Sunday, December 22, 2019

Make vacuum pre-loaded spherical air bearings without special tools

A new technique to make graphite air bearings without precision tooling. I show how to make spherical, cylindrical, and flat bearings that are also vacuum pre-loaded, meaning the bearing is captive.

David Preiss' excellent video:

10mm thick graphite sheet:

2" ball bearing:

Small 10-32 hose barb fitting: Linear bearing shaft:

Fusion360 CAD files:

12x18 granite surface plate:

Applied Science on Patreon:


  1. Dear Ben,
    I am a middle school science teacher in Mountain View (down the road from Google). One of my students is very interested in making freeze dried "astronaut" ice cream and looked up your method posted a few years ago on the Make magazine online. She has some questions about the set up. If you have a little free time, to help out an aspiring scientist/engineer, please let me know how she can reach you. Thanks! Liat

  2. Oh, and I can be reached at