Unbearable Bearings
Easy Cleaning
Tight Spots

Unbearable Bearings

Older mechanical equipment of substantial size sometimes requires new shaft bearings. This can involve the use of large bearing pullers, torches, hammers and lots of labor time. A solution to this problem involves the use of a rotary cut-off grinder typically used in the automotive industry. These grinders usually use a 2-inch cut-off wheel. A larger 4- or 4 1/2-inch grinder equipped with a cut-off wheel also works well, if space permits. The grinder will cut through the bearing housing, bearing races and collars. Really stubborn bearing units require two cuts at 180 degrees apart. Care must be taken not to score the shaft.

This procedure really makes short work of frozen-on bearings without the use of oxygen acetylene torches and large pullers. These grinders also work well on rusted flange bolts, pipefittings and valve removal.
Bill Winmill
Francis H. Maroney Inc.
Haverhill, Mass.

Easy Cleaning

Having never been able to keep or find a small enough pin in my tool bag for cleaning a pilot or anything else with a small orifice, I found that pulling a metal bristle from a copper fitting cleaning brush or any small brush with small metal bristles works just great.
Bob Palumbo
Bob’s Plumbing Service
Canandaigua, N.Y.

Tight Spots

Since I do a lot of service plumbing, replacing ballcocks or fill valves on toilets is a common job. Sometimes the workspace is very tight, with a toilet too close to a wall or vanity. Trying to swing channel-lock pliers to loosen the old nut and tighten the new one can wrench your neck or dust your knuckles. To take that old nut off, use your set of bathtub faucet socket wrenches. Find the one that fits and remove it by hand, without having to get your head stuck between the toilet and vanity.
Mike Bushard
Bushard Plumbing Service
Boulder, Colo.

Send Us Your Tool Tips!

If you have an idea that has saved you time and money,Plumbing & Mechanicalwould like to share your tip with our readers. You can e-mail your idea directly toPMeditor Steve Smith atsmiths@bnpmedia.com, or mail it to him c/o PM, 1050 IL Route 83, Suite 200, Bensenville, IL 60106.

PM’s Tool Tips is sponsored by Ridge Tool Co. Reader tips chosen by our editors have a chance to win a RIDGID Tool Prize Package.