The $2 Bearing Press

Posted: 2021-11-15 in Skate Diagrams
Tags: , ,

Purchased from your local hardware store!

What will you need?
-5/16-18×2″ bolt
-5/16-18 wingnut
-Two old skate bearings
-Skate Tool

But why?
Sure, you could just mash the wheels into the bearings using your trucks…but that has the drawback of putting all of the force onto the inner bearing races, which can cause brinneling, and lead to increased friction, premature wear and tear, and ultimately, slower speeds and less longevity. A commercial, shop-quality bearing press works on the principle of pressing the outer race into the wheel core, which means that there isn’t any inadvertent wear-and-tear on the innards of the bearing, and that the bearings will be properly seated, as perpendicular as possible to the axle. Oh yeah, that’s another thing too: Mashing the wheels onto the bearings, especially when using high-quality wheels like Spitfire or Bones can mean that the bearings don’t sit perpendicular to the wheel core. Using a press will alleviate that concern, at least a little. I like buying quality and taking care of my goods, so I devised this bearing press of my own accord.

Take your old bearing and slide it onto the 2″ bolt…This will act as a support for the new, good bearing that you’re going to install:

As pictured above, when the old bearing is on the bolt, get your good bearings (the blue ones) ready to go. We’ll be including a spacer here for good practice. Slide the good bearing onto the bolt, so that the blue part is touching the old bearing, then slide the bearing spacer onto the bolt as well. This provides an interface for the wheel to slide onto as well. Don’t worry about tightening the wheel too much at this point.

Once you get the wheel snugged onto the first good bearing, slide the second one onto the wheel, as pictured above. If you spend some time getting these lined up properly, that’ll provide a good, solid, secure interface between the wheel core and the bearings. What this translates to is faster speeds and less wear and tear on your bearings.

Get your second old bearing set up in place on the bolt, then get the wingnut snugged into place Shouldn’t be too hard, the length of the bolt should allow a thread or two to stick out and grab onto the wingnut.

From there, bust out your skate tool. My trusty Alpha Micro helped out taking these pictures. Use the leverage from the skate tool on the bolt’s head as well as the wingnut to press those good (again, blue) bearings in place. When they’re properly seated, remove the wingnut and enjoy your handiwork.

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