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ACME LEADSCREW PLANS (X/Y ACME Leadscrew and Y-Axis Ball Bearing Block Upgrade)

ACME Leadscrew Plans



The Sieg-built X2 mini-mill is quite a capable little machine. However, with the stock leadscrews' backlash and unstated accuracy, using them for CNC (or even manual operation for that matter) can yield undesirable results.

Installing precision-grade ACME leadscrews from Nook and using an adjustable split-type nut not only provides a stated accuracy of +/-0.003" for 12" of travel, but nearly eliminates backlash good enough to make bearing pockets for bearing housings! We have created plans that work with our CNC conversion plans and DRO plans.

Plus, we replace the stock Y-axis, non-ball bearing leadscrew block with a ball-bearing block for smoother operation.

Even if you don't use our CNC conversion plans or upgrade to CNC, you'll find that manual machining can be quite enjoyable this modification.


What about using ballscrews?

We'll have those plans available shortly. Here's why we're starting with ACME leadscrew plans first. Fitting ballscrews in the small cavities of the X2 min-mill is quite challenging. We want to make sure that what do is repeatable.

What we've found is that using ACME leadscrews with the split-nut actually produces more repeatable, less-backlash-prone results. Ballscrews, in the affordable form, are not of the precision ground variety. Even so, fitting something purchased from eBay probably won't fit without much work, if at all.

The bottom line is this: we've used both modified systems in our test X2 mini-mill, and the ACME leadscrew setup produces better results than with ballscrews.


So how much backlash can you expect with the ACME setup?

We'd like to guarantee zero backlash, but this would be unreasonable. We've been able to get between 0.001" to 0.003" after some trial and error.


How much will this conversion cost?

Roughly $340. Sticker shocked? 52% of the cost is for specialized tooling (i.e. ACME taps - but if you use only one thread rotation, you can save money). 24% is for the leadscrews and bearings - items you'll no doubt need. 14% is for materials. If you have scrap aluminum, this cost can be reduced further but the acetal/delrin will probably have to be purchased. Finally, 9% is for screws and such. Since we make purchasing easy with a parts list from one vendor, they have minimum requirements on items like screws. Chances are you'll have most of this in-house.

This $340 can be brought down quite a bit if you have some of the materials already and opt for the same rotation in the X and Y axes.

We also sell the X and Y axis acetal/delrin leadnuts. You can buy them here to save money on tooling.


So what are we offering?

figNoggle Designs is offering plans (44 pages in all) to instruct you on how to build the mounting hardware for the Y-axis to replace the existing non-bearing leadscrew block, fabricate the split-type nuts and matching precision Nook ACME leadscrews in both the X and Y axes. There are pictures and instructions, CAD drawings of each part to make as well as a materials list with part numbers, vendors, and pricing. Basically, this set of plans will help you get your X2 mini-mill running more accurately and with drastically reduced backlash in the X and Y axes.

fignoggle acme leadscrew plans snapshot

(actual pages from the plans - 44 pages in all!)


Plan/design features:

  • Few parts to machine
  • Easy installation
  • Provides vendor sources and pricing
  • Increases accuracy and drastically reduces backlash
  • Smooth ball bearings in the Y axis (note: no bellows mounting holes in plans)
  • 44 pages of written instructions, pictures, and CAD drawings!
  • Available in PDF format for quick delivery to your email account
  • Works with the figNoggle Designs' CNC conversion plans and DRO plans


figNoggle Designs' DRO plans work with the following Sieg X2 mini-mills:

  • Harbor Freight 44991
  • Grizzly G8689
  • Micro-Mark 82573
  • Homier 3947
  • Cummins 7877


How long does it take to make?

Our design takes one half of a day to complete. Having a mini-lathe or any lathe for that matter will be required (although the operations could be completed using your mini-mill and a rotary table).


What are the terms of sale/use?

We accept any form of payment PayPal uses as we process online orders via PayPal. We will also accept check or money order. Please email us for more information.

We do not accept returns. Plans are sold as-is with no warranty. We assume no liability for contents in the plans.

Once we receive confirmation of your PayPal payment, we will send you the PDF file (under 3mb) to the email account shown on your PayPal account or the one you use to pay with. If you have special instructions, please email us first!

Plans are intended for personal/hobby/learning uses only. Kits made from our plans for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Your email address will be stamped on each page of the plans in order to help prevent unauthorized distribution.

Your email address and personal information is held strictly confidential. We will not share, sell or do anything with your email address.


ACME Leadscrew Plans


Questions? Please email me at david at/at fignoggle dot/dot com.


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