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Thread: re-sizing thrust washers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    rural eastern South Dakota

    Default re-sizing thrust washers

    While dreaming of ways to duplicate the work of a surface grinder, I happened across a powerful magnet the size of a hockey puck.
    No, I didn't use this to hold a washer against a chop saw blade.
    I found a roll of 180-grit adhesive sanding pads, found a 12" square 1/2" thick plate (straight edge says it's flat enough for me), placed 4 pads on it.
    "stuck" the washer to the magnet, and set it on the first sanding pad, and forced the washer in circles over each pad until it seemed that pad had worn too smooth. The magnet applies the force uniformly, and periodic rotating of the work also helps ensure an even grind.
    On my first effort I took a .072" washer with a shallow groove in it and reduced it to a good-looking .065" in about 35 minutes. The micrometer said that the thickness change was within .0015". ... that one's going on the pinion shaft, where it might never make contact.

    But I'm going to wait for the mailman for the new .072 for the drive side, cuz my arms would nearly fall off grinding the .082 down to that.
    And I got dreams of commissioning my old flat-belt-drive Champion drill press at minimum rpm to swing the magnet around, think I can do it effectively.

    Sure got a pile of the .060-ish washers. Dam few of anything but that. ... thought I was flush with options.

    And yeah, the purists think I'm nuts. But I know good builders who grind their thrust washers against the side of a chop saw blade, wearing a welders mitt, risking blue results. ......... c'mon, critics, let fly......

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005


    I'm with you. I have "renewed" a lot of washers and thrust faces on my surface plate with various grades of wet or dry paper used wet or with oil.

    One thing to try to help with the parallelism is to go in a figure 8 pattern, and rotate the part periodically.

    Sometimes time doesn't matter, just getting it done.......

    As far as the side of a chop saw, I wouldn't think you can get it as nice.......
    Dan Margolien
    Yankee Chapter National Meet August 3/4 2018 NEW LOCATION at the TERRYVILLE FAIRGROUNDS, Terryville CT
    JD enthusiasts:

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