Bearing Identification - where to buy new ones

Hello Everyone,

I’m new here. I bought a Showcard press from an older gentleman who used to work for Sears and he kept the press in his garage since the mid 80’s.

I’m trying to get her all dolled up so I can use her.

I cleaned most of the rust off the bed with Navel Jelly this afternoon. She cleaned up pretty nice.

My question - does anyone know where I can get new bearings for this machine? The roller bearings seem to be in good shape, but the bearings that go on the underside of the bed rail are pretty stiff (one doesn’t turn at all). Sorry for not knowing all the terminology.

The bearings are marked: Federal FS-34IXI

Here’s a link to some images of the bearings and press.

Thanks in advance for the help.

image: web_bearings_group.jpg


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Most bearings manufactured currently will bear an SKF number (I.E 6000, 6001) followed by letters signifying seal type and manufacturing company. The 4 digit code will correspond to a specific inner diameter, outer diameter and width in mm. Hopefully a standard bearing is still manufactured to the same standards as the showcard bearings. Simply measure the inner diameter, outer diameter and width with some calipers and do a google search with the numbers.

If you can find a SKF number for them, any bearing supplier should sell them.

The bolts look eccentric (off-centre.) Is that in the bearing itself or in the way they mount onto the bearing? If the bearing is eccentric you may be SOL.

I’m assuming you’ve done a quick search for the bearing number you’ve indicated and nothing came up, if not that would be the place to start—you may not have to do the measurements yourself if they are online.


The bearings are probably standard and still available today from places like McMaster Carr. The studs will need to be removed from your old ones as they are special to the press. They allow for adjustment because they are not concentric. Bearings would be just measured,(diameter, width and diameter of center hole(with the studs) to find if a replacement is indeed available. Studs would likely be pressed.

Try Fritz Klinke at NA Graphics. (970) 387-0212.

Many Showcard presses were actually made under contract by Vandercook. The press you have there, could indeed be a Vandercook.

Fritz stocks and resources many Vandercook parts and may be able to help you.

@Paul - Thanks for your response. These are off-center (good observation). I took these to two different hardware stores and they both said the stud was mounted to the bearing. Google turned up nothing when I entered the text on the bearing and I couldn’t find any SKF number.

@John - Thanks for the lead. Pardon my lack of knowledge on these bearings and press for that matter, but are you saying the roller can be adjusted by turning these studs? What do you mean by “Studs would likely be pressed.” Would I have to take these to a machine shop to have the studs removed and mounted in the new bearings if I can find them?

@Alan - Thanks for the tip. I’ll call them tomorrow and see if they have these bearings.

Hi Steve,

I don’t have this style press, nor have I seen one up close, but it would make sense to me that by loosening the nut and turning the whole bearing assembly you can either adjust the distance between cylinder and the bed or remove slop from wear, maybe both.
Yes, that’s exactly what I think might be necessary to remove the studs from old bearings and reinstall into new. This is just a guess looking at the photos of the bearings. They appear to be pressed in as opposed to being part of the assembly or threaded.


Given the possible complication to sourcing replacements, have you tried submersing in a good penetrating oil and soaking to see if you can free these up enough to be usable? Just an after thought.

Hi John,

The guy at the hardware store told me to use ‘Liquid Wrench’ to loosen the bearings. I don’t know that I trust the advice. I only saw it in a spray though. Is there a trusted brand you recommend? I’m all for trying to reuse the parts I can.

Liquid wrench should work, i mostly use liquid wrench, a mechanic gave me a can of Nuts Off that works better than liquid wrench. Good Luck Dick G.

It is likely that these are indeed a standard bearing size.

You certainly could order by mail, but most cities have a bearing shop of some kind, and they may be able to remove the bearings from the studs. Most bearing of this type ar press-fit on the shaft, and can be removed with an arbor press.

If you want to try to loosen up the bearings, soak them in kerosene for a few days. They still may not be smooth enough in operation, if there is significant rust within them.

If the bearings are not press-fitted onto the eccentric studs (most likely), there should be evidence of how they are connected. I’ve seen tack-welds, and chisel marks.
Vandercook sometimes used Loctite to hold adjustments, which needs heat to free the bond, but that’s not so likely here. Silver solder is another possibility as used on some SP/Universal roller bearings.
The best penetrating loosener is a mixture of half acetone and half automatic transmission fluid. Tests better than Liquid Wrench or even more expensive products.

Those bearings look like wonky skateboard bearings. 608ZZ’s I seem to recall. That may help/may not.


I emailed Fritz, showed him what I was looking for and he thinks he can help. Fingers crossed.

Prior to emailing him, I went to my local bearing shop Motion Industries in Phoenix and they couldn’t help. My bearings are 12mm wide and the best he had was 9mm but even then the diameter was off my a few mm as well.

Thanks everyone for all your help. My mechanic friend told me she can press these out for me and mount the new ones if and when I find them.