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Thread: Recommendation for BS guide bearing source?

  1. #1
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    Recommendation for BS guide bearing source?

    Found a frozen lower bearing on my BS today. It's a sealed bearing and I couldn't get any lube into it to free it up. Rockler has a nice bearing kit for my saw but it's on backorder until mid Decmber. Started looking for other sources. I found a couple in the $8-9 per bearing range, which seems expensive. But then found PGN Bearings in Miami selling them in bulk for $0.95 a piece. That seems pretty cheap so I question the quality.

    Where are you guys getting your bearings?

    Thanks

    Edit - Guess I'm getting old. Never thought to check Grainger or Mcmaster until after I posted. Grainger has them for $3.74. Think I'll stock some extras.
    Last edited by Brian Tymchak; 10-03-2021 at 7:45 PM.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  2. #2
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    I use VXB in Southern California. I figure cheap is good enough for something so easy to switch out. What #? check ebay.
    Bill D

  3. #3
    VBX.or Fastenal are my first two choices. Fastenal is the easiest, as there store is less than three miles from my shop. No need to go expensive, as these baring are "wear items."

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the tips guys. I already ordered from Grainger but will keep your recommendations in mind for future need. Bruce, on your tip about Fastenal, I did find a branch very close by but they did not stock the bearing I need. But I figure they will come in handy at some point.

    Lesson learned. Need to keep a stock of replacement bearings on hand.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I use VXB in Southern California. I figure cheap is good enough for something so easy to switch out. What #? check ebay.
    Bill D

    Ditto. I upgraded to sealed bearings and haven't changed them since. Seems a shame I bought a tube full
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  6. #6
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    I'm partial toward blocks rather than bearings but I recall that the bearings used on smaller band saw are the same as bearings used in skateboards. People were buying them by the tube on Ebay for cheap.

  7. #7
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    I've never found a frozen guide bearing I can't get rolling. I cut a ton of wet turning blanks and it seems to gum up the bearings. Start with a super thin bearing lube. Spray on the shield/seal and start working the bearing back and forth with your fingers. Often that does it. If not, get a really fine pick and pry out the shield/seal. Clean it all out, lube it up, and then press the seal back in. This won't be a permanent fix because the seal will be slightly deformed, but it gets you back into production until the new bearing arrives. Another vote for VXB

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Ditto. I upgraded to sealed bearings and haven't changed them since. Seems a shame I bought a tube full
    Yeah but you paid less then many want for a single bearing or even less total then the others shipping cost.
    Bill D

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    I've never found a frozen guide bearing I can't get rolling. I cut a ton of wet turning blanks and it seems to gum up the bearings. Start with a super thin bearing lube. Spray on the shield/seal and start working the bearing back and forth with your fingers. Often that does it. If not, get a really fine pick and pry out the shield/seal. Clean it all out, lube it up, and then press the seal back in. This won't be a permanent fix because the seal will be slightly deformed, but it gets you back into production until the new bearing arrives. Another vote for VXB
    I soaked that bearing both sides maybe 10 times with a bearing lube but never was able to get the inner race to budge. Did not realize the seal could be removed. I'll give that a try after lunch. Thanks!
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Tymchak View Post
    I soaked that bearing both sides maybe 10 times with a bearing lube but never was able to get the inner race to budge. Did not realize the seal could be removed. I'll give that a try after lunch. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    I've never found a frozen guide bearing I can't get rolling. I cut a ton of wet turning blanks and it seems to gum up the bearings. Start with a super thin bearing lube. Spray on the shield/seal and start working the bearing back and forth with your fingers. Often that does it. If not, get a really fine pick and pry out the shield/seal. Clean it all out, lube it up, and then press the seal back in. This won't be a permanent fix because the seal will be slightly deformed, but it gets you back into production until the new bearing arrives. Another vote for VXB

    So, some success. Not sure what triggered the thought but I tapered a dowel so that I could get a better purchase on the inner race. I was able to move it about 5-6. So, more soakings in bearing lube and in about 5 minutes I got it to fully rotate. More soakings and continued working it, it smoothed out enough that I think it will last until I get the new bearings tomorrow. Appreciate the advice Richard.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  11. #11
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    As long as you are buying sealed bearings, you will be fine regardless of manufacturer. Shielded bearings take on dust and seize easily. Guide bearings are not heavily loaded so precision of the bearing is not paramount. Shields and seals are not the same thing when it comes to bearings. Shields, as the name implies, simply keep big things away from the bearing balls. Seals keep water, oil, dirt out of the bearing race/ball area and hold grease inside to some degree.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Harms View Post
    I'm partial toward blocks rather than bearings but I recall that the bearings used on smaller band saw are the same as bearings used in skateboards. People were buying them by the tube on Ebay for cheap.
    Same here; I got tired of the noise and converted to ceramic blocks. Prior to that I got a number of bearings off Ebay pretty cheaply.

  13. #13
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    I have bought a tube of 10 bearings for each of my bandsaws for under $10 on eBay, and keep them on a shelf so I can put one on when needed. I do the same at the sawill, though those are more like $12 for 10. On the mill I tried $10 a piece bearings and they lasted about twice as long, so not worth it in the long run to me.

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