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Old 18th Dec 2016, 12:05 pm   #1
skodajag
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Default Lubricating push button mechanisms

I thought I'd raise this matter - apologies if it's been aired before. Clearly one doesn't want oil on the contacts, but what about judicious oiling of the mechanical mechanism itself. Obviously oil hardens in time and may produce stickiness, which would be very difficult to rectify. Maybe use machine oil?
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Old 18th Dec 2016, 12:18 pm   #2
Edward Huggins
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Default Re: Lubricating push button mechanisms

I would use sewing machine oil.
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Old 18th Dec 2016, 12:26 pm   #3
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Default Re: Lubricating push button mechanisms

I've found good old wd40 does the trick obviously making sure it doesn't get on the contacts. I've not found it getting sticky, I think the problem is if dust and dirt gets into the oil.
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Old 18th Dec 2016, 12:59 pm   #4
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Default Re: Lubricating push button mechanisms

Sewing machine oil is as good as anything. Normal automotive engine oil is a very high quality lubricant but can be a bit viscous at low temperatures unless it's the expensive fully synthetic stuff.

WD40 is mostly white spirit with a small amount of fairly viscous mineral oil. The original objective was to have a light product which could be sprayed or painted on corrosion prone surfaces. The white spirit component would evaporate over a few weeks leaving a very thin but stable oil film.

WD40 will dissolve accumulated crud very effectively, but it isn't a good long term lubricant, so any sliding surfaces which have been treated with it should be relubed with conventional oil a few weeks later.

Some people seem to have a pathologic hatred of WD40. It's a cheap and versatile product, but it's important to appreciate what it does and doesn't do and use it appropriately.
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Old 18th Dec 2016, 1:14 pm   #5
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Default Re: Lubricating push button mechanisms

What about the so called dry lubes made for bike chains? Some of them have teflon added, super smoth stuff. I think it's wax, teflon and various addtives dissilved in alcohol. It will say in place and last for a long time. Nothing lasts for ever though. The advantage with spray can stuff is easy to apply, but they are very thin oils.
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Old 18th Dec 2016, 1:18 pm   #6
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Default Re: Lubricating push button mechanisms

The mechanisms were probably built using a light mineral grease to keep it in place and stop it going walkies. Oils are best used in things with provisions to circulate it back to where it's needed.

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Old 18th Dec 2016, 1:21 pm   #7
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Default Re: Lubricating push button mechanisms

It's certainly best to lubricate these mechs with light grease such as bicycle bearing grease, but doing this properly requires complete dismantling which is a pretty daunting prospect.
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Old 20th Dec 2016, 4:45 pm   #8
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Default Re: Lubricating push button mechanisms

You can get a can of Silicone Grease that you can spray onto the contacts from places like Maplin, this will not attack any plastic parts that are nearby or connected with the switch.
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Old 20th Dec 2016, 7:47 pm   #9
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Default Re: Lubricating push button mechanisms

I sometimes use WD40 spray oil as a 'pathway' to suck in a second application of say 3 in 1 oil to the heart of a mechanism, as it's often physically difficult to direct thicker oils exactly where you want them to go first time around.
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Old 20th Dec 2016, 7:49 pm   #10
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Default Re: Lubricating push button mechanisms

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
It's certainly best to lubricate these mechs with light grease such as bicycle bearing grease, but doing this properly requires complete dismantling which is a pretty daunting prospect.
I've got some spray grease that makes such tasks a bit easier though not always perfect.
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Old 21st Dec 2016, 11:22 am   #11
Malcolm G6ANZ
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Default Re: Lubricating push button mechanisms

I use clock oil. Specially designed not to creep or go solid after a few years. A drop on the moving part is all you need, I also use it for oiling ball races on tuning caps and pulleys on the dial mechanism

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