Converting mini-mill to belt drive

One is always living in fear of one of the plastic gears in the mini-mill
breaking. The procedure for changing the gears is somewhat tricky and as far
as I can tell involves the expense of $25 for a set of new gears (they
recommend changing all even if only one breaks) and a $70 kit to effect the
change (reusable with each change).
OTOH the Little Machine Shop sells a kit whereby the mill is converted to a
belt drive. This is a bolt-on procedure taking 20 minutes (to quote LMS).
The cost: $130.
I am seriously considering this option but would like to know if anyone else
has attempted this and what results they had. Are there any cons to doing
the conversion?
Reply to
Michael Koblic
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I converted to the Little Machine Shop belt drive and it was well worth it. I purchased it when I broke one of the original plastic gears so I was going to have to spend some money and tear into it anyway.
Here's an online review of it:
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In regard to your other message about grease for the gears my recommendation would be that you order the belt drive conversion kit so that you have it handy when needed and just run the gears with the grease that came on them until you have a problem. I would also recommend you adjust them to minimize the noise and (hopefully) wear and tear too though. You'll find the procedure on pages 15-16 of the Minimill Users Guide from Little Machine Shop.
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If you order the belt kit from them you might want to order an extra belt or two at the same time. They're not expensive but they're difficult to find and I've been through 2 of them already. The first was because I didn't tighten the pulley well enough on the motor shaft so it slipped down and cut into the edge of the belt. The 2nd was because I was working it WAY harder than the minimill is intended to work so I consider myself fortunate that all that I screwed up was the belt. :-)
And they're definitely more expensive if you have to order them separately and pay shipping.
One other thing you might want to order from them is brushes for the motor. Mine quit working one day and when I removed the brushes I found that one of the springs was discolored in one area and had lost much of its tension there. I've had that happen on a few Chinese motors from overheating.
Best Regards, Keith Marshall
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"
Reply to
Keith Marshall
--I wonder how many brand of machines have the monicker "Mini Mill"? When I hear that phrase I think of mine:
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Reply to
Thank you. This is most helpful. It coincides with my line of thinking.
Reply to
Michael Koblic
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Reply to
Frank Warner

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