A quiet success

posted Monday, November 24th, 2008

Well, eventually oiling the plastic bearings on my Hitchhiker and spinning caused enough fiber/gunk to build up in the top/noisier bearing to cause it to stop turning entirely.  Not quite what I intended, but ultimately it did stop the noise over the weekend.. the shaft would just rotate inside the plastic bearing without the bearing moving, and was for the most part, quiet.  HOWEVER, my new sealed bearings arrived today (yay!), and initial testing shows they will work quite well, but they are a little bit thicker than the old plastic ones, so I’m either going to have to try to drill out my mother of all a little bit, or just build a new one to accommodate the new bearings so I can get the clips back on the shaft to hold it in place (spinning with just the top clip in place seems to be working “okay” for now though.. but I wouldn’t trust it long-term and it means the entire shaft can just be pulled off the wheel with very little effort).  I’m leaning towards just making a new one to avoid destroying the old one… as that seems like a safer plan.

Here are the old bearings next to the new ones… the new ones are so pretty 🙂

Old/New Bearings

I’m quite happy at the moment…. with my now quiet Hitchhiker.  I was able to track down a replacement spring hinge and get that installed Friday, which did solve the whorl against the wheel issue, but at a cost – the wheel now has a bit more resistance while treadling the smaller whorl (and I imagine that would only increase with the smallest whorl, which I don’t have), but it’s really not too bad.  I’m willing to live with that bit of extra resistance, if it means a quieter wheel.

My little renovation project will still continue with repainting some parts of my wheel that have withstood some wear over the past 2 1/2 years, but it’s spinning better now than it ever has.