Cleaning sealed ball bearings, questions about stuff.

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Ttrees

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Hello folks
Been looking at some videos online about cleaning and maintenance of ball bearings
but haven't come across a good video on the subject.
Mainly the comments is where anything is to be gained from.

(I have some questions after my rambling paragraph.)

I am pondering/toying with the idea whether to replace the newish SKF explorer bearings I have,
in favour of trying out the old Koyo bearings which were in the machine previously.

Why?, well seems that those SKF bearings have more of a chamfer on the outer race compared,
and the application is for bandsaw wheels with a non shouldered bore.
As you can see the SKF on the right and Koyo's on the left.

These bearings were in a bucket at the folks place for years, and I'm guessing have plenty of grit embedded.
Cleaned up two of the three (one got mangled somehow)
with the possible intention to install them sometime.

The pair which I cleaned from the outside with a thin ruler, are not scratchy or anything,
but I dare not use them yet, just seeing if it may be worth trying.
I've got a new tooth brush and a new can of thinners if that's any good for the job?

Would make a seal removal tool if one exists, most seem to either suggest a pick or a Stanley blade,
some remarking on youtube comments that one should remove them by prying on the inner race
side of the seal, as damage would not migrate out of a damaged seal due to the centrifugal force.
Is it more difficult to remove I wonder?

I have at least one seal which I think has been damaged so can do some tests with.
Not yet looked at as closely at them, as I likely need to.

Not sure what grease I need, seen folks mention not to mix as one type incompatible with the rest.
One of these bearings has black grease migrating, don't know if that means it's toast?

Me auld fella has got some, likely the cheapest stuff one can buy for farm jobs.
I don't really want a big tube of messy grease in the workshop forever, so might just use some of that if suitable, have to look up whatever is on the label yet though.

I've read NOT to go for the ever migrating silicone, which is the pinnacle of my knowledge as it stands.



Best removal tool for rubber seals, do you poke the other one out from the inside?

Are paint thinners and toothbrush suitable for removing old grease, to inspect the races?

Best/worst NON silicone grease for for the job for the bandsaw, does black grease migrating mean those races are scored?

Is there anything else I'm omitting?

Thanks folks

Tom









IMG_20220214_175952.jpg
 

wallace

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Sometimes a bearing can seem perfectly fine in the hand when rotating, its not until the intended load is applied does the worn bearing appear.
You could just remove one seal or even both and run them as open bearings.
 

Ttrees

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Thanks Wallace
I'll be making a nice wee tool for the job of taking off those seals.
Not seen one, but seems a flathead screwdriver like say a phase tester is used sometimes on biggins, which is a bit more encouraging to see, compared to some using fish hooks and picks.
Seems one could make some kind of leaf like tool with no corners to get them out easily.

Must be the algorithm as I can only find kids repairing skateboard bearings, and no engineering channels have info on the subject.
Still haven't found one, and been looking.


Only put the old bearing in, as I needed to insert and remove it a few times to get the right fit of the spacer, and not gonna run the machine yet for fear that it would seize and enlarge the inside of the hub.

These were good (I think) before I removed them, as the issue was with the spacer all along, plus other stuff.
Doubtful they still are after being sat in a pot in a gritty environment, so being cautious.

Will likely be attempting to clean the worst first, just for fun.
Might learn something, or more importantly what not to do.

Love to read a link should anyone have one.
Not had any luck myself.

Thanks
Tom
 

Jacob

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Why bother I'd just leave them alone until they start squeaking. They'll still have plenty of mileage in them while you wait for replacements and won't cost a bomb.
Write down the part numbers before you put them back.
 

Spectric

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For the price of new ones just replace them as it gives you a known starting point and removes a source of future issues. One thing to bear in mind is not to overpack a bearing with grease, they don't need craming.
 

Ttrees

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Which ones are you talking about Jacob?
The unsuitable new "premium" ones which have rounded shoulders,
or the old ones which were likely original.

The whole get her done approach won't help matters for large cast iron bandwheels, which likely have a bit of wear already with the shenanigans of previous folks efforts, and my neglectful use of it after,
and I want this machine to last.

Can't afford new ones, and can't be sure I'd be able to source the right ones either.
That extra surface area on both inside and outside is more insurance IMO.

Take a look at the other S45 on "the other place2" and have a guess why that happened.
Could be a mix of Friday evening special casting error,
inadequate setup, neglect, and possibly those kinda bearings could have helped matters, I don't know, but I can't afford to take any chances.

That extra wee bit of area could make the difference here, as my machine has been through the thick of it, so much so that one would have expected much the same kinda thing.

Cheers though all the same.

Tom
 

Jacob

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Which ones are you talking about Jacob?
The unsuitable new "premium" ones which have rounded shoulders,
or the old ones which were likely original.

The whole get her done approach won't help matters for large cast iron bandwheels, which likely have a bit of wear already with the shenanigans of previous folks efforts, and my neglectful use of it after,
and I want this machine to last.

Can't afford new ones, and can't be sure I'd be able to source the right ones either.
That extra surface area on both inside and outside is more insurance IMO.

Take a look at the other S45 on "the other place2" and have a guess why that happened.
Could be a mix of Friday evening special casting error,
inadequate setup, neglect, and possibly those kinda bearings could have helped matters, I don't know, but I can't afford to take any chances.

That extra wee bit of area could make the difference here, as my machine has been through the thick of it, so much so that one would have expected much the same kinda thing.

Cheers though all the same.

Tom
Shouldn't be difficult to replace if you get the right part number - they are a standard items off the shelf from lots of places, unless very unusual. They are consumables for replacement, not maintenance, as per motor wheel bearings.
Other than that I haven't much idea!
PS compared to motor wheels they'll get a very tiny battering in use and as long as they fit, other details may not matter
 
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Ttrees

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That would be appreciated to know if it were easy to source, or if most of the rubber sealed bearings have more chamfer than others.
I guess it's hard to tell from most searches, haven't checked though.

I can get shielded FAG bearings local, bought ones not too long ago,
and it appeared the edges are nice and crisp compared, not that I was concerned
about that for the motor,
And no clue whether all of the bearings from them (FAG) are like that.

Seems there could be nothing wrong with the older ones,
and find it hard to fathom why bearings aren't reconditioned a bit more often.

Strictly a hobby use this machine will have, as in I would halt everything straight away should things not be running as it should,
so I don't think I'm being unreasonable with my proposition,
and I guess I would be able to spot some wear once the grease is cleaned off.

Thanks

Tom
 

Jacob

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.....

Seems there could be nothing wrong with the older ones,
and find it hard to fathom why bearings aren't reconditioned a bit more often.
......
Because sealed bearings are no more expensive to make and very easy to replace. They are intended as throwaway. The days when you would replace ball bearings are long gone!
 

Ttrees

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Seems from some googling, like white spirit would be better for the job
as some thinners and the likes of acetone, are more likely to leave a residue?

Might have a go this evening or tomorrow at attempting a bathing the old ones.

Tom
 

Jameshow

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How about taking a hypodermic needle and injecting grease through the shield and into he bearings?
Not done it myself but worth a try?
 

Ttrees

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I have read that, some do that to shielded bearings, but I should be able to take off the rubber seals easily with a wee tool, likely something like some tough steel bit of grinding and some needle filing.

Need to inspect these bearings to be sure they won't stand the chance of sizing in the wheel, which would score the inside of it.
(See other forum to get an idea of what that sort of damage can look like.)

Will hopefully be attempting to give them a soak in white spirit for a day or so,
and see if that works.

Cheers
Tom
 

deema

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IMO if they are standard deep groove bearings, it’s a false economy to reuse bearings / use bearings where the grease has turned gummy. Your more likely to end up with the bearing seizing and damaging the journals which is a more expensive and bigger job to rectify. I never reuse bearings, or old sealed for life stock on active shafts. Old stock open bearings designed for the user to grease up, yes.
For a dusty bandsaw, removing the seals is only going to allow the dust in and they will fail quickly, you won’t be able to clean them fully unless you remove both seals.
 

Fergie 307

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Very much doubt you will be able to get the seals off without damaging them, and doubt you can get replacements. The bearings are designed to be thrown away when worn. Take the old ones to any bearing supplier and I am sure they will be able to match them. Really not worth messing about with for what they cost.
 

Sandyn

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I would just replace the bearings, but you want to have a try to refurbish, so why not. I would use petrol, paraffin, penetrating fluid or white spirit, whatever is handy. you might be able to remove the seal with a sharp point. Submerge the bearings in the fluid and keep revolving to get all the old junk out. Blast with high pressure air. I wear a mask when doing it, there will be a cloud of muck come out of the bearings. Repeat several times as necessary. I would finally wash the bearings with really hot soapy water to get the last of the muck/residue out and dry with high pressure air. I have never actually done this, but if I did, that's what I would try. Also inspect the ball bearings for wear. They start to look like a well sucked gobstopper. Good luck
 

Inspector

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I've done it before with small bearings out of the controls in old aircraft. They were the kinds with a circlip retaining the seals. I would take the seals off both sides and then soak the bearings in Varsol, Shellsol, Stodard Solvent and work the hard grease out with acid brushes as it softened. When done the bearings, not the seals, got a soak in MEK or Acetone. If blowing with air make sure you don't spin them or you risk damaging the balls and races or worse they fly apart. Once clean and inspected for damage and corrosion I would repack them to no more than 3/4 full. It was a long process and after doing it a few times the powers to be clued in the it cost more in time than to replace them with new and they lasted much longer to boot. If I had no other choice I would clean and repack otherwise new it is. The kind of seals in your bearings don't take well to being removed and replaced as they are too easy to damage. Your time so have fun. It's not to late to save your sanity and buy some new ones. 😉

Pete
 
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