A Millwright's Guide to Motor Pump Alignment

Second Edition

A Millwright's Guide to Motor Pump Alignment, Second Edition

Tommy B. Harlon


This is a Print-On-Demand book and is printed upon receipt of your order. It is not returnable except for product defects. Delivery will take approximately 10 to 14 days.


Looking for the eBook version? Click here.


Note: To read an article about the author, click on the "Resources" tab immediately above.



A former engineer stated that the author's first edition contained more alignment information than the sum total of all other works in the Library of Congress. A Millwright's Guide to Motor Pump Alignment, Second Edition is the result of over 38 years of hard work and many thousands of hours writing, testing, retesting, and testing again the alignment-related formulas the author developed on his own. It is sure to be valuable to novices and professionals alike!


A Millwright's Guide to Motor Pump Alignment, Second Edition is only a tool, a highly effective tool. It can no more make the alignment for you than the wrench with which you have unbolted the motor. But with this book, after you have taken an accurate set of dial indicator readings and allowed for the pre-determined sag factor, you do not have to wait for “the bottom of the ninth” to get that grand slam win. 



  • Written by a mechanic for mechanics in a mechanic's language.
  • Provides loads of information, common sense tips, and methods and formulas that have been around for decades.
  • Offers the "how-to's"; along with the drawings, the formulas, and mathematical examples that address the "who", "what", "when", "where", "why", and "how" in several dozen realistic incidents involving alignment work.
  • Features valuable hints, practical tips, comments, and cautionary notes throughout to drive home each point.
  • Covers at least 99% of the field alignment problems encountered by most mechanics.
  • It will make your work much easier,


Note: To read an article about the author, click on the "Resources" tab immediately above.

Local Mechanic’s Gguide Utilized Across the Globe


By Don Lively



Tom Harlon’s hands tell the story of a lifelong mechanic

They bear the proof of over 50 years of turning wrenches and being up to his elbows in grease and oil. He is missing a finger on one hand, the result of an accident with an electric jointer when he was 14 years old. The rest of his fingers and his palms and wrists are permanently chapped and stained from a lifetime of working on industrial machinery.


Yet, while his hands tell their own tales, his mind, still quick and alert at 78 years old, tells the rest.


Harlon, though he dropped out of school after finishing the eighth grade, is the author of one of the most comprehensive books on motor alignment ever written … one that has its own place in the Library of Congress.


The book, titled A Millwright’s Guide To Motor/Pump Alignment, is the result of his life’s work and of thousands of hours of writing down, testing and re-testing his theories.


He’s not at all embarrassed at not having finished school.


“I graduated from eighth grade and then I QUITurated ninth grade,” he quips. “Much of what my life’s work and the book are about, I learned in seventh grade … ratio and proportion.”


Mr.Harlon, who recently retired from Plant Vogtle after 24 years, relied on his math skills there and at other plants he worked at throughout his career.


He begins to recite mathematic equations and formulas that most people likely can’t comprehend and he gets a mischievous look in his eyes when he realizes that he has totally stumped the listener.


“Think about it like this. If you’re shooting a rifle at a target five hundred yards downrange and you move the barrel only one inch off, you will miss your target by fifteen yards.”


According to Harlon the same principles apply to motor and pump alignment.


“If you are off even one-one thousandth of an inch at point A, by the time you get to point B you have a hell of a mess.”


Though the average person has no comprehension as to the importance of such calculations as it applies to industrial machinery, it is vital to mechanics working in paper mills and other factories all over the world.


Harlon’s book has become a guide for just such folks.


It is required reading from far flung places like Johnston’s Atoll in the North Pacific, an unincorporated territory of the United States where dangerous waste is burned, just as it is at a plant in Nova Scotia.


Some years ago a former engineer was given the task of searching the Library of Congress for shaft alignment material concerning various motor and pump alignments. After an exhaustive search the engineer stated that Tom Harlon’s book had more information about motor alignment than all the other works he located combined. That earned The Millwright’s Guide to Motor/ Pump Alignment its shelf spot in the Library of Congress.


“This is where it all came about,” Harlon says, as he sweeps his arm across his office cluttered with books, manuals and papers.


After only a couple of hours with him it’s easy to see that Harlon’s book is a work of love. He enjoys being a mechanic and he enjoys talking about his work and his book. But he is also quick to point out that he is constantly working to improve his methods and theories.


“It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor or a lawyer or a ditch digger, there’s always room for more learning,” he says.


It’s also evident that Tom Harlon doesn’t just say it. He believes it.


  • Introduction
  • The Totally Dedicated Mechanic
  • "T" Hammer (a short story)
  • On the Subject of Tools
  • Some Personal Thoughts on Shaft Alignment
  • Horizontal vs. Vertical
  • Rules
  • What to do First
  • A Little More on the Subject of Tools
  • Handy Practices - Tricks
  • Runout Check
  • Regarding Repeated Redundancy
  • The Sequential Torquing of the Pump Core to Volute
  • Soft Legs or Soft Feet
  • Perpendicular vs. Otherwise
  • Monitoring via Mag-Base Indicators
  • Indexing a Bridgeport Milling Machine Head
  • Field Coil to Armature Alignment
  • The Lateral Aspect (of Field Coil to Armature Alignment)
  • Armature to Field Coil Alignment
  • Side-to-Side Movement, Using Jackbits
  • The Raw Basics of Rim and Face Alignment
  • Tapered Inner-Bore Bearings
  • Prelude to Rim and Face Alignment
  • About the Rest of This (Rim and Face) Chapter
  • A Multiple Line-up Problem
  • True Story? (Probably)
  • Outright Wasted
  • Time for a "Coffee Break"
  • For My Sons
  • Counterproductive Element Identified
  • Couplings
  • Small Diameter Couplings
  • Squirrel Cage Fan Solutions
  • Daddy, What is? Daddy, What if
  • Perfection
  • Chapter Subjects and Titles
  • Dueling Brothers
  • Unknowns
  • Personal to the Reader
  • Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How?
  • Who Are You to do the What?
  • A Brief Introduction to the Wagon Wheel Theory
  • The Wagon Wheel Method
  • Long Spools (Sometimes Called Jackshafts)
  • Short Story on Reverse Dial
  • Reverse Dial
  • TIME
  • Single Side Reverse Dial
  • Vertical Mounted Motor/Shaft Alignment Where Random Bolt Patterns Exist
  • Auxiliary Attachments
  • Vertical Mounted Drivers
  • Trammeling Vertical Columns
  • Gearboxes with Dual/Triple/More Power Shafts
  • Gearboxes with Vertical Power Shafts