After months of research and watching tutorial videos, I finally took the plunge and started the process of casting fresh crankshaft bearings for my steam engine.
Engines that utilize these bearings have hollow bearing blocks, which act as cups that hold the finished bearing in place. To cast the bearing, the rotating shaft is placed into the bearing block and suspended in the correct location using shims or collars. I machined a pair of steel shims that rested on the edge of the bearing block and held the crank vertically in place.
|Crankshaft locating shims|
|The steam engine base with crank shims installed|
I purchased a used casting ladle off of Craigslist and melted down the Babbitt metal brick using the propane forge. This burner maintained steady heat and quickly liquefied the brick.
|Finally getting to use the propane furnace!|
|Melting the Babbitt brick|
|Trimmed and installed in the bearing blocks|
|Bearing halves removed for cleaning|
|The crankshaft installed in place for test fitting.|