All the kids locally are playing with fidget spinners, as they are everywhere. I’ve been wanting to make a yarn holder for a while, a stand that will hold a cone or ball of yarn and rotate to deliver the yarn smoothly and without twisting. For that, I need a bearing and it occurred to me that buying a fidget spinner might be a cheap way of acquiring a suitably small, smooth-running one.
After a few minutes’ Googling I discovered that you can buy the fidget spinner bearings separately – the more nerdish kids upgrade their spinners with high spec bearings to achieve longer spins – and the basic ones are very cheap, thanks to the huge market now that the fidget spinner craze has spread worldwide. I found a set of 3 on eBay for under 30p including postage all the way from China.
They arrived yesterday and I can’t remember when I was last so delighted with something costing so little. (Possibly when I found a pack of staples for 6p that fit the odd-sized stapler I’ve had since my student days, but that was about 10 years ago now.) You can see from the photo that they aren’t of great quality, but they will be fine for low-load, low-speed applications.
These bearings are the most common size for fidget spinners, 608, with a 22mm outside diameter and an 8mm bore. I chose them rather than the smaller R188 size (12.7mm outside diameter, 6.35mm bore) both because they are cheaper and because 8mm is a better size for the first thing I intend to make, the yarn holder, and also for the ball winder I’d like to build some day. For the yarn holder I may re-purpose this old bobbin from a silk mill, or perhaps a cheap kitchen roll holder, or start from scratch if I can find a nice piece of hardwood. I know I bought some American white oak from Boddy’s not long ago, now where did I put it?