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The Microwave Trick? It's the easy way to heat bearings!

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Ken from ontario

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#1
I learned something new today:

 

Video_man

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#2
I don't know, the instructions for my microwave say never to put any metal in it. YMMV.
 

Superburban

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#3
Without further info, I would also wonder how the grease get along with the microwaves. Would hate to find out down the road that the microwaves boiled some of the special additives.

Have to sleep on this one.
 

Z2V

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#4
My wife would have my ass for putting a greasy bearing in her microwave, besides, I have a induction heater. Interested to hear more on this anyway.
 

Cooter Brown

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#5
I've used this method a few times it works great!
 

MrWhoopee

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#6
I like it! Just like washing car parts in the dishwasher, you have to do it when the wife isn't home (or has left for good).
 

hman

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#7
Without further info, I would also wonder how the grease get along with the microwaves. Would hate to find out down the road that the microwaves boiled some of the special additives.
Have to sleep on this one.
My wife would have my ass for putting a greasy bearing in her microwave, besides, I have a induction heater. Interested to hear more on this anyway.
Given that the goal is to heat the bearing to around 200ºF, I'd suggest trying the "tea bag" method. Put some water in a crummy steel or aluminum pot on your shop hotplate, bring it to a boil, take it off the hotplate, and dunk the bearing in the water for a minute or two. The cool bearing will take te water temperature down a bit, so it should get close to the ideal 200º. Or just keep the water boiling (212º) and dunk the bearing in. No need to worry about contaminating or shorting out a microwave used for food, and "Goodwill special" pots are cheap.
 

RJSakowski

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#8
I would be concerned about water getting into my expensive bearing. How about put the bearing in a plastic bag and let it soak in boiling water?
 

Mitch Alsup

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#9
When I need to do stuff like this, I use the oven and bake the part.
 

Groundhog

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#10
I've used both the microwave and toaster oven for bearings and the dishwasher for snowmobile clutches (don't need to un-assemble them just to clean them that way!) with good results.
 

Ray C

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#11
In my (not so humble) opinion, the video which shows a naked bearing being placed into a microwave oven, along with the entire premise of using such an unorthodox method to accomplish a trivial task, is nothing more than than click-bait. Yes, the technique is perfectly valid but, I have probably sweated a couple hundred bearings onto shafts and I typically use an electric heat gun on the low setting.

The most common, garden-variety bearing is made from AISI 52100 steel. Once it's hardened, you need to heat and hold it near 375F for at least an hour before it begins to temper. If someone performing such a task does not know enough to not heat the crap out of a bearing, their project is probably doomed for other reasons.

TIP: If you're sweating a bearing onto a long shaft, NEVER cool down the shaft if the bearing needs to travel a long way before getting into final position. The cold shaft will cool the bearing very quickly (possibly before it gets to the final position) and lock into place prematurely. (Ask me know I know this).

Ray
 

Cooter Brown

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#12
In my (not so humble) opinion, the video which shows a naked bearing being placed into a microwave oven, along with the entire premise of using such an unorthodox method to accomplish a trivial task, is nothing more than than click-bait. Yes, the technique is perfectly valid but, I have probably sweated a couple hundred bearings onto shafts and I typically use an electric heat gun on the low setting.

The most common, garden-variety bearing is made from AISI 52100 steel. Once it's hardened, you need to heat and hold it near 375F for at least an hour before it begins to temper. If someone performing such a task does not know enough to not heat the crap out of a bearing, their project is probably doomed for other reasons.

TIP: If you're sweating a bearing onto a long shaft, NEVER cool down the shaft if the bearing needs to travel a long way before getting into final position. The cold shaft will cool the bearing very quickly (possibly before it gets to the final position) and lock into place prematurely. (Ask me know I know this).

Ray
If you have a problem like this you can hit the bearing with a rosebud and with some very heavy gloves very quickly grab bearing and pull it right off the shaft before the shaft takes the heat.
 

juiceclone

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#13
Correct to worry putting metal anything in a microwave. Submerged in water even in a bag, is likely to be ok. Microwaves can be reflected by the metal, depending on a lot of variables, and if that reflection is back into the magnetron tube it can continue to bounce in and out till the (expensive) magnetron self destructs. I have seen this ..in one case it melted a perfect 50 cal hole in it.... and that was just from a piece of foil.
The energy fed into your part of the oven needs to be absorbed by something..(food)...water is best, grease works also, so u could prob put a bearing in oil, and heat that. Never tried it.
 

shooter123456

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#14
In my (not so humble) opinion, the video which shows a naked bearing being placed into a microwave oven, along with the entire premise of using such an unorthodox method to accomplish a trivial task, is nothing more than than click-bait. Yes, the technique is perfectly valid but, I have probably sweated a couple hundred bearings onto shafts and I typically use an electric heat gun on the low setting.

The most common, garden-variety bearing is made from AISI 52100 steel. Once it's hardened, you need to heat and hold it near 375F for at least an hour before it begins to temper. If someone performing such a task does not know enough to not heat the crap out of a bearing, their project is probably doomed for other reasons.

TIP: If you're sweating a bearing onto a long shaft, NEVER cool down the shaft if the bearing needs to travel a long way before getting into final position. The cold shaft will cool the bearing very quickly (possibly before it gets to the final position) and lock into place prematurely. (Ask me know I know this).

Ray
That was only the beginning part. If you have seen that particular guys videos before, you can see he is a bit of a character and tends to exaggerate for entertainment before teaching you something.

In the rest of the video, he wraps a much smaller bearing in a wet paper towel, then microwaves it.
 

Ray C

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#15
That was only the beginning part. If you have seen that particular guys videos before, you can see he is a bit of a character and tends to exaggerate for entertainment before teaching you something.

In the rest of the video, he wraps a much smaller bearing in a wet paper towel, then microwaves it.
Yes, I skimmed thru that video and I'm familiar with "Ave" and his YouTube presence. He's got some engineering or science background but his artificial persona and brand of humor usually drive me to to hit the "cancel" button before the video finishes. I check on his videos once in a while to see if he's grown out of it yet.

Ray
 

brino

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#16
I would be concerned about water getting into my expensive bearing. How about put the bearing in a plastic bag and let it soak in boiling water?
Ahh, bearing Sous-vide!:immersed:
 

hman

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#17
I would be concerned about water getting into my expensive bearing. How about put the bearing in a plastic bag and let it soak in boiling water?
RJ, you're absolutely right! I thought about that not long after I posted, but was by then in the middle of something else, and unable to get to the computer.

I also thought about the fact that, as an absolute minimum, if you use the "tea bag" method, you should give the bearing time to dry out before putting it in service. Grease is oil plus soap. Adding water and agitating would be like washing the oil out with soapy water! Not good.

My apologies for posting hastily.

The plastic bag idea (Ahh, bearing Sous-vide! - brino) should be workable.
 

benmychree

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#18
Another thing that I have witnessed with the metal in the microwave is all the sparking that takes place; sparking between the races and the rollers could lead to premature failure if any arc divots were created.
 

pontiac428

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#19
I've been driving around for a week with a nice fillet of Alaska salmon in my car's tailpipe. That's right, you can smoke meats that way. That doesn't mean it is a good idea... Be careful out there, folks. And update your fire insurance.
 

KBeitz

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#20
Bearings when heated in water wont take in water when heated because it expanding.
It left to cool in the water it will suck the water in when contracting.
 

GrayTech

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#21
The only advantage in using a microwave is speed. Uneven heating may cause distortion or other damage. Slow even heating in an oven is the way to go if you paid an arm and a leg for precision bearings. Not a fan of the arcing either, it has left permanent burn marks in nearby plastics (don't ask). In a non critical application where time is a factor, hmmm maybe...

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