Re: non-gumming oil

Stephen Hanselman

Sorry Chuck,

My only experience with these type of bearings is with ones that were already oiled, sorry about that. One thing I like about this list is the plethora of new information.


-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Chuck Harris
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 10:39 AM
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] non-gumming oil

Hi Stephen,

I don't recall saying anything about the original infusion with oil. I generally receive sintered bronze bearings that are bone dry from a distributor, such as MSC.

I don't recall ever getting one that was pre-oiled, except perhaps as a bagged replacement part.

I am not sure how the manufacturer of the sintered bronze would know what parameters your oil needed to survive your use.

Oil is not meant to be added to the shaft/oilite interface, it is intended to be done through oil contact with the outer surface of the oilite The oil then diffuses through capillary action into the sintered bronze, just like a common sponge does when it comes into contact with water.

Very few high reliability users of oilite do not provide an oil reservoir... usually in the form of an oil soaked piece of wool felt that is in contact with the oilite. This is what tektronix has in the fan motors for the old vacuum tube scopes. Often, these motors find themselves with their oil holes upside down, so if you find one that way, be kind and restore it to the upright position. Gravity, and all that...

Getting the oil out of, and back into the oilite is easy. To remove it, set it on a rag, and bake it to 212F. As soon as the oilite gets hot, the oil will leave due to expansion. And to put it back, soak it in hot oil, then allow the oil to cool.

Generally, if the bearing isn't worn out, all that is needed is to remove the gummy oil from the outside of the bearing, and shaft, and put some fresh oil in the wool felt.

If you have to keep adding oil to the shaft/oilite interface, to keep the peace, the bearing and shaft are worn out.

-Chuck Harris

Stephen Hanselman wrote:

You’re right on all your points, except the original oiling was when the bearing structure was made and the oil was “infused”(??) into the material (oil-lite bearing)where our added oil is applied to the bearing surface-spindle interface.

Really it gets down to use what works for you. I’ve also had good luck with WD-40 which isn’t ever a lubricant.


Stephen Hanselman
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On Aug 13, 2019, at 14:22, Richard Knoppow <> wrote:

I am not so sure about what additives there are in engine oil. One can get good quality SAE 20 machine oil at many hardware stores. 3-in-one puts it up in a blue can (red can is something else). Also as Kano Microil, very highly refined petroleum based oil, wax free, and does not gum. Most of these blower bearings are so called "life time lubricated" meaning it works until it doesn't. They are made from sintered bronze with oil held in the spongy metal. You can't really re-lubricate them in any easy way but they will hold oil for a reasonable time.
Hewlett-Packard used blowers with a rubber seal at one end. They could be re-lubricated using a syringe to poke through the seal and inject some oil. I have no idea if the Tek blowers are similar. Unfortunately, once the bearings run dry they will become galled and run rough despite having new lubricant.
I agree with you that mixing silicon oil or grease with petroleum lubricant is not a good idea.

On 8/13/2019 2:03 PM, Chuck Harris wrote:
Silicone oil isn't miscible with the original oil, and you are not
going to make the motor become maintenance free, no matter what you
do with oils.
Just give it some motor oil, thin like SAE5 or 10 is fine.
Detergent isn't like the stuff you wash your clothes in, it will not
cause any problems, in spite of its suggestive name.
The synthetic doesn't oxidize as quickly as the old oil did, but
then any modern oil is much better in that regard.
The last time anyone lubed your scope fan was likely 40 years ago
and yet, it still works. Give it a couple of drops of oil, and move
on... be happy!
-Chuck Harris
Stephen Hanselman wrote:
I've read some of the answers and wanted to add my two cents. We
use marvel mystery oil which seems ok so far. I was thinking about
using silicon based gun oil though

Richard Knoppow

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