Hands On
Service Methods and Tips

MAR/APR 2004
Volume 47/Issue 2

Project Articles
Strip Laminate Bending
The Turned Hall Tree
Two Great Kitchen Gift Items

Ask Smitty
Owner’s Gallery
Letters from Owners
New Baby Workshop Calendar
Academy Notes
Clean Cuts - Pt. 5 - Sharpening Jointer, Molder & Shaper Knives
Service Pointers
Troubleshooting the Shopsmith Lathe Duplicator
Safety Tips
Safety Cans for Flammable Liquids

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Copyright 2004.
Shopsmith, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Service Pointers
Troubleshooting the Shopsmith Lathe Duplicator

Printer friendly PDF copy of article (10K)

Most Lathe Duplicator problems have simple solutions. Under normal use, you should rarely have to service a component. Most problems can be corrected by performing periodic maintenance, alignment and adjustment tasks...and by changes in work habits.

This Trouble shooting Guide should help you diagnose and remedy the most common occurring Lathe Duplicator problems.

Possible Cause


Quality of cuts is poor (rough or torn surface)

Cutter is above workpiece centerline

Lathe speed too slow

Cutter is dull

Cutting too aggressively

Lower Table to bring down to centerline; or down to 1/16" maximum below centerline for certain types of wood.

Check Speed Chart & increase speed

Replace the Cutter

Use a lighter touch

Inexact diameters

Improper alignment of Lathe Centers - or Follower to Cutter

Using wrong Follower

Way Tube Clamp improperly positioned

Alignment not checked when remounting Duplicator

Check alignment and adjust if required

Change to Follower with same shape as Cutter

Check that recessed ends of both Clamps engage Way Tubes properly. Reposition as required.

Check alignment and adjust if required.

Good cuts on one end of turning, but poor cuts on the other

Lathe Centers not parallel to Table

Way Tube Clamp improperly positioned

Chekc Table-to-Lathe Centers parallelism & align

Chekc that recessed ends of both Clamps engage Way Tubes properly & re-position if required.

Cuts are tapered

Template not centered properly or centerline not drawn squarely on template

Way Tube Clamp improperly positioned

Straighten template on centers or redraw centerline on template

Check taht recessed ends of both Clamps engage the Way Tubes properly & re-position, if required.

Excessive vibration (whip & chatter) when turning thin spindles

Cutter is positioned below workpiece centerline

Cutting too aggressively

Raise Table so Cutter is on centerline

Use a lighter touch

Excessive vibration when turning larger spindles or bowls Workpiece Centers improperly located or wood is unbalanced Check for proper centers and balance. Relocate center(s) or cut off stock until workpiece is balanced.