Where do I start ? except back in late last year when I believe I was next to if not the last to receive a machine from Bill.
My college and I thought that the machine had enough merit to keep it and do the conversions necessary for good tight machining.
The first step I took was to get the headstock as rigid as possible without rebuilding the whole thing as I see (bdsorcic) has done and done fantastic.
We thought the wisecarver bearings should still be tried as they look like they might hold up well enough.
I decided to build an internal skeleton framework out of simple off the shelf aluminum angle. By tying the Z axis to the Y axis and the two steppers together thus eliminating the slop that was present.
Below are pics of the head assembly with that upgrade.
Due to file size restrictions I'll end here and go to part 2. of our upgrade.
I also took the time here to rotate one of the Z axis bearings 90 degrees.
This gave the Z axis better strength in the two dimensions of travel. The wisecarver bearings are best if used parallel to the axle line and not 90 degrees across it. At this point I also kept the acme screw that came with the unit even though it looked to small. My last fix for using the original headstock was to ad a single linear bearing to the bottom of the y axis as this would take up most of the load while machining.
I decided this last fix after pricing linear bearing$ As this prevented me from redoing the whole machine. But finally after looking on ebay, a seller by the name "irvineman" had very good quality linear bearings components at screaming good prices. I had one unit that had to be replaced and they took care of me pronto!
Sooo, I then decided to redo the entire machine in linear bearings along with a ball screw for the Z axis as the cost for the components came in I believe just under $800.00 I could live with this.
Irvineman had some combination specials that included the 2 open bearings, bearing housing, rod and extruded support rail all for one great price, still $159.00 with free ship, You can't beat that anywhere.
I decided on 20mm for the X axis and 16mm for the Y and Z.
One of the 16mm shaft combos was long enough for me to cut about 11" of the end to use for the Z so it was a freebee.
The X axis 20mm shaft combo from irvineman was 55" long so I decided to keep the extra length and extend the reach of my router to about 45".
I also decided to go with a 5/8" ball screw assembly for the Z
Now all axis run on linear bearings. As an added note The linear bearing components are of regular hardened steel and not stainless.