This is just a quick one from me (Rob) about bearings – one of the key components of just about anything that moves! More specifically, I’m going to be talking about the ones that we’re planning to use on our weapon axle – Self Aligning Bearings, courtesy of SKF. Now, if you’ve never heard of self aligning bearings, they’re pretty cool doohickeys. You’ve got two lines of tapered bearings supporting a common bore, which, due to these two rows of bearings (bearings within bearings, it gets confusing, but bare with me! Pun intended.), allow the common bore to move both radially and axially at the same time.

What that says in my mind is that these bearings can take an axial shock load (Hello, Carbide/Ironside/Any other horizontal spinners) and not have all of the rotational energy dissipated in the process. As we are a drum spinner, this is news to us, and pleasant news at that. We should be able to keep our weapon spinning at some sort of respectable speed, even after a blow from a horizontal spinner – I have faith that Ali will be able to keep us out of most of those scrapes though.

The big question – do I know if these will work? Absolutely not.

However, SKF have made it ridiculously easy to design for their bearings (which I only found out after painstakingly trying to make a CAD model) – SKF allow you to access the CAD models and drawings to every single one of their bearings, along with tolerances, radii, deformation for self aligning models, etc. Here are the ones we’re using.

For us, our weapon bearings will sit in the drum itself, as I don’t want them on the mounting plates – they’ll make an easy target otherwise. To do this, the end caps for the drum are made of 25mm plates, in which the bearing sits, held in place with a circlip and very much abiding by the KISS principle of design. Have a look below:

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