Tuning Your Mini-lathe
There are several adjustments you can make to significantly improve the accuracy of your minilathe. These adjustments, properly done, can improve the quality of work you can produce.
To get accurate, nicely finished work and minimum chatter, it is important to remove as much play as possible in the saddle, cross-slide and compound. Try grasping the compound and twisting it from side to side. If your lathe is properly adjusted you should be able to move it very little.
Adjusting the Gibs
One of the simplest and most effective adjustments is adjusting the gib screws. Gibs are metal strips that sit on one side of a dovetail slide, such as the cross-slide and compound, and which are adjustable to take up any slack or slop so that the dovetail slide is very smooth and snug.
Looking at the side of the compound rest you will see 3 small set screws surrounded by locking nuts.