IBT is useless!
I resisted up to this point complaining again about a Chinese tool but the performance of IBT (the bearing distributor) put me in a bad mood today over a petty delay. My lathe chewed up a reduction shaft bearing but that wasn't even a surprise as it is Chinese made! I tightened the shaft a while back where I determined I needed to oil the bushing more. Since the liberal lubrication, it has disintegrated in short order. I wondered why the ratchet clutch on that reduction shaft had been slipping and the chuck stalling more and more lately. The pulleys were probably 1/16" closer than they should've been due to the wallowed out bearing. May I bore you for a moment? It started with the freezing rain on the last of three days of little sleep and three 13-hour nights at work with an added few hours of classroom CE time(in the hospital for 16 hours last night) and the theft of a $170 stethoscope(was not actually mine but was in my keeping for our whole unit - okay, I was slowly claiming it as my own!). I thought I would drop by IBT, their headquarters no less, on the way home for a few bearings and convert the dead shaft from a bushing to bearings. I figured out I could bypass the shaft and run the chuck at higher speeds for the work needed. Also thought I'd grab a bearing to convert the top slide shaft to a bearing mount - a mod I've needed to do for a while. BTW, that iron dust from the flywheel job was really a mess. Gummed up everything! I figured I would disassemble the carriage and clean/adjust everything when doing a few mods. I was hoping to get a lot done on my next few off with new Worksman wheels, new 1" handlebars, Brooks saddle, correct Comet belt, a vintage pin striping tool(for the down and seat tubes - I have brushes but the tools always intrigued me), and new lathe belts and cross slide bearing conversion kit planned for delivery soon, oh and $250 of Enco odds and ends that arrived today(Linda, you shouldn't be reading this). Kevin Hulsey also sent me a higher res shot of the Cyclone tank emblem which I blew up and copied a few times for painting templates. First IBT didn't have the 12mm X 18mm sealed ball bearings I wanted so convinced me to get them in needle bearings. Fine, they aren't subjected to swarf and I wanted to get the lathe going again. Well, they didn't end up having those either. Mind you these bearings in sealed ball in RS or ZZ are all over online. They referred me to a bearing company closer to my house(though I paid IBT and spent about 30 minutes there) for the bearings they sold me on which they didn't even have. For the top slide bearing I asked for a 5/16" ID and that the other dimensions weren't as critical as I would make a block for it - anything around 3/4" for the OD was okay and width 5/16" to 3/8" would be fine. I just checked and the one they gave me is a 3/8" ID! Who orders the ID of a bearing as "not critical"?! I specified 5/16"! Not really a big deal but $18 and 1 1/2 later I have a shaft running on needle bearings possibly on a non hardened shaft and nothing for my conversion. This will likely give me just enough time to turn a new shaft and thread it to replace the one that will crumble. Those of you guys in the country, don't complain for not having access to all the "big city" resources. If you have UPS delivery, you will have delayed but just as good access to what you need nowadays. If it's closer,it's more expensive than the additional shipping so..... I did enjoy boring out the sprocket shaft for the bearings. You would think the bronze bushing would run on a hardened shaft but on this lathe who knows. It certainly wasn't pollished. There are plenty of pics on the web of Chinese taps and twist drills spun around due to not being hardened. I will surface harden it and replace the needles with balls and get the right top slide bearing online - $5 in shipping is worth less to me than another hour running around rewarding the idiots that wasted my morning once already. Sadly, I see our society going this route where human contact is limited. Actually, maybe it's better if I limit my contact to idiots. I added some acetone to the primed tank to check for leaks. There were a few as suspected but not many and not bad ones. I plan to hit it all hard again tomorrow.