Greasing Tongs (for greasing your 3D printer rods)

by mistertech Jun 29, 2016
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What kind of grease do you use with this. At the moment I'm using a spray oil similar to WD-40 seems to work alright but I'm curious about possible alternatives.

I wouldn't recommend using grease at all unless your bushings are already worn out. I use plain old 10w30 motor oil (fresh, not used, any machine oil would work too, but you want something with enough viscosity to make a good film) in a repurposed inkjet printer cartridge refill syringe. couple drops near the bushings lasts weeks. WD40 is not a lubricant, it is a rust preventative (also a great cleaner/solvent). it will dry into a varnish film in time and increase the drag on your machines bushings.

I have been using white lithium grease with good results. It's not the cleanest but it does the job and lasts weeks as well. I do like that it's a good visual aid to when I need to wipe it off and apply fresh just when I see the color changing to gray. I also like that it's thick so it stays on well but seems to coat nicely.

I used to use lithium grease too, on most of my machines, printers included, until i saw how it dried and gummed up in my mini lathe. now i stick to tri-flow synthetic for any gears, and regular old oil for anything else that moves or slides.

That being said, i used lithium grease for years on my first printer, and it never gummed up, so i don't know why it gunked up so bad on my lathe, may just be different environment as the printers are in my house, the lathe is out in a shop.

its just important to remember not to over-lube, especially with grease, as too much built up will create resistance and magnify any backlash or looseness in belts/nuts. Best print results come from very freely sliding carriages. a little dab will do ya.

I wonder if the mini lathe created some heat which changed the properties of the lithium grease. Certainly motor oil would solve that as its designed for high heat purposes.

nah, not nearly as much heat as my printer, as the lathe doesn't have a homebrew heated chamber built around it. Lithium grease is known to harden up with age, as long as you keep the quantities small and do your best to remove the old before adding new, it should be fine. Its just that actual grease is overkill for the bushing surfaces in most printers, and a common mistake new printer owners make is greasing the rails up like hogs =). just urging some caution, is all, from my own experience.

I'll try the oil method next time I clean it. I have been using "Break Free" on some of my parts where I didn't want globs of grease.

The grease in the picture is what came with the printer. I am now using white lithium grease. It definitely works better than the stuff it came with. I bought it at Home Depot pretty cheap ($4.50) and I think the one tube (8.0 oz) will probably last the life of the printer.

That would be great if home depot existed in Sweden. Anyway thanks for settling my curiosity. Might look into some alternatives to the spray.

Clas Ohlson (http://www.clasohlson.com/se/) has white lithium grease spray. Any similar store will have some form of white lithium grease. :)

Thanks for the tip. Probably one of the first places i would look.