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chuck lubricant

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Tom Beatty, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. Tom Beatty

    Tom Beatty

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    What is best lubricant to use when cleaning and reassembling a 4 jaw screw chuck. I have seen recommendations including; nothing, dry lubricant, way oil (?), grease, heavy oil and paste wax. So not sure what to use
     
  2. Dale Miner

    Dale Miner

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    Molly dry lube.

    It goes on in a solvent based spray that dries rapidly. Not sticky when dry - gathers no dust.
     
  3. odie

    odie

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    (edit: 9/2/2020......My opinions on this have changed. See post #27 & #36. Since I am evolving constantly, I may change my mind again someday! :eek:)

    Chucks need some lubricant, so no lubricant isn't good......

    A dry lubricant will quickly rub away and mating surfaces will fast become the same as not having lubricant.

    Everything else will be wet, and the problem with that is dust will adhere to it......eventually it will bog down and will have to be cleaned out again.

    Regardless, I use a very light machine oil only when the operation of the chuck becomes a little sticky. Use it very sparingly. Open the chuck slides all the way and squirt a very little bit on the scroll. Then close the slides all the way and also squirt a very little on the scroll. Then open and close the slides several times, until it operates freely again. Since the light oil is wet, it will eventually attract enough dust that the chuck will need to be disassembled again.....but, even with daily use, and using this method, the interval is several years between periodical maintenance sessions.

    One very important thing to do, is to blow out any accumulated dust EVERY time the chuck is used.

    ko


    (Way oil is intended to lubricate under high compression, and this not the right application for that. The way oil I've used, has the consistency of regular motor oil.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  4. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    odie, now I have an excuse to buy an air compressor. I can tell my wife, "odie highly recommends one for cleaning the lathe chuck." :D
     
  5. odie

    odie

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    John.......

    Heh,heh,heh.......Well, whatever works! :p

    I couldn't live without a compressor!

    ko
     
  6. Jim Chrisawn

    Jim Chrisawn

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    Chuck cleaning

    On Nova's site they give instructions for cleaning and in those instructions they recommend 20-50 motor oil. I always just cleaned with mineral spirits and let dry. Then reassemble dry. I've tried different kids of lubricant from light oils to dry lubes used for firearms and find all of them dust attractors. In the past 20+ years I have found that the dust itself, as long as it is cleaned regularly, actually acts as a lubricant. If you are turning wet or really dirty wood you'll find it necessary to clean the chuck more often. For me, if I'm just turning primarily dry wood, I just blow the chuck out regularly and this seems to work fine. I hope this is somewhat helpful. One more thing when cleaning the chuck be sure to keep the screw threads clean and the screw holes clean as well I do use a light non silicon based oil on the threads to keep them from seizing and rusting in place.
     
  7. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    i have not used the way oil......I use 3 in one oil..........and as said above move jaws wide and close........

    I take the jaws off after ever session of turning........since I do that and do not mind changing jaws , I only own and need one stronghold chuck
     
  8. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I have Vicmarc's and they have a back shield and apparently built well enough that they don't get very dirty. I just pulled all of them apart about a month ago to clean. Not much dust at all. However the off brand copies of Vicmarc required quite a bit more cleaning. I just spray things down with WD-40 and then wipe it off. It leaves just enough lube to work well.
     
  9. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    I don't think I have ever disassembled a chuck to clean & lubricate. I bought my first 4-jaw chuck in 1991 (checked my inventory list :)) and have 9-10 chucks. I frequently blow them out with compressed air, but if I ever think they need some lubrication I mount it on the lathe. First, find a cardboard box just large enough to sit on the lathe bed and still clear the top of your chuck…..cut off the opening flaps. Place under the chuck to catch any drips. Liberally spray the scroll & each jaw slide with WD-40….opening and closing with the key and more spraying (the cans with the thin tube works real well). After you have it all "juiced up" with WD-40, stand the box up on the bed as close to the headstock as possible. Turn on the lathe … fast!!! :cool: The box will catch all the spray! Stop and wipe any residue (if any) on the chuck body with a paper towel.
     
  10. odie

    odie

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    Hmmmmm.......never thought of that! Thanks, Tom......I just may try that next time! :)

    ko
     
    Doug Freeman likes this.
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Tell her that you might be banished from hanging out with other woodturners if word gets out that you don't have an air compressor. :rolleyes:

    As far as lubricating is concerned, there are probably as many opinions as there are woodturners. I think that I have tried just about everything that I could imagine and finally decided on one of two choices:

    • Use no lubricant and just keeping things clean -- or --
    • Use CRC dry silicone lube on the scroll and inner (AKA, base) jaws. Lubing ring and pinion optional

    The CRC dry silicone lube is truly dry and invisible and very long wearing. I know that some folks are probably saying, "get a rope", but I'm just as concerned as anybody about potential effect on finishes. Whenever I lube a chuck, I wear nitrile gloves, work outdoors and put the lube on cotton swabs and then wipe the surface rather than getting it all over the chuck by spraying. However, I haven't used any kind of lubrication in a year or more and don't see that as a problem. It we were talking about moving parts as in a running machine constantly in motion then lubrication is absolutely essential. Some friction is actually advantageous in a scroll chuck because it helps to provide a "no-back" condition ... in other words, the static friction prevents the scroll gear from creeping backwards and loosening its grip on a tenon. But, who knows ... fifty years from now I might regret this decision. :rolleyes:
     
    odie likes this.
  12. Tom Beatty

    Tom Beatty

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    crc lube

    [*]Use CRC dry silicone lube on the scroll and inner (AKA, base) jaws.

    Bill
    Where do you find the CRC dry silicone lube in the arlington area?

    So far lots of good ideas. Thanks everyone
     
  13. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I bought it while I was at my parents home in central Texas and I don't recall if I got it at Walmart or at the local lumberyard. I just ran out so I need to pick up some more on my next trip down there. Let me know if you can't find it in Arlington. It took me a long time to find the right kind of silicone spray.WD-40 and others make a type of silicone spray that foams when sprayed and looks more like a very thin greasy film. I don't like that type of silicone and I think that is the one that creates the "fish eye" problems in lacquer and varnish.

    EDIT: I just checked found that you can also get it at Grainger, MSC, Industrial Air Tools, Summit Electric, and Motion Industries.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  14. Tom Beatty

    Tom Beatty

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    Thanks Bill. When I looked through my stash of lubricants I actually found a can of CRC :rolleyes:, so I used that to lube the chuck. Will see how it works. By the way thus was a chuck that I got at a tool sale and had lots of grime and rust. Actually cleaned up nicely and now seems to be working.
    Again thanks for everyones help.
     
  15. Jim Chrisawn

    Jim Chrisawn

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    Experiment

    After reading through this thread, quite educational I might add, I spent some time doing some chuck maintenance. I also did some, not so scientific, testing of lubricants and cleaning. I found a product that really does a great job at cleaning and lubricating without a sticky mess. It's made by or at least sold by Hornady and is called One Shot with Dyna GlidePlus.

    I blew the different chucks out with compressed air and tried different cleaning methods and several different dry lubricants. At the end of it all the Hornady product gave me by far the best results. These were my results and conclusions and I just thought I would share the information.
     

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  16. Douglas Ladendorf

    Douglas Ladendorf

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    Interesting Jim. Does it say what lubricant it uses? (E.g graphite, dry moly etc.)
     
  17. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    The lube is a secret, but the SDS sounds bad. I looked at a thread on a gun forum and folks there were about evenly split between hating and loving it. Apparently it leaves a thin waxy film which may be good or bad depending on what you use it for. Some reloaders liked it and others didn't. If it contained molybdenum disulfide, it would have shown up on the SDS as a hazardous ingredient. Also, moly turns everything black. I suspect that it might be a dry silicone lube. Because of all the toxic VOC's it is a very good cleaner.
     
  18. Jim Chrisawn

    Jim Chrisawn

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    Bill and others
    Yes the SDS on the Hornady product does sound bad and I highly recommend using it in a well ventilated area and use rubber/latex gloves. When it dies I wipe it down and it leaves a good coat of lubricant without being sticky. It is an excellent cleaner and gets off old finish leftovers. Just wanted to add it to the mix of possibilities and options. It's interesting that as I read through this thread that I began by never lubricating my chucks, only clean and reassemble. I've began lubricating after cleaning and will be from now on. Thanks to everyone who has shared!
     
  19. AnnHerbst

    AnnHerbst

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    British Chuck maker recommends

    To date I only clean my chucks, I do not lubricate them.

    Recently I bought an Axminster chuck from a Canadian source.
    Aximinster recommends their Axcaliber dry lubricant for their chucks.
    I do not know if it is available in the US, but this website lists some facts about it.

    http://www.axminster.co.uk/axcaliber-dry-lubricant-503468

    So I do not know what would be available in the US, but it does sound like if one wants to lube, a "dry lube" is desired.

    Ann Herbst
     
  20. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I just cleaned all of my chucks after many many years of use. I decided a dry lubricant would be my choice. I just used Graphite, mostlly because that's what I had.
     
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  21. Douglas Ladendorf

    Douglas Ladendorf

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    I would guess the Axminster lubricant is dry Moly or graphite, or a combination thereof. It would be interesting to find out if it's on the label.
     
  22. dbonertz

    dbonertz

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    I saw a video of a maintenance person at vicmarc cleaning a chuck. You may go to the vicmarc site and check if the video is there. He used something on them but I cannot remember what it was. Best to use what manufacturers use then take chances.
     
  23. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    The instruction manual only says that after cleaning to "re lubricate" the components. There is no mention of what lubricant to use. I finally found the video on their Facebook page. The guy in the video looks like he has disassembled and reassembled a chunk a few times...... per hour, that is. It took him less than a minute to dissemble it .... and this includes him taking time to describe things as he was doing it. He said that they used a lithium grease and he used a small paint brush to lightly brush on a small amount of lube on the ring gear and pinions. He didn't lube the scroll nor the bottom of the base jaws ..... IIRC
     
  24. John K Jordan

    John K Jordan

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    I lube unsealed things like this the same way I do a mantle clock - with a very thin film of oil so it won't collect a lot of dust. I learned this from a watchmaker a half century ago.

    JKJ
     
  25. Tom Beatty

    Tom Beatty

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    Just took my Sorby Patriot chuck back off and was surprised to find a grease like lubricant. Am used to open backs and using a dry lubricant on gears, etc. what kind of grease do they use and do I need it or can I just use a dry lubricant?
     
  26. Sandy Jarrell

    Sandy Jarrell

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    Tom, I think that it is just a multi-purpose grease.
     
  27. odie

    odie

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    Tom...... I'd continue to use your dry lubricant. I currently don't use any lube in the chucks at all, and give the chuck a blast of air when I finish the current application. I used to use a spray lube on the chucks, but have discontinued that. What I've found is anything that will attract dust, will eventually clog up the chuck, necessitating disassembly and a thorough cleaning. :(

    -----odie-----
     
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  28. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I use a thin layer of white lithium grease. I apply the grease and then wipe it off lightly. I use a Q tip to apply and wipe off the spiral gear. I have Vicmarc chucks and that has worked well. I have also used Graphite powder. Not sure which is best.
     
  29. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen

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    I've had quite a lot of different chucks on my workshop desk for cleaning. Most seem to be olied from the factory, but I suspect that it's got more to do with preventing corrosion than lubrication. The far east ripoffs all seem to have been dipped into a bucket of some sort of plant oil before shipping. I even met a cheap Vicmarc clone stinking of rancid oil.
    My own Vic chucks are cleaned and the inside/gear lightly greased once a year, and I rarely see any signs of clogging with dust/dirt. I'm not a production turner, but some of the chucks see heavy (ab)use at courses in a woodturning club.
    For open back chucks I use a drying gun lube.
    Lars
     
  30. Paul M. Kaplowitz

    Paul M. Kaplowitz

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    I blow out the chucks and spray them with WD-40. Works fine.
     
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  31. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    I have 1 20 year old nova chuck, 3 One Way chucks and 1 Bisson machinists 4 jaw chuck non of which have ever been disassembled. When ever any of the chucks get sticky I spray with Dry Slide or it's equivalent and the problem goes away.
     
  32. stu senator

    stu senator

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    If I don't want an oil film I use a Teflon spray. This puts a film coating down that dries in a few seconds and leaves a slippery surface.
    I use this on the lathe beds also, locks,etc also.

    Stu
     
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  33. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    Like Paul & Don - here is my post on this subject back in early 2016.

    chuck lubricant
     
  34. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    IMG_20200828_132807.jpg This is the product I currently use. I purchased it at the MN HDL. The primary use I think is to on the cast iron surfaces on saws, jointers and planers and it also works great on scroll chucks.
     
  35. Glenn Lefley

    Glenn Lefley

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    BCB162E5-4992-4028-A773-1E2D842DE613.jpeg Amazing what a person can find when they search for an older thread on a subject!
    Oneway just sent me this when I asked if they had anything to lube a chuck!
     
  36. odie

    odie

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    This is what I've been doing for the past few years......chucks all seem to be doing fine without lubricants.......just use a strong blast of air to remove the dust when finished.

    Unless you open and close the jaws about 500x a day, it just doesn't need any more lubricant than a nut and bolt does.......:D

    -----odie-----
     
  37. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Odie is spot on with his observation, keeping the scroll portion of the chuck cleared of wood dust is easily done with compressed air. I usually take my metal lathe chucks apart every other year to clean them up from metal filings that find their way into the scroll area. If the wood chuck has no oil or grease the wood dust should not have anything to adhere to, a quick bath of compressed air should get most of the fine dust particles blown out of the mating surfaces. Some chucks come from the factory with a coat of oil on them, you would want to take them apart and use a solvent to remove the oil and grease to eliminate any greased or oiled surface areas so the dry wood dust does not adhere to those surfaces.
     

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