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Which leadscrew lubricant to use?

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by evalon, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. evalon

    evalon New
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    Hi again,

    I am about to complete my CNC build (WorkBee) and to this end have been considering which lubricant to use on the leadscrews ...

    Since I will be milling both aluminum, copper etc., and wood, I reckon it would be feasible with a "dry" lubricant - e.g. graphite or PTFE based. Personally I would prefer a graphite based lubricant since - although not large amounts will be used - it will have virtually no environmental impact. Have people here any experience with graphite (or the like) based dry lubes for the lead screws?

    Cheers & thanks for considering,

    Jesper
     
  2. Scotty Orr

    Scotty Orr Journeyman
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  3. evalon

    evalon New
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  4. Scotty Orr

    Scotty Orr Journeyman
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    I'm not 100% sure why, but I suspect it has something to do with being the least "abrasive" for the delrin nut-block. They also recommend the silicone for lubricating the wheels against the v-slot.

    I just opted to follow the recommendations, but perhaps others here have tried other lubes with success.
     
  5. evalon

    evalon New
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    Hi again Scotty,

    Thanks once more for your feedback ... I will see what is available over here (Denmark) ... The lubricant you suggested is available from the UK - but only if I buy 12 of them :confused: ... an amount which probably will outlive me ...

    Cheers,

    Jesper
     
  6. JustinTime

    JustinTime Veteran
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    I think that the reason you don't use graphite, besides being abrasive is that it's powder and doesn't lend itself to cover and stay on a screw that turns.

    I'm 100% sure that you have some kind of silicone spray in Denmark.
     
  7. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Well-Known
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    I wonder if some of the products designed for bicycle chains would work. seems to me the requirements are similar.

    many of those include teflon which I avoid using (especially for disposable items) for environmental reasons, but there are also some that don't.

    some bike chain lubricants dry to a waxy coating which doesn't attract dust but does stay on the part that needs lubrication.

    I've recently started using this on my bike: Bio Dry Lube

    it seems fine although I wouldn't go so far as to say it's the best or better than anything else especially.
     
  8. evalon

    evalon New
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    @JustinTime & halfshavedyaks:

    Thanks both of you for suggesting & commenting.

    As it is I would also prefer to not use PTFE containing lubes for environmental reasons ... and I actually would really prefer to use an environmentally friendly lube, however, for some years I used a 100% bio-degradable chain oil (everything about this oil was either bio-degradable or recyclable) and it happened to dry up in rubbery flakes on the chain. It took me quite some hours of work to get it off again ... So I am a bit cautious here ...

    Currently I am using this chain lube:

    Pedros Chainj lube

    Might be it can be used on the lead screws as well ... Any thoughts anyone??

    Cheers,

    Jesper
     
  9. Giarc

    Giarc OpenBuilds Team
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    Is lubrication a requirement? I have never used it since my anti-backlash nuts are Delrin, which is self lubricating. Or is the lubrication to prevent rusting of the screws?
     
  10. evalon

    evalon New
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    ... Hmmm ... good question. In my case I don't think the screw nuts are delrin - looks like aluminum and I would guess that a lubricant would prolong life time ...

    Cheers,

    Jesper
     
  11. halfshavedyaks

    halfshavedyaks Well-Known
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    yes it hadn't occurred to me that the screws needed lubricating, but I have the delrin nuts and the screws still have their film of oil from new.

    my 3D printer Z axis has screws and has never seemed to need lubricating - it has brass nuts - but also much less speed and power is applied than on a workbee.
     
  12. Andreas Bockert

    Andreas Bockert Well-Known
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    I read recommendations for air tool oil somewhere on the internet.
     
  13. GeekNerd

    GeekNerd New
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    1) The openbuilds ACME lead screw has either Derlin (POM) or brass nuts according to Openbuilds info on website.
    2) The silicone lubricant is mentioned on website for V-Slot and PU wheels, not the leadscrew. Quite different things
    3) I think for general use the screw could run without lubrication. But in mt case I will use the linear actuator as a Z axis, meaning all the weight attached to moving plate will act as a load at all times (plus the extra load when moving depending on speed). Also, I need to run the actuator at max speed for 1000 mm long actuator version* which allows to run it at max of 8000 mm/min or 133 mm/s. If I move, say, 4 kg of load resulting in ~40N of total force (maximum is 115N according to datasheet), would I need to lubricate the leadscrew and what grease would be best for stock Derlin/POM nut with stainless steel ACME lead screw?

    *The actuator is this one: C-Beam® Double Wide Gantry Actuator Bundle, 1000 mm long version and is mounted vertically (Z axis)
     
    #13 GeekNerd, May 4, 2023
    Last edited: May 4, 2023
  14. Alex Chambers

    Alex Chambers Master
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    Use DRY ptfe or silicone spray (NO oil or grease - that traps dust) on your leadscrews. They do need lubrication, about once per week if in regular use.
    Alex.
     
  15. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    Dust is the least of the worries - oils degrade plastic/delrin/acrylic components! Always use Dry/PTFE lubricant
    Once a week is excessive though - if you need to do that, something else is wrong (leadnut mounted at an angle or without its spacers, preload set incorrectly, etc)
     
  16. jeffmorris

    jeffmorris Journeyman
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    After cleaning and lubing lead screws on my 3D printer, I still hear some squeaking noises when the bed is moving up and down. The printer has brass nuts. The lead screws are 8mm 2 starts. How can I fix the problem?
     
  17. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    Search around. Delrin (POM) nuts in the same style as the brass ones are readily available. You'll just have to wait awhile for them to arrive.
     
  18. jeffmorris

    jeffmorris Journeyman
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    I don't want to buy wrong POM nuts. Amazon isn't very good at listing specs of POM nuts.
     
  19. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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