Fig. A: Crank supports with bearings installed, and
smaller “sandwich” blocks, ready to assemble.
Fig. B: Side view of finished crank bearing assemblies.
Bearings are made from metal patio door rollers.
Fig. C: Cylinder saddles mounted to front bearing
block and lined with adhesive tread. Fig. D: Cylinder
test-mounted in saddles with brass pipe strapping
work smoothly. If you don’t have a drill press, monitor
your drilling angle, and after making a pilot hole,
slide the bit back in to make sure it’s straight. If not,
correct it, using the next larger bit.
1. Cut the crankcase and base boards.
Cut 3 lengths of ¾"× 7¼" (referred to as 1× 8) Veranda
or Azek trim board: 25" for the base, 23" for the
forward crank support, and 11" for the rear crank
support. I attached 6 rubber feet to the underside
of the base, but you can also do this at the end.
2. Build the crank bearing assemblies.
For each crankcase bearing, we’ll use three 1¼"
patio door roller bearings spaced evenly around the
crankshaft. (If it didn’t violate “available at Home
Depot,” I’d have simply used 2 sealed ball bearings.)
Mark a point on each support centered 7½" up
from the bottom, and use a compass or template to
draw a circle the width of your crankshaft pipe (mine
was q") around each point. Use a protractor to
mark 3 evenly trisecting lines around each point.
Using the roller bearings as guides, mark the
points where you can mount a bearing along each
line so they’ll cradle the crankshaft on all sides.
Drill a ¼" hole ¼" deep at each point, then drill out
the center to 1" (slightly larger than the crankshaft).
To allow the top bearings some play, use the Dremel
router bit to extend each top hole up about 5",
making them oblong.
Cut two 3½"× 7¼" blocks of trim board; these will
hold the other sides of the bearing shafts. Mark and
drill the positions of 3 bearing mount holes and 1 big
center hole, just as you did with the supports. Mark,
drill, and countersink 4 more holes on each block,
½" in from each corner and large enough for 13"
drywall screws to drop through.
Time to assemble. Lay the bearing support blocks
flat, drilled side up. Sandwich each bearing in its
holes (Figure A) with the smaller blocks on top,
fitting ¼" nylon flat washers over the shafts on each
side. Mark the support blocks below each corner
hole, and drill pilots for drywall screws. Screw the
blocks together, threading 4 stacked ¾"×½"× 1"
nylon washers onto each, in between as spacers
(Figure B). The bearings should spin freely, and each
top bearing should have a little up/down play.
3. Make the cylinder saddles.
On a long piece of the 7¼" trim board, mark 2 lines,
3" and 6" in from one end, then mark the center
point of the first line. Cut a 2" hole around the point