Machine maintenance question

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Forum topic by John Harris posted 02-18-2010 05:30 AM 1406 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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John Harris

59 posts in 3280 days

02-18-2010 05:30 AM

Quick question about lubrication for your shop machines. What oil do you use? What grease do you use?

I am re-building/re-habbing some new tools that I purchased over the weekend. Usually I just go over to my lube shelf and grap whatever is the closest from the pile of “stuff” that I have collected over the years. What is the best though? WD-20 for the oil? Plain old multi-purpose grease?

For me, this could be the case where too many choices is just confusing a simple issue?

5 replies so far

View JasonWagner's profile


527 posts in 3416 days

#1 posted 02-18-2010 05:37 AM

I think you’ll need to specify what machines and where you’re lubricating. Lots of manuals will suggest what to use. Paste wax is usually pretty good with gears and slow moving parts. If there are greased bearings you don’t want to use WD-40 because it’ll displace the grease for a thinner lubricant (WD-40). Bearing grease is bearing grease.

If whatever you’re lubing could contaminate the wood then you need to watch out that it’s not silicone based. I used WD-40 for the rollers on my TS outfeed table and they continually leached out onto pieces of wood until I did a thorough cleaning of each one.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View John Harris's profile

John Harris

59 posts in 3280 days

#2 posted 02-18-2010 05:56 AM

This would all be in places where wood would never touch; bearings, drive shafts, worm gears, etc. Places where annual maintenance should be taking place.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3305 days

#3 posted 02-18-2010 06:30 AM

I would probably go with whatever the manufacturer recommends. If you can’t find a specific recommendation, use whatever is appropriate for a similar application.

I’ve seen guys live to regret using white grease on the tilt mechanism of a table saw. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3410 days

#4 posted 02-18-2010 07:10 AM

Paraffin, paste wax, beeswax, spray graphite, white stick lubricant….

-- -- Neil

View mkrok's profile


94 posts in 3257 days

#5 posted 02-18-2010 07:41 AM

I use Paraffin for gears and worm drives, paste wax for the cast iron tops. WD40 everywhere else for rust “remediatioin and prevention”. If you must use WD40 for rust treatment of areas your workpiece may come in contact with, be sure to coat that area with wax after you have cleaned and dried it.

I guess you could get fancier if you want but this is cheap, fast, and works for me. Less cans of stuff to keep track of.

-- Michael, South Florida,

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