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Cleaning linear bearings?

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  • Cleaning linear bearings?

    I use some 20MM sleeve style linears on some equipment. They have become "sticky" and I feel they need cleaning up. Anyone know what to use (mineral spirits or??)to clean them up without harming the wipers or bearings. What would you use to lubricate this style bearing after cleaning up? Thanks folks.
    Plain ol Bill

  • #2
    Alcohol works and then most any grease will do, though there are specific greases for linear bearings.

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    • #3
      Same applies to the straight-line ball and vee linear bearings in the main and cross slides on a reasonable surface or tool and cutter grinder.

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      • #4
        Everyone seems to think alcohol is a great solvent. maybe for people.....

        Solvents come in two basic types, although some cross-over to a greater or lesser extent.

        One is "polar" solvents. These typically will dissolve in water, and will dissolve things which have a "polarity" to the molecule. most greases etc are not polar to any large degree, and are not so affected by a polar solvent.

        The other is the "oily" group. Typically these do NOT dissolve in water, and they dissolve greasy and oily materials quite well.

        Some solvents cross-over. Common ethyl alcohol is primarily polar, with some non-polar activity on the "other end" from the OH group, but there are long-chain alcohols which are primarily non-polar. Therefore SOME oily substances can be affected by common alcohol even though it is mostly polar. Hence the confusion.

        For most greases etc the solvent should be a non-polar type, and that is typically NOT ethyl or methyl alcohol.
        1601

        Keep eye on ball.
        Hashim Khan

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        • #5
          Wd-40?
          Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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          • #6
            I have found grease dissolves pretty well in isopropyl which is more nonpolar than polar and is not so terrible and stinky to deal with like mineral spirits.

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            • #7
              I used to etch some samples with fruit juice, pear juice and pineapple juice, we got to eat the pears and pineapples too!.
              Mark

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              • #8
                Originally posted by macona View Post
                I have found grease dissolves pretty well in isopropyl which is more nonpolar than polar and is not so terrible and stinky to deal with like mineral spirits.
                It's a bit longer chain.... 3 carbons, and as mentioned, the molecules get less "purely polar" with length. That's the longest commonly available alcohol, but is mostly available mixed with water (it's still polar enough for that).
                1601

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan

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