I was looking all over, auto parts stores, online sites, searches for
"petroleum based grease" among other terms... point being is a need
for a thick, semi stiff yet soft lube for the screws in vises and whatever
other basic needs like that, which do not "stink" to H-H like anything I
could find. It seems petroleum/oil is at a premium so there is every
other engineered chemical replacement, and they all stink profusely.
So searches like "wax as grease" turned up a recipe for 50-50 beeswax
and motor oil, doesn't stink. But, leary of the wax flaking anyway if it's
too much in the ratio, anyone think this is a correct ratio, or should it
be a 60 oil / 40 wax, what should be proper? Is there a better recipe that
can be used for the same purpose?
Anything that sticks to the vise screw will be stuck to by the dust you
make. Teflon-based stuff that dries would be my preference. Under saw
trunnions and such, graphite- based.
If you're hot to try it, get a wax toilet seal and slather it on. Save the
rest for lubing screws put into wood.
Yeah, I have several lbs of beeswax, $4/lb. at the local farmer's market. It is
wonderful stuff, start playing with it and warm it with a lighter and it retains
the heat as you ply with it. Thanks for the advice!
Just made this post in another thread and I use it on my vise also.
10 year supply....
Fill a small baby food jar 3/4's full of Johnson's or Butcher's paste wax
and stir in one very small tube of dry graphite from the auto supply store.
Stir it all together until the solution is graphite black. May need to add
a drop or two of mineral spirits to get a good mixture. If you get to much
mineral spirits mixed in, don't worry - just leave the lid off the jar and
it will evaporate out in a day or two.
As Charlie mentioned, clean off whatever is on them now and then use a
toothbrush (yes even a used one will work) to spread the wax and graphite
mixture on the gears. It beats the dry lubes and doesn't attract dust like
grease does. Yes, dust will lay on top but will fall off when you rotate
the cranks. All you need is enough to coat the bearing surfaces where the
teeth mesh. Any slopped on the sides doesn't do a thing....
Thanks Bob, I suppose this recipe I found should go to 60% oil and
40% wax to make my own paste wax (I got several lbs of beeswax,
no worries there). But this thing with graphite, isn't it an abrasive at
The vise, as should have explaned, is an 1800's antique, and it's half
nut is a super soft brass alloy (with tin?). Impossible to replace unless
having it copied. The screw is iron, not steel, and maleable but FAR
harder than the half nut. Your recipe sounds good though.
Graphite is the ultimate slippery substance. No worries there. Now
anything which will collect dust and sanding grit (like wax) will regrind
your surfaces for you, which is why the drier the lube the better.
I'd do solvent and wax in a double boiler, with the objective of a minimal
dry deposit on the screw. No oil, because that's going to collect.
Graphite is the standard lock lubricant. Very high grade slippery stuff if
it's of high purity. If it's got crud in it, the crud can be
abrasive--that's why you want to use graphite sold as a lubricant and not
ground up pencil lead, which these days is graphite with ceramic additives
to adjust the hardness and provide strength (a fascinating book if you're
into the history of commonplace technology is "The Pencil" by Henry
Petroski). Graphite has an interesting structure--I won't try to describe
it here because it's one of those situations where a picture beats a
thousand words--but the bottom line is that no, it's not abrasive to any
significant degree, at least not when used as a lubricant--I don't know
what it does if you shoot it out of a sandblaster.
An alternative would be powdered Teflon, but I suspect that that's more
abrasive than graphite.
By the way, you might want to consider using "mineral oil", the stuff you
find in a pharmacy, not motor oil, in any formulation that requires oil if
you are concerned about odor.
Personally, I think you'll find that a coat of any good wax (Butcher's or
Johnson's paste wax for example) will do the job just fine--don't try to
get fancy until you've tried that and found out that it didn't work for
you. Don't use car wax unless you're sure it is silicone-free--it will
work fine as a lubricant/preservative but if you get the silicone on
anything there goes all hope of getting a decent finish.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
What are you lubing? If you use ANY grease or oil on trunnions or other under
table gears in a table saw, you are going to have impacted sawdust in short
order. That's OK if you enjoy standing on your head to clean the gears on a
bi-weekly basis, but I'm getting old enough that I want to reduce that to once
every couple, three years.
"One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above
that which is expected." George W. Bush
The lead screw of my antique vise. It is made of maleable iron I believe, and the
1/2-nut is a super soft brass alloy. I don't want any abrasives to affect the into
the lube and wear it down, such as sawdust and sandpaper grits... that 1/2-nut
cannot be replaced unless it's copied. $$$$. The best suggestions I have heard
is the use of a graphite lube, store bought graphite grease or powder mixed with
wax or oil. Supposedly dusts will "fall off" of the screw when it's turned....?...if
a thin layer of graphite lube is used.
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