Replacing Lathe Spindle Bearings

What You'll Need
Allen Wrench
Brass or Wood Soft Face Hammer
Block of Wood
Steel Face Hammer
2 Pieces of 6 Long Scrap Wood

You will find that your lathe spindle bearings will sometimes get worn down and need to be replaced. Whenever this happens replacing the bearings themselves is not a very difficult task. With the right tools and the right amount of know how it is actually a somewhat easy task that just about anybody can do in just a short amount of time.

Step 1 – Read Over Manual

Read your manual out if you still have it. It will provide you with a diagram that will help you to determine the overall layout of your lathe spindle bearings. Remember that the instructions that will be provided to you will vary from model to model so you will need to try to look over your manual beforehand if possible. Remember that when you begin to unassembled everything to take note so that you will not have an issue whenever you begin to put it all back together.

Step 2 – Loosen

The first thing that you will need to do is loosen the screw sets that hold the hand wheel to the spindle using your Allen wrench. You will not need to completely remove the screws. It is actually not recommended that you do as they can be very easy to lose. Simply unscrew them until the heads are level with the outer part of the diameter of your wheel.

Step 3 – Remove

Get the hand wheel unscrewed from the spindle. From there, it is time to get the wave washer taken off from the spindle as well. In addition to these things it is also necessary for the wave washer to be removed from the spindle. Look to take off the tension from your drive belt so that it becomes loose.

Step 4 – Spindle

The spindle needs to be removed by pushing it back and towards the tailstock. Use the soft face hammer along with a block of wood so that you can protect the threads. Take the spindle out of the head stock and stick your finger in the hole of the middle of the bearing to try to get them to come out. Once you have taken out the outboard bearing you will need to get one of the wood scrap pieces and insert it into the in board bearing until there is contact with the outboard. Once you have done this you will be ready to install your new bearings.

Step 5 – Reassemble

Once you have installed the new bearings, you will be ready to reassemble. In order to properly reassemble you will simply need to go through all of the previously mentioned steps and work backwards. Make sure that you have all of the same tools and all of the unassembled parts nearby so that reassembly will not be an issue.