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J Tiers
04-19-2009, 10:26 PM
I picked up the book 1 of the New Departure bearing books, which I had been looking for.

Interestingly, in the maintenance section, they RECOMMEND use of a water-diluted cleaner to clean precision ball bearings, in cases where solvents do not clean the hardened crud out..... They actually recommended boiling the bearings in the solution.

Since the N-D folks knew more than most about bearings, having invented preloading, etc, I don't think this is some shade-tree remedy......

They do say to follow that with a solvent wash/light oil wash and to coat the bearings with oil or grease preservative afterward...... but clearly the hot water was not expected to damage them.

bollie7
04-19-2009, 10:39 PM
....but clearly the hot water was not expected to damage them.
Why should it? Am I missing something?
Provided they are dried completely and then lubed properly there shouldn't be a problem. I've done this to hundreds of bearings over the years without any problems
Water shouldn't damage them except if they are left wet and corrosion starts.

bollie7

oldtiffie
04-19-2009, 11:01 PM
Thanks JT.

I agree with Bollie7 as regards method but I've not even come close to having done that many - way behind.

I thought the name seemed familiar from a long time ago - and no wonder:
http://wiki.gmnext.com/wiki/index.php/New_Departure_Manufacturing_Company

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=new+departure+bearings&meta=&aq=1&oq=new+departure

JCHannum
04-19-2009, 11:30 PM
Who said hot water would cause damage?

It is a perfectly acceptable method of cleaning provided that it can be done conveniently and appropriate precautions are taken to protect the part following the cleaning by ensuring all residual water is removed and the part is protected by a rust preventive lubricant.

lazlo
04-19-2009, 11:39 PM
Who said hot water would cause damage?

I don't follow either JT. Common SOP is to heat a bearing to 150 - 250 to install, hence the old timers trick of sitting a bearing on the lightbulb to install it. As long as you dry-off all the water so you don't rust the races...

Personally I like Trichlorethylene (i.e. Red CRC Brake cleaner): it dissolves all the crud and doesn't leave a residue.

chipmaker4130
04-19-2009, 11:47 PM
They're not talking about plain water anyway, are they? Some metals begin to corrode or oxidize almost immediatly upon contact with water, the hotter it is, the faster it happens. But there are lots of water-born cleaners used for paint prep, etc which include oxidation inhibitors. This is what I think the New Departure people are referring to.

Willy
04-19-2009, 11:52 PM
I too have been doing this for years, didn't realize it was a controversial subject.
Think steam cleaning, no better or faster way to clean a 1,500 lb. transmission case (bearings included) than good old hot water. Blow it out with air and give it a good coat of your favorite rust preventative and it's done.

Works good at home too, for small jobs just boil the parts on the stove.

Oh, now I now why it's controversial...I didn't get an official okeedoekee from swmbo.

J Tiers
04-20-2009, 12:03 AM
There was a thread a bit ago where all sorts of dire consequences were predicted for water cleaning, when someone suggested boiling an assembly to free it up.

Personally, I use water-diluted cleaners a LOT for machinery parts, and they cause ME no problems. I have not had to boil any, but would not hesitate to do so.

Some folks seemed to be thinking it was OK for non-critical parts, but not for any 'precision" stuff...... I thought the endorsement by a bearing company was interesting in light of the comments made in that otehr thread.

Even those who were Ok with it suggested disassembly. But the disassembly possible with a ball bearing is obviously minimal or non-existent in most cases.

As for the materials, they didn't specify a cleaner, aside from a generic reference to "water-diluted emulsion" cleaners. That covers a goodly amount of ground.

oldtiffie
04-20-2009, 12:20 AM
There was a thread a bit ago where all sorts of dire consequences were predicted for water cleaning, when someone suggested boiling an assembly to free it up.

Personally, I use water-diluted cleaners a LOT for machinery parts, and they cause ME no problems. I have not had to boil any, but would not hesitate to do so.

Some folks seemed to be thinking it was OK for non-critical parts, but not for any 'precision" stuff...... I thought the endorsement by a bearing company was interesting in light of the comments made in that otehr thread.

Even those who were Ok with it suggested disassembly. But the disassembly possible with a ball bearing is obviously minimal or non-existent in most cases.

As for the materials, they didn't specify a cleaner, aside from a generic reference to "water-diluted emulsion" cleaners. That covers a goodly amount of ground.

Thanks JT.

That should sort the Evangelists and Purists out - but you will be on their Heretic list. Perhaps they need a cold shower with "a ...... generic ......... water-diluted emulsion" cleaner - which should "ABEC 93 1/2 compatible" (for their "delicate ball-bearing parts").

lazlo
04-20-2009, 01:19 AM
There was a thread a bit ago where all sorts of dire consequences were predicted for water cleaning, when someone suggested boiling an assembly to free it up.

Don't remember that thread -- you sure it was here? That sounds like a PM thread.

I have to say, I haven't had good luck removing, cleaning, and re-installing precision bearings. They never seem to run correctly after they've been removed and cleaned.

I have had good luck cleaning them in-situ, and repacking.

Joel
04-20-2009, 02:13 AM
This one:
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=34301



Even those who were Ok with it suggested disassembly. But the disassembly possible with a ball bearing is obviously minimal or non-existent in most cases.

Seemed to me that the problem was being 100% positive the water had all evaporated from a complex assembly full of nooks and crannies. A single open bearing would pose no such concern and wouldn't require disassembly to be assured that no water was trapped.

David Powell
04-20-2009, 06:55 AM
Once upon a time there was a farmer in whose house there was an ancient grandfather clock. The clock stopped one day and his wife requested repairs, the farmer, on looking at the clock figured it needed oiling, so he got the oil can from the threshing machine kit because it was the thinnest oil he had , thinner than that for his traction engine,and gave it a good oiling. Well the old clock struggled back to life. The process was repeated occasionally over the next twenty years or so, but eventually the old clock wouldnt go any more. So the farmers wife took the " Works" to the local clockmaker on market day. The clockmaker took one look at the oily, chaff encrusted mess and exclaimed, " Woman take it away and boil it" So being the frugal soul she was she took it home and next wash day, after washing was done,she put the clock in the tub and let it sit an hour or two. The suds removed the dirt, alas they also removed the numbers on the face of the clock . The farmer found some thinner oil ( The years had moved on, he now had a car and a better workshop as well)and oiled the clock with that.If you ever get the priviledge to visit an ancient farmhouse in deepest Devon, where there is a traction engine and threshing machine sleeping in the barn, look carefully at the grandfather clock in the hall, if you see it has a very nicely lettered paper face you will know the story is true. Regards David Powell.

JCHannum
04-20-2009, 07:02 AM
Seemed to me that the problem was being 100% positive the water had all evaporated from a complex assembly full of nooks and crannies. A single open bearing would pose no such concern and wouldn't require disassembly to be assured that no water was trapped.

That is the thread, and the problem with trying to clean that particular piece by boiling, not to mention the logistics involved with boiling and drying a piece of that physical size and weight.

oldtiffie
04-20-2009, 07:23 AM
The OP mentioned "precision ball bearings":


I picked up the book 1 of the New Departure bearing books, which I had been looking for.

Interestingly, in the maintenance section, they RECOMMEND use of a water-diluted cleaner to clean precision ball bearings, in cases where solvents do not clean the hardened crud out..... They actually recommended boiling the bearings in the solution.

Since the N-D folks knew more than most about bearings, having invented preloading, etc, I don't think this is some shade-tree remedy......

They do say to follow that with a solvent wash/light oil wash and to coat the bearings with oil or grease preservative afterward...... but clearly the hot water was not expected to damage them.

(My emphasis)

I can see it being feasible or perhaps necessary in some circumstances but it would need a very skilled operator to do the job and be sure it was done right under very good conditions - if the balls were accessible.

I must confess to being a little bemused here.

Just how can you be sure that all "gunk" is removed from the cage if the bearing is not disassembled? You can't see it if it is and so it must be a "trust to luck" exercise.

If you do dismantle it, how can you be sure that after re-assembly the cage is not distorted and rubbing excessively on the balls?

Next, what if the bearing has one or two seals on it? How do you clean it - and be able to see that its cleaned - without removing or damaging the seal/s?

If you don't dismantle it, how can you be sure that none of the races or balls has any "failures" or "brinelling"?

Next, given the minimal cost of bearings in many cases and the cost of a failure and/or having to re-do the job, why risk it with old bearings?

Its not a matter of whether you can afford to replace the bearings, but more a matter of can you afford not to?

http://www.goenglish.com/PennyWisePoundFoolish.asp

moe1942
04-20-2009, 07:41 AM
Perfectly acceptable method of cleaning. Especially if using an ultra sonic machine which is the best way to clean precision bearings.

The most important thing is to get them thoroughly dry afterwards. Blow with dry air (don't spin) and heat in oven at 200 for an hour. Placing on top of a 75 watt bulb works great too.

Proper lube method is the next hurdle in the equation.:)

Glenn Wegman
04-20-2009, 08:32 AM
That is the thread, and the problem with trying to clean that particular piece by boiling, not to mention the logistics involved with boiling and drying a piece of that physical size and weight.

Exactly!

The controversy was over that particular piece of equipment, not the fact that boiling was a valid cleaning method. Once boiled, that particular piece of equipment would most likely be clean and free of any and all protection from corrosion on inaccessable internal parts that may need lubrication or a preservative film to protect them. Boiling individual parts and complete complex assemblies can be two different applications!

Glenn

lazlo
04-20-2009, 09:58 AM
The controversy was over that particular piece of equipment, not the fact that boiling was a valid cleaning method. Once boiled, that particular piece of equipment would most likely be clean and free of any and all protection from corrosion on inaccessable internal parts that may need lubrication or a preservative film to protect them.

Agree with all the other posts. That's a completely different problem Jerry -- the guy had a Hardinge turret head that was seized. Boiling a complex assembly like a turret head is almost guaranteed to rust.

On something like that you're going to need to break it down into components...

GKman
04-20-2009, 10:13 AM
Put together a muzzle loader six shooter and shot it for fun once in a while. (could hit a tree trunk at 10' if it was a big tree). To clean; disassembled and boiled everything in a pan of water on kitchen stove. Steel at 212* F will dry itself quickly. No rust problems.

oldtiffie
04-20-2009, 10:33 AM
Cleaning in its entirety - if done properly - is essentially in two parts.

Cleaning out the "soluble" stuff as discussed here so far and;

cleaning out the non-solubles and contaminants and metallic particles as well as physically and visually checking for any pitting, brinelling or corrosion etc. which have not been addressed thus far.

I have yet to see how seals are addressed as regards their removal and replacement as the discussion seems to be about "open-sided" bearings only.

I'd have thought that the only way to be sure that there was no residue/s etc. in the cage (near the balls) was to dismantle the cage.

There is a lot of difference between probably and certainly.

So far as I am aware the topic had not departed from the OP which was to do with "precision" bearings.

J Tiers
04-21-2009, 12:18 AM
Agree with all the other posts. That's a completely different problem Jerry -- the guy had a Hardinge turret head that was seized. Boiling a complex assembly like a turret head is almost guaranteed to rust.

On something like that you're going to need to break it down into components...

Selections from original thread:


Stick with solvents that don't cause any corrosion or rusting.


I have used hot water and soap to clean a polished gun barrel prior to re-bluing. Immediately rinsed with hot water as soon as it quit beading, indicating that it was clean. The hot metal dried instantly and was covered with a light coat of rust within 5 minutes.


I guess I just never realized that the industry standard method for cleaning machine tools was to simply submerge them fully assembled and boil them! It makes perfect sense!..................................You are fortunate to live in a rust free environment.

Willy
04-21-2009, 03:04 AM
I agree JT, as with most any procedure, one has to use a little common sense.
It is not a blank cheque to be used indiscriminately for every occasion carte blanche.

After reading the previous thread on the subject in it's entirety I can see the controversial nature of the subject.

I do have to agree with those on the original thread that stated that complex assemblies should be disassembled prior to "a hot water bath".

As with almost every endeavor, there's a time and place for everything, there are no hard and fast rules, just a little bit of "not so common sense", because without proper ventilation, condensation and oxidation is sure to follow.

JCHannum
04-21-2009, 09:20 AM
It is easy to clip out a couple of sentences out of context to prove your point. The original thread dealt with cleaning a very complex and expensive piece of equipment. It was suggested that it be boiled in water. It was pointed out that if boiling was used, and all water was not removed, it was probable that the piece would be rust damaged. The only means to positively accomplish that is to totally dismantle, dry and protect.

Evan proceeded to try to prove that it was not necessary to dismantle and that water could be used without creating rusting by various secondary treatments, most of which eventually used WD40 or a similar protectant to prevent rust. For that reason, it is much simpler to simply skip the water and proceed directly to solvents.

If a piece is cleaned of all protectant, leaving bright steel, it will begin to rust almost immediately. This is well known, and is a problem when bluing a firearm. The clean, hot, dry part must be moved directly from the final wash to the bluing tank or it will rust.

That immediate tendency to rust will be exacerbated by environmental conditions of humidity and the environment, if you live close to the ocean for instance. Different alloys will be more or less subject to rust, but all will succumb to corrosion in the end.

It is pretty common knowledge that water and condensation will remain in the most obscure places and refuse all attempts at removal and cause rust. It is foolish to use Evanesque arguements to defend a statement when real damage can result if the poor advice is followed. There are many cases when hot or boiling water or soap and water is a perfectly acceptable or even preferred method to solvent cleaning, the case of the turret is not one of them.

The instructions for bearing cleaning describe a very specific series of steps to be followed. They recommend a "water diluted cleaner". What is that? Probably it is some form of soap and surfactant to help prevent beading and clinging of residual water, making removal easier. It also states to follow with a solvent flush/light oil wash and to coat with preservative. Notice anything here? It is exactly what I said to begin with. If you use water, some means of removing it and protecting the part from corrosion must be used immediately to protect from rust. Once again, in many cases, it is much simpler to skip the water.

I don't believe anywhere in the cited post was it said that the boiling water was the causitive agent of rusting, but that incomplete removal of the water and failure to properly protect the now clean part will result in subsequent rust damage in very short order. That is verified by the ND procedures you have cited.

J Tiers
04-21-2009, 07:49 PM
It is easy to clip out a couple of sentences out of context to prove your point.

Clip out a couple sentences out of context?

Nonsense, James.

One quote was the ENTIRE POST. Start to finish.

One was about 1/3 of the post, and one was about half. Yah.... clipping out the tiny bits that make my point? Yah..... that and stop signs are blue, too. Feh.

The original item was just an interesting observation, really, added support for the idea of water cleaners and precision devices.

it has the added amusement of being about "bearings" which are a continuing red flag of argument around here.... "EEEEK, water cleaning PRECISION BEARINGS..... EEEK!

Just that.................. until you-all decided it was time to say "what you mean, fool?"......



Yah......

The point was that there was quite a fuss about water cleaning an item which had nooks and crannies.

Bearings have a cage full of water trapping areas........ But clearly, the bearing manufacturer didn't feel (as some in the thread obviously did) that water is instant rust for steel.

End of story.

JCHannum
04-21-2009, 09:13 PM
Not quite, the bearing manufacturer did not feel water was a problem as long as the proper procedures were followed. This was the point stressed throughout the referenced thread by just about everybody who felt solvent cleaning was the best choice.

Nowhere in the referenced thread does anyone say that water is instant rust for steel.

oldtiffie
04-21-2009, 09:21 PM
........................................
........................................

The original item was just an interesting observation, really, added support for the idea of water cleaners and precision devices.

it has the added amusement of being about "bearings" which are a continuing red flag of argument around here.... "EEEEK, water cleaning PRECISION BEARINGS..... EEEK!

Just that.................. until you-all decided it was time to say "what you mean, fool?"......



Yah......

The point was that there was quite a fuss about water cleaning an item which had nooks and crannies.

Bearings have a cage full of water trapping areas........ But clearly, the bearing manufacturer didn't feel (as some in the thread obviously did) that water is instant rust for steel.

End of story.
Good points JT.

So far no one has mentioned just how "clean" they want what - as you said - are precision bearings.

Many bearings are "chrome" and don't rust easily - especially in a lubricated environment.

I would have thought that a good clean was necessary to see just how much "precision" was left - in other words - the "inspection" component of the job. The cage is a perfect trap for "unwanted stuff". I'd be interested to see just how most would measure and determine just how much wear there was and whether the original "precision" could be retained when the bearing was put back in service. This is especially so if the bearing has seals or is not fully dis-assembled.

I think you are right on track as regards your OP, but others seem to want to ignore it or divert to something else.