Clean headstock base and bed.
Place headstock on bed.
Tighten the four vertical clamping screws no more than finger tight.
Lightly tighten the two horizontal gib screws until they are firm.
Finally tighten clamping screws.
If the headstock is now out of alignment, something's broken.
It should work, since there's nothing involved that is normally subject to
If the headstock appears to be out of alignment it's far more likely that the
bed is twisted. They are not the world's most rigid lathes... (although the
long bed version is much more sturdy)
Well, doesn't lathe alignment have to be done with respect to the
tailstock, both vertically and horizontally? - thats for between
centers - and for faceplate or chuck work, it isn't so critical as you
turn to diameter anyway. (Didn't know headstocks had gib screws in
them - will have a look at mine...)
Get hold of the lathes manual (Google it) and you will find it has the
necessary diagrams. Also, get hold of a basic textbook - the Southbend
Company "How to run a lathe" is good, available as a free .PDF
download if you look for it. Karl Townsend gave you a link to a method
of alignment if you dont have a precision calibrated test bar - worth
looking at that as well.
No, the headstock alignment needs to be done with respect to the bed, i.e
Rollie's Dad's method or similar. To ensure that a piece held just in the
chuck can be turned parallel.
The tailstock needs to be aligned to the headstock after this. Specifically on
the Myfords, the tailstock is adjustable by about 1/4" either side of centre,
so you can't know if it's exactly where it should be until after you've done
On the Myfords they're not really gibs on the headstock. There are horizontal
screws that push the casting sideways so that a machined step on the base of
the casting is firmly up against the inner vertical shear of the bed.
Theoretically the headstock is now aligned with the bed, since the same
feature was used to locate the casting when boring the bearing holes (this
assumes that the bronze bearings are symmetrical :-). Once the headstock is
pulled up against the bed by those screws, the vertical screws going through
the casting into tapped holes in the bed clamp it firmly.
All very Myford specific.
Thanks Mark - I re-readed(?) the Rollies Dad file, and you are quite
correct in your setup order - I do have a test bar now, so will see
whats going on with my 9 by 20 - at the moment, and without touching
anything, the headstock is 0.06 inch lower than the tailstock, with
the bar between centres. . And thanks for the explanation re Myford
adjustment screws - anothing thing learnt!