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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Hilmi
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
What grease to avoid?
      #5616697 - 01/11/13 04:56 AM

OK, here goes. There has been many discussions about what grease to use, and most of the discussions are based on products with US brand names that might not be available under the same branding in other countries. I am still waiting for my replacement motors to be shipped to me since December 17th, meanwhile I have decided to clean up my mount to keep busy. So here goes.

What grease should I avoid? Don't tell me to get SuperLube, because they don't sell it here. I even went to ACE hardware across the border, that's a good 4.5 hours drive.

I decided the easiest way to find out what grease to buy within the constraints of the marketing brands available here is to know what properties to avoid in a grease. If it helps, I live in a hot country where in the summer it might get to 45 C in my observatory for 1 or 2 days a year and in the winter it gets down to no less than 17 C.

So, I figure the grease shouldn't run in the heat. How would I know the grease doesn't run in the heat? I don't want to go by trial and error. I am looking for something like for dummies recommendations. For example, I have at home a spray on lithium grease and a spray on dry lubricant for bicycles, I think it's Teflon based. Would any of these do the job?


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biz
Vendor


Reged: 11/08/09

Loc: New Zealand
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5616722 - 01/11/13 06:11 AM

I'm down In NZ and with the mild climate in my area, superlube is what I use.. Now as you mentioned that you cant get it then perhaps you could look for a substitute. It is a multi-purpose, heavy duty, synthetic with PTFE.. A very good product indeed but there must be other brands similar that you could use.. also, personaly I would not use lithium based grease.
cheers.
Graham.


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: biz]
      #5616764 - 01/11/13 07:24 AM

Hi Himli:

I can't recommend a local substitute for Superlube since I don't live there, but there are many online sources for Superlube. Perhaps you could find one that would ship it to you? Another grease that is recommended by one high-end mount manufacturer is Lubriplate 105 - again available online.

In general, I would avoid spray-on lubes. They tend to be thinner and are optimized for quick delivery through a pressurized system, not for long life in a sealed environment.

In terms of general qualities, you just want a high quality, synthetic grease with a wide temperature operating range. Lubriplate 105 is marketed as an "engine assembly" grease if that helps. Avoid cheap brands, and look for something that is made by a manufacturer which sells a range of greases specifically designed for different purposes or environments. A manufacturer like that will be more like to produce high quality greases that perform well.

-Dan


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mega256
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: N of Tampa
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5616904 - 01/11/13 09:25 AM

Himli
This ships worldwide
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SUPER-LUBE-21010-SYNTHETIC-GREASE-/200639476577?pt=LH...


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Hilmi
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: mega256]
      #5617295 - 01/11/13 01:34 PM

So super lube is a Teflon based Lubricant. That a start. If I cant find something I will order super lube Online

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Billydee
professor emeritus
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Winter Haven, FL
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5617477 - 01/11/13 03:38 PM

If you know any telescope shop in your country, please ask what they use and where they buy it. If not, try a machine shop and ask they what they use that is like SuperLube. If not try an aircraft repair shop.

Luck, Bill


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Hilmi
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Billydee]
      #5618364 - 01/12/13 01:18 AM

I'd save a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars in shipping each year if we had a local telescope store

That's why I am now so into finding local alternative products.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5619218 - 01/12/13 02:56 PM

Take a look at the specs for SuperLube and see what you can come up with that is similar. There are some bike lubricants that might work, but you want a grease, not a liquid since the liquid will not stay in place. Teflon based, synthetic with good temperature properties is the key in general. There are some very expensive lubes out there, but it is not worth spending that much. In addition, you need only a small amount. A 3 ounce tube of SuperLube is enough for me to lube a good number of mounts. The 1/2 ounce that I include with kits is plenty for a mount.

Do not use lithium or white lithium lubes as they dry out and turn to clay over time. Petroleum based greases (often used by mount manufacturers) are poor performers in heat, tend to break down and separate and require replacement far too often.


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Billydee
professor emeritus
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Winter Haven, FL
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: EFT]
      #5619414 - 01/12/13 04:42 PM

Hilmi,

Ed Thomas has a great idea, find a bike shop. Their lubes should work. The wheel and headset bearings are open sets and carry about the same loads at the same speeds as a G-ll. I well remember "Phils's" bike grease in a tube, it works and cleans up with ease.

Luck, Bill


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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Billydee]
      #5619477 - 01/12/13 05:21 PM

I wouldn't agree with the bike shop idea. Greases are designed to work in specific environments and meet specific needs and tradeoffs are made to accommodate those needs.

Bikes need to have grease that works well in wet/muddy conditions, but it doesn't have to stay on and maintain integrity for long periods of time or in very cold temperatures. On bikes it doesn't matter if it doesn't hold up for months or years and the grease manufacturers assume that you will reapply it regularly.

These are very different design goals than what you need in a mount and I wouldn't be confident that those greases would work well long term. Just my 2 cents.

-Dan


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Bart
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/28/06

Loc: Somewhere near Charlottesville...
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5619541 - 01/12/13 05:54 PM

Try to find something locally. Meanwhile, order superlube online.

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DavidNealMinnick
sage
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Reged: 03/06/06

Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5620752 - 01/13/13 01:02 PM

This product has an effective temp range of -45 to 450F: Lubriplate

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: DavidNealMinnick]
      #5620889 - 01/13/13 02:12 PM

Quote:

This product has an effective temp range of -45 to 450F: Lubriplate




That's about the same range as SuperLube only more expensive.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5620936 - 01/13/13 02:34 PM

Huh? Not the Teflon based bike lubes I have used. Take a look at something like this. Ed, please comment if there is something you don't like, here:

http://www.rei.com/product/634916/finish-line-teflon-grease-35-oz-tube

-Rich

Quote:

I wouldn't agree with the bike shop idea. Greases are designed to work in specific environments and meet specific needs and tradeoffs are made to accommodate those needs.

Bikes need to have grease that works well in wet/muddy conditions, but it doesn't have to stay on and maintain integrity for long periods of time or in very cold temperatures. On bikes it doesn't matter if it doesn't hold up for months or years and the grease manufacturers assume that you will reapply it regularly.

These are very different design goals than what you need in a mount and I wouldn't be confident that those greases would work well long term. Just my 2 cents.

-Dan




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Billydee
professor emeritus
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Winter Haven, FL
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5623406 - 01/14/13 08:47 PM

I agree with Rich, bike grease is very high quality and comes in many top line lubrication products. Phils is repackaged lubrimatic (available at Lowe's in 1 lb tubs for $2.99), RingDrive, Kytox and Finishline teflon are just a few of the very high quality bike products. These work in bearings that are like Losmandy usage (open caged) and in the same weight range (20 to 200 lb) and speed range. These products have the same viscosity needs and are usually cleaned and repacked about once a year.

Luck, Bill


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Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Billydee]
      #5623660 - 01/14/13 11:51 PM

Now bike grease in different varieties I can definitely find here with ease. I'll dig up what types of shimano grease they have available as that's the most commonly available here.

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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5624194 - 01/15/13 11:07 AM

I found an excelent lube. it is expensive.
P.A.O. Synthetic lube is great! it is thin in Very Cold weather and it does not thin in the heat. its kind of a NASA type multi lube I get it on EbAy, It is about $6.00 an ounce tho!


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///^**^\\\
member


Reged: 12/25/10

Loc: Deep Dark Blackness of central...
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: orion61]
      #5624478 - 01/15/13 02:04 PM

There are tons of Bike lube products. Some which may not be a good choice for mounts.

On the other hand there are bike lube products that are simply the finest instrument lubricant availible commercially. Flourinated oils and greases of all types of weights. Generally bike racing lubes are pretty light to eliminate any running drag caused by heavier automotive type lubes.

So any good racing headset/bottom bracket lube will be a light year ahead of what the chinese use in the mounts.


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: ///^**^\\\]
      #5624550 - 01/15/13 02:36 PM

"Light" is not necessarily a good characteristic in a mount grease. A light grease promotes low friction, especially at high speeds - like you'd find in a bike. For example, some mounts rely on the grease having a certain amount of body which produces smoother motion (and smoother PE) at the expense of a small amount of added friction. To a mount, that added friction is nothing - to a bike rider it is everything. On the other hand, bike riders don't care a bit about periodic error. Different design goals, different grease.

The issue with bike grease is not that it's lower quality. There are both low and high quality greases in the bike world, just like any other area where lubrication is used. The issue is different design goals. In whatever situation you use grease, you want one that is designed to meet the needs of your equipment. If you can ascertain that the grease you've selected meets the needs of your mount, then a good quality bike grease is as good as a good quality grease used in any other market.

Nothing wrong with bike greases at all. But to meet the very different needs of an astronomy mount, the safest bet is to stick with greases that are recommended by the best manufacturers, or have been tried and found effective by the larger community of mount owners.

Just my 2 cents.
-Dan


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Billydee
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Winter Haven, FL
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5625114 - 01/15/13 08:17 PM

Dan,

You miss his major point. He could not find any grease in the country he is in. Finally he has an option. "Bike Grease".

Bill


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