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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Billydee]
      #5625119 - 01/15/13 08:23 PM

well, "Teflon bike grease" or "Fluorinated Bike Grease" I was surprised to see a mention of krytox- very good grease, expensive, but only a little is needed. If you can find it, it lasts and lasts.

-Rich


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hectar
member


Reged: 12/24/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Here are my 10 grease suggestions, in general: new [Re: Billydee]
      #5625384 - 01/15/13 10:52 PM

Here are my 10 grease suggestions, in general:

1. Read the motor/telescope manufacturer's specifications and requirements for lubrication and find out what they recommend, then try to find/match greases meeting their specs.
2. Avoid no names ( ie buy brand names only, eg shell, chevron etc.)
3. Avoid those which are not approved by the NLGI (National lubricating grease Institute) or not certified.
4. Read the test data of greases available there. google them, its easy.
5. If buying online, avoid ebay, dot coms without brick and mortar address, companies without street addresses (eg PO boxes), non legit fax/phone numbers etc.
(You dont want to use sub-standard grease to void manufacturers warranty??)
6. Avoid black or brown greases, its hard to tell the color change (when grease gets overloaded/depleted, its color turns brown/black)
7. Use greases which had additional words "EP" (extreme pressure) grade mentioned on them.
8. Use greases which are water resistant if its open/exposed to the environment (eg Lithium based greases are usually recommended by the most manufacturers)
9. In addition to above, use greases which are meeting the operating temperature requirements (you will find this info in the test data published by the grease manufacturer).
10. When pumping grease to the bearings, avoid pumping excessive amounts. Bearings would fail if packed up full/too much. (Assuming that there are grease fittings on the motor, I am not sure how the grease would be applied in your case)
10.. Do not mix two different greases. Remove the old one totally and then apply new one.


BTW, I dont have my observatory yet but I have been working past ten years for a industrial manufacturer and we use "Chevron Delo EP NLGI 2" grease on various pumps, a/c motors and steam turbine bearings (ball/spherical roller bearings). They buy it in bulk and cartridges both. It's blue in color, Water resistant, NLGI approved, 11% Lithium complex based, has operating temperature range of -18C(Minimum)(0F) to 177C(Maximum) (350F), Dropping point is 265C (509F) and Kinematic viscosity is 189cst at 40C.


my 2


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
What grease to avoid? new [Re: hectar]
      #5625456 - 01/15/13 11:37 PM

Quote:

Here are my 10 grease suggestions, in general:

1. Read the motor/telescope manufacturer's specifications and requiremnets for lubrication and find out what they recommend, then try to find/match grases meeting their specs.
2. Avoid no names ( ie buy brand names only, eg shell, chevron etc.)
3. Avoid those which not approved by the NLGI (National lubricating grease Institute) or not certfied.
4. Read the test data of greases availble there. google them, its easy.
5. If buying online, avoid ebay, dot coms without brick and mortar address, companies without street addresses (eg PO boxes), non legit fax/phone numbers etc.
(You dont want to use sub-standard grease to void manufacturers warranty??)
6. Avoid black or brown greases, its hard to tell the color change (when grease gets overloaded/depleted, its color turns brow/black)
7. Use greases which had additional words "EP" (extreme pressure) grade mentioned on them.
8. Use greases which are water resistant if its open/exposed to the environment (eg Lithium based greases are usually recommended by the most manufacturers)
9. In addition to above, use greases which are meeting the operating temperature requirements (you will find this info in the test data published by the grease manufacturer).
10. When pumping grease to the bearings, avoid pumping excessive amounts. Bearings would fail if packed up full/too much. (Assuming that there are grease fittings on the motor, I am not sure how the grease would be applied in your case)
10.. Do not mix two different greases. Remove the old one totally and then apply new one.


BTW, I dont have my observatory yet but I have been working past ten years for a industrial manufacturer and we use "Chevron Delo EP NLGI 2" grease on various pumps, a/c motors and steam turbine bearings (ball/spherical roller bearings). They buy it in bulk and cartridges both. It's blue in color, Water resistant, NLGI approved, 11% Lithium complex based, has operating temperature range of -18C(Minimum)(0F) to 177C(Maximum) (350F), Dropping point is 265C (509F) and Kinematic viscosity is 189cst at 40C.


my 2




Well, I will have to add my 2 cents based on my experience tuning mounts.

1. This is fine except that most manufacturers of consumer level mounts tell you nothing in this regard.
2. "No name" depends a lot on how far you want to take this. SuperLube is from Synco Chemical Corporation which was founded in 1980. Not particularly old, but good enough in my opinion.
3. I can't comment on NLGI or its relevance under these circumstances.
4. Test data is interesting but may need to be extrapolated to the relatively low demand operations in telescope mounts as opposed to the more common high rpm uses tested.
5. Any greasing you do on your own will void the average telescope mount warranty because any work you do on your own will void the warranty. We buy most astronomy gear from .com companies these days so brick and motor is not a necessary requirement.
6. I agree that avoiding black or brown greases is a good idea. In addition, many of these greases are petroleum based anyways and are not a good choice. However, do realize that most light or clear synthetic greases will darken almost immediately upon use in telescope mounts where significant amounts of soft cast aluminum are present in the housings or the gears themselves.
7. EP greases are not necessary as such pressures do not exist in the average telescope mount. These are not universal joints or construction equipment we are working with here and these types of grease might easy gum things up making rotation more difficult in critical areas similar to the gunk (similar to damping grease) that some manufacturers have used in their mounts.
8. Water resistance is in deed a good quality. Many of the bearings used in mounts turn very freely with no grease at all, but without grease they also tend to rust easily. Water repellant or proof greases are needed to avoid this.
9. Grease that will not degrade in temperatures well below zero F and above 125 F are definitely the best bet, but these ranges can be adjusted depending on whether you live in the frozen north or hot south.
10. Do not pump grease into mount bearings. It will simply be too much grease for the slow motions involved and stiffen up the mount making balancing difficult. If fact, I don't recommend opening sealed bearings and trying to clean them out and regrease them since you are more likely to introduce contamination that improve things. If you don't mind spending a lot, you can install full ceramic bearings and avoid all grease use and get the most free motion possible, but you will pay a steep (and unnecessary) price to do so.
10.25 Agreed. Mixing grease is bad. One grease (or its components) can react with another to render them ineffective. However, at least some synthetic greases are fairly non-reactive and thus, while cleaning as much of the old grease out as possible is best, you don't have to go nuts doing it.

P.S. It is best to avoid changing the subject of a post in a thread because it can make you post difficult for anyone to find.

P.P.S. I don't have any particular problem with the bicycle grease idea as long as it is sufficiently grease like (as opposed to oil like) to stay where it is put. The big think with bike grease is that it can be fairly expensive, but you have to use what you can get.


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Hikari
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 01/05/11

Loc: Maine, USA
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Billydee]
      #5625488 - 01/16/13 12:04 AM

Elbow grease--I avoid it like the plague...

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Hikari]
      #5625499 - 01/16/13 12:16 AM

Quote:

Elbow grease--I avoid it like the plague...




Considering I'm going in for elbow surgery on Monday, I'm know that I'm going to want to avoid it, but until then I'm going to use as much as possible.


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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: Billydee]
      #5625513 - 01/16/13 12:22 AM

I can find grease, my problem is brand names. You have a nice PTFE Lubricant called Superlube, Maybe here it's sold as "Khalfan Aziz's miraculous slippery stuff" I could walk right by it in the shop and I wouldn't know Mr. Khalfan Aziz was actually selling re-branded super lube.

Sometimes you would find really good lubricants, but the dealer would only sell in commercial quantities, never got any inquiries from individuals since he opened the business and he has no idea how to handle payment without a local purchase order.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5626799 - 01/16/13 06:54 PM

I think if you ask for "Teflon bicycle bearing grease" you'll be in the right area. If it comes in a tube and is as thick as cake decorating frosting or toothpaste, so a bead of it stays in shape and doesn't look like a trail of liquid on the surface, then it's probably the right sort of stuff.

This type of grease can go up near 500F, but more importantly, can go quite a bit colder than the data sheet indicates.

-Rich


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hectar
member


Reged: 12/24/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5627257 - 01/17/13 12:03 AM

Hi Ed, First of all, wishing you a speedy recovery after the surgery and if you like I would send you couple of NLGI approved synthetic elbow grease cartridges, free of charge, for testing/review only..
I am here again just to clarify that I assumed Hilmi was talking about motor bearings for his observatory, so I made suggestions based on that assumption. (My suggestions were in general for motor (open) bearings with grease fittings on them)

To those who still like to read further on, Attached here is a pdf link from EASA.
http://www.electromotores.com/PDF/InfoT%C3%A9cnica/EASA/Lubrication%20of%20Ro...

It includes grease compatibility chart which explains itself why two greases must not be mixed (point 10.).

Summary of Pdf:
Greases are composed of base oil (mineral or synthetic) AND a thickener (usually lithium, calcium, polyurea etc). Greases are then classified according to the types of thickener used. Almost all bearing manufacturers assign grease codes. when assigning their own code numbers to the different kinds of greases, often relate these numbers to the trade name of the lubrication products...
Also with reference to sealed and shielded bearings, Washing/cleaning and repacking is never recommended. They are supposed to run/have grease for their lifetime. If they become sloppy/noisy, best solution is to replace them. but, as mentioned above, keep in mind that there are bearing manufacturer's grease codes numbers (which will vary from one manufacturer to another), do identify the grease with which bearing was packed at the factory. (unfortunately those bearing code numbers are not always indicated on the bearing or the package), Therefore, only OPEN bearings, which are in good condition, could be cleaned/repacked with same type of grease again.......
Synthetic greases are used in applications where mineral grease can not provide satisfactory results. typical applications include extremely low or high temperatures and very high speed operations. It should be interesting to point out that one bearing manufacture (McGill) do not recommend using synthetic base grease for its spherical roller bearings because it is not capable of providing adequate film....

You will also notice superLube/Synco appears nowhere in any of bearing manufacturer's list. So, I would not use superLube PTFE in any Ball/Roller bearings because it is possibly designed for reducing the friction beween two coarse surfaces. e.g It would be great to use under CG-5 ' s DEC axle (which is actually a load carrying thrust face and has no bearing(s) at all (No anti-friction or friction bearing, thrust or radial bearing).

Here is another interesting link about PTFE. It is not known as worlds' lowest in coefficient of friction (0.05-0.10) as calimed by the "man" on super-lube's website, rather number one is BAM (0.02) and 2nd one is DLC (0.05). PTFE ranks third in the lowest in co-efficient of friction.Btw, PTFE is the same stuff used in non-stick fry pans which are known to giving off toxic vapors even at 163C killing pet birds... (I would use superLube only if I buy CG5 or perhaps VX who knows)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytetrafluoroethylene


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: hectar]
      #5627294 - 01/17/13 12:31 AM

For high speed applications I would certainly consider other lubes, but I just replaced the spindle bearings in my new (Chinese-made) milling machine and used the SuperLube on them and will be interested to see how it does. The original bearings and grease were causing the spindle and entire machine head to heat up to 150F and more. The new bearings and lube have resulted in almost no heating above ambient at all. These milling machine suffer from many of the same problems that our consumer mounts suffer from.

I also never recommend opening, cleaning and relubing sealed bearings in mounts. It's cheaper, easier and better to simply replace them if they are damaged or defective or you need better quality. The grease that is in there is fine for these applications and with the bearings "sealed" it stays good for a long time. The real challenge comes with the crud inside the housings on the contact surfaces and in the taper, roller or needle bearings. There I find that a thin coating of SuperLube works quite well. However, there is another important reason that I use SuperLube and that is that it is readily available and reasonably priced. I know that there are other lubes out there and some that are probably even better, but it gets to be like replacing all the axis bearings in a mount with full ceramic ball bearings, you can do it but it is not worth the cost for the slight improvement. I also like the fact that I can get SuperLube all over my hands, etc. and not be poisoned by it. Since I frequently have the stuff all over my hands I consider that an important benefit for me and those I recommend it to.

Interestingly, the railroad industry is one of the places where SuperLube gets some use. The supplier that I use is actually a supplier to the railroad industry.

I don't argue that there are better (and worse) lubes out there, but in the searching I did when starting out in this business, it was my conclusion that SuperLube is a good fit for what we need when it comes to lubricating mounts.

Crossing my fingers that the elbow surgery won't be any worse that my numerous shoulder and knee surgeries. I'm too busy for that kind of problem. That elbow grease is great stuff but it's hard to fit the elbow inside the axis housings. Maybe that's why I'm ending up with surgery. Got to get my hands on some of that "Khalfan Aziz's miraculous slippery stuff" sometime though.


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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: EFT]
      #5627326 - 01/17/13 01:15 AM

Ed, Ill have you know Khalfan Aziz is an ex collegue at work who was legendary for having a bad attitude and under performing. 10 years after he left and we still hear stories about him. So I wouldn't touch a grease with that brand name with a 10' pole. Good luck with your surgery. Took me more than a year to recover from my shoulder surgery and Im still having some trouble. Hope you have a smoother and speedier recovery.

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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5627350 - 01/17/13 02:02 AM

Actually I don't think industrial lubricants are relevant for telescope bearings. Because in most industrial uses, the speed is very high and the grease or lubricant forms a hydrodynamic film. Telescope mounts rotate so slowly that this never happens.

Hilmi, I'm sure there are high-end bike shops in Oman. A good high-end teflon grease like "Finish Line Teflon Grease" is probably identical or very similar to SuperLube.

http://www.amazon.com/Finish-Line-3-5-Ounce-Teflon-Grease/dp/B002L5YYYA

Your local high-end bike shop would know what this is, and if they don't have it they would be able to recommend something similar.


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Binojunky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/25/10

Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Billydee]
      #5627971 - 01/17/13 12:07 PM

SuperLube is nice however its not available and its a scope mount with motors that will not be running hour after hour at high speeds and loads, any good quality automotive chassis and wheel bearing grease from a reputable manufacturer will just be fine, I,ve spent decades lubing cars, aircraft and industrial equipment, in one place I worked at for 15yrs had several high speed pick and place robots running 15hrs a day non stop, for 6 days a week, the worm was steel, the wormwheel was bronze both supported by regular grade ball bearings, they got relubed about twice a year with regular automotive grease and we never had any problems,DA.

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5628036 - 01/17/13 12:46 PM

Quote:

SuperLube is nice however its not available and its a scope mount with motors that will not be running hour after hour at high speeds and loads, any good quality automotive chassis and wheel bearing grease from a reputable manufacturer will just be fine, I,ve spent decades lubing cars, aircraft and industrial equipment, in one place I worked at for 15yrs had several high speed pick and place robots running 15hrs a day non stop, for 6 days a week, the worm was steel, the wormwheel was bronze both supported by regular grade ball bearings, they got relubed about twice a year with regular automotive grease and we never had any problems,DA.




The problem with the automotive lubes that you refer to is that they are petroleum based. They tend to be too stiff at low temperatures (the work fine in a car once it gets going) and they tend to separate leaving the heavy gunky portions behind with the light oil portions leaking out the seams. In addition, most people do not want to have to strip down, clean out and relube their mounts that frequently. In the days of fully exposed worms and wheels, not such a big deal, but most mounts are not built that way anymore.

I have seen and cleaned out the insides of many telescope mounts where a lot of different stuff, including plain old automotive lubes have been used. Will and auto lube work? Sure it will but so would good old vasoline or Crisco or just about anything else you have laying around. Will it make a mess of things? Yes. Will it be the best thing to use in a low rpm telescope mount? Not by a long shot. SuperLube and other similar synthetic greases are readily available in most of the world and worth the few extra bucks they cost and a little will go a long ways.

Telescope mounts are not automobiles and if you want them to work well with minimal maintenance, you should not treat them like one.


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Ranger Tim
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 03/25/08

Loc: SE Idaho, USA
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: EFT]
      #5628687 - 01/17/13 07:10 PM

Hey Hilmi, Couldn't one of us just squeeze some Superlube into a small bag and send it to you? My tube is more than I'll ever use in three lifetimes. How much could a small envelope/package cost to mail from the USA to Oman? Will it trigger any weird anti terrorism scanners? PM me if you think there's any merit to this.

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skinnyonce
super member
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Reged: 03/23/11

Loc: ohio
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Ranger Tim]
      #5628752 - 01/17/13 07:52 PM


finaly an intelligent responce
Quote:

Hey Hilmi, Couldn't one of us just squeeze some Superlube into a small bag and send it to you? My tube is more than I'll ever use in three lifetimes. How much could a small envelope/package cost to mail from the USA to Oman? Will it trigger any weird anti terrorism scanners? PM me if you think there's any merit to this.




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Peter in Reno
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: skinnyonce]
      #5628766 - 01/17/13 07:55 PM

I think it's against the postal service policy to ship flammable products. Only authorized people can ship them. Ask the shipping company first.

Peter


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5628865 - 01/17/13 08:51 PM

Send him a piece of teflon and a file.

-Rich


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5628927 - 01/17/13 09:34 PM

Quote:

I think it's against the postal service policy to ship flammable products. Only authorized people can ship them. Ask the shipping company first.

Peter




SuperLube is not flamable and would probably be fine to send to him and I would be happy to do so, but then he could probably buy it on line just as easy. Hilmi was looking for something that he could get locally.

Hilmi, if you want some sent to you, PM me.


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Binojunky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/25/10

Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: EFT]
      #5630001 - 01/18/13 02:02 PM

I never said that a scope mount was like a car Ed, however the O.P. has stated that Superlube isn,t available in his country so a good quality auto grease would do the job just fine IMHO, in fact before Superlube came on the market most people including myself used just that, regular auto grade lithium grease from a reputable manufacturer, you may have had problems with auto grease? I have not, to me lubing a scope mount should be a simple process not rocket science which seems to be where this thread is going,I can,t see the point of makeing a mountain out of a mole hill?, however each to his own,DA.

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: What grease to avoid? new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5630341 - 01/18/13 06:08 PM

Quote:

I never said that a scope mount was like a car Ed, however the O.P. has stated that Superlube isn,t available in his country so a good quality auto grease would do the job just fine IMHO, in fact before Superlube came on the market most people including myself used just that, regular auto grade lithium grease from a reputable manufacturer, you may have had problems with auto grease? I have not, to me lubing a scope mount should be a simple process not rocket science which seems to be where this thread is going,I can,t see the point of makeing a mountain out of a mole hill?, however each to his own,DA.




Like I said, just about anything will work, including auto grease. But I have cleaned enough gunk out of mounts at this point to have a good idea of what works better and what just makes an awful mess. There is one thing I do stress though and that is to not pack mount bearings like you do a car's bearings (that's more what I was referring to car wise). Some people advocate doing that and it the best and quickest way to stiffen up your mount out there. I have encounted taper bearings jammed with what use to be lithium grease. What a mess.

I think for a potentially local solution that is similar to SuperLube, some of the bike greases will work best. I think what we were looking for was the "best" locally-available solution.


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