PDA

View Full Version : For want of a few drops of oil



bborr01
12-11-2010, 09:32 PM
A few months ago I bought a 3 ton arbor press. I could see that the 1 inch handle had been beat on with a hammer. (luckily they didn't figure out that they could pound on the top of the ram and get better results) The chrome on the handle was peeled from the hammer blows and was somewhat like being wrapped in razor blades, so I sandblasted the chrome off and polished it in the lathe.

What was the problem? It was dry as a bone. It couldn't have been more free of lubrication if they had soaked it in trichlor.

I lubed it up with high pressure lube (center lube) and it works SO much better.

Shortly after that I saw a 36 inch economy shear for sale cheap. I went and looked at it and the guy told me it didn't cut very well. He said it was dull.

I brought it home and felt the cutting edges and they felt sharp.

So I tried cutting some thin aluminum and it would barely cut it.

The slides were, you guessed it, dry as a bone.

I lubed them up and now it cuts like it should.

Is it because there is an oil can shortage or what? Probably a nickels worth of motor oil would have made either of these two pieces of equipment word fine for the previous owners.

The good news for me is that I paid for distressed machines. Then added a few drops of lube and they are not distressed anymore.

By the way, the press came from a guy that rebuilt automatic transmissions and the shear came from a machine shop. So it wasn't like I was dealing with people who didn't have access to oil or knowledge of its use.

Anyone else had any experiences like this?

Brian

AllThumbz
12-11-2010, 10:09 PM
Brian,

Part of the problem is that people don't think of the simplest solution to a problem. I am guilty of this all the time. So instead of a couple drops of oil, they think of some other reason that it isn't working, like the blades are dull.
Instead of putting a drop of oil, they pound on it with a hammer.

Reminds me what I did with the VN #12 still sitting in my yard outside when the overarm was stuck, pounding on it with a sledge hammer instead of using a simpler and easier method.

As I said, we don't think of the obvious, a drop of oil in the right place.

uncle pete
12-11-2010, 10:12 PM
Well this isn't quite the same as what you asked about but a mine I worked at in the mid 80s had a couple of guys that did the servicing on our fleet of haul trucks. These had V 12 Detroit Diesel engines in them, Each one thought the other had filled the engine after the oil change, Wrong!!!!, The truck made it about half way out of the service bay door before it calfed a $120,000 engine. Sad as that was it was just a mistake. What your talking about is neglect and the people that owned that equipment should be ashamed. Their loss your gain tho.

Pete

rohart
12-11-2010, 10:53 PM
I got another lathe recently, a '66 Colchester. Most of it is working fine, so I'm into the apron at present investigating. It's not going to be a problem - probably adjustment of some spring tensions.

But as I dismantle, leadscrew, feed screw, and so on, I find parts that should never see the light of day - like the end of the leadscrew that should be hidden 1 1/2 inches up into the gearbox for example, that look as if they've been hit with a hammer.

I should add at this point that I believe this machine was used in a school of some sort at one time in its history.

But still, what gives ? Do people take machines apart for fun, and then go around playing Errol Flynn with them ? Do they have snowball fights with the half-nuts ? Components that should be treated with reverence, and at most see a light dusting from a fine file to ease a high spot, get a damn great ding in them. Or do they stand long components against the bench and knock them over in the headlong rush for the door at knocking-off time ?

Beats me !

J Tiers
12-11-2010, 10:55 PM
Seems like people have NO TIME to do anything that they should, like oiling, but lots of time to go do something to "deal with it", like finding a big hammer and pounding.

Weird, but true..... I've seen it before, probably see it again a hundred times. I don't know why people WILL NOT oil or clean shop equipment.

And it isn't just the users of it..... Usually it's the manager, who if he sees anyone "wasting productive time" oiling, cleaning, or adjusting a machine, will hit the roof screaming at them to get back to what "they are paid to do", and quit "screwing around".

darryl
12-11-2010, 11:09 PM
Um, yeah, I got a oil can with my lathe, and it don't work. I took it apart and cleaned it all, even dripped some oil down the tube to lube the inside. Got a bit of oil to come out but then it stopped. The dealer was no help. He just told me to put some oil in it, so I did that again. All I got was a bit of oil to come out and then it quit again. I checked the inside of the can and it was clean. The manual was no help, and where it says to put oil in the lathe, I can't get the little covers off. Someone must have put them on way too tight cuz now they don't even stick up enough to grab onto.

I'm thinkin I got a real apple here. My brother says I should just send the lathe back, and that I got no business having one. I don't have a business- do you think thats what the problem is? My other brother says I should never have ordered it. Maybe I should have picked it up in person?

spope14
12-11-2010, 11:15 PM
My students oil machines every Friday. Many do it daily because they just like the feel of a well oiled machine, before they run and after they run - I would say the majority at this point. Way, hydraulic and spindle oil, as high a price as it may be is a good investment. I have so many way and such oil cans all over my shop it is almost OCD, but they are used.

Many may think this is a waste, but hey, care of machines, building an appreciation for precision at the most basic of levels of taking care of the machine...I'll take that critique as a compliment for my students.

Besides, I actually love the smell of way oil when I come into work each morning!

My first job inside a machine shop was six months as a company "oiler", this was for a shop of 700 people, I learned a lot, and appreciate this simple "art" as it is. It is a very important art. I had a cart of oils and cleaners, I kept it clean and was appreciated by the machinists. I can still quote the specs for most machine applications to this day.

AllThumbz
12-11-2010, 11:28 PM
My students oil machines every Friday. Many do it daily because they just like the feel of a well oiled machine, before they run and after they run - I would say the majority at this point. Way, hydraulic and spindle oil, as high a price as it may be is a good investment. I have so many way and such oil cans all over my shop it is almost OCD, but they are used.


Wish there was such a school near me so I could take some courses on the side to learn some essentials. Sounds like you are doing a great job educating those kids as to what is important as a regular regimen.

Liger Zero
12-11-2010, 11:49 PM
Two of the molding presses that live with me were "killed" by lack of grease to the toggle bushings.

Obviously spending 20 min a week to take two guards off and shoot two shots of grease in a total of 10 fittings per machine... verses a quarter million or more for a new machine? It's a real no-thinkum to me.

Yet... I worked for shops were the mindset was "****it when it wears out we'll repair or replace it."

I prefer Prevention to Reaction when it comes to machine care. Fix it before it fails or prevent it from failing at all!

bborr01
12-12-2010, 01:24 AM
Thanks for the responses guys.

I am kind of venting but also kind of trying to educate some of the novices here to the importance of proper lubrication.

Jerry, I hear what you are saying.

The plant that I worked at for most of my career used to have oilers. People that went around and lubricated the machines.

They were educated about which kind of lube and where for each machine.

Most of the machines were specialized, highly automated machines. The kind of stuff that you could'nt check a book out of a library to learn.

Somewhere along the line, some manager decided we could do without the overhead of the oilers. The people operating the machines could take care of it.

They were probably right, IF they had trained the operators to do it. But they didn't. It did create a fair amount of overtime for the skilled trades people to repair/rebuild the machinery.

I do have a vertical milling machine that has a problem with the lube system. As of now I have been manually oiling it when I use it. But I will be addressing that in the future to make it easier on me.

Brian

Frank Ford
12-12-2010, 01:39 AM
Proper lubrication? I'd settle for ANY lubrication. In my guitar shop I see folks with tuners that are ridiculously hard to turn, so they end up using pliers for some extra leverage.

All around the worm and cog there are shiny flakes of plating and metal dust. Almost every time the request is for "new tuners because these don't work," and almost always the remedy is quick and easy - a few drips of oil.

We have a 12' x 12' roll up door that's usually open in good weather, and there's a steady parade of bicyclists going by - many of which bring with theme that intense painful steel on steel cry of chains asking for some oil.

My wife is a potter and we do many craft fairs each year, and of course there's that ear-splitting shriek from the sad neglected hand truck and cart wheels.

I suppose that it's really our pain, because so many are deaf to the pleading of simple machines. . .

Frank Ford
12-12-2010, 01:46 AM
Now, for a view of the other side. Some years ago I visited the Martin guitar factory and saw a cart carrying bar-coded parts from one station to another. Hanging from the cart was a clipboard with dates and signatures prominent in neat rows.

One tour member asked if that clipboard was to record the work on the parts, and the tour guide managed a slightly condescending look as he said, "no that's the list for lubricating the wheels on this cart."

Nice to see it done right!

bborr01
12-12-2010, 11:27 AM
Anybody else here have a grandfather clock?

You don't often think of oiling something like that, but they need it occasionally.

I hired a clock repair person to lube ours the first time, just to see how a pro does it.

Now it is my job.

Come to think of it, it is probably about time again.

Brian

Peter.
12-12-2010, 11:46 AM
Hey sometimes it can be an asset - I just got 150 knocked off the price of an already-cheap first car for my daughter and the seized boot lock and sticking drivers door lock was a big bargaining point. Two teaspoonsful of oil later and both locks work like new!

Liger Zero
12-12-2010, 12:22 PM
Hydraulic oil is another big one.

Two of my presses had what I suspect was the original oil in them, or worse... reclaim oil out of a sump-pan. Rancid-smelling sludgy crap. Part of the overhaul for them involved a "power flushing" and dismantling the valve-blocks and cleaning everything.

Again I can't see why you wouldn't spend $2,000 a year to maintain a quarter-million dollar investment. Maybe I am the one who doesn't "get it" or maybe my logic is faulty.

These machines are my livelihood, I count on them to make my money. Other people also depend on them to keep running so they have a job every day.

Lew Hartswick
12-12-2010, 12:53 PM
Anybody else here have a grandfather clock?

You don't often think of oiling something like that, but they need it occasionally.

Brian
My father always put a small lid from a bottle or can with a bit of
kerosene in the bottom of the "grandmother" clock. He said the
vapors provided the lubrication. Seemed to work for ours, ran like
a charm for years and years.
...lew...

bruto
12-12-2010, 04:01 PM
I don't think I can even count any more the number of hydraulic jacks I've gotten free or nearly free because they were simply out of oil. Not long ago I found a rather nice Taiwanese floor jack in the metal dumpster. Dry of oil. Does it leak? Maybe enough to lose its oil over 15 or 20 years.

One of the other things that I just cannot understand is kids, and often adults too, riding bicycles down the road with chains squeaking.

I know oil is getting a bit expensive, but it's still cheaper than the equipment that needs it.

oil mac
12-12-2010, 06:10 PM
Sometimes one comes across people who are even too stupid to even think on the correct lubrication medium to use, & wont ask advice
I will give an example from about 10 years back, "Where the blind led the blind, &they all fell into the ditch"
A nice big machine i had access to, On this machine there was a set of large gears, which after about thirty years had been replaced with nice new cast steel gears, absolutely lovely castings, and gearcutting of a high order, The guy who was in charge of this item of plant passed it on to another "expert" shortly after the fitting of the new gears during a rebuild, One day i noticed our man oiling these gears, with a light oil which my mother might have used on her Singer sewing machine, These hard worked gears were operating in a really warm atmosphere I gently said to our man that he should be using a thicker lubricant on these slow running gears, one which wouldnt run off within about five minutes
To say my advice fell on deaf ears was the understatement, Our man and his cohorts continued on their present course, To hear the sounds of tortured gears, would have broken ones heart
Result-- Back to almost worn out gears, One should have seen the wear on the flanks after about five years-- Really sad.

AllThumbz
12-12-2010, 09:01 PM
Anybody else here have a grandfather clock?

You don't often think of oiling something like that, but they need it occasionally.

I hired a clock repair person to lube ours the first time, just to see how a pro does it.

Now it is my job.

Come to think of it, it is probably about time again.

Brian

I collect clocks and have a modern Howard Miller grandfather. I use one of those needle oilers to oil the pivots and escape wheel.

Jim Shaper
12-13-2010, 12:25 AM
My 3T arbor press was also cheap, but it was being sold off because the arbor was too loose for precision work.

Yeah, they didn't know the screws in the front and side were to adjust the bushings - it'd never been done. 2 minute fix and I've got a really nice press.


I also got my 18cfm@175psi IR T30 5hp 80 gallon compressor for $300, because the shop it came out of didn't replace the $11 check valve which had come apart in the tank (wouldn't build pressure). I wish I'd known they replaced the head gaskets before I tore into it to check the bores. :o But after doing so, I can attest to them being scratch free and perfect. :D

Knowledge is power. ;)

Bill736
12-13-2010, 01:23 AM
I take in a lot of work from neighbors , repairing their farm tractors, lawn mowers, and cars and trucks. About half of the problems with farm tractors and riding mowers are due to water in the gas tank and carburetor, and transmission, etc. If you store your gas in cans, you have to make a concerted effort to keep the water out, and check them each time you refill them. Most of the remaining problems are due to a lack of preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance is something, however, that many of us fail to do, as long as our machines are running well. I took a little tour of my own shop the other day. I stopped in front of each machine and tool, and considered when the last time was that I lubricated the machine, checked adjustments, sharpened blades, checked for leaking batteries, replaced line cords, etc. I concluded that I was way behind in maintenance, just like most of my customers !

Gavin
12-13-2010, 05:40 AM
My father always put a small lid from a bottle or can with a bit of
kerosene in the bottom of the "grandmother" clock. He said the
vapors provided the lubrication. Seemed to work for ours, ran like
a charm for years and years.
...lew...

I second that, my grandfather used to do the same thing, I now have the clock and keep up the practice - the clock has run non-stop for 60+ years.

Orrin
12-13-2010, 11:20 PM
The importance of a wee drop of oil was impressed upon me very early in life. At the tender age of eight I started driving the tractor that pulled our grain binder on the farm. Grandad rode the binder and operated the bundle carrier. Once every trip around the field we stopped to oil every moving part on the machine.

One day we decided to see if we could make it twice around the field before stopping. We did, but by this time the roller bearing on the "grain wheel" had started to gall. It looked like a disaster; but, we squirted a bit of oil on it and in a another trip around the field it sorta healed itself. Even though the wheel wobbled quite a bit after that, I've been a believer ever since.

We were poor and couldn't stand to see anything go to waste, so we filled our oil cans with used crankcase oil. When we changed engine oil we'd dump it into 10-gallon cream cans. All the sludge would settle to the bottom and we'd fill our oil cans with the top skimmings. It was plenty good for total waste lubrication of plain bearings exposed to field dust. Many of our bearings were simple maple wood "boxings." They were crude, but got the job done, just fine.

Orrin

mlucek
12-14-2010, 07:29 PM
I was crewing on a steam locomotive last weekend.

Lubrication is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT on these old gals. You lose and/or have inadequate lub, it can easily cause failure in the locomotive in many places. In fact while we were out on the line last weekend, the fireman smelled something not quite right. We stopped the engine and found the arm that drove the mechanical lubricator had come loose. The bolt/nut fell out from all the vibration - it didn't have it's cotter pin/keeper nut on. This lubricator supplies oil to the valve chest and piston/cylinder amongst other places. We jury-rigged it and made it back fine. Would hate to see a seized piston or valve gear on this newly restore engine !!

Mike