Going through my mental checklist
Tailstock w/eccentric for mounting centers (check)
Speed set to low (check)
Drive center mounted to quill of headstock, (check)
Live center mounted in eccentric of tail stock (check)
Live center aligned to drive center (tail stock goes up/down, eccentric goes side to side in a circular fashion) and all set screws securely fastened (check)
Mount stock between centers (check)
Position toolrest approximately 1/8" and NO MORE than 1/4" (the bigger the gap the more control problems you will have) from outer most portion of spindle (check)
Test toolrest clearance by hand turning blank just to be safe, a blank is a terrible thing to waste on a toolrest. (check)
Lathe chisels clean, sharp
ened and ready for action (check)
ALL SAFETY CHECKS COMPLETE INCLUDING POSITIONING OF FULL FACE SHIELD
(If you don't have a FULL FACE SHIELD, get one. My $15 face shield has paid for itself thousands of times over by preventing eye and face injuries.) This is after all a hobby and should be fun. I have never had fun in an ER waiting room. (CHECK!)
I do recommend doing some research there are tons of you tube videos on wood turning, look for ones that demonstrate proper presentation of the various tools to the work.
Read the lathe section of Power Tool woodworking for Everyone
, lots of good info and it's Shop Smith specific.
Have fun and be safe.