Harbor Freight Lathe Critique #3: Head Stock and Tail Alignment Issues

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by luv2learn posted 12-05-2013 11:33 PM 1617 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Follow up on lathe filter comments Part 3 of Harbor Freight Lathe Critique series no next part

The Head Stock on this particular lathe is designed to rotate at varying degrees up to 180 degrees. One of the issues fellow Lumberjock William, A.K.A greasemonkeyredneck pointed out to me was keeping the head and tail stock in alignment. This issue is due in part, or perhaps in whole, because of the ability of the head to rotate.

The next two photos illustrate how much misalignment is possible on my lathe.

If the hold down lever isn’t tightened down with a lot of force I will have the same misalignment issues William told me about. Also, the lever is plastic and could break if enough force is applied.

William told me that when he aligns the head stock he starts tightening the hold down lever with the head stock just clock wise of center. Once fully tightened it will move to center. I tried this and it works, thanks William.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

4 comments so far

View cajunpen's profile


14461 posts in 2882 days

#1 posted 12-06-2013 02:16 AM

Thanks for this information Lee. I’ve had the same issue with my Nova 3000 lathe. It’s head stock will also swing out, which is a great feature – but I have trouble getting it realigned with the tail stock. I may try the fix you use to get yours aligned. I also ordered this __NOVA 2MTNA Acruline 2MT Alignment Tool just received it today. It should make realignment easier. I’ll let you know.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View quicksilver's profile


185 posts in 1404 days

#2 posted 12-06-2013 02:49 AM

I have a Jet 1236 lathe which is the same as the Harbor Freight lathe right down to the same part numbers.
I acquired this alignment tool made locally. It has a #2 morse taper on both ends. or you could try some of the turning catalogs.
Packard woodworks has this tool. Might help.
Helps to align the headstock and tailstock.

-- Quicksilver

View doubleDD's profile


3093 posts in 859 days

#3 posted 12-06-2013 03:28 AM

I haven’t had any issues with my nova DVR, but it’s good to know solutions if a problem arrives. Thanks

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams

View luv2learn's profile


1961 posts in 1119 days

#4 posted 12-06-2013 03:41 AM

Bill & Quicksilver, thanks for the link. I put this item on my Christmas list :)

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase