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Thread: Static Balancer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Kirkland, Washington
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    1,516

    Default Static Balancer

    I am looking for ideas for a static balance device for balancing small flywheels on Steam engines. Actually they are compressed air engines. I am helping a teacher develop project where his students each build an engine from the same set of plans. The idea is to introduce them to as many new topics as can be fit into the project. It can be a dedicated device as all the flywheels should be the same size.

    Thanks in advance
    Pete

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    San Antonio TX, USA
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    I built one from 3 pieces of wood and 4 roller skate bearings. The pieces of wood were screwed together to make a cradle and the tops of the uprights were notched to allow axles to rest on the bearings which were attached to the sides of both notches. I made 4 "top hat" adapters to mount the bearings on to allow them to rotate freely. I made it to balance a treadmill flywheel which was so poorly balanced that it wanted to shake the lathe off my bench, worked really well. Recently used it for another on too.

    I think the principle is the same as any other. Mount the thing to balance on the bearings, ideally on the axle it'll be on in use - I put the whole motor minus case/ magnets on there. Then spin it, let it stop and mark the low point. Repeat as many times as necessary to build up a map of the heavy spots, then use a 3/16 or 1/8 drill to drill a shallow divot at each heavy spot. Put it back on the jig and repeat until the marks are evenly spaced around the perimeter of the flywheel. Takes a while but seems to work well.

    If you need a pic I'll take one when I get home, I think it's still together after the last use.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    North Carolina
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    Default

    Matt has a good description. For a picture just search on "motorcycle static balancer" as this is how you balance motorcycle tires.

    Steve

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    686

    Default

    You could consider adapting one of the kinds of balancers used for automotive work.

    This is a home made balancer for motorcycle wheels. It uses the stock wheel bearings. It easily resolves down to the smallest weight I had (7 grams).




    This is a different kind of static balancer from HF. Also easily resolves to 7 grams or better

    For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Toronto
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    10,923

    Default

    then there's the knife edge style.....here's one for grinding wheels I'm using to balance a pulley

    .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Helsinki, Finland, Europe
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    recycling hack of the day: computer hard drives have pretty good bearings and very accurate disks mounted to spindle. Hack the spindles, bearings and disks for further use.
    Older HDD's are probably preferrable here, new ones rely mostly on hydrodynamic (sleeve) sort of bearing and are not necessarily so good for static rig.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2016
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    Helsinki, Finland, Europe
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    Default

    bearings, spindles, disks and frames all re-purposed:

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    172

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    I made a less elegant version of those mattij posted, I like the hard drive one if that's what those are! Key points:

    1) Mounting bearings in a larger disk provides more leverage to overcome friction in bearings.
    2) Use shielded bearings vs sealed for less friction, I cleaned the grease out of mine and gave them light oil as well.
    3) I made two separate "stands" and mount them to the work bench/press/etc as necessary for whatever I'm working on. I've had the need to mount one upside down compared to the other when an impeller was mounted permanently to the end of a (lighter weight) shaft.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MattiJ View Post


    recycling hack of the day: computer hard drives have pretty good bearings and very accurate disks mounted to spindle. Hack the spindles, bearings and disks for further use.
    Older HDD's are probably preferrable here, new ones rely mostly on hydrodynamic (sleeve) sort of bearing and are not necessarily so good for static rig.
    Those stands work great and I think your hardrive idea is brilliant! I would do that Stepside.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
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    449

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stepside View Post
    I am looking for ideas for a static balance device for balancing small flywheels on Steam engines. Actually they are compressed air engines. I am helping a teacher develop project where his students each build an engine from the same set of plans. The idea is to introduce them to as many new topics as can be fit into the project. It can be a dedicated device as all the flywheels should be the same size.

    Thanks in advance
    Pete
    Here's another option:

    https://magna-matic.com/mag-1000.html

    It's really meant to balance lawn mower blades +/- 2 grams. I've had one for years and balance just about anything that will fit on the spindle. The magnet has holding power of 150 lbs. so it can handle some fairly hefty stuff.

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