7 x 12 Metal-Lathe Tailstock Mod

I find that adjusting the 7 x metal lathe tailstock is a difficult task. It has a socket head screw but it needs to be accessed from the bottom to tighten the tailstock. I recreated the mod by turning the screw with the head facing up so all the tightening can be accessed from top.


Now the MOD to change the screw can be accessed from top. The tailstock can be easily to be tighten after the alignment is done.

This is a simple mod. First remove the tailstock from the lathe bed. Then remove the tailstock nut and the socket head screw from the bottom. The two pieces of the tailstock are now separated. Use a 3/16" drill bit to remove the thread and drill through the screw hole. Use a #10-32 x 1.5" socket head screw (low profile head is better) and a 0.425" square nut. Put 2 or 3 washers to raise up the tailstock mounting nut because the screw head will interfere with the wrench.

square nut Use a 0.425" #10-32 square nut; it fits perfectly into the slot on the bottom oblong hole where the socket head screw is located. But the socket head screw comes with the lathe is metric. So replacing the screw with a #10-32 is best.

tailstock bottom

Seen here, the square nut is sitting inside the oblong slot hole, which was originally the screw head.

To align the tailstock, loosen the tailstock nut, loose the 2-set screws, and loosen the socket head screw. The top part of tailstock should be able to move front and back freely. After the alignment is done, tighten the tailstock nut then tighten the socket head screw.