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IndustryArena Forum > General Maintenance > BallScrew Repair > What balls should I be using to re-ball my ballscrew?
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  1. #1
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    What balls should I be using to re-ball my ballscrew?

    I'm a noob, and I'm refurbishing a 1980's Lagunmatic 110 CNC Knee mill. I had about .005" play in the X-Axis, So I decided to check the ballscrew. Unthreaded the ballscrew from the ballnut and spilled the balls all inside the knee and across the shop. From the balls I did recover, it seems the nut was loaded about 50/50 with .123" and .125" balls (measured via chinese digital caliper). Even with that rough instrument I could tell they were not in spec. variance as much as .005" I replaced the balls with some G25 chrome steel balls (100% 0.1250") I got on Amazon (BC Precision brand). Getting ready to put the ballscrew back in but I can't help thinking maybe this deserves better balls? After all this is a very expensive, very high precision ground ballscrew. It seems the better grade balls are all ceramic though. For some reason that seems like a bad idea. I don't know what I'm talking about, but I don't think I want balls in there that are harder than the metal of the nut and of the screw. I would rather have the balls wear than the nut/screw. And the balls that came out were definitely ferrous/magentic. That's why I went with chrome steel. I couldn't find any balls of higher accuracy in steel.

    1. should I consider putting ceramic balls in?
    2. are there better steel balls I should be using? If so, where do I get them?
    3. am I a dummy for putting all same-size balls in, when there were (I think, not 100% conclusive) standard balls and spacer balls installed originally?
    4. since I didn't have the benefit of counting exactly how many balls came out (some were lost), is it sufficient that I put in as many as I could? Or is it possible I have gaps between balls that should be taken up by adding more balls somehow?

  2. #2
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Re: What balls should I be using to re-ball my ballscrew?

    A good ball screw has a preload system which essentially eliminates backlash, the ones I have re-loaded had every other ball slightly smaller, in order to reduce 'jamming'.
    I got the replacements from a local bearing supplier.
    Al.
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

  3. #3
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    Re: What balls should I be using to re-ball my ballscrew?

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_The_Man View Post
    A good ball screw has a preload system which essentially eliminates backlash, the ones I have re-loaded had every other ball slightly smaller, in order to reduce 'jamming'.
    I got the replacements from a local bearing supplier.
    Al.
    Thank you. Do you remember what kind of balls you used (Ceramic, chrome steel, etc.) and what grade?

  4. #4
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Re: What balls should I be using to re-ball my ballscrew?

    I don't recall, I just asked for steel ball bearings!
    It wasn't a production M/C so I figured steel would be fine.
    Al.
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

  5. #5
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    Re: What balls should I be using to re-ball my ballscrew?

    Bump.
    Any recommendations on ball grade and supplier?

  6. #6
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Re: What balls should I be using to re-ball my ballscrew?

    If you go to a local bearing supplier, they should have a recommendation and the product.
    Al.
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

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