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  • Babbitt question

    I have used Babbitt on several different occasions but I'm no expert with it and half the time I that I was using it we were merely pouring Babbitt into rope socket shackles for elevators rope.

    My question is can Babbitt be poured inside of a thin steel outer ring and then have the ID opened up on the lathe to what I need sort of like a DU bushing? I I understand that it can be centrifically spun, but that's not what I'm talking about.

    Sorry but I think I'm probably doing a poor job describing my question. I guess basically what I'm asking is could I cut a small steel ring machine it for a very light press-fit and then solid poor the ID with Babbitt and come back and machine the babbit with the outer ring for the clearance that I need for the shaft then later press the entire assembly into a housing or maybe even use something like Loctite 609?

  • #2
    If you're asking: Can you machine babbitt? The answer is yes.
    Kevin

    More tools than sense.

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    • #3
      Yes you can.
      Would be a good idea to do something to the inside of the ring so that the babbitt does not spin in it. Like cut some groves across the inside of the ring with a hack saw blade.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by portlandRon View Post
        Yes you can.
        Would be a good idea to do something to the inside of the ring so that the babbitt does not spin in it. Like cut some groves across the inside of the ring with a hack saw blade.
        Excellent! Thanks to both of you gents above! What I plan to use this in the really low speed application the spindle for a lawn tractor. It probably would be fine for years metal on metal with Grease without a bushing, but I have some Babbitt and I have a lathe so why not. Besides it gives me a reason to practice babbitting on a far from critical part.

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        • #5
          If you want to practice pouring babbitt why not make a "core" to eliminate having to machine a hole through the babbitt?
          Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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          • #6
            I used Babbitt to repair worn out cast bearings on a John Deere planter. Used a steel slug to make the hole for the shaft thinking I could pour the Babbitt around the plug. The bearing was worn egg shaped and it worked well except for couple places where it was less than 1/8 inch thick. Even though I heated the slug and bearing shell I wasn't able to get it to fill the thin area. After several tries I gave up and decided the thin area wasn't large enough to worry with, had plenty of area for the shaft to run in that did fill properly.

            Guess what I'm trying to explain is if you do use a mold for the center hole don't try to make your Babbitt pour too thin. I wasn't able to put the cast bearings in a lathe but you can.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Arcane View Post
              If you want to practice pouring babbitt why not make a "core" to eliminate having to machine a hole through the babbitt?
              Yes I've been thinking about that also maybe Center up a core something to make the core that's a little smaller than what I need that way it gives me something to go back finish out.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jmay View Post
                Yes I've been thinking about that also maybe Center up a core something to make the core that's a little smaller than what I need that way it gives me something to go back finish out.
                Babbitt machines very easily. If you use a core, make it a lot smaller than the hole to increase the chance of getting a good sound pour.

                Unless the hole is very deep, or quite a bit bigger than an inch in diameter, I wouldn't bother with a core.

                Babbitt will shrink when it cools. You might consider extending the length of the steel ring so that you end up with a complete fill. If the bushing is small, a collar made of a couple of wraps of thin cardboard wired on would probably suffice.
                Last edited by cameron; 11-17-2017, 08:45 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cameron View Post
                  Babbitt machines very easily. If you use a core, make it a lot smaller than the hole to increase the chance of getting a good sound pour.

                  Unless the hole is very deep, or quite a bit bigger than an inch in diameter, I wouldn't bother with a core.

                  Babbitt will shrink when it cools. You might consider extending the length of the steel ring so that you end up with a complete fill. If the bushing is small, a collar made of a couple of wraps of thin cardboard wired on would probably suffice.
                  I definitely keep that in mind. When you say collar you mean make like a flange bushing?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jmay View Post
                    I definitely keep that in mind. When you say collar you mean make like a flange bushing?
                    No, not a flange, just a collar with an inside diameter the same as the OD of your steel ring. Allows you to pour a little extra babbitt so you don't end up with a shrink hole below the level of the top of the ring. Face off the extra babbitt in the lathe before you drill or bore.

                    Funny, if I don't capitalize "Babbitt", it's flagged as a typo...

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                    • #11
                      The biggest issue I can see would be to have a tight seal so your babbitt doesn't run out. It's kind of like pouring led in a pipe joint. If it's not sealed it will run out.

                      JL...............

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                      • #12
                        Leave the OD of your steel shell oversize and finish after the pour. Funny things happen. Maybe make your shell from a piece of bar stock, leaving it long enough to hold in the chuck with the center bore blind. The babbitt can't run out and you can turn ID and OD at the same time. Part it off after finishing.
                        It's all mind over matter.
                        If you don't mind, it don't matter.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cameron View Post
                          Funny, if I don't capitalize "Babbitt", it's flagged as a typo...
                          Those college educated elitists who wrote spell check know that "Babbitt" is a novel by Sinclair Lewis, but don't know that "babbitt" is an alloy of lead or tin.
                          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babbitt_(alloy)
                          It's all mind over matter.
                          If you don't mind, it don't matter.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MrWhoopee View Post
                            Leave the OD of your steel shell oversize and finish after the pour. Funny things happen. Maybe make your shell from a piece of bar stock, leaving it long enough to hold in the chuck with the center bore blind. The babbitt can't run out and you can turn ID and OD at the same time. Part it off after finishing.
                            That is an interesting idea! My original idea was to use 1.25 inch schedule 40 for the outer ring then turn down the OD to fit the ID of what I need. Either way you fellas have brought up some interesting things for me to think about. I may make two different setups try them both in a trial run and see how they turn out sort of an experiment before deciding which one to make for installation.

                            I'm not really pressed for time on this as this is a personal project, I fully understand that I can go buy bearing bronze stock or bronze bushing and probably accomplish this a lot easier and faster. I'm looking at this as more of a learning experience and a chance to play with Babbitt. Sometimes the information and experience you get from tinkering with little projects like this that you have time to play an experiment you learn some things for the future.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for posting! I'll be interested to learn along with you.
                              Kansas City area

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