Friday, December 12, 2008

Going Home

Ooooooh Yeeeahhhhh, this is what I want for Christmas!!!

I dunno....if you got going really, really fast inside this tube (especially at the beginning) you'd be beat up pretty bad, if not dead. I'd still try it.

Making nylon bearings

I wanted to share with you how I make my nylon bearings. I have gone through several different kinds of "pivots" for elements on my sculptures and these have proven to be the best. I start with a rod of 1" acetyl plastic. I get 4ft lengths. First I cut the rod into sections 1.125" long. This will allow me to take face off side of the bearing without making it less than 1" wide. "Facing" makes the end (face) smooth and flat.
(above) Here is some of the plastic pieces I am left with after cutting the rod into lengths.

(Above) Here's the part chucked into the lathe.

(above) This photo shows the first side of the part with the chamfer. Once I did all of the parts on one side, then I set my stop, and did the other side. With the tool shown I cut the chamfer, and faced the end so it was smooth.

(above) The center drill. The center drill just cuts a small hole to make sure the drill bit cuts true in the next step.

(above) Now I will drill the hole. It's drilled 1/64th under 3/8" (the OD of the bronze bearing)
(above) Now the final drilling step, the reamer. Since plastic "closes" on you after you've cut it, the reamer gets the plastic closest to the size you want without going over, or being too small.

Finally, here is the bronze bearing inserted into the plastic. The bearing on the left is to show you the bearing halfway in, and the bearing on the right is all the way in. I've still got more than a hundred to go. My son, who is 10, has drilled more than 20. I think he could do them all.... Who says child labor is wrong?