I have a Sheldon WM56P 13" lathe. It weighs around 1200 lbs and has four leveling bolts each at the headstock and tailstock end. I set up a1" cold roll round bar in a collet with 5.5" between the collar measuring points and then cut out .010" or so in the middle of the bar. I then took a clean up pass on the collars and then a very fine pass at about .002" depth of cut. I then tweaked in the two inside bolts of the tailstock until it will cut a taper of only .0015" over the 5.5" between the collars. This equates to about .00027" of taper per inch.
I think that is pretty good for a lathe built in 1953, but I would like to get the opinion of the group. A problem I have ran into is when trying to "twist" the bed at the tailstock end is that the bolt I am trying to adjust will lift the opposing end of the cabinet off the ground if it is tightened too much. It is cutting slightly larger at the tailstock end and when I try to lift the front edge to twist the bed so it will cut more off the tailstock end I run out of adjustment before I can get the last little bit of twist because of the lift problem.
I have about 500 lbs of slab weights I can put into the cabinet at the tailstock end to "push down" on the bolts or I can bolt one corner so it cannot move. I would rather not have to bolt it though as that would entail alot of work and also drilling a hole in my garage floor. I have also read numerous posts that say never to bolt down a lathe of this size.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated on solving this problem or just letting me know if that amount of taper in 5.5" is satisfactory or not.