Cutting Ball Screws?

I'm planning on making a ball screw cross slide for CNC lathe attachment.
If the ball screws are machinable, I would like to turn down and thread an
end for the bearing mounting block. If they're not machinable, I can make a
steel shaft and attach it to the ball screw. Just wondering if anyone
here's turned ball screws and had any tooling recommendations or other
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I've not turned ball screws, but have worked on CNC equipment where the ball screws were turned to fit bearing blocks.
I have, though, turned Acme stock to fit bearings. Except, perhaps, for the diameter, and the fact that the 'average' ball screw won't pass through my lathe head bore, I wouldn't think it would be too awfully challenging.
Most ball screw stock is hardened -- at least case-hardened. You might need carbide tooling.
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Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
Most are surface hardened, so it takes a bit of time to get through the surface- after that no problem
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You probably want indexable carbide tooling to cut the stuff. It is pretty hard, but carbide will cut it. You might eat one point getting below the extreme hardening on the very surface, then you can index the point and cut the rest of the way. Finish with a tool-post grinder.
The other option is to anneal the ends with a torch, which will usually make it a lot easier to turn.
Reply to
Jon Elson
Ive turned the ends of ball screws. Hard shit. I cut em down to size using an abrasive saw. Turned the ends with plenty of oil and carbide tooling. OD grinding is better. Though you can anneal the ends you need to turn with a torch oft times.
Rule #35 "That which does not kill you, has made a huge tactical error"
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I just got done reading this site a few days ago:
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That page the author talks about cutting and turning down the ends of a ballscrew.
Seems like it wasn't TOO bad and he managed a really nice press fit on the bearing.
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Sometimes only the threaded portion is hardened but the ends are not, specifically to allow what you want. If you're buying them new, then just specify you want that type of machinable end(s).
Reply to
Richard J Kinch

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