Monday, September 29, 2008

Grease Monkey

Spinning is social activity - don't let those embarrassing squeaks from your wheel spoil your evening. Different wheels have different points where you should lube them. Some wheels have manuals and other references to help. I found a guide for my Ashford Traditional wheel at - specifically a guide on where to oil it! It was a bit trickier for my Louet Victoria - it came with instructions but no mention of oiling it. I couldn't find any information on the Louet Web site, A good retailer can be an important source of advice, and I had been told that it had sealed bearings and wouldn't need oiling. Since it was squeaking a bit, though, I wanted find out if oiling might help. I found this page which corroborated the no lube instruction. That goes to show - LISTEN to experts, such as Linda at Misty Mountain Farms (thank you, Linda!). It seemed to me the treadles were squeaking and I think it's safe to oil parts except the sealed bearings, so I oiled the joints of the treadle axles. You can see a treadle below in the first picture. I oiled where the black metal part is joined to the treadle. I also oiled the joint where the right treadle is connected to the con rod, which you can see in the second picture below. My last piece of advice on this - don't go overboard with the oil. Listen to the wheel and determine what's making the squeak before dousing it.


davearonson said...

Then there's the question of what to use. As Esther knows, there is such a thing as spinning wheel oil, though perhaps other similar (weight) oils might do. Despite popular "wisdom", WD40 is not a good lubricant long-term! (For just about anything!) It's great for getting stuck things unstuck, but that's all it should be used for. It will penetrate very well (even worse for sealed bearings, than regular oils!), and displace water (the WD stands for Water Displacer). Then it will dry into a gummy mess that will attract and hold dust and grit, even worse than a regular oil film. Counterproductive.

sue said...

AAAAH!!! I was wondering while reading the article if you remembered to NOT oil the Louet!!
You gave some great tips on the wheel! Sue

enasjleti said...

Have you considered using bees wax on the wooden contact points? I seem to remember some type of lubricant for wooden parts using bees wax.

davearonson said...

Taccisimo (or can we call you Taccy for short)-

The parts she's not supposed to oil, are the sealed bearings. For the wood parts that get a bit squeaky, beeswax would probably do very well, and fit nicely with the whole wooden artsy-craftsy thing. Modern candle wax would probably do well too. (What we call paraffin, but be careful: Brits, and thus much of the rest of the world, use that name for what we call kerosene.)