The Harbor Freight 8×12 lathe comes with two 40 tooth idle gears that screw into the machine base just under the spindle on the pulley side. By default only one of the two (you can see it below and right of the spindle looking down towards the tailstock) is installed since most people right hand thread.
Well, we had to resort to the little mini lathe to left hand thread repair today. We had forgotten about the extra 40 tooth idle gear and thankfully we didn’t throw it away with the junk screwdrivers and pot metal Allen wrenches. All we had to do was install the other gear on the left hand side of the spindle and relocate the original one down a bit to the next threaded hole (you can see that one threaded hole above the original idle gear) location and all was well! The leadscrew turned the opposite way
Also, we downloaded the 2014 version of the manual from the harbor freight site and the thread chart in the manual is different from the one on the front of the machine?!
PS, the dial was set on an even number for a metric 1.5 pitch but perhaps it can be set anywhere.