While I still haven’t gotten into the detail of squaring and tramming, I’ve been intensely curious to see if the new Z axis would be happier with more weight on the head. So I re-installed the sheet metal cover that came with the Tormach head, and put some extra “ballast” on top. The ballast happens to be two surplus air cylinders that I was given for free – and hope to turn into a power drawbar at some point.
This gives me confidence that the extra weight won’t be a problem. The Z movement “feels” and sounds so much better with this arrangement, compared to the original design. Extra weight with the old dovetail ways made the binding problems even worse, but no signs of problems now. Fast rapids seem to be no problem!