate for spindle turning
2. My tailstock needed some maintenance
3. It is best to keep large pieces on the lathe until turning is complete (see #1)
4. Learn what speeds you should be at, given the turning stock

-- Jerome, Marietta, GA

3 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile (online now)


6119 posts in 2777 days

#1 posted 03-21-2019 08:19 PM

Glad you succeeded. I learned that different woods require different speeds for some of the same jobs. I have a very small variable speed lathe and always start at the lowest speed and adjust from there. You might also see if your motor can run on one of the remote speed controls.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View stefang's profile


16748 posts in 3845 days

#2 posted 03-21-2019 08:31 PM

Glad you got it fixed Jerome. A happy ending to this story. I would caution you about installing a variable speed control on your lathe. I have no first hand experience with one, but I have read that it can seriously cut down on the torque of your lathe at higher speeds, which can be very detrimental when faceplate turning. I am just mentioning this so you will be sure to get all the facts before purchasing a conversion kit. some sellers often mention all the positives but not negatives.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jerome's profile


159 posts in 2640 days

#3 posted 03-21-2019 08:49 PM


I’d rather just get a better lathe! When I purchased this one, I never envisioned the demand that I have for it now. The cost was $200 at the time and 89 for the bed. It was a good buy, still is. All the tools chucks and attachments can be used on a new lathe.

Ive been awarded a bid which requires alot of spindle turning to make mace’s so I need a more reliable tool now. At least i want one! My motto is to go mid industrial will all my tools, and this one was hobbyist. Bowl turning is not in my future. Nothing about that excites me. lol.

-- Jerome, Marietta, GA

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