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  • Lubrication

    I have a couple of table and radial arm saws I was given or picked up for very good prices. I am attempting to clean them up and get them back to good working order. One of many things I am not sure of is lubrication for all of the raising, lowering, and general moving of components. Like raising or lowering blades on table saw or adjusting height of blade on radial arm saw. What lubricant is best to make this a smooth process?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Dry Lube and graphite is generally considered best for anything that is near the cutting table - as oil and silicone based lubes can contaminate the surface of wood and prevent good paint flow and adhesion, Or in other words, it will create what is often called "fish eye". I have a brother in law that took the finish off of a beautiful oak table and refinished with polyurethane. It had "fish eyes" all over it. The first time I saw it, I asked his wife - did you use Pledge as a polish on it before you had it re-finished? She said "Yes, regularly."

    Oil and silicone can migrate to the table top and then onto the wood. Even a small amount can cause those problems. I do use silicone on mine occasionally as I only make items to be finished every two or three years. But I clean the table surface and blade with acetone when I do make things to be finished.

    I think some others can help better than I can - so far as to what is the overall best.
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!


    • #3
      As Hank says, oils and silicone based lubricants will spread and get thrown or sprayed, they tend to contaminate woodworking items and cause finishing problems.

      Next are petroleum greases which have the disadvantage of being sticky and collecting sawdust and contaminants in a sawdust making application.

      The remedy is to use non-greasy lubes, such as paste wax and some called dry lubes containing teflon or similar.
      I have always used the Johnsons paste wax (which is a pure wax, not an automotive or furniture wax which contains silicone additives) in the sliding and raising mechanisms of my table saw. As well as finishing the tops of cast iron surfaces for rust inhibition and easy sliding of workpieces.
      Loring in Katy, TX USA
      If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
      BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions


      • #4
        On my BT3100, I follow the recommendations given here on the forum which are described above. On my old 1973 Craftsman 10-inch Radial Arm Saw, the manual recommends 10W-30 oil at various points of the elevation shaft, rear bearing surfaces, the mesh gears of the elevation shaft assembly, etc. There is an oil hole at that location at the rear, under the table. Also, at the top of the column (another oil hole in the cap), and the bearing latch pin and swivel latch pin. It also cautions against excessive oil and its attraction of dust.

        The carriage ball bearings, and motor bearings do not require lubrication beyond the original factory sealed lubrication. One oddity in the manual is that it states "Do not lubricate between the radial arm cap and the radial arm"; BUT, on the very next page it states in paragraph 2, "The threads of the elevation shaft assembly - and also the bottom bearing surface of this shaft where it is held by the retaining plate. Use the oil hole at the center of the radial arm cap."

        Using the oil hole in the cap (at the top of the column) does drip oil into the locking pin area but doesn't put any lubrication around the outside rim where it might lubricate the arm movement around the column, as I recall. However, after a long period of storage in an all-too-damp basement my are was unduly stiff and I took off the top cap and lubricated that rim with lithium grease, wiping away all the excess. The arm movement since that time has worked well, but today my RAS is mostly dedicated to 90-degree crosscuts and bevels.

        What is the model of your RAS and do you have the manual to it?

        Think it Through Before You Do!


        • #5
          I absolutely love this stuff.



          • nicer20
            nicer20 commented
            Editing a comment
            Does it make any sense to coat the blades with this ??

        • #6
          I use Bostich blade coating when working with particular difficult woods, and no coating when working with easy stuff.


          • #7
            Originally posted by Carlos View Post
            I use Bostich blade coating when working with particular difficult woods, and no coating when working with easy stuff.
            I second the Bostik stuff, probably the best dry lubricant out there.

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