Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rag Bearing

If you need to do a machining operation at one end of a long piece of small diameter rod in the lathe, you're going to run into a little problem with the end of the rod that's hanging out the back of the lathe's spindle.

- - -

I needed to bore a hole in one end of a three foot length of 5/16" diameter steel rod recently, and when I chucked it and started up the lathe, the free end of the rod wanted to flail about something awful. Here's what I came up with to deal with it so I could proceed with the task at hand.

I call it a 'rag bearing' because that's exactly what it is. There are bronze bearings, there are ball bearings, there are roller bearings and there is this -- the rag bearing. I could scarcely get over how well it worked, and how easy it was to set up. Here's a closer view of it.

That's a square flannel rag folded over a few times, then folded in half and clamped in place on a plank. The plank is clamped to my drill press' table, which provides the bearing with an elevation adjustment. The rag bearing's fit is not snug -- it's actually quite loose. The bearing only needs to contain the rod end sufficiently that great oscillations can't get under way. With the rod end tamed this way, you can work away at the business end of the rod where it emerges from the chuck at your leisure; all that's happening at the free end of the rod is that it's getting a nice buffing.

# # #

# # #

No comments:

Post a Comment