Is it safe to use a dry lube on the carriage track of a Rockwell Super 990.

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Forum topic by ScottKaye posted 12-21-2013 04:07 AM 1042 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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620 posts in 1920 days

12-21-2013 04:07 AM

Im in the process of tuning up my dad’s old Rockwell Super 990 RAS. I built new tables for it and now Im in the cleaning/tuning stage of getting this saw ready for duty. This saw was made in 1963 before lubricants such as dry lubes were readily available. I was reading instructions for a super 900 saw that said “Lubrication – Put a few drops of good grade machine oil on the column, to allow it to move up and down freely…. CAUTION! NEVER OIL THE TRACK” meaning dont oil the carriage track. I get it. But what about using a Dry Lube here such as slip it? The track was pretty well gummed up but I was able to get most of the gunk out with a rag and simple green. The carriage rides pretty smoothly along the track now so maybe I shouldnt even worry about this. What say you?

As a side note, I used a few shots of Slip It on the dovetail ways of my Delta 14-650 mortiser and its operating smoothly now. It worked very well. Before I sprayed it, It required considerable force to get the mortiser head to move.


-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

5 replies so far

View MedicKen's profile


1612 posts in 3429 days

#1 posted 12-21-2013 01:46 PM

I would NOT use any lube in the track. The carriage moves on roller bearings. You might consider replacing the bearings as they are surely dried up, they have been there since 1963. The avg shelf life of a sealed bearing is about 25yrs and you are well past that. Replace them and clean the track with denatured alcohol and maybe a light coat of Johnsons paste wax

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View johnstoneb's profile


2869 posts in 2139 days

#2 posted 12-21-2013 02:08 PM

The dry lube would work very well on the column. Does the lube contain silicone if it does you might have a problem with finishes fish eying.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10366 posts in 3395 days

#3 posted 12-21-2013 02:37 PM

MedicKen is right on about the bearings. Replace ‘em and you won’t need the lube.
However, I’ve used dri lube for years for metal to metal or metal to plastic/UHMW applications. Never a problem.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2404 days

#4 posted 12-21-2013 02:48 PM

I’m with the others, if the track is clean and the bearings are good, no lube should be used. On the column the SlipIt will be fine. Even if it is the one that contains silicone, it’s on the column, the wood never comes in contact with it. To be absolutely safe, I’d use the Sil-Free SlipIt.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View ScottKaye's profile


620 posts in 1920 days

#5 posted 12-21-2013 05:15 PM

Thanks guys. Believe it or not, the bearings are in great shape. None of them bind even before I cleaned the crud off of them. The can of Slip it I have is Sil free that was made specifically for woodworkers.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

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