To grease or not to grease, that is the question....


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

So had an incident yesterday unrelated to the mount, some M54 spacers, but it reminded me to ask, and I think there are a lot of machinists out here... 

When should one apply lubricant to bolts (and similar) when attaching? 

I've been told (though in the context of boats) basically "always", and 'especially with dissimilar metals'.  And if I'm assembling something I expect to stay for years, I try to remember to put a dollop (a precise measure to be sure) on the bolt before threading it in.

It doesn't seem to be discussed much in astronomy, yet almost everything is stainless to aluminum, sometimes to stainless, and often in heavy humidity and dew, and often left outside (though I do not). 

So for example: The bolts holding the saddle to the DEC plate on the AP1100 -- a bit of grease?  What kind if so?  I have some Lubriplate I have been using, but I confess when I put the 1100 together I was changing it so often I did not bother.  Now that it is somewhat stable, should I just remove each bolt and add a dollop?  Or a half-dollop?

Or, being southern, should I use bacon grease?  It works for most things, keeps my arteries from rusting.

The idea of course being to ensure that down the road nothing has seized, and also reduce corrosion.

Is there a best practice we should be following? 

Am I over-thinking it and it just doesn't matter? 

Linwood


Roland Christen
 


Or, being southern, should I use bacon grease? 
I'm more oriented towards Mediterranean so i always use Olive oil (extra Virgin of course!).

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: ap@... <ap@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 7, 2021 3:25 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] To grease or not to grease, that is the question....

So had an incident yesterday unrelated to the mount, some M54 spacers, but it reminded me to ask, and I think there are a lot of machinists out here... 

When should one apply lubricant to bolts (and similar) when attaching? 

I've been told (though in the context of boats) basically "always", and 'especially with dissimilar metals'.  And if I'm assembling something I expect to stay for years, I try to remember to put a dollop (a precise measure to be sure) on the bolt before threading it in.

It doesn't seem to be discussed much in astronomy, yet almost everything is stainless to aluminum, sometimes to stainless, and often in heavy humidity and dew, and often left outside (though I do not). 

So for example: The bolts holding the saddle to the DEC plate on the AP1100 -- a bit of grease?  What kind if so?  I have some Lubriplate I have been using, but I confess when I put the 1100 together I was changing it so often I did not bother.  Now that it is somewhat stable, should I just remove each bolt and add a dollop?  Or a half-dollop?

Or, being southern, should I use bacon grease?  It works for most things, keeps my arteries from rusting.

The idea of course being to ensure that down the road nothing has seized, and also reduce corrosion.

Is there a best practice we should be following? 

Am I over-thinking it and it just doesn't matter? 

Linwood


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Christopher Erickson
 

I ALWAYS put a small drop of Teflon-impregnated lubricant into the starting point of threads involving aluminum or stainless steel. My favorite lube is Break-Free CLP but there are others too.

ALWAYS.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   


On Tue, Sep 7, 2021, 10:25 AM ap@... <ap@...> wrote:

So had an incident yesterday unrelated to the mount, some M54 spacers, but it reminded me to ask, and I think there are a lot of machinists out here... 

When should one apply lubricant to bolts (and similar) when attaching? 

I've been told (though in the context of boats) basically "always", and 'especially with dissimilar metals'.  And if I'm assembling something I expect to stay for years, I try to remember to put a dollop (a precise measure to be sure) on the bolt before threading it in.

It doesn't seem to be discussed much in astronomy, yet almost everything is stainless to aluminum, sometimes to stainless, and often in heavy humidity and dew, and often left outside (though I do not). 

So for example: The bolts holding the saddle to the DEC plate on the AP1100 -- a bit of grease?  What kind if so?  I have some Lubriplate I have been using, but I confess when I put the 1100 together I was changing it so often I did not bother.  Now that it is somewhat stable, should I just remove each bolt and add a dollop?  Or a half-dollop?

Or, being southern, should I use bacon grease?  It works for most things, keeps my arteries from rusting.

The idea of course being to ensure that down the road nothing has seized, and also reduce corrosion.

Is there a best practice we should be following? 

Am I over-thinking it and it just doesn't matter? 

Linwood


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Roland: 

> I'm more oriented towards Mediterranean so i always use Olive oil (extra Virgin of course!).

Well, for me it's time of day.  Mornings are bacon, evenings are Olive.

And I guess night time for astronomy it is teflon impregnated.  So I better make sure the sautéed spinach is cooked before midnight.

More seriously, based on Christopher, it sounds like it's never harmful to add a bit.  The whole dissimilar metal chemistry thing is a bit of a mystery; I understand why things happen, but not what for which metals. Thanks.    

It's really sad how much cloudy nights gives one time to wonder about things.  I mean now, I am wondering if Olive and Bacon grease would mix well for fried chicken.  :) 


Christopher Erickson
 

For me, the keto diet means olive oil and vinegar for the salad dressing and bacon bits in the huge salad! Along with boiled egg, black olives, green olives, nuts, seeds, lotsa green leafy stuff, three kinds of cheese and a bunch more.

Metallurgy is an entire science all to itself. Most metal and metalloid formulas oxidize in some way or another. Some combinations create electrolysis. When machined, some tear instead of being smoothly cut. Some chatter very easily when cut. Some require very high speed cutting, lots of pressure and lots of special cutting oil. Some are fine at low speed cutting. Some don't need any cutting oil at all. Some are tempered by heat and cooling processes, others are softened. Some can be pounded into different shapes, some would prefer to shatter. And some of the ones pounded into different shapes will mostly-return to their original shape when cooled. Some will return when heated. And all of them have different coefficients of thermal expansion. And wildly different melting points. There is one, gallium, that has a melting point just below human skin temperature. Put a cube of it in your hand and watch it melt. Some are toxic. Some are not. Some we don't really know for sure.

And titanium is really crazy stuff. And amazingly difficult to manufacture and work with. Processing titanium from raw ore even requires the titanium go through a gaseous state before being re-solidified and processed/refined further.

And all flavors of stainless steel (various formulas, different applications) still rust (oxidize.) It's just that the rust layer is usually only several molecules thick and is generally transparent.

At various times in the past I have tried to talk Roland into making us a super compact, travel "Mach10" out of titanium and other exotic materials. Price being no object. 

Let's just say I now know what Roland's "evil eye" expression looks like.

Metallurgy is crazy cool stuff.


"My advice is always free and worth every penny!"

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Tue, Sep 7, 2021 at 12:06 PM ap@... <ap@...> wrote:

Roland: 

> I'm more oriented towards Mediterranean so i always use Olive oil (extra Virgin of course!).

Well, for me it's time of day.  Mornings are bacon, evenings are Olive.

And I guess night time for astronomy it is teflon impregnated.  So I better make sure the sautéed spinach is cooked before midnight.

More seriously, based on Christopher, it sounds like it's never harmful to add a bit.  The whole dissimilar metal chemistry thing is a bit of a mystery; I understand why things happen, but not what for which metals. Thanks.    

It's really sad how much cloudy nights gives one time to wonder about things.  I mean now, I am wondering if Olive and Bacon grease would mix well for fried chicken.  :) 


W Hilmo
 

Olive oil is a super food.  It’s really, really good for you.

 

Mixing it with bacon grease for fried chicken would not be such a great idea.  Olive oil breaks down at frying temperatures into compounds that have some toxicity.  I use it for lots of things, but not cooking.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of ap@...
Sent: Tuesday, September 7, 2021 3:07 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] To grease or not to grease, that is the question....

 

Roland: 

> I'm more oriented towards Mediterranean so i always use Olive oil (extra Virgin of course!).

Well, for me it's time of day.  Mornings are bacon, evenings are Olive.

And I guess night time for astronomy it is teflon impregnated.  So I better make sure the sautéed spinach is cooked before midnight.

More seriously, based on Christopher, it sounds like it's never harmful to add a bit.  The whole dissimilar metal chemistry thing is a bit of a mystery; I understand why things happen, but not what for which metals. Thanks.    

It's really sad how much cloudy nights gives one time to wonder about things.  I mean now, I am wondering if Olive and Bacon grease would mix well for fried chicken.  :) 


Mark Knogge
 

My favorite lube is Break-Free CLP but there are others too.
Should this be used on spacers and adaptors? They can be difficult to deal with at times. The difference between tight enough and joined for life seems small.

Mark


Tom Blahovici
 

Spacers and adapters.....I tried putting a small amount on my spacers...broke two strap wrenches trying to take them apart....


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Tom Blahovici wrote:

 

  • Spacers and adapters.....I tried putting a small amount on my spacers...broke two strap wrenches trying to take them apart....

_

That is what actually got me thinking on this, I had two M54 spacers stuck, one on a tilt adapter and one on a rotator.  Neither yielded to any amount of effort with various attempts including some large channel locks.  Someone pointed me to this video:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr7VG7dYdO8

 

I almost didn’t watch it, it’s one of those where 90% of the content is “personality” and jokes and scenic stuff but… the 10 seconds at the core where he uses shoes to take them apart…

 

Ok, spoiler… but it works.  Like magic.  I think it’s the compression releasing the threads more than the grip it provides for torque.  But whatever… it works.

 

I then greased them up nicely and reassembled, only to have to take apart to make an adjustment (6mm -> 4mm spacer), and … stuck.  Grease did nothing.  Shoe worked again.

 

Seriously.  Seems like a joke, it’s not.  Shoes.   Well, I’m in Florida, so I couldn’t find shoes, they are probably with my long pants and ties.  I used sandals.

 

Linwood