View Full Version : How do i properly grease my machine

08-15-2014, 11:22 AM

i apologise in advance if this seems like a stupid beginners question but i'm not an engineer and am trying to service an industrial machine for the first time :rolleyes:

the machine in question is an old 3-axis from the end of the 80s. The machine hasn't been serviced in over 10 years. I've been using it for the last two years a couple of days per week, a couple of hours per day.

It seems to me to be a good idea to apply some grease to the axes but to be honest i don't know if that's really a good idea, and if yes how to go about it and how much to put where.
I bought some ball bearing grease.

Here is the X-axis:


here's the mobile part of the X-axis:

http://s26.postimg.org/559sxhdy1/chariot_X.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

when i touch the steel rods and the black screw they seem completely dry. The bit of old grease accumulated on the left of the picture seems very sticky. Should i put some new grease on rods and screw and if yes how much and where ? Should i clean them first and if yes with what ? Is ball-bearing grease ok ?

thx in advance for any help with this :p

PS: more pictures of the machine here: https://plus.google.com/photos/114245367403721121805/albums/6047508307177950369

08-16-2014, 12:00 PM
You don't say the manufacturer of the machine. Get the owner's manual for the machine, and do what it tells you for lube and maintenance.

08-16-2014, 01:03 PM
If they are sealed bearings (usually are) then there is not much to do for them, for ball screws and sliding surfaces, one of the best lubes is WayLube oil, Vactra 2 etc.

08-16-2014, 02:02 PM
Are there any grease zerks? if not most likely you will have to remove the linear bearings from the rails and hand grease them. but i would imagine there is a grease point where you can apply the grease at

08-16-2014, 02:58 PM
You don't say the manufacturer of the machine. Get the owner's manual for the machine, and do what it tells you for lube and maintenance.

it's a Gravograph machine, there is no owners manual, the machine is discontinued since the mid 90s, i contacted the manufacturers and they don't have or don't want to give out the manual.

i couldn't find any grease zerks so far, to get to the bearing housings i'd have to disassemble the whole Z-carriage which i'm a bit reluctant to do since it runs fine like this and i fear it won't after i put it back together. I just wanted to see if there is something i can do to keep it running fine or maybe a bit smoother.

Is it normal that the rails and screw feels dry ? Should it be greasy/oily ?

08-16-2014, 03:05 PM
As I mentioned you may have sealed bearings, they often are at the end of B.S.'s the grease shown looks like it may have been from an applications to the guide rods.
There normally is some kind of lube on the screws and guides.
A film of the way lube mentioned is normally used. It feels slightly sticky so stays on the surface longer, also avoids a condition known as slip-stick which sounds contradictory!.