VE5RA et al: I have used wooden bearings in the past just as you described
and they worked great! When I first started selling Rohn Towers back in the
late 70's they had a part # AB "Amateur Bearing" (maybe they still do) which
literally was a piece of 2 X 4 wood painted brown (no oil). Well when I built
a 16 yagi EME antenna I made a wooden bearing from a a short piece of 8"
wide yellow pine, 2" hole bored in the center and soaked it for about a week
in some old motor oil. When I took the array down about 10 years later, the
wooden bearing was still in great shape.
Of course it really is not a thrust bearing but only a lateral bearing. My
rotor had to support the weight of the 300+ lb antenna. It did serve the
purpose of holding the mast in the center of the tower and reduced the
friction that the rotor had to overcome.
So, if your rotor can handle the weight, go for it and save some $$$!
de Gerald Williamson, K5GW
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