What's new
What's new

I Have Two Good Functional 10L Spindles/Headstocks - What to Use to Differentiate Which One to Keep?


Feb 1, 2020

I happen to have what I believe are two good, functional and complete10L headstocks. I'd like to get rid of one, and keep the other. I'm not aware of anything specific that is broken or excessively worn on either. They're both 2-1/4" 8 TPI threaded spindles, no gears are missing teeth, the backgears seem to work fine on each, no spindle threads are buggered up, and so on.

So what should I use to differentiate between the two? I guess the other big thing would be spindle bearing wear? Is there an objective way to assess that, like how many shims are remaining in the shim stack under the bearing housings? Do any of the backgear levers or journals typically wear? Were there any desireable updates over the years to the headstocks, which one might have and the other not?

Help me make the right decision! :)


Feb 23, 2016
Houston, TX
Cleaned, lubed, and new felts, both will no doubt outlast you, lol.

You could mic spindle journals, as one test.

I would clean, lube, felt, and set clearances on both, then do a runout test on both with at least an .0001" indicator, just to know.

Probably prefer original headstock to lathe bed though, not a deal breaker either way, but headstock alignment to bed will most likely be closer with original headstock. Either will probably need adjusting, but the original will probably be closer when checking spindle alignment to bed ways.