What's the best lubricant for endcaps?

37 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 7016
Location: The Light
What's the best lubricant for endcaps?

Hi there, the title pretty much says it all.  What's the best lubricant for the threads on small aluminum flashlights?  Thanks!

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

At least that's what I use. I used to use graphite powder, but apparently some grades of aluminium react badly to it - it can cause corrosion of aluminium. Where the threads don't carry current (If they are anodised they are not intended to carry current) I have successfully used plumbers' PTFE tape - chemically inert, easily removeable, etc, etc. But also a very good insulator. It does give a lovely smooth feel though. Very fine PTFE in a light oil would probably work very well, but be horribly expensive. Allegedly hydrocarbon lubricants (Like all the light oils you can buy) can eat O rings. Nonsense I say - it is decades since O rings were made of natural rubber and silicone rubbers may sell slightly but will not be eaten by hydrocarbons. Motorcycle fork oil ought to work well, or even SAE90 gear oil though you are going to have to apply that with a stick - you can just about slice the stuff.

 

When I've had nothing else, I've used heatsink grease but remember it is very abrasive so don't leave it in there or use it in a twisty.

 

For cleaning it off I use whatever comes to hand, usually isopropyl alcohol, WD-40 or after removing any and all O rings, ethylene chloride. I have access to other, nastier solvents if I need to - my original training was in chemistry - I even have stashed in the garage a few litres of carbon tetrachloride for extreme degreasing. Only use this stuff with proper protective gear or if you don't care about getting cancer though.

 

I find that a very light smear of silicone grease last for a couple of years normally. If you want to get fancy, an anti-sieze paste might work - Copaslip or the like, in the UK Maplin only seem to sell lubricants in spray cans nowadays which is horribly wasteful. 

This stuff ought to work well. What I use is this stuff - in a tube not a spray can. I've had the tube about 8 years now and have used about 25g/an ounce in that time.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 7016
Location: The Light

Great, thanks very much!  I have some 100% silicone for a caulk gun.  I think I'll put some of that on it.  As far as I know, most of my budget (cheap) lights do conduct electricity through the threads, so the plumber's tape is out of question.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

Just as long as it isn't a silicone sealant - that stuff sets. If it smells like vinegar it is a sealant, not a grease. You only need a tiny amount - I wipe off more than i leave on the threads. Use something disposable to wipe it off, it tends to get everywhere if you don't. Then the ethylene chloride comes in handy.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 7016
Location: The Light

Yikes, thanks, you are very right sir.  The silicone that I have is a sealant, although it says 100% silicone on the tube...  Obviously has some hardening agents mixed in there too.

 

I have some light oil that I always called "Sewing machine oil", I imagine that would work.  Maybe I could even try some cooking oil, corn or canola couldn't be hard on an O-ring.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

Though castor oil ought to work very, very well. It is an excellent lubricant even under extreme conditions. It used to be used in racing engines - it makes a wonderful smell when it burns. However, it is totally incompatible with mineral oils as it forms a nasty gritty mess in contact with them so clean any previous lube out very, very thoroughly.

Corn oil would become rancid and very nasty rather quickly.

Sewing machine oil should be just fine. Best way to apply is to put a small amount onto a cloth and rub it over the threads. Then wipe much of it off with a dry cloth. Toilet paper works very well for this. Any new engine oil should be fine - I'd go for thicker stuff myself - it is less likely to come out all over hands and clothing.

 

DO NOT use engine oil that has been used in an engine - there are lots of nasty things in it - contact dermatitis is not unusual with it and there are a lot of strongly carcinogenic substances in it. Wear impervious gloves when handling used engine oil.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 7016
Location: The Light

Great, thanks for your expertise Don.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

I knew all those chemistry exams I failed would have to come in handy sometime - well, i eventually passed them all, just rarely on the first try...

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Barrie
Offline
Last seen: 11 years 4 months ago
Joined: 01/17/2010 - 09:30
Posts: 91

 i use a little smear of petroleum jelly i use it on all of my lights have done for years with no problems

although some will say its not the best thing to use its worked fine for me cheap easy to get

it dose dry up a bit on lights that get hot i just wipe clean with a cloth and reapply as required every few months or so  

 cooking oil will go sticky i have tryed it and it is not easy to clean off

 Barrie

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 7016
Location: The Light

A yes, Vasoline type stuff would be good too.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

charlestt
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
Joined: 01/16/2010 - 09:05
Posts: 664
Location: Bristol UK

I've put Copaslip on all of mine..

 

 

 

 http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy41/charlestt225/Sig/A1200023-1.jpg" width="159" he

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

Doesn't that get awful messy? Or maybe I always use far too much of it.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

charlestt
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
Joined: 01/16/2010 - 09:05
Posts: 664
Location: Bristol UK

no i just applied a very small amount with a cotton wall bud I used that to work it in to the thread then reapplied screw cap opened and closed a few times and the wiped off excess. finally cleaned the rest of the light with IMS

 

 

 

 

 http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy41/charlestt225/Sig/A1200023-1.jpg" width="159" he

alfreddajero
alfreddajero's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/14/2010 - 00:28
Posts: 1798
Location: Virginia Beach VA

I use RC grade silicon grease......works well.

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

KelG
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: 01/24/2010 - 00:11
Posts: 90
Location: Malaysia

I use 90% pure silicone grease from Ace Hardware. Used sparingly, it works very well.

BLF = Buy Lotsa FlashlitesLaughing

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 7016
Location: The Light

Thanks for your tips!

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

alfreddajero
alfreddajero's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/14/2010 - 00:28
Posts: 1798
Location: Virginia Beach VA

I guess the consensus for o-rings and lube is silicone.....i know they make better stuff but for me its more like use what you have, and if it works then keep on using it right.

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

Nothing
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 04/22/2010 - 12:12
Posts: 81
Location: UK

Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, I hope I haven’t broken any forum rules on whether this is acceptable or not.

 

Anyway I trust you are all well and enjoying your weekend.

 

I already have cans of silicone spray which I have used on my flashlights that seems to work great but obviously with it containing solvent, it has a lasting odour.

I was thinking of getting a tube of silicone grease like the stuff in the link Don kindly posted but before I do could anyone who uses the tubes please tell me if it has a strong smell?

 

Thanks,

Gary

alfreddajero
alfreddajero's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/14/2010 - 00:28
Posts: 1798
Location: Virginia Beach VA

The one that i use which is a small shot kind of tube works well and there seems to be no odor at all coming from it.

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

Nothing wrote:

Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, I hope I haven’t broken any forum rules on whether this is acceptable or not.

 

Anyway I trust you are all well and enjoying your weekend.

 

I already have cans of silicone spray which I have used on my flashlights that seems to work great but obviously with it containing solvent, it has a lasting odour.

I was thinking of getting a tube of silicone grease like the stuff in the link Don kindly posted but before I do could anyone who uses the tubes please tell me if it has a strong smell?

 

I don't notice any smell at all from the Maplin stuff but then I do smoke 40 a day. Despite that, I do have a rather acute sense of smell. An alternative is Copaslip which also has no smell that I notice - available from your local motor factor anywhere. Most of the spray lubricants will wash out any useful lubrication - avoid WD-40 like the plague. Though I do like the smell of it when it burns, spraying it on exhaust headers makes a nice smell.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Nothing
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 04/22/2010 - 12:12
Posts: 81
Location: UK

Thanks for the replies gentlemen.

Have some copaslip/copper grease kicking around, use it on the back of my car brake pads to stop them squealing but find it can get everywhere.

I'm using some non oil based GT 85 lubricant which has a more perfumed smell to WD-40 so not as....interesting.

It looks like Maplin are doing the 50g tubes cheaper than ebay so will have to pay a visit, thanks.

 

Now, time for the pub.

 

Cheers,

Gary

fishinfool
fishinfool's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 03/09/2010 - 00:30
Posts: 4342
Location: Hilo, Hawaii

I have both the NyoGel 760G and NyoGel 779ZC that I bought from Lighthound and they work very well and they do not have any smell whatsoever.  Here's a thread that you might want to check out.

Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

Nothing
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 04/22/2010 - 12:12
Posts: 81
Location: UK

Looks like some interesting information there thanks.

Hopefully that thread doesn't end in an argument that budget lubricant is a false economy and although all of them do a reasonably similar job only the top of the range most expensive lubricant can be trusted in a flashlight that you rely on to protect your life and that of your loved ones......or to look in the garden shed.

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

In my garden shed you'll find assorted lubricants and fuels. Copaslip rules them all.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

brted
brted's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 4 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 19:44
Posts: 2371
Location: Atlanta

I use Superlube from Ace Hardware on o-rings. It has PTFE but goes on like vaseline from a tube. Easy to get and not very expensive. I wouldn't have any problem using it on anodized threads, but it might not conduct electricity, so I don't know if it would be good for bare threads. It seems like for threads you want something really thick and that anything soft like vaseline would just attract dirt.

Nothing
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 04/22/2010 - 12:12
Posts: 81
Location: UK

From everyone's advice I think the tubes of silicone grease (Servisol/Superlube) are the way to go.

Although the spray can dry lube works very well, it looks like I'm going to have to reapply it quite often as it doesn't seem to last too long.

 

Thanks,

Gary

alfreddajero
alfreddajero's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/14/2010 - 00:28
Posts: 1798
Location: Virginia Beach VA

A small tube of silicone grease does'nt cost that much.....if you live in the states let me know, because the next time i go to DebbiesRCWorld i'll pick up a couple of tubes since i need one anyway.

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

This 50g (2oz) tube of Servisol silicone grease was bought in the nineties. It cost less than a fiver... (About US$7 at the current exchange rate)

 

Tube of grease

As you can see there is about half of it left and it gets used on just about everything that needs greasing.

 

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Nothing
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 04/22/2010 - 12:12
Posts: 81
Location: UK

I appreciate the offer Alfred but I'm in the UK.

I can get the grease Don has posted about fairly easily, though I'm starting to like the smell of the spray lube.Innocent

 

Cheers,

Gary

alfreddajero
alfreddajero's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/14/2010 - 00:28
Posts: 1798
Location: Virginia Beach VA

Just dont inhale too much man.......and when you make your Will up remember to have me in there for your lights...lol, just joking of course.

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

fishinfool
fishinfool's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 03/09/2010 - 00:30
Posts: 4342
Location: Hilo, Hawaii

alfreddajero wrote:

Just dont inhale too much man.......and when you make your Will up remember to have me in there for your lights...lol, just joking of course.

Lobbying to be put into people's Wills now are we Al? Cash

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

Pages