You saw a quick shot of the spindle in an earlier post. Let’s take a closer look.
The spindle rides on 3 bearings. Two are ball bearings that sit in the walnut bearing blocks. The third bearing is a thrust bearing at the leftmost end. The thrust bearing offers a low friction way to absorb lateral pressure. The race that absorbs the pressure has a center hole too small for the spindle to pass through. The bearing ring in the middle is a very tight fit on the end of the shaft. The outer race has the same fit as the ball bearing. A photo details the parts for folks who haven’t seen this sort of thrust bearing.
OK. What are we going to use for a drive pulley? There aren’t a whole lot of commonly available things of a decent diameter already having a 5/8″ hole bored through them. Hey, I could make one on a lathe! But, what to use to drive the lathe to make a drive pulley? Wander the aisles of the home center, asking “what about this, that, the other thing over there?”
Found it! A finial for a fence post looks like just the thing. Cut off the ball part. Bore a hole through it. Fix it to the spindle, and get going. …and only $3.42. With all the boring I’ve done with the brace and Russel Jennings augers, I’ve gotten fairly good at putting holes near where I want them. Finding the center of a not-so-round pressure treated ball, and then drilling dead on the center was a near impossibility, and I lived up to that expectation. It’s not perfect. Yes Jeremy, it does wobble a bit, but it’s not headed for 70mph. Fixing it to the spindle is done with a couple of 1/8″ holes driven into the ball and partly into the spindle and #8 by 1-1/2″ wood screws. Crude but practical for a very temporary drive pulley.