Doing regular maintenance on your LongMill is quick and easy and ensures that your machine runs at the top of its game for many years.
The LongMill comes with four Delrin anti-backlash nuts that allow users to reduce backlash and compensate for wear over time. For more information about backlash and how it can affect the precision of your machine, check out this awesome page here: http://www.machinetoolhelp.com/Repairing/What_is_backlash.html
The eccentric nuts allow users to adjust the tension on the Delrin v-wheels to bring them closer or further away from the edge of the rail. The wheels need to grip the edge firmly, while still allowing the machine to move smoothly.
One simple way to check if your v-wheels have the right amount of preload is to check if you can turn the wheel with your fingers. Your wheel should be on tight enough that it should be difficult to use your fingers to turn them, but not tight enough that they do not rotate when you move the axis back and forth.
We recommend checking the tension on your v-wheels on a regular basis.
Over time, your rails may accumulate dust. Dust that lands on the rails and gets rolled over by the Delrin v-wheels can stick onto the edges of the rails. We recommend regularly cleaning off this gunk with a small brush or a plastic scraper.
To mitigate fasteners from coming loose over time on the LongMill, we use nylock nuts wherever we can. That being said, fasteners can start to come loose over time. We recommend retightening fasters on a regular basis.
Some key areas to check:
Although the frequency of lubricating your linear guides may vary depending on the type of cutting you do and the frequency of use, we would recommend doing this procedure every 20-30 hours. However, if you experience any grinding noises or roughness in your gantry, we recommend doing this procedure more often.
Here are some links to more into about lubrication:
We believe that most general-purpose lubricants such as the 3 in 1 oil should suffice since the linear guides are used in a relatively low speed, low load application.