@matthewepler, I think you’ve got it- in a vertical orientation, you shouldn’t have as much need for the thrust bearing since the reels would be resting on the shaft rather than on the thrust bearing. I’d think radial bearings would be sufficient, though needle bearings would distribute the weight a bit better. But, figure that we use regular radial bearings all the time in things like roller skates, etc, I wouldn’t think 15lbs would phase them much at all. I’d say the only other consideration you need for a vertical solution is some sort of mechanism to lock the reel in place so it doesn’t drift on the shaft or wobble.
Where did you get all those rollers? I don’t have anything built yet. I’d like to focus on 8mm as that’s what I actually have that needs transferred. Any sources for rollers that would be good for that size?