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Old 11-07-2019, 07:49 AM   #1
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Anchor roller modification

I recently had to replace the 5" anchor roller on my boat. I bought a new generic roller at WM and it had an axle hole that was quite sloppy on the 1/2" SS bolt that I was re-using as the axle from the old roller. My local WM is next door to a Lowes, so I went there to see if I could find a piece of pipe to use as a bushing. Turns out 1/2" NPT brass pipe fits perfectly and makes a great bushing on 1/2" stainless steel. I bought a 6" nipple and pressed it into the roller (it's an interference fit) then trimmed the ends off with a grinder once it was centered. One could hammer it in if an arbor press is not handy. A little waterproof propeller spline grease on the 1/2" axle made it operate incredibly smoothy and it's a huge improvement over the sloppy roller that was there before.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:40 AM   #2
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don't expect the copper to last long is salt water gets in there.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:06 AM   #3
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Nice workaround.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:47 AM   #4
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don't expect the copper to last long is salt water gets in there.

Considering that on my pulpit, it would only be immersed during the worst of sea conditions and then only briefly, and considering the interference fit on the OD and the waterproof grease coating on the ID of the brass, I'm confident the plastic will fail due to wear and sunlight long before the brass suffers any meaningful de-zincification. It's a cheap experiment regardless.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:09 AM   #5
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Considering that on my pulpit, it would only be immersed during the worst of sea conditions and then only briefly, and considering the interference fit on the OD and the waterproof grease coating on the ID of the brass, I'm confident the plastic will fail due to wear and sunlight long before the brass suffers any meaningful de-zincification. It's a cheap experiment regardless.

Guess again about the exposure...immersion is not the only exposure to salt...


Just keep an eye on it all the same....


After 50 years of doing this of all levels of supervision of maintenance much of it professional...it is definitely hit or miss how long it will do what you want it to.


I don't disagree that I might have done it myself as a quick fix...but my experience says if I had done it.... to watch it because it is a hit or miss fix.
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Old 11-09-2019, 06:49 AM   #6
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Just wondering why not simply purchase a bigger SS bolt that fits the new roller and drill the mounting hole larger?
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:02 AM   #7
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Just wondering why not simply purchase a bigger SS bolt that fits the new roller and drill the mounting hole larger?
That would have been a last resort for me.
Most rollers are thin wall in the working zone as it is. I would not want to compromise that integrity. Plus not everyone (including me) has a 5/8 or 3/4 inch drill and drilling SS is not always easy especially while hanging over the bow.
I think a bushing is the correct repair. When the roller stops rolling, time for a re-grease or bushing replacement.
Pretty simple.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:52 AM   #8
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That would have been a last resort for me.
Most rollers are thin wall in the working zone as it is. I would not want to compromise that integrity. Plus not everyone (including me) has a 5/8 or 3/4 inch drill and drilling SS is not always easy especially while hanging over the bow.
I think a bushing is the correct repair. When the roller stops rolling, time for a re-grease or bushing replacement.
Pretty simple.

You and I think alike, the bushing adds tremendous strength to the roller while also adding stability and was a simpler fix than a new bolt and bigger holes. Adding the bushing took <5 minutes.



A bigger bolt would have worked, but there would be a lot of slop between the plastic bushing and the bigger bolt. With the stresses the anchor roller sees, I think slop would be a recipe for premature failure.



Regarding slop, the 1/2" NPT pipe has a .840" OD and pressed-in perfectly leaving what I would bet is a hermetic seal on between the outside of the pipe and the inside of the roller. The ID of the pipe left just enough room for a thin layer of grease between the pipe and the bolt shaft. When assembled, it works as smoothly and slop-free as any fine machine. No off-the-shelf bolt would ever fit that well in the point-eight-thirtysomething plastic bushing ID.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:04 AM   #9
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Many of the Ace or True Value larger stores have a large selection of SS and Bronze bushings. Many with side flanges .
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:25 AM   #10
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My local WM is next door to a Lowes, so ....
With the close proximity of those two stores, you must be in hog heaven. (a southern phrase) If you cant spend your money at WM I am sure Lowes will be happy to accept it. SMILE
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:09 AM   #11
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Many of the Ace or True Value larger stores have a large selection of SS and Bronze bushings. Many with side flanges .

We have a huge Ace hardware 2 miles from my house and I shop there all the time. I have purchased and used bronze bushing from them many times over the last 30+ years. This particular application had no room for flanges, the roller just barely fit between the sides of the metal frame.
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