"Phoenix V Idler Pulley Wheel - 3in. Dia., 5/8 Bore"
Good for the price
Since a pulley is all about what the rope or cable passes over, it would be helpful to include in the description the diameter of the actual centerline of the rope's path that the pulley offers. THIS pulley is three inches in diameter, but the pulley PATH is 2-1/10" in diameter, having sidewalls that are nearly 1/2" deep. This is IMPORTANT, since a wire cable wrapping around a TWO inch diameter object is bent and stressed more than that same wire cable wrapping around a THREE inch diameter object.
The included bearing is smooth and has no side-to-side play. It appears to be pressed into the pulley and is not replaceable. This makes the entire pulley literally "disposable", should the bearing fail.
The center bore is 5/8", not the 4/8" that Northern Tool advertised when I ordered them. This TYPO may have been corrected after I notified NT of the error.
The pulley is made from two pieces of steel that are welded together along the center of the pulley's path, making the 2-1/10th inch (average) path less than smooth, but not excessively rough. The weld is visible and evident enough to change the diameter of the pulley's center path several thousandths of an inch, depending on where the center line measurement is taken, however I do not believe that the weld would cause undue wear on a cable. It MAY be important to note that prolonged use of a steel cable on this pulley will wear away at the weld, and I am not sure how much of the weld can BE worn away before the two halves separate.
The finish is an unspectacular light gray dull sheen finish paint that can chip off. I am using several of these pulleys for a cable system that lifts a platform. Their use will entail 108" of wire rope travel, or 54 revolutions per stage, and 108 revolutions per full cycle at the rate of 3 revolutions per second. I believe the bearing can handle a much faster rotation rate without concern, but I have not tested it under a load yet.
The maximum steel cable diameter for this pulley is 1/4". A slightly thicker nylon or fiber rope can be used, but the rope will deform into the 'V' groove as it passes over the center groove.
Because of the rough center weld, I would not recommend this pulley for any wire or rope that is easily worn, such as aluminum wire or solid stranded line like 50 lb. fishing line.
TWO machine washers must be used beside the bearing on each side if the pulley is to be bolted to a flat surface, as the width of the pulley at the 3" outer diameter is WIDER than the width of the bearing, and a regular 5/8" washer has an outer diameter that is too large to drop into the space. I drilled out two 5/8" hex nuts and used them as spacers against the pulleys, which worked perfectly fine. For double pulleys side-by-side that must be closer than 1/4" together, use a 5/8" JAM NUT, or six machine washers. This will set the pulley at about 40/1000ths of an inch apart.
September 12, 2014