Stone Grinding Wheel Restoration

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Forum topic by MrWhit posted 02-10-2018 03:46 PM 1009 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MrWhit's profile


19 posts in 1640 days

02-10-2018 03:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening tools restoration grinding wheel treadle power

Just got a nice grinding wheel that I’m looking to build a frame and treadle for. I need to mount the axle. I can’t find what I’m looking for online because I don’t know the name. It looks like a bearing that splits in two and screws down on the mount. I heard the term Babbitt bearing, but nothing close to a replacement comes up online thoughts?

6 replies so far

View bandit571's profile


26745 posts in 3570 days

#1 posted 02-10-2018 03:56 PM

May have found one you might like…
A few blocks from my house….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Loren's profile


10725 posts in 4535 days

#2 posted 02-10-2018 04:12 PM

Babbit is a metal alloy that is poured in molten
form around a shaft in place. It’s like a custom
bushing. I don’t think that’s what you need
for a grinding wheel.

You might be looking for “pillow blocks”. For
a slow thing like that wheel you could make
your own out of hard maple or similar and they
would last a long time.

View Woodknack's profile


13504 posts in 3267 days

#3 posted 02-11-2018 01:05 AM

Split Bushings maybe. But I agree with Loren, make some from hardwood, an oil tropical wood would be best but hard maple will work too.

-- Rick M,

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3738 posts in 2381 days

#4 posted 02-12-2018 04:48 PM

Suspect the technical name you seek is:
(split) pillow block bearing

Pillow Block bearings are not cheap units and typically designed for heavy duty applications.

Suggest the reason a babbit bearing was suggested is due cost .vs. simple low speed application. For a hand/foot powered grinding wheel a simple bronze/lead bushing would last many years.

Modern equivalent for babbit bearing today is oil impregnated bronze bearing. I like to use MSCDIRECT for this kind of stuff, but McMaster or Grainger carry them as well.

Brass and oil impregnated bronze stock is super easy to machine. You can also buy plain bar stock to make any custom size bearings you need and then simple press them inside a wood/metal housing.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View MrWhit's profile


19 posts in 1640 days

#5 posted 02-12-2018 05:51 PM

Thanks guys! Split Pillow Block is what I was looking for, but I ended up using hard maple and so far so good. We’ll see how long it lasts.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2736 posts in 1049 days

#6 posted 02-12-2018 05:59 PM

I poured some babbitt on an old Hit & Miss motor years ago.
if you have the bearing blocks, there not much to it.
there are probably YouTube videos on how to mold and pour babbitt bearings.

there is a pair of vintage Line Shaft Pillow Block Babbitt Bearings for $10.00 on E-Bay.


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

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