Lathe Drilling, Countersinking, and Reaming - 3: Testing Alignment with an Indicator
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WARNING: Machine tools present a safety hazard. Improper operation can result in severe injury. These topics are for non-laboratory study only and are not to be used in conjunction with the operation of any tool or machine described herein. Never use a machine tool without the supervision of a qualified instructor.
Another method of checking straighness (shown below) is to put a straight bar between centers and use an indicator mounted on the carriage to test for taper. The round bar being used must have zero taper of its own.
Another method using a dial indicator mounted in the lathe chuck to indicate the inner tapered surface of the tailstock quill.

When the indicator readings are identcal at 3 and 9 o'clock on the tailstock quill taper the tailstock is centered.

During measurements the tailstock should be locked down on the ways and the tailstock quill travel should should be locked. Ned Seiths
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label: lathe drilling, countersinging, reaming, tailstock alignment, indicating, center drilling, chamfering