Sept 4, 2003
I took the original piece to the machine shop. They can make you these for about $28 plus GST based upon an order of about 100 pieces.
I talked to them about alternatives and we came up with these.
The top piece does not have the bearing in it but it shows a variation in the sleeve. They are stock items available at any time in small quantities and in bulk. The one on the right is a little larger and takes a much larger bolt.
Below is the smaller of the two
units, but the total diameter is only a few ml smaller than the larger one.
It is used in all the photos below.
There are two bearing styles, one with a lock collar and this one. This is a little more expensive but it really does sit up and away from the post and the bearings seem to be more encased/protected.
Compared to the original one you sent me it will not rub at all on the post and the metal of the sleeve is tough stuff. I do not think that bending will be a problem.
It is significantly thinner, however it is a strong metal and I think the steel sleeve of your original piece is that thick in order to be as thick as the bearing. A bit of overkill.
You could either tack weld the top an bottom of the flange sleeve together or use 2 short carriage bolts (head down, nut on top). The bolt would then drop down through the top, the same as your original piece, and bolt to the post. The third hole would be where you put your c-link. There are 2 tightening screws on the collar so it gives the option of tightening to the bolt, OR drilling a hole in the post and dropping in a rod, then tightening the bearing collar to the rod.
As for the diameter of the flange sleeve vs the diameter of the post as compared to your piece's radius, I do not think that it will really be an issue. It is narrower, however with the c-link being raised and the post being tapered, I would guess that there would be minimal rubbing. Again, this is the smaller of the two but the larger flange sleeve is only a few ml wider really.
The regular retail price of the bearing is $14 to $15, the price of the flange sleeves is between 2 and 3 dollars, in both cases depending on the size you choose. It is a heavy duty sealed unit that should withstand the weather.
The unit on the left would be about $16 complete (+GST) and the unit on the right, about $18 plus tax.