Oil-less Motor Bushings Still Need Oil Wicks
By D. L. Bullock
Bing Gibbs wrote:
> ... so a bearing distributor suggested that I install the newer type
> porous bronze bushing that have the oil impregnated into the pores of
> the bushings. These type of bushings are used in most modern motors
> today. I installed these and the motor runs good and supposedly
> doesn't need lubricating ever.
Warning! The modern idea of the life of a motor is NOT what it was in
1920. I have several different items and motors in the shop that wore
out and needed replacement bearings. I was told that the bearings were
not made like that anymore and I had to use these wonderful porous
I have noticed that these new bearings do not last more than a few
years. So I would say that the thinking on them should be: By the
time the motor needs oiling the bushing will be needing replacement.
I had an old sander that I used for thirty years. After 20 years it
needed a new bearing. I was sold a new oil porous bearing and went
through two of them in the remaining 10 years before I replaced the
sander. The first one lasted about 4 years. I do not use my sander
as much as I use my Duo-Art.
I also recently had one of those "new" never oil saw motors that had
to have new bearings and a new shaft put in after 15 years. If it had
been the oil wick type it would have still been running.
Learning from this situation, I now drill the new "never need oil"
bearings to take the old wicks so that they can be continuously oiled
and they last longer. I have never had to replace one of them yet in
the last 10 years. The spiral scorings inside the bearings are great,
but not as necessary as the wick.
On all reproducers that go through my shop I take the motor to Century
Electric in East St. Louis (who made many of these motors in the olden
days) where they completely go through the motors, and if they need
bearings (seldom) they get them.
D. L. Bullock Piano World St. Louis
(Message sent Thu 13 Aug 1998, 01:29:36 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)