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Thread: Lubrication

  1. #1
    Hi all!

    I'm relatively new to CNC; I bought an OmioCNC X4-800L a couple of years ago, hoping to use it for making front panels, PCBs, and little bits & pieces in my workshop. I never got round to using it much, beyond setting it up and doing a few test cuts - first in packaging foam(!), then MDF. I managed not to break anything, but just as I was getting into the swing of things my life changed dramatically, and I ended up living on a rusty old barge, and had to devote all my attention to making it liveable! That's now nearly achieved, and I've even built a dedicated cabinet to house the X4 (90cm deep, 75cm wide, with 60cm free height inside), but having fetched it out of storage I'm now starting to worry about rust (when you live on a barge you worry a lot about rust...) These machines are definitely not built for a marine environment, and neither ball screws nor linear guide rails are made from corrosion resistant steel. I've spend a good while trying to find answers online, but it seems most people who have these small-ish/cheap-ish gantry routers never bother to lubricate them at all - which is probably a mistake. I can see that the linear guide blocks have tiny little brass grease nipples on them, but they're waaay too small for any of the grease guns I have (like maybe 3mm dia?), and I seriously doubt that the grease used for the prop shaft on a 45' barge is suitable for a delicate device like this. The ball screw nuts do not have any nipples at all from what I can see. So, I registered here in the hope of getting some help; what sort of grease gun do I need for the nipples on the guide blocks, how do I best lubricate the ball screws, and what lubricant should I be using? Grateful for any input!

  2. #2
    I've now spent an afternoon applying liberal amounts of a basic lithium grease (the grey type, not white) with a small paintbrush to any and all parts which may suffer corrosion, carefully wiping off the excess with a lint free cloth. All three axes run smooth and frictionless, easily turned by hand from end to end without any binding or unevenness. I think it's all good, but some sort of dust protection on the Z-axis would be nice. Any suggestions?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    How much clearance is there between the back of the spindle and the top/bottom plates of the Z-axis assembly? And what's the total Z travel?

  4. #4
    There's no a lot of clearance, about 6mm, and Z travel is about 105mm. What did you have in mind?

  5. #5
    If you had >15mm it might have been possible to fit a low-ish profile bellows cover in there, but with only 6mm that's not going to happen. The only alternative I can suggest is a "roller blind" type cover - I made some electrically tensioned ones for my machine, but from your photo I'm wondering if you could use a passive one that wraps right round the gantry maybe?

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