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Press ram lubrication

  1. I own 3 presses from different companies, and each one suggests a different lubricant for the ram.
    One - motor oil
    One - gun oil
    One -dry graphite.

    What do you guys use?
  2. Any lube will do, it's not a 20,000RPM racing motor. Lithium grease is cleaner; motor oil is easier to apply.
  3. This is what I use

  4. I have yet to see my ram get slow from under lube or wrong lube but
    I lube every now and then with 30W oil
  5. After years of exposure to LPS products in aviation. I use LPS 1, being I have at least 2 cans handy already.


    I wipe the ram, like we used to do on oleo struts for our jets, every other loading season with a lightly dampemed cloth to clean and lubricate.
    The nice thing about it is being a dry film lubricant it doesn't attract dust like oil or grease do. Also LPS 1 doesn't attack plastics, so works well for those requiring lubrication as well as metal pivots, etc.

  6. I assume you can produce the receipts for those cans of LPS. :dunno:

  7. :whistling: Well I could... if my dog wouldn't have...
  8. I let my 4 year old draw on it with a pencil. I then claim its dry graphite. If it breaks I think it is guaranteed.
  9. Dillon recommends 30W motor Oil. I don't see an advantage to not follow that recommendation.

  10. Yes I agree. My first press was a Lyman TMag. Their instructions were to use Dry graphite. Too messy, too much trouble to find. And it did not lube very well.

    I have a yellow bottle of Valvoline HD 30 that I keep under my bench.
  11. The fact that Dillon recommends specifically 30W motor oil IMO is of no consequence. Oil is oil, a lubricant is a lubricantÂ… I avoid motor oil as an external lubricant at all costs in all applications cause it attracts dust and dirt. Thus my choice is LPS 1.
    In this case for a loaders ram, a lateral load, it doesn't matter, you could use olive oil and it would do just as good of a job provided you applied it often enough.
  12. Weight does matter. To thin moves off the ram easier then the thicker oil. If I worked my press in a truely dusty area I would consider something else. I load inside and see no reason to not just use 30w. It's about the cheapest oil you can buy anyway.
  13. If I used olive oil as a press lubricant I'n never get a round loaded... I'd be hungry all the time.

    Speaking of which...

  14. I use REM OIL on my RockChuckers and my Lyman 450 lube sizer. It works well. The main thing is to lube with something as needed.
  15. I clean then use a spray on lube that dries to the touch, seems to work.
  16. Like I said Steve.

    I'm not going to get into semantics about oil their weights and properties. I'm very well versed in lubricants... motor, static, hydraulic... their properties regarding temp, viscosities, shear strength applications to surfaces , flashpoints etc.... been involved in many a test over my career evaluating different oils for applications in aircraft piston and turbine engines. I was a lead technician for field evaluation of Mobile 1 AV, for turbocharged piston engines we proved it was crap caused nothing but problems in TIO540 Lycoming engines and they pulled it. Worked on evaluation for Exxon 2380 as well now BP Turbo Oil 2380.

    Lateral load, provided you wipe away the dirt and apply it often enough, you will have no issues...even with as I said olive oil, caster oil, WD-40, Mil-H-5606, Mobile 1, Tri-flow, Gun Butter, BE Slide glide... Whatever, it this case it don't matter. People get hung up on the weight of a oil as being a visible assurance that it is better cause they can see it. Viscosity has nothing to do with surface tension, you could have something thick and have relatively no surface tension adhesion. The important thing is there is a layer of lubricant between the ram wall and the frame bore, and my stickler is that it is fresh and clean. Always clean the ram before you relube. There are no shear (pressure) forces in this particular application with counteracting temperatures so the reference to weight means nothing.
  17. Thicker will stick around, Thinner will run off. They both will work but you will have to re-apply the thinner more often. I have used Rem Oil, WD, and 30w. 30w sticks around better. Right or Wrong?

  18. Loaded question... Your right in the sense that your deduction by using 30w that visably seeing the coating is better and you need to relube less often.
    From previous experience my preference is to clean/add more often and have a thin clean layer rather than a thick visable dirty one. Oh and thinner running off is not a correct statement. If you add too much of a thinner oil it will appear to completely run off, but there is still a layer there.
  19. Been using Break Free sparingly since it came out, before that, some light machine oil I had left over from the factory I worked at the mechanic gave me for helping him when I was on hour work(was a pieceworker). It was pretty good stuff, little or no fling and did not attract dust as much as one would think(I worked at a boot factory out of high school, we called it the leather mine). My mid '70s vintage rockchucker has probably seen a million rounds or close, and is still tight, and keeps OAL steady, my LNLAP,a display bought new, on the other hand can't keep OAL variation below 15 thousandths. It has grease fittings, which I questioned when talking to a Hornady tech, and he said people wanted them, oil is fine, which is good, because I tried to pump light bicycle grease in and all the zerks came out. I finally gave up and pulled it off the bench,(it broke the toggle, a handle, replaced free, am going to see what Hornady will, or can do. It is a low 3 digit numbered machine, avoid them like the plague.
    I think as long as something is used.... That aircraft stuff looks good, might try it on my motorcycles, which see year round use. I think too if the body is aluminum, lube more often.

  20. The thicker oil clings better, is more visable and lubricates fine. You could clean the ram just as often using it as the thinner oils or any other setup you choose. Rem is thinner. It does disappear faster. Motor oil will seem to hang around forever almost. It's nice to not wonder if the thin is actually there or not. I never said it completly runs off. But when it's dry it's not lubing any longer. Eventually it will dry out before the thicker oils. I am sure that is why they recommend it.
  21. I never disputed your claim Steve... 30w motor oil contains more suspended particles thus is thicker, thus clings better to itself, as it drys and evaporates... it does evaporate, what goes first is the actually lubricating media which are the hydrocarbons, the rest is just there to hold it in place. What you eventually left with is dirt attracted to the oil as I stated before. For a ram on a loader we are talking minimum lateral loads with a gap measurement between of 0.005-0.010 inch.
    As I said, better to have a fresh thin layer or lubricant than a visable thick one that is no longer holding it's lubricating properties, but only adding undue wear to the machine by holding dirt particles that act against the machine.
    The best practice is not to neglect that routine maintenance is part of upkeep. I don't rely on a visual cue of when to lubricate anything whether my car, motorcycle, or the ram on the loader and everthing else. Flush, change, whatever... then reapply on a regular basis. Clean oil of even the wrong type, will keep better maintenance than dirty or none at all.
  22. Like you say, the ram is under so little load that it takes very little of anything decent to lubricate properly.

    Here what is important on a 550. You need something that clings. The thin Rem Oil will migrate down into the priming setup and cause you priming issues because it slows down the primer slide once you have any oil+dirt on it. So it's imperative for it to stay dry. I used to use Rem Oil. It's handy, in a little tube, easy to apply. But I was having to constantly wipe down the primer slide area on the 550. I have had a little can of 30w that is oily and messy. You press the lever and shoots out oil from the flexable tube. It's a mess so I didn't like to grab it. I just used Rem Oil. I only used the 30w when I did a major cleaning on the press. Then I noticed that after using the 30w I could go a lot (I mean a lot) longer with out touching the priming assembly for cleaning. Now I only use 30w and I seldom clean the priming assembly.

    I wipe the ram dry, lube the press with 30w moving the oil around with my finger to get it over the entire ram, cycle the handle, clean around the priming area to keep it dry, put my trash can under it to catch any drips. Let it sit overnight. Wipe up the pool of oil around the ram/press intersection and the bottom link. Done. Ram is lubed but not going to leak around enough to cause any problems. So I can load 1k's of rounds with out priming issues. I wonder if other people are using a thin oil and causing themselves headaches? It wouldn't make a spec of difference on the LCT or maybe other presses as the oil running around the ram does not foul anything up. But on a 550 it matters.
  23. As normal we are in agreement Steve. I just prefer a different Lube. Actually specifically for the reasons of contaminanting everything else such as the primer feeder on the 650is my preference for LPS1. It is actually considered to be a dry film and won't attack the plastic index parts under the shellplate platform. The coating will not attract dust and/or powder grains won't stick to it. It cleans and lubricates at the same time.... with my schedule to load it's usually 24-48 hours in between now. Part of the normal routine is when setting up for a session is grab the can of LPS1 quick squirt on the ram raised up and down once or twice, wipe clean and then another wipe with the cloth moistened with another light spray. Takes all but 30 seconds to a minute maybe...
    I've been using this stuff a long time on my bikes, cars... it's good stuff. If I didn't use it LPS1, I would think TriFlow would be my next choice as it's readily available or breakfree.
  24. Motor oil is kept in my garage. Rem Oil is kept in my gun-room/office/computer room and my bathroom (for lubricating my beard trimmer). Rem Oil is closer, so I use it on the ram of my single-stage.
  25. I can think of a bunch of lubes that would be better then 30w. Never used the stuff you like. But tri-flow, a bunch of the dry bike lubes I have used on cables and chains, that type of thing. In the end as long as it doesn't run into my 550 priming setup it would be fine. My point is that 30w works fine (and better then the thin Rem Lube on my 550). So I see no real point in doing anything different on my 550. On a single stage or LCT I think you could use anything and be fine.