My mini lathe has been out of action for a little while because I broke it but it is again in working order. (I have been short of time too)
I smashed the plastic head stock gears cutting aluminium heat sinks using a parting tool. It all came to a sudden stop accompanied by the sound of gear teeth falling off inside the head stock.
I replaced these plastic gears with metal gears bought in as one for one replacements and also replaced the deep groove ball bearings with taper roller bearings.
All in all much better. the surface finishing is now much better particularly on facing cuts. Using preloaded taper roller bearings reduced the end float that was the cause of the poor finish. The gears that go now when it comes to a dead stop are the ones that can be accessed without tearing down the entire lathe and head stock.
Work can resume now on the plastic extruder, barrel components.