You want something that handles pressure well, and doesn't "migrate."
I've used "white" lubricant with good results. Any hardware store...
comes in little tubes. Oil picks up much to much dirt/lint/sawdust/dog
Years ago I made a hot paraffin/turpentine mix and let it cool in an old
coffee can. Now when I need it, I just take the little copper glue pot out
of the hold-heat warmer, put in the coffee can, and heat and melt the wax
for easy application. Keeps the screws clean & easy to turn.
Same stuff you'd use for TS trunions and screw, something that won't
attract dust. White lube is popular and better than regular grease, but
still attracts too much dust, IMO. Graphite works well, but won't stay
on that long. Most end up using some sort of wax based mix. Teflon
mixes are good too. I've settled on using fish-wire lube (i.e., the
tool electicians use to fish wire through conduit) mixed with graphite.
I have been using my bench vise (Record) for over 15 years without any
lubrication and it operates just fine, no squeaks. I'd probably use
lithium grease if there was a problem with movement, same stuff
recommended for my tablesaw gears.
That was exactly my question last year, way too early, found an antique quick
action woodworker's vise in the backyard of a junk shop for $20, thrilled with
that! Although I didn't know so I didn't check for it, it had the original half
As for lube for the lead screw, I thought of "grease" of course, asked in news
groups curious about old fashion petrolium based heavy axle grease and it
isn't made anymore, not that I can find anywhere. It's always one form or
another of modern tech lithium stinky stuff. What is axle grease? Regular old
grease, filtered and soaped crude oil.
However, motor oil and beeswax melted together to whatever viscosity you
want (more or less beeswax) done in a double boiler with a little turpentine
added to break it up for pastyness, should work well.
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
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