Now I Wait

I did manage to find a little time to go out and tear into that damn Mini Lathe project for a while yesterday.

I got the head stock off and tore down to the point that I can now press out the spindle bearings and take the spindle out so I can strip the paint off and repaint the block.

I tried knocking it out with a block of wood and a hammer very briefly but it wouldn’t budge.

I know where a 50 ton hydraulic press is sitting just waiting to make it scream for mercy though.

There are a few videos on the Youtube about how to go about this and I watched one guy beat them out with it sitting on a vise and using the aforementioned hammer and wooden block trick.

When mine didn’t budge after a couple of shots I decided not to pursue that avenue of attack.

There is no need to beat the hell out of anything, I will just press them out.

Since I have to get the bearings off anyway, I decided I would upgrade them from the stock Chineseium variety to Angular Contact bearings.

There is another option to put tapered wheel bearings and races in there too, I actually bought that set up a year ago but then there is the issue of keeping them lubricated, which people have gone to extreme lengths setting up lubrication ports and tiny little oiling tubes, do.


Once again, Youtube proved to be of use and I found one where a guy tore his down and put these angular contact bearings in.. It’s a half hour long with a whole bunch of it with him measuring runout and shit so I won’t bother linking to it.

He was kind enough however to provide a link to said upgraded bearings.

Unfortunately, this guy is in Australia and he wound up ordering them from an outfit in England.

I will make a very long story short here.

After over an hour of trying to find another source and beating my head against the wall repeatedly chasing links , I wound up using the exact same source.

I couldn’t believe it but the prices for these sealed bearings were all over the map, up to and including $400 damn dollars EACH, if one was retarded enough to go that route.

Including shipping I wound up paying about $45 but now I have to wait for them to ship all the way from England.

It’s the sealed part that made them so difficult to find.

There are scads and scads of the unsealed versions available but there aren’t any seals in the head stock to keep swarf and dirt from getting into the bearings so they have to be sealed.

The availability falls off a cliff at that point.

I also toyed with the idea of swapping out the plastic drive gears inside the head for steel ones while I have this thing apart.

That is until I watched yet another video of a guy who had done it and the minute he turned the the thing on when he was done I wrote that off.


Holy crap it would drive me even more insane to have to sit and listen to that for any length of time.

It made first gear in that garbage Sprite transmission sound like Angels playing on their harps in comparison.

As a matter of fact, they even LOOK like the garbage gears in that Sprite transmission I tore apart.

The little one on the right looks exactly like the reverse gear in the damn thing that runs off the first gear cluster.

So even though now would be the time to do it and they aren’t that much money, I’m going to pass on that aggravation.

I also had to order some new bearings for the little shaft they run on but those are extremely common and cheap.

So once I get that spindle and bearings out, I can get the head stock painted and wait until the new bearings get here.

In the mean time, I still have plenty more work to do on this swap so there won’t be a whole lot of time for this while I wait for the bearings to get here.

13 thoughts on “Now I Wait

  1. Yeah, straight hobbed gears like that are rather noisy. That is why the quick change in my race car had such a distinct whine to it. Granny low in my 70 F-100 was like that too – straight cut and no syncros.

    Whitehall, NY


  2. $400 each? For a lathe that doesn’t cost that much new? Your $45 find seems a lot better.

    I’ve had good results with VXB bearings and Boca Bearings. I haven’t bought anything from VXB in about five years, but I bought bearings from Boca within the last year. It helps that they’re about 200 miles away in Florida so things get here quickly.


  3. Phil, You would like a project I’m just now getting into. A buddy whose father had been a machinist let me have an old Logan lathe. It’s a ten inch with about a 30 inch bed and was sold by Montgomery Ward as “Powr Kraft” and could be from around 1940 based on serial number research. It’s apart in the main components and I’ll have to reassemble, but it looks like everything is there and even includes the quick-change gear box. I know a couple mercenary machinists I plan to bring on board for “consultation” work. To be continued!


  4. Pingback: Ya Gotta Love It | Bustednuckles

Leave a Reply to HazeGray Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s