I checked on my machine and looked at it from the other end (right hand side). The gripper is perpendicular to the groove at the bottom (where you unscrew the 3 screws). Mine is right in line. The control panel does slant toward the operator. Looking at that groove on the bottom and making it the long axis of the machine, the gripper is right on line. You might have a problem and may need to give Herb a call.
If you know anyone else who has a crank machine, you may want to try it on their machine before calling, just to verify.