Seriously, between the house stuff and the movie stuff, it's suddenly starting to feel like time to make the donuts or something. I'm feeling very crafty/buildy/makey right now. I think it's been building for a while, go figure, but it kinda snuck up on me.
The liberation of some precision linear ball bearings from the scrap pile is not entirely blameless. I managed to score two matching sets with a pair of slides each, one set looks to be twelve inches, the other set maybe 16. That's a damn good start for a small XY table; add a rotation table to that and the ability to machine small parts via CAD becomes oh-so-doable.
Some day I'd like to have an XY table that will fully handle 4x8 foot sheets, but that's a ways off yet. This is still something doable by me with materials I have existing as well as stuff I can get surplus. Except maybe ballscrews; those are something I'd probably splurge on to get new.