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New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment (Read 354 times)
 
David Gilliland
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New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Aug 24th, 2017 at 11:48am
 
Hi all, first post here. I'm a relatively new wood turner. I started on an old grizzly mini lathe handed down to me, and recently upgraded to a JET 1222vs.

Out of the box, the headstock and tail stock of the JET are not perfectly aligned horizontally (please see attached pic).

I've reached out to JET and they've told me to "shim the bolts" or file down the tail stock. I'm not really comfortable filing a brand new piece of equipment with my limited experience, and I'm still working on getting shims so haven't tried that yet. I'm wondering if:

a) Should I expect perfect alignment out of the box, and if so, should I be pushing JET to fix the issue rather than trying to implement their recommendations?
b) Is the amount of misalignment shown in the photo significant enough to be a concern? I'm definitely getting a lot more vibration on this machine compared to the Grizzly, which is making it hard to get smooth, but I don't know if the alignment or another issue with my setup is causing this.

Thanks for any wisdom you can impart on this newbie!
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Louie Powell
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #1 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 12:14pm
 
Let me make sure that I clearly understand the issue - you are saying that the misalignment is in the horizontal plane?  That is, the picture you posted shows how the headstock drive center and the tailstock live center come together as seen from directly overhead.

If so, I would start by looking for an opportunity to loosen the bolts that attach the headstock to the bed to see if you can twist the headstock a fraction of a degree to correct the misalignment.

I agree with you that you that filing and shimming should not be required to achieve vertical alignment on a brand new out-of-the box lathe, and if that's the problem, then leaning on the manufacturer is appropriate.  But a slight horizontal misalignment could call for a simple fine-tuning of the assembly of the lathe that you could reasonably do yourself.

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David Gilliland
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #2 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 1:28pm
 
Thanks so much for the informative reply Louie.

Yes, you are understanding my issue correctly. The photo is taken from directly above the tailstock and head stock, and the only misalignment than I can see from visual observation is horizontal.

I will look in to adjusting the head stock, though it appears that accessing those bolts will be quite tricky!

One other note is that there seems to be some play in how the tailstock rides on the racks, and if I pull it toward myself slightly then it becomes pretty close to aligned. However, once I clamp it down to the rack it goes back to the original position.
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John Grace
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #3 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 1:46pm
 
Can the guides to your tailstock be loosened from underneath?  This is different than the lock down handle.  I'd guess this is what needs adjusting...
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John Grace
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #4 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 1:51pm
 
Sorry...just checked the manual, my previous comment will not work.
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David Gilliland
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #5 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 3:05pm
 
Unfortunately as you discovered, I cannot adjust that separately. I'm assuming the mfg was suggesting that I file down one side of the tailstock guides to bring it back toward center, but I'm definitely not comfortable doing that.

The shimming they were recommending was to address twist in the bed, but aside from a manufacturing defect I don't know why the bed would be twisted...

Seems like adjusting the head stock as Louie suggested might be easiest, if I can access those bolts.

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Chris Neilan
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #6 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 4:05pm
 
Common problem is the setup. The lathe has to be leveled to the floor. Try adjusting the leyveliing feet. You will find that that will rack the lathe. Keep adjusting till erfect. I had to do this to mu Powermatic.
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George Stratton
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #7 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 4:51pm
 
Loosening the bolt under the headstock on my old Delta (which is actually new) and shifting it a little by hand solved the same problem on mine. Their right in line now when you tighten the tailstock.
Geo.
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Tom Coghill
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #8 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 5:08pm
 
I would go back to Jet again and since this is BRAND NEW OUT OF THE BOX, I would request they replace it with another.  Paying full fair for a lathe (by that, I mean brand new, not used) you should not have to "re-machine" it to make it function correctly. Angry
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Ed Weber
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #9 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 6:09pm
 
Tom Coghill wrote on Aug 24th, 2017 at 5:08pm:
I would go back to Jet again and since this is BRAND NEW OUT OF THE BOX, I would request they replace it with another.  Paying full fair for a lathe (by that, I mean brand new, not used) you should not have to "re-machine" it to make it function correctly. Angry


+1
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Don Stephan
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #10 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 7:04pm
 
Like some of the other respondents, i would be extremely hesitant to start filing away, which would void your warranty.

You might consider getting several 3x5 cards as test shims.  It's not clear if you have the lathe on a benchtop or a stand, but that may not matter (except, if you have it on a stand, make sure the lathe bottom meets the stand without play on all four corners.) Make pencil marks to indicate the positioning of the base of the lathe on the tabletop, or the stand on the floor.  Bring the points of the drive and live center within a sixteenth of an inch of each other, but slightly separated.  Slide two of the 3x5 cards under one corner of the lathe bottom or stand, and see if the alignment of the points changes.  Remove the two cards and try under the adjoining corner and note the results.  It might be necessary to apply light downward pressure on the four corners of the bed .  Seems like this should show if there is twist in the lathe bed, without a lot of time and trouble.
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Tony Rozendaal
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #11 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 8:23pm
 
David Gilliland wrote on Aug 24th, 2017 at 1:28pm:
...there seems to be some play in how the tailstock rides on the racks, and if I pull it toward myself slightly then it becomes pretty close to aligned. However, once I clamp it down to the rack it goes back to the original position.


Depending on how close "pretty close" is, this may be normal or intentional.  Robust (as an example) guarantees alignment when both the headstock and the tailstock are pulled to the front of the play between the ways.
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Ed Weber
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #12 - Aug 25th, 2017 at 10:07am
 
Here's a scenario for some of you guys. (small rant)

You need XXXXX tool for work to make money.
You pay for a new tool for said purpose.
If the new tool doesn't work properly what do you do?.

I take it back and get another one that does work.
After all, I didn't pay for a broken or out of alignment tool, I paid for a new one.
It doesn't matter if an easy fix or no big deal or someone else says "yeah, mine was like that".
You pay for a new tool, you should get a new tool PERIOD.

Honestly, if you don't mention the initial quality problem, manufacturers will continue to provide sub standard tools.
Rant over
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David Gilliland
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #13 - Aug 25th, 2017 at 12:40pm
 
Ed Weber wrote on Aug 25th, 2017 at 10:07am:
Here's a scenario for some of you guys. (small rant)

You need XXXXX tool for work to make money.
You pay for a new tool for said purpose.
If the new tool doesn't work properly what do you do?.

I take it back and get another one that does work.
After all, I didn't pay for a broken or out of alignment tool, I paid for a new one.
It doesn't matter if an easy fix or no big deal or someone else says "yeah, mine was like that".
You pay for a new tool, you should get a new tool PERIOD.

Honestly, if you don't mention the initial quality problem, manufacturers will continue to provide sub standard tools.
Rant over


I completely agree Ed! Since I'm a bit of a newbie I wasn't clear if this was a problem with my setup or with the lathe itself. I'm still not clear actually, but I think all of the setup-related issues mentioned above are things I have addressed, so I'm thinking it's the lathe itself. Not only is the spindle alignment a concern, but based on the sounds and vibrations coming from the drive system, I feel like the bearings are not in good shape either. I took a few videos if anyone is willing to take a look and let me know if they have the same conclusion.
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If there's a bearing and alignment issue, to me that's more than enough for me to send it back. Unfortunately that's a huge pain in the rear for me, but seems like it's the right move.

Thanks again!
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Louie Powell
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Re: New Turner - JET 1221VS Alignment
Reply #14 - Aug 25th, 2017 at 1:58pm
 
My response questioning the description of the problem was based on the experience that I had with a new lathe a few years ago.  It came disassembled - among other things, I had to mount the tail stock on the bed - and I found that while the vertical alignment between the headstock and tailstock was bang on, the horizontal alignment was off.  But that was purely a matter of the positioning of the headstock on the bed - all I had to do was loosen the four bolts, shift the headstock a fraction of a degree, and tighten the bolts to resolve the problem.

I don't know how Jet ships their lathes.  If you had to do the final assembly, or if it was done for you by a local dealer, then you could be in the same situation.  That's a simple setup issue, and is easily resolved.

But as Ed says, it is absolutely unacceptable for a manufacturer (even one with a good reputation like Jet) to suggest that you need to shim or file a brand new machine.  If a new product requires that kind of aftermarket fix, then it needs to go back to the factory. 

As far as the sound goes - I don't have a Jet so I can't comment other than to say that my 5-year old lathe also makes noise.

This is a situation where it would be really helpful if you could find a local club - I'm sure that there would be members who would be happy to make a housecall to help you diagnose the problem.
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« Last Edit: Aug 25th, 2017 at 1:59pm by Louie Powell »  

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