Just a quick update without pictures. This weekend I managed to complete all the parts for the x axis. I cut out all three opto flags, drilled out the x bar spacers and then completed the assembly of the vertical-bearing-360 as well as the motor mount. I was thrilled that the 360 bearing fit perfectly on a steel bar at the first trial fitting. Much better than the x-carriage which still needs adjustment to clamp the bar correctly.
I then started working on the assembly of the x axis and immediately had trouble. The biggest problem is that the holes for the bars do not line up correctly. from measuring the x axis carriage I can see that the bars need to be about 5cm apart. The spacing of the holes on the various parts varies from 4cm to 5.5cm. This means that I have to go back to my trusty Xacto knife and Dremel to adjust them. I hope to have the full x-axis assembly assembled tonight or tomorrow.
When attempting to install the first stepper motor I found that there was some kind of mount already installed on the motor with a pair of screws. These have proved to be extremely difficult to remove and I am afraid that they have permanent threadlock on them. I have tried a couple of things that have not worked and my next step may be to heat them up with my soldering iron in an attempt to defeat the threadlock. Hopefully I don't also defeat the motor itself!
There were several ebay auctions for full parts sets for a "Wade" style geared extruder. Given that the geared extruders have a better reputation for reliability, I decided to go to one of those right away. The extruder parts from the cast set are a bit rough anyway. I managed to win the auction and the parts should be here within a week or so since they are actually coming from Toronto, right here in Canada.
I should also comment on a post that I made a while back. I was going to order some of the trickier parts from Provantage to avoid having to adjust the cast ones. Although they were very helpful and prompt in their communications it turns out that Provantage does not ship to Canada (or anywhere internationally) unless you are buying the full set of Mendel parts ($1500!!!)
I guess I will continue with my "Hack it with sharp objects until it fits" method for the time being.