Metal Lathe Tailstock

Used the lathe for first time for a while yesterday and couldn’t get the tailstock screw to move the quill at all preventing drilling from being done. Seems like it is locked up with only a bit of backlash and no forward/back movement when turning the wheel either way. Top lock was completely loosened so that shouldn’t have been the problem.

Anyone else have this issue?


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Someone cranked the wheel too hard and locked the ram into the back of the tailstock. Figure out the opposite direction and give it a good crank.

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Will give that a try. Thanks!

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Hope this isn’t against any rules I am unaware of but I too have been having troubles using the lathe due to the misaligned tailstock, the work around that I have been using to drill holes into turned down stock however is to simply mount a spot drill into one of the tool holders and eyeball dead center on your work and then proceed with drilling as normal. I have planned to use this week to look into how to align the tailstock with the headstcok as well as try to fix the locking mech. for the tailstock as I have a project I am trying to complete by the end of this week that requires the use of the lathe. I’ll post updates here if I make any progress on fixing the equipment.

For now however, using drills in the tool holders has worked for me as a means of drilling holes in my work. Just a suggestion if you really need a hole drilled using the lathe ASAP.

@Andres79 The metal lathe needs some tlc. I have tightened the carriage a bit last month. The tailstock got adjusted a while before then. Go ahead and adjust the tailstock

I made a new plug so the live center can be driven out of the tailstock ram by the internal release pin. Also the plug got some red loctite treatment.

Someone left the drill chuck loose in the tailstock. It rubbed and caused some seating issues. It got sanded and seems to be working, be careful that the taper on drill chuck or live center is seated. I think what happened was the taper was being unseated by the internal pin in the ram that releases the taper. The drill chuck should not ever spin.

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I’ve noticed it is quite easy to accidentally unseat the drill chuck from the tailstock. It will unseat a few turns before the tailstock quill is fully retracted, so you have to be careful not to over-retract the quill. Just something to watch out for.