View Full Version : Recirculating Ball Linear Motion

11-24-2003, 10:45 AM
I have several NSK (like THK) and Thompson recirculating ball linear slides and rails.

Simple question: If I slide the slide off the end of the rail, will the balls fall out?

Tim T

11-24-2003, 11:01 AM
Now why would you want to go and do that? :D

Could you find a tube or dowel that is close to the same diameter, and slide it off onto that?

11-24-2003, 11:50 AM
No they should not. The balls will fall out of a 'Ball Nut' if you remove it from the screw but not a linear bearing.

11-24-2003, 12:10 PM
I want to temporarily remove my Thompson slide to do a little machining to it; I can’t fit the whole slide and rail in my knee mill.
The NSK rails have grease fittings on the outer faces of the slides, I want to turn them around so that the grease fittings point inward so they don’t get smashed by my soon to be router tables end stops. The dowel will work great on the Thompson rails, but the NSKs are rectangular profile. I have seen pictures of the slides off the rails, but I just want to be sure before I do something destructive.

Tim T

11-24-2003, 12:12 PM
Thanks Jeff.

Tim T

11-27-2003, 06:13 AM
Be very careful with the NSK blocks, most of those blocks can be removed from the rail, but a lot of the smaller ones (12mm and under) will lose their balls if they come off the rail. I would email the manufacturer. I bought some THK 12mm rails that had 3 blocks on each rail, I slid one block off the rail figuring I would have spares. I'm still finding ball bearings in the carpet months later. The Thomson bearings should be OK, but be careful sliding them back on. If they are the adjustable open type, loosen them first and then snug them up again when they are back on the rail.