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I had a guy buy a few 6206-2RS bearings a few days ago. He is going to put them into some washing machines. I really respect that and wish I had those kinds of skills because they seem to be disappearing.
I asked a friend of mine who trains techicians how to repair appliances for one of the big makers if there was a market for washing machine bearings. He told me that they don't usually replace a bearing anymore—they replace whole modules. This is easier for the techs and makes more money for the appliance maker.
The same is true of bearings for lawn mower spindles. 20 years ago, John Deere had designed a lawn mower spindle which used a 204RR6 bearing. They were in nearly every spindle and multiple bearings were used per spindle. That's a lot of bearings that John Deere used to sell—and they used to sell them at quite a profit.
But the secret soon got out and everyone started selling that bearing. You can find it in almost any online bearing store as a 204RR6, 204BBAR or a Z9504B. Instead of going to the John Deere dealer and paying high prices, people were able to buy it online for much less (we currently sell a very high-quality 204RR6 for $3.75). Great for guys who liked to tinker, great for bearing salesmen.
However, to ensure that the aftermarket business remained with them, Deere designed a new spindle designed to be replaced as a unit. No longer can a guy replace just a bearing, unless he really knows what he is doing.
In fact, it may be soon be illegal to try and fix your lawnmower yourself, if Deere has their way. Deere and GM are trying to claim that the software that runs their machines is proprietary and that, when you purchase one of their products, you are really just licensing their technology. Crazy, but true.
So, to the guy that bought those washing machine bearings: good on you. We need to be able to fix things ourselves. It's good for our souls and good for our minds. Being able to repair the things that we use is good for society, but a skill set we might just lose if the big corporations get their way.