I'm designing a chair from scratch and I'd like it to have a swivel base. For this my initial idea was to press fit a bearing (thrust bearing) in the shaft of the base and connect the seat by press fitting a small shaft through the middle.

But I'm having my doubts if this can handle the load of a person sitting on the chair.

Looking for a purpose built or better suited bearing for this.

Also opened to suggestions for a better way to build this.



1 Answer 1


Most 'Swivel Chairs' use simple thrust bearings, which consist of a low-friction layer (either ballbearings, or a flat disc of plastic), sandwiched between a lower disc attached to the swivel legs and an upper disc attached to the chair base. the shaft coming down out of the chair base goes through the sandwich and extends down to where the legs branch off, and somewhere in there is a bushing that holds the shaft centered in the tube which supports the bottom disc as described above.

Swivel Chair Thrust Bearing

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! Thrust bearing is what I was looking for. So you'd say it'll support the weight of someone sitting on the chair if it's installed similar to how I described in the question? $\endgroup$
    – azhamn
    Sep 13, 2018 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ Good answer, but would be 20x better with a diagram :) $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2018 at 6:13
  • $\begingroup$ no drawing at hand, sorry. $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2018 at 6:31
  • $\begingroup$ @nappyboi - in your original question you just say "a bearing". There's no way to tell if that could support the weight of a person, without knowing the design and specification of that bearing. $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2018 at 9:30
  • $\begingroup$ This would be for a thrust bearing as suggested in the accepted answer. If a thrust bearing us suitable then I'd go ahead and look at some options. $\endgroup$
    – azhamn
    Sep 13, 2018 at 10:24

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