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Sticky red grease on gears.

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  • Sticky red grease on gears.

    I've disassembled both my 1976 Jet 1024 lathe and my 1988 Jet JMD-18 mill/drill to move into my basement. Most of the gears are covered with a very tacky red grease that is much thicker and stickier than standard greases. On the lathe the gears are in the carriage and the mill has it on the quill gear sets and on the head raise/lower rack, pinion, and worm.

    My question is where might I find the same type of grease or a suitable replacement? Thanks

  • #2
    We used a synthetic that was red and I believe the manufacturer was amoco (BP).


    • #3
      Chevron Ultra Duty EP.


      • #4
        Possibly it is the "Seig Red" that protects from rust but is not meant as a real lubricant?


        • #5
          Dont stress over minor crap like that, you could put chainsaw bar oil on the gears or even white food grade grease it dont matter much as long as you use some grease or some kind of lube.

          buy a can of "Open gear lube" and give it a blast once in a while.

          If you want good stuff buy "powerpunch" its a bit spendy and I use it when assembling hydraulic cylinders. Its sticky as hell and slicker than snot.


          • #6
            My first thought, because the lathe is 30+ years old is that the red grease probably is thick and sticky because of its age. I am betting it was quite different when it was new and first applied.


            • #7
              "Seig Red"--- is a good possibility. It's also known as "egg foo goo"

              Personally, I don't like grease on open gearing on a lathe. Even if not as tacky as the stuff you are talking about, grease is basically "swarf adhesive" in an application like that. Mix machining swarf and other grit in grease and you have something that is crudely similar to "Clover compound"-- which is silicon carbide in a grease binder for valve lapping and other operations. Grease is also not ideal because while it will squish out from between the teeth, it will not flow back in, in open environments.

              On my lathe, both the headstock gears and threading/feed gears are in an enclosed oil bath, but the end gear train that drives the feed/threading gear box is not. I use Lucas oil additive (by itself) there. Its sticky enough to cling during use, but can still eventually mostly run off in the event that something gets mixed in with it (something like swarf that does not belong there). In that sense, I treat these open gears as a "lossy" system. Some day I intend to mount some little lubricant tubes in the end gear cover so that I can apply a few drops where it needs to go without pulling the cover. Here is a photo that shows the stuff in use while the lathe is running. Note the spiderwebbing between the rotating gears...the stuff is really tacky and yet can still run off when it sits long enough.

              Paul Carpenter
              Mapleton, IL


              • #8
                I use, and like, PJ1 chain lube. It goes on light and thin to seep into all of the nooks and crannies, then coagulates into a very nice tacky gear lube.
                As a mater of fact, it was recommended to me by my machine manufacturer.

                "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."~ Thomas Jefferson


                • #9
                  Re: Grease that has staying power

                  My favorite grease for severe service is Salt Water Proof Grease, available at boat and marine stores. They use it in wheel bearings on boat trailers and that stuff stays put. We used it on shackles used on mooring components for deep sea deployment and after a year, the stuff was just as sticky and slipery as ever. In fact, it is a real chore to wash it off, even with solvents.
                  Jim (KB4IVH)

                  Only fools abuse their tools.


                  • #10
                    I have used both the Amsoil spray heavy duty metal protector or their spray synthetic grease. The metal protector "dries" to a waxy finish that stays put and lubes well. The spray synthetic grease also works well but is of lighter viscosity and will eventually (possibly) drip off a bit and may suffer from sling off if the rotational speed is very high.


                    • #11
                      I've always considered the red stuff to be what you wash off a new machine so you can get a proper grease or oil to the same places. It's not unlike the crud they packed all metal things in during WWII, cosmoline.


                      • #12
                        Way oil is not just for ways. In fact in it's other life, it is used as an open gear lube. Several lathes, the Monarch 10EE use it in the apron and pump it on the ways.

                        For the end gears and the QC gearbox and any other total loss system, it is a good choice.
                        Jim H.


                        • #13
                          It's Lithium Complex grease.

                          all the best.markj


                          • #14
                            Red Grease

                            Red Grease
                            I am familiar w/ BMW Motorcycle grease. It is something called "Starburags"?
                            If it is BMW, it is expensive. Works well.
                            For us it is used on shaft splines and clutch splines. It doesn't fling off from RPM. (you don't use too much either)
                            AMSOL has an an equivalent. What it is right now, I do not know.
                            Use open gear lube from McMaster Carr.