Bearings for rotational demonstrations?

I'd like to make some science demos for rotational motion, but I'm not very familiar with the types of bearings. For example, demonstrating the gyroscopic stability of bicycle tires as they rotate or showing how water forms a parabolic curve as it rotates on a turntable...something that is easy to turn and will turn for a long time with hardly any effort. I'm in need of some inexpensive bearings that will not be supporting very much weight (maybe a few pounds), but will allow for easy and long rotations. Someone had suggested skateboard/rollerblade bearings, but I'm not familiar with the companies or the codes used in describing the bearings. I'm looking for bearings that are about 1/4" to 1/2" ID and 1" to 2" OD, but would prefer to keep the OD fairly small and I'm flexible as to the dimensions. So any suggestions and education of the types and codes of the bearings would be appreciated.

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It sounds like plain-old roller bearings will work for your application (or maybe needle bearings, depending on how much precision you are looking for).

    McMaster-Carr is a great supply company for inexpensive bearings. I've purchased quite a few small bearings for the odd project from their website, and have yet to be disappointed. Bearings of the size you're searching for tend to run less than $15 each (sometimes much less than that).

    The McMaster website is also extremely user-friendly - just type in "bearings" in the search box and it will bring you to a page where you can pick and choose which features you are looking for (mounting flanges, ball vs. roller, size, etc).

    Here's the website:

  • kasab
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Try this for information

    You can contact manufacturers for illustrated catalogues and instruction on how to calculate and pick the right choice for your application.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.