WD-40 & Silicone Spray. When is one better over the other?

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Holy Crikey wrote:

Use a petrol-based machine oil, like bike lube. Don't use 3-in-1, since it's a vegetable-based oil and oxidizes into varnish.
White lithium grease is better than oil.
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??? You're kidding, right?
CWM
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Charlie Morgan wrote:

Not according to the several bike repair manuals I've read. Oils come in two flavors, drying and non-drying. Drying types, made from plants, are what varnishes are made from, with the addition of resins to add body.
The current best lubricating oils are made from Pennsylvania crude. The previous best was spermacetti, from whales, which you rightfully can't get anymore.
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Wow. So many errors in just two paragraphs.
First off, *no* oil "oxidizes into varnish". Varnish, as you said, contains resin. The oxidation process doesn't magically cause resin to appear if it wasn't there before.
Second, varnish isn't just oil plus resin: it needs a solvent or vehicle as well.
Third, you imply that all vegetable oils are drying oils, when in fact many, if not most, vegetable oils are non-drying.
Finally, the claim that 3-in-1 oil is "vegetable-based" is simply absurd, and is, I suspect, what triggered the "??? You're kidding, right?" remark. Just look at the label on a can of it: "Contains petroleum distillates." Or read the MSDS here: http://www.wd40.com/Brands/pdfs/msds-3in1_multipurpose.us.pdf
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

"Varnish," meaning a dried coating of gunk that jams up fine, precision
machinery, like Sturmey-Archer 5-speed hubs. Not "varnish" enough that I'd use it to refinish a piano.

Linseed, tung, etc.

Not according to the bike manuals.

If so, I'll gladly reconsider.
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Varnish has two meanings, and, yes, that's one of them -- but you were *clearly* using the other meaning when you described varnish as a blend of oil and resin.

Yes, some *are* drying oils, as I clearly acknowledged -- but most are not, e.g. corn, soybean, canola, etc.

Then your bike manuals are wrong. Which do you suppose is a better source for the composition of 3-in-1 oil, some bike manual, or the manufacturer of 3-in-1 oil?

Don't just take my word for it -- go to wd40.com and read the MSDS for yourself. Go to a hardware store and read the label on the can. 3-in-1 oil is a petroleum oil. It is NOT vegetable-based.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller writes:

Of your examples, only canola is non-drying.
Corn (maize), soybean, safflower, sunflower, and some other vegetable oils are semi-drying and do find use in paints. This is why they get gummy on the outside of the bottle.
Drying vs non-drying is not a neat distinction. All of the above consist of the same 5 fatty acids, just in different proportions. Two of those five fatty acids are polyunsaturated and contribute drying properties. Raw linseed oil typically contains 30 percent non-drying fatty acids: palmitic, stearic, and oleic. Same constituents as found in beef or pork fat.
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I didn't say that any of them were non-drying -- I said they are not drying, which encompasses non-drying *and* semi-drying. As you say...

I was responding to a post that implied that "vegetable oil" and "drying oil" were equivalent, which is absolutely not the case.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Or the mechanic who has to rebuild a hub after it's been gunked up by 3-in-1.
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I'm not debating whether 3-in-1 is, or is not, an appropriate product for lubricating a bicycle -- I'm just saying that it's NOT a vegetable oil. The ingredients statement on the product package says it's petroleum. The manufacturer's MSDS says it's petroleum.
You have a bike manual that says it's vegetable.
Your bike manual is wrong.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

I have a bike manual that says it gums up freehubs.

I've taken down freehubs and seen the claimed effect for myself.
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Father Haskell wrote:

You said in an earlier post that you had a bike manual that said 3-in-1 oil is vegetable-based. That claim is what Doug is contesting.

When Doug wrote "Your bike manual is wrong", he was referring to your claim that the bike manual said 3-in-1 oil is vegetable-based. He took no position on whether or not it gunks up hubs.
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Ether Jones wrote:

Doesn't much matter what it's made of. It fouls up delicate machinery. Italian bike component manufacturer Campagnolo claims that their tolerances and finish exceed aerospace grade. Read that as saying bike shops are probably the best place to buy lubricating oils.
3-in-1 is good for door hinges. Good also for jamming locks with less risk of raising suspicion than super glue.
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The original post asked what lubricant to use on a door hinge!! What it may do to delicate machinery is completely irrelevant to this discussion.
And it's *not* vegetable oil, no matter what your bike manual says.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Most bike mechanics are folks who are on a waiting list to advance to employment at Walmart. They aren't usually people who could make it doing much else.
CWM
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Charlie Morgan wrote:

Fascinating stuff. Enjoy: http://www.ihpva.org /
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That doesn't change anything I said.
BTW, I'm an avid cyclist, and have been since the 1950's.
CWM
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Father Haskell wrote:

It matters that we correct the false information that you posted, to wit, your claim that it is made of vegetable oil.
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You said earlier that your bike manual said that 3-in-1 is a vegetable oil. *That* is what I was referring to when I said this:

I never said anything about what it did, or didn't, do to freehubs or any other part of a bicycle. I said it's not a vegetable oil, it's a petroleum oil.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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And you have proved that a gummed up hub is proof positive of vegetable based oil? Interesting!
CWM
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