Carriage bearing Repack - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Carriage bearing Repack

The carriage bearing on my RAS were getting a little sloppy, they held onto the rails just fine but it was hard to get a distance from the fence exactly, they tended to want to advance in steps.

Here's how I took them all apart, cleaned, relubricated them and put them back together.

This can be done for any bearing, it's pretty simple once you've done it once and for specialty bearings it's so much faster and cheaper than trying to find new ones.

Here's what my bearings look like, they are from a Craftsman RAS.
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Last edited by JayArr; 04-06-2020 at 03:08 PM.
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post #2 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Using a very small screwdriver or dental pick poke around the edge and find a way to pry the dust seal off without cracking or breaking it.

As you can see, the grease in mine has long since dried up.
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post #3 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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It's a crap shoot which side you'll remove first but once both sides are off you can push out the plastic bearing spacer. This little ring holds all the bearings equally spaced around the ring but it can be gently pushed out from one side.
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post #4 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Next move all the bearing balls together, this will allow you to remove the center hub.
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post #5 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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give the hub a push and it will come out leaving most or all of the balls still sitting in the outer channel.
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post #6 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Here we have the bearing completely disassembled and ready for cleaning.
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post #7 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Here are my parts all cleaned up. All I did was wipe all of the old grease off with a paper towel. I've never been too picky with removing everything, you can be as fastidious as you like.
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post #8 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Put some grease in the outer ring just to hold onto the balls, then put all the balls into the ring.
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post #9 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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put some grease on the inner hub and insert it.
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post #10 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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space the balls back out and insert the retainer, then fill the bearing with grease and push the dust seal back on on both sides. A little grease should squeeze out as the dust seal goes on and gets seated.
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post #11 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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That's it, all re-packed and ready for another 50 years. I did all four in an hour.
Like I said, this will work on just about any bearing for any of the machines in your shop.
I hope this helps someone.
JayArr
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post #12 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 05:11 PM
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Nice. Isn't it incredibly satisfying to do something like that?


BTW, and I don't mean to be "that guy", but I believe the plastic spacer you referred to is called the bearing "cage". And this is called a "caged bearing" because of it. Not all bearings have a cage, especially one so easily removable.
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post #13 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 05:13 PM
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Oh crap...

I didn't see your profile title until after I said "That guy"
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Last edited by Rick Christopherson; 04-06-2020 at 05:16 PM.
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post #14 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 06:24 PM
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Brilliant!

Gary

Woodworking is like wetting myself....Only I know that warm feeling!
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post #15 of 18 Old 04-06-2020, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rick, I think you're right, it is called a bearing cage, that sounds familiar now but it didn't come to me as I was typing.

It is satisfying. I had always thought bearings just wore out after a certain number of rotations but then a friend of mine who was trained by Boeing told me that if you clean and re-pack bearings on a regular basis they never wear out.

The only time a bearing wears is when the lubricant in it fails. It took a little while for that to sink in but it makes sense. As long as the bearing is properly greased there is no metal to metal contact and therefore no "wear"
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post #16 of 18 Old 04-07-2020, 08:58 AM
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I've done this for years, in fact I typically take a new bearing, wash out the crappy grease that it comes with, and pack it with a good grade of grease.

Used to do all of the bearings on our ATV's, against the guidance of some, I also packed the bearings full. On the ATV's that mattered as they were power washed after every ride, which is hard on the bearings. Having them full of grease helped to keep water out of them.
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post #17 of 18 Old 04-07-2020, 12:00 PM
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There are syringe needles with a grease nipple attached available that can be used in an emergency to lube a bearing in place until it can removed and repacked properly.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #18 of 18 Old 04-18-2020, 04:28 PM
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Wow, I admire your patience and attention to detail. Before I retired, at work we would (in a pinch) pull the seals and drop the bearings into an ultrasonic cleaner. Twenty minutes later the bearing was totally clean and we could get a little more life out of them. These cleaners save a ton of time when you are rebuilding or restoring a tool or equipment. Also, for everyone out there below is a link to SKF's bearing designation. It breaks down all those numbers and letters on the bearing. I went through their bearing maintenance training years ago and it was awesome. Learned so much. Enjoy those smooth rolling bearings.
https://www.skf.com/us/products/roll...gnation-system
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