Greetings fellow modders.
So a friend of mine wanted me to help him make a bearingized counterweight. So, I figured that I would post a guide that would help some more people out, or hopefully help spark some new ideas in other people.
The obvious advantage of a bearingized counterweight is that it corrects tension noticeably faster than a non bearingized counterweight. It also opens up the gate to some sliding counterweight tricks.
For this method you will need…
A .5 inch drill bit
A 5/16 inch drill bit
You May require a 11/64 drill bit
A deshielded C sized bearing
A vice grip
A drill (Drill presses make this WAY easier)
low (20-80) grit sandpaper
You can use any kind of solid counterweight with this method. However, something like a bouncy wall will not work.
Round counterweights will be covered later in the guide.
Anyways… on to the guide!
First off, get these materials out
-.5 inch drill bit
-3/8 inch drill bit
Got all that? Good job. You’re on your way.
Next up, mount the dice in your vice grip. Don’t make it too tight, or too loose either. Too tight and you’ll scratch up the counterweight and you might crack the dice when you’re drilling, too loose and you might slip.
Alright, now look down the hole. Some duncan dice have small ridge on the inside of the hole in the middle. Just give it a quick drill through with your 11/64 inch drillbit.
You’re twice as far as you were one step ago.
Add the .5 inch drillbit to your drill. Tighten it up good with a chuck key if you can.
The tip of the drill bit should fit in real nice with the hole duncan has so graciously already made in the counterweight. Use that as your guideline.
The more important part of this part is TO GO SLOW. I cannot stress this enough. A drill bit can bite into plastic pretty quickly and you can mess up your counterweight in the blink of an eye.
You’re going to want to drill down a little less than 3/4 of an inch. Generally I get it to about half an inch and then put the drill in reverse and go the last quarter inch. Just remember to go slow. It’s important.
If your counterweight and drill bit are fuzzy blurry, I would recommend wearing glasses.
Once you’re done…
Viola! first hole drilled!
Alright next we’re gonna have to make the ‘shim’ on the inside of the counterweight. Time to chuck up your 3/8 inch drill bit.
Put this drillbit into the .5 inch hole that you just drilled. You’re only gonna have go down about a sixteenth of an inch. The point of this is to lift the inner rage off of the bottom of the plastic.
Did you do it without putting a hole through the bottom or cracking the plastic? If so, the hard part is done!
Now, on to actually fitting the bearing.
Now, a c sized bearing has an outer diameter of .5 inches. We drilled a .5 inch hole. So, we have to make the hole just a little bit bigger.
What you’re going to want to do is to wrap some of your high grit sandpaper around a sharpie. You can use anything really, but I find that a regular sized sharpie works the best.
Sand for a couple of minutes, test the bearing. Sand for a couple of minutes, test the bearing. Sand for a couple of minutes, test the bearing. You get the idea.
Once you get the bearing fit, make sure to wash out the hole nice and well to make sure that nice dust gets in the bearing.
Did I mention that you should always use a de shielded bearing? mine isn’t in the picture, but it’s pretty important.
While you have the sand paper out, you’d be well off to smoothen out the edges of the holes. Both the .5 inch one that the duncan die hole on the other side. Just makes the counterweight a little easier on the string.
And to finish, get a bead. Put the string through bead, and then through the counterweight. The bead should have a fairly small hole.
Viola! a functioning bearingized counterweight!
Q. I sanded the hole too wide! what do?
A. Apply a small amount of masking tape on the walls of the hole. Put the bearing in so it’s right and then trim the excess with a sharp knife. Should look exactly the same and the bearing will fit better.
Q. I drilled too far down! what do?
A. Take a little bit of wire and make a shim out of it. I’ve tried paperclips, but I never had too much luck with them. You might be able to with a thin one though.
Pro tip: Wrap the wire around the sharpie.
Q. I have a round counterweight (spintop button). Wjat do?
A. Make yourself a pair of these.
There about 2 inches times 1.5 inches. Drill a .5 inch hole in both of them.
Works like a charm and you won’t scratch up your counterweight, and you can tighten as much as you want and the counterweight won’t crack.
Q. Can you use a small bearing?
A. Yep. I forget what size is best, but if I recall 3/8 is best. Really though, C sized bearings work better.
Q. Where can I get some good counterweight materials?
A. Right here!
These are great delrin balls for counterweights. Pick some up.
You’re gonna need a drillpress! There are really hard to get right by hand.
There work real good for the beads too. Really hard to work with, but you can get it.
Also, don’t pay attention to the pictures. The measurements are 100% correct. The one inch is one inch, the 3/8 inch is the 3/8 inch, etc.
So yeah, that’s pretty much it. I hope that I was able to give you guys some ideas and that you enjoy a new 5a accessory