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Discussion Starter #1
You guys have been such help for me, now I have another question. I finally got my new Harbor Fright lathe assembled and running. I really can't believe for this small amount of money ($216.00 including tax and 25% off coupon) that the thing runs so well. The center points on both the head stock and tail stock align perfectly with no adjustment. I did, as was suggested here, replace the drive belt with a NAPA one and it runs quiet and smooth, a vast improvement over my Sears mono-rail 1972 vintage. I do have a question...what is up with that funky tool rest? It seems sturdy enough but seems like it has way too many parts. I turn many bottle stoppers and like to bring the tail stock to the blank when I start roughing out the piece, that is not possible with this tool rest because the rest itself is too big and gets in the way of the tool rest. What have others here done to remedy this?
I would have no problem buying a new tool rest that would be small enough or of a completely different design but so far have not been successful in my search. I must say, that except for this problem I am completely impressed with this tool for the money. I have had it up and running for two days only and have turned an 11" diameter vase using the supplied face plate, changed speeds slowly and didn't have any vibration what so ever. I am saving again for the Nova that I briefly had the money for, but it will be the end of spring for that one and I would really like to turn more stoppers soon. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Than you,
Bandman
 

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The toolrest problem is an easy one. Remove the upper part of the arm and leave it off unless outboard turning. Just put the toolrest in the lower arm only.
 

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It sounds like you might have the offset dogleg piece between the banjo and the tool rest. There are plently of aftermarket tool rests if you need to get one that is not very wide. I think that the one that comes with the lathe is pretty wide which makes it a problem because it interferes with both the headstock and the tailstock. A good size is one that is 4 inches wide. I don't mind cutting a tool rest down to size if I can't find exactly what I need.
 

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Yea The cantilever tool rest part is the weak part of that machine. Remove it and use the standard tool rest or buy an aftermarket tool rest that fits in the banjo and don't use the cantilever part. It just causes excessive vibration and I've heard of several breakeages.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all your help, guys. I guess I was in a bit of a hurry to get the lathe to work for me and didn't see the forest for the trees. I took off part of the rest assembly and replaced it with a shorter rest and every this is just fine. Still can't believe the thing even works for the money!

Bandman
 

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A word to the wise ... when buying a better tool rest (I have several) you might be tempted to think your lathe uses a 1" post.

It doesn't -- it takes a 25mm post, which is about 3/1000ths smaller than an inch. (Go ahead, ask me how I know this ... :censored:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A word to the wise ... when buying a better tool rest (I have several) you might be tempted to think your lathe uses a 1" post.

It doesn't -- it takes a 25mm post, which is about 3/1000ths smaller than an inch. (Go ahead, ask me how I know this ... :censored:)
Yes, I have already found out it doesn't take a 1" rest. I have an adapter that changes a post from 5/8's" to 1" and when I tried to use it, it didn't fit. Thankfully, I have a 6x48" stationary belt sander that took care of that problem quickly! The 5/8" post is a small French Curve that I use a lot and bought the adapter the same day I got the lathe.

Bandman
 

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Yes, I have already found out it doesn't take a 1" rest. I have an adapter that changes a post from 5/8's" to 1" and when I tried to use it, it didn't fit. Thankfully, I have a 6x48" stationary belt sander that took care of that problem quickly! The 5/8" post is a small French Curve that I use a lot and bought the adapter the same day I got the lathe.

Bandman
That's a good way to solve the problem! (I had to ask my friend to remake it, he was a good sport and didn't charge me extra.)

After the first experience, I took the extra banjo arm along on shopping trips to test-fit posts :yes:
 
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