What lubricants should I use on my machines?

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 03-30-2014 08:29 AM 1048 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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898 posts in 997 days

03-30-2014 08:29 AM

This is something that I’ve wondered about for a while. But looking at the rack and pinion components on my bandsaw got me yet more curious.

Most of the moving parts on my machines need lubrication of some kind. My initial response was to use 3 in 1 oil or WD-40. The problem is that these attract sawdust like crazy and tend to ultimately gum things up.

What I usually see on my the gears and such are some kind of heavy grease that doesn’t seem to attract sawdust. But I’ve got no clue what kind of grease to use. I assume that different parts need different kinds of greases.

Are there suggestions on what kind of grease(s) to use and how often parts need fresh lubricant?

Thank you!

20 replies so far

View distrbd's profile (online now)


1549 posts in 1351 days

#1 posted 03-30-2014 09:45 AM

Jig-A-Loo Graphite Extreme Lubricant
For my miter saw sliders I use silicone spray but for planer,table saw ,jointer the graphite spray is best in my opinion.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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Clint Searl

1489 posts in 1266 days

#2 posted 03-30-2014 01:10 PM

I use a graphite drying paste on the moving parts that WON’T come in contact with wood.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View NiteWalker's profile


2710 posts in 1481 days

#3 posted 03-30-2014 02:52 PM

Paste wax.
Works great and doesn’t attract dust.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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2237 posts in 625 days

#4 posted 03-30-2014 02:52 PM

I use paste wax on sliding surfaces that will come in contact with wood. for screw threads, shafts, trunnions, etc. I used an emulsified wax lube made for bicycle chains designed specifically to not attract dirt and dust.

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553 posts in 979 days

#5 posted 03-30-2014 03:31 PM

I use paste wax on sliding surfaces that will come in contact with wood. for screw threads, shafts, trunnions, etc. I used an emulsified wax lube made for bicycle chains designed specifically to not attract dirt and dust.

Mr. Yeti, do you have a product name or link?

I use past wax too on anything and everything I can get to without pulling a machine apart.

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

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898 posts in 997 days

#6 posted 03-30-2014 08:54 PM

I thought about using a graphite lube. But my thinking is that if a part initially had some kind of thick, heavy grease on it I should probably stick with a heavy grease. But I don’t know what kind of grease to use. Is there a way to determine visually what kind of grease was put on at the factory?

View JimRochester's profile


198 posts in 519 days

#7 posted 03-30-2014 09:23 PM

Good article in Woodcraft magazine on that point. WD40 is a penetrant, nothing more. It will be gone by the time you get the top back on the can. Use some dry sprays on anything that could attract sawdust.

-- Schooled in the advanced art of sawdust and woodchip manufacturing.

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396 posts in 1257 days

#8 posted 03-30-2014 09:36 PM


-- Used to be a barn cat, now a lap cat...

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898 posts in 997 days

#9 posted 03-30-2014 09:42 PM

I throw wax onto every metal surface that doesn’t have grease or oil on it.

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12877 posts in 1595 days

#10 posted 03-31-2014 12:54 AM

Most manufactures recommend white lithium grease.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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898 posts in 997 days

#11 posted 03-31-2014 02:34 AM

Is there a specific type of lithium grease I should use? The grease on the rack and pinion of the bandsaw seems to be an orangey/coppery color.

View ras61's profile


92 posts in 426 days

#12 posted 03-31-2014 04:05 AM

WD-40 is a water dispersing agent (hence the “WD”) developed for the aerospace industry, and is thus not a true lubricant. When used on mechanical parts it initially has a lubricating quality like silicone spray, but with age becomes gummy. This leads to the slippery slope of applying more to slick things up again, and eventually creating an even greater layer of sticky goo. On external surfaces that can easily be cleaned it really can’t do much harm, but it’s the last thing you should use on any confined mechanical parts like locks or firearms.

-- "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum" - James L. Petigru, 1860

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8286 posts in 1937 days

#13 posted 03-31-2014 05:19 AM

gfadvm has it. Same as I use. Usually it’s a Creamy Color and comes in a Squeeze Tube.

A Mechanic told me a few days ago that “Silicone Grease” was better. Haven’t had a chance to look for it yet.

Paste Wax on Moving Gears???

-- Deodorant is like Common Sense. Those who need it the most, never use it.

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428 posts in 841 days

#14 posted 03-31-2014 05:28 AM

one of the locksmiths I used years ago in another province always charged double if you you had sprayed the lock with WD40. WD stands for water displacement. Claimed it gummed up the works real good.

Just an observation.

I know silicone spray is anatheme in any shop where spray finishing is done, so I avoid it like the plague, but of yer not spary finishing, it might be a real good lubricant. often times in homes on maintenace jobs, I’ll spray it outside on a rag, take it in and wipe the surfaces… Might work for shop stuff too….if you don’t spray finish.


-- Real_cowtown_eric

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1292 posts in 1214 days

#15 posted 03-31-2014 05:32 AM

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