The work begins: Damaged discovered!


Lathe setup is usually just a matter of cleaning the shipping grease and getting the machine into place.  I had a few extra things in store…

When the LMS HiTorque 8.5 x 16 Bench Lathe (Sieg SC4) arrived and got loaded to it’s bench the first thing I did was to crank the carriage back and forth. YIKES – what was that horrible wobble in the crank handwheel??  Turns out it was the start of a complete dis assembly of the carriage & apron, and ultimately a complete replacement of the apron and saddle.

The work begins: Damaged discovered!
Lathe Setup

Preparing to remove the apron


The big crank-handle on the apron which engages the rack on the bed to move the carriage back and forth was not engaging properly and would rotate with a horrible wobble.  To determine what was up, I had to tear down the entire carriage and apron.  Kind of a bummer on a brand new machine!
Preparing to remove the apron
Lathe Setup

Leadscrew coupling


Once the problem was detected, LMS was quick to ship in (and pay return shipping) for a replacement saddle and apron. They also replaced the leadscrew cover at no cost - the one I received was horribly scratched and had a very lame touch-up job done.  Only cosmetic, but still...! As is often mentioned - the metric socket-head screws used on the machines from China tend to be a bit soft - and should be replaced. These were particularly tight.
Leadscrew coupling
Lathe Setup

Access to leadscrew


For the next few days, the lathe was slowly disassembled and placed on a folding table in the living room near by.  Eventually I could see into the apron assembly and found that the crank for the handwheel  had been either pressed in incompletely or had been damaged in shipment.  When I opened the crate on the sidewalk at arrival I did see the box of change gears had dislodged in shipping, was broken open, and gears were all over the inside of the crate.
Access to leadscrew
Lathe Setup

Lead screw retainer bearing


The leadscrew is pinned ti=o the right end of the lathe and held with two socket screws.  It takes a bit of wiggling to get it out.  The carriage should be moved all the way to the headstock end, and of course the leadscrew cover removed.
Lead screw retainer bearing
Lathe Setup

Leadscrew is free


The leadscrew is free - the retainer block is seen.  Should you have to work on the apron, be aware the leadscrew cover CAN cause binding as the carriage is traversed towards the tailstock. The Chinese builders seem to have a problem getting holes to line up correctly...
Leadscrew is free
Lathe Setup