As part of the COMPLETE restoration of the nice Walker Tuner table saw I have been working on I ran into a little problem with the arbor bearings.
I have completely disassembled the saw and have it painted and now its finally time to start putting it back together. I wanted to replace the old arbor bearings with new, sealed ones. The old bearings were open and had to be greased and I want to take that out of the equation.
I measured the shaft and the arbor itself and asked a few questions of the guys at OWWM.com and came up a suitable replacement, or so I thought. I ordered the bearings for $12 ea and they arrived a few days later. As it came time to install them I found that they slid easily on the arbor shaft, however too easily. The bearing would not seat snugly on the shaft at all, the bore of the bearing actually spins on the shaft. So it was back to OWWM and seems that others have had the same problem.
I was thinking the solution would be to take the shaft to a machine shop and have the bearing surface of the shaft knurled to raise the metal and snug the bearing up. While at the shop we put a micrometer to the shaft and it kinda surprised me to find out the shaft is metric! Hard to fathom on an American Made piece of equipment from WWII era. The shaft is 19mm, the bearings I ordered are 3/4”. There is only .002” difference from 19mm to 3/4, but enough the bearings spin freely. The machinist said he could knurl it for me but would take about a month before he would have time to get to it. He’s a little busy. We looked for a replacement bearing with an ID of 19mm but to no avail. 19mm is an odd size, I am guessing but I figure the manufacturer did that on purpose.
So I am now stuck with 2 bearings that are too loose on the shaft to be of any benefit. Kinda like a sock on a rooster, it will fit but not very useful. I had to think of another option. I could have a new shaft machined to fit the modern bearings, I could reuse the old bearings, which is not very appealing to me or I could look for another option. I chose option 3.
Option 3 was to use loctite. I went to my local NAPA store and found Loctite sleeve retainer. The retainer is used in the auto industry to install cylinder sleeves, valve guides etc. Loctite states it will bond an fill gaps up to .005”. BINGO!! With a difference of only .002 I am well within the tolerance. I cleaned the shaft and bearing with acetone, appled the loctite and slid the bearing home. After letting the loctite cure for the recommeded 24 hours I went to a local auto repair shop, a buddy of mine, and used their press and pressed the shaft with 1 bearing installed into the trunnion. It slid in without a hitch! I then used the loctite on the 2nd bearing and pressed it in as well. I was very thankful that the cast iron trunnion didn’t crack, after all it is 60+ years old.
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