I can't find anything to solve my problem because I obviously don't know how to
explain my problem.
I want the be able to spin by hand a heavy 24" round turntable on top of my
workbench using centrifugal force. Like the wheel on a car but horizontal.
I was going to make it out of 4 inches of MDF but I can't find a bearing or
swivel or anything that will allow this top spin horizontally.
Lazy susans are strong and stable but don't allow a friction free spin.
I'm sure what I need is out there but I have no idea what it is, or what it's
There are all sorts of bearing to spin stuff vertically, isn't there one I can
attach to this table that doesn't cost hundreds of dollars.
Larry Jaques suggested that this was very similar to a potter's kick wheel.
Try a pottery (ceramics) supply house.
In a former life, a long time ago, I could slam 25+ lbs of stoneware clay
on a wheel head, and throw very large vessels, which were almost impossible
to fire successfully. The hardware held up, though.
These folks were the best in my area.
Sorry, I wasn't clear. I was under the impression you were looking for
bearings that could handle both a heavy vertical load, as well as side
loading. I understood that the turntable would likely be motor-driven
in some manner. My thought was that the bearings used for a potter's
kick wheel would be suitable, not that you actually use that
I wish you well with your quest.
I checked Lee Valley. Load capacity 100 lbs. on the largest Lazy Susan.
They use roller bearings. Since I was going to suggest this was a roller
bearing application anyway it seems like a good fit... If these are high
quality they should be low friction. Maybe they would work...
Force is acting downward when stopped and mostly horizontal when rotating.
The gravity load doesn't behave any different whether it's spinning or
To OP, what you're application calls for is a "thrust bearing". Lazy
susans or rotating TV, etc., stands are commercially available for 100+
lbs. The large under-counter one Dad and I built for Mom some 30 years
ago now, used the thrust bearings from a small disc--3/4" shaft
available from a good farm implement supply. What their actual load
rating is I'm not sure, but it would easily hold 250-300 lb, I'm sure.
Since the lazy Susan has a race of ball bearings it will handle side
forces. I checked that. Besides. after doing a quick mental design and
realizing it would be a lazy Susan anyway... I checked Lee Valley and
the design they stock is exactly what I would have built anyway -- maybe
with larger bearings -- but you are not moving that much weight...
What the heck -- other than the air bearing surface suggested by
Robatoy, nothing obvious now comes to mind. And BTW -- I use an air
baring surface on the side of my table saw. It is quite effective for
heavy sheets of MDF -- saves having to get help to saw large sheets..
I've never seen a Lazy Susan that would handle side loads. They're a
simple thrust bearing with pressed steel races. There's no sideways
location of the two races, so any sideload tends to lift the upper
race off the balls and then shift the two races relative to each
other, jamming them.
It's not a good practice to put a sideload through any pure thrust
thrust bearing,. But if you must do it, use one with deep races, not
the cheapest of pressed races.
If you have space, the easiest solution is a car hub. They're
enormously over-engineered for this task, so you can simply ignore the
direction of the applied thrust.
You could just get some car (or truck) bearings from any auto parts
store. They are cone bearings that support the spin in both directions.
A few dollars is all they cost. Still, I think the lazy susan bearings
would work very well. If your disc is centered and reasonably balanced,
there will be no horizontal forces worth worrying about. Since the disc
is symmetrical, the centrifugal forces cancel out and all you have left
is gravity. Believe it or not, it's true.
The lazy susan bearing will tolerate some side force. I just don't
think he will have a problem with it since the disk isn't that big or
heavy. He said he had a 12" LS bearing. That should be massive
overkill for his purposes.
If I understand your problem correctly, you're concerned that a lazy
susan bearing won't take side thrust and may not stand up to continuous
How about splitting the problem into two parts -- use 3 or 4 skateboard
bearings mounted around the edge of the turntable to carry the weight,
use another 1 or 2 on the axle to take the side thrust.
On Sat, 09 Apr 2005 23:10:28 -0700, the inscrutable
Give us more info. What are you making? Will any forces be at work,
such as a cutting tool or shaping forces from the side? What weight
will be on the table? How much external force will be applied?
Hmm, lazy susans don't don't much force to spin, even with 200# on
For a close-to-friction-free unit, mount a cut-off truck axle (with
bearing and wheel) to a metal frame and put an MDF (or real wood) top
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