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Ask DocSk8 (Expert Indoor Skate Building Advice) This forum is different then the other SkateLog forums in that it is not a discussion forum, but rather a place you can ask skate building expert Fred "DocSk8" Benjamin about building and repairing indoor speed, derby, and jamskate quad roller skates. Please start a new thread for each new question.

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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:46 PM   #101
sqwirral
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Wow such a fast reply and answered in detail, huge thanks!




UPDATE: I removed the shields from the other side, gave them another go with acetone (in the bones cleaning unit bottle thing), and there's a massive improvement. 6 out of the 8 I just did are spinning faster than my new bones reds. The other couple still don't move but I'm sure they will with a few more cleans. Going to keep cleaning them all until I'm dizzy from acetone fumes then put on some speed cream

Last edited by sqwirral; February 24th, 2011 at 12:00 AM.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:53 PM   #102
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Default For those who like bearing spinning cleaners

Got this idea, tried it out today, and it seemed to work. Let's say you like the idea of a dohickee that spins your bearings in cleaner, but don't want to pay $50 for one. So one day, as your kids are whipping up chocolate milk with this, you think, "Hunh... wonder if I could clean bearings with that." You pop over to Amazon, see it's only 14 bucks, comes in a tasteful black and white Holstein print, scrounge around for another $11 of stuff just so you qualify for SuperSaver Shipping, and wait for it to arrive.

When it does come in, you find the shaft is too hard to cut with wire cutters ("Hunh... made better than I thought"), so you clamp it in a vice and use a hacksaw to remove the frother thingie at the end. Back in the kitchen, retrieve it from an inquisitive boy with the obligatory, "Give me that! You wanna poke somebody's eye out?"

The rest of the steps, after donning some eye protection:
1) Wind a rubber band around and around the shaft to build up a lump that holds firmly onto the inside of the inner race.
2) Push the bearing onto the rubber band lump.
3) Fill up a pill bottle with citrus cleaner, dunk the bearing in the cleaner, and froth to your heart's content (over the sink, of course).
4) Proceed with whatever else you like to do (rinse, blow dry, lubricate, and skate).

Caveat: I fear solvent cleaners could eat the rubber band, which would probably gunk up the bearing. Also using an electrical device around flammable chemicals may result in an explosion. Don't say I didn't warn you...
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Old February 25th, 2011, 08:35 PM   #103
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Default Pix would be nice...

I just had a thought. The 50.00 one probably won't have as much of a fire / explosion hazard associated with it..
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 06:23 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inlinejinn View Post
Also using an electrical device around flammable chemicals may result in an explosion. Don't say I didn't warn you...
Only if there's a spark.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 11:19 AM   #105
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Default The Eddy Matzger Method

1. Put the metal parts of the bearing in a pot with water
2. Let the water boil for 20 minutes
3. Remove the parts from the pot and put them in the backing oven to dry them fast
4. Assemble and lubricate the bearing.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 02:40 PM   #106
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Thumbs up regarding 'metzger' method

Quote:
Originally Posted by alvag View Post
1. Put the metal parts of the bearing in a pot with water
2. Let the water boil for 20 minutes
3. Remove the parts from the pot and put them in the backing oven to dry them fast
4. Assemble and lubricate the bearing.
slight edit.. use METAL strainer to take out of the boiling pot. might melt a plastic one. and "baking oven" - don't remember what temperature though

Used this one myself. Worked well for me too, with bearings that weren't super ucky. (That's a technical term, right there. ) The bearings vibrate in the bottom of the pot and help vibrate some of the sand/crud out. You have less cleaner fluid to figure out what to do with afterwards too. But I think if you have super cruddy bearings (say, 10 year old ones, or ones you had outside on a rainy/dirty day) then you will still want to give a go with a toothbrush and/or solvent of some kind. But I highly recommend this way. I've revived some old bearings pretty efficiently this way. But some are still too far gone to go without a good scrub.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 03:04 PM   #107
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Default FYI - solution to my former posted problem

Okay - in regards to the new bearings I put on then tried to skate with...
YES - THEY WERE PACKED WITH STUFF. I guess I'm just so used to my bearings rolling with super ease (from all the great advice peviously given) that I never realized how horrible slow bearings could be!!! Yes, they would have been okay, and maybe over weeks would have loosened up but I'm impatient. So essentially, I need to get the tremendous goop cleaned out that is packed in them before the next meet/practice or I'm going to be doing my tortoise impression again.

SOME ADVICE SOMEONE PASSED ON TO ME: (I'm sure this is up for debate, but I'm just passing on advice!)
I've been looking around for the best advice from everyone about lubrication, because even though I usually get awesome roll for a while after my cleanings, eventually I reach a day where it feels like something is slowing me down. Them I go right back to square one and just clean them over again. It's more tedious than I thought it really should be. I found out I'm missing one key element... the tiny little drop of lube at the end. I used what I THOUGHT was a cleaner PLUS lube solution made specifically for skate bearings (can't remember brand name) but it essentially is just like WD-40 but supposed to be better. It works great for a while, but then after a few weeks of skating it seems to kind of just go away and I don't have any lube at all. Maybe it leaves a residue that I don't know about? So this was a friend's suggestion (and it might have already been mentioned):

Step one: clean bearings (using whatever favorite method)
Step two: use clean/lube solution (he said WD-40 but I lean away from that one) for extra blowing out/protection (I read somewhere that someone recommended Tri-Flow instead of WD-40 because it doesn't leave behind residue.)
STEP THREE: tiny tiny drop of lube, like Uncle Charlies or 3in1 or something like that. An old friend used to use Quantum's "Hot Sauce" fishing reel lube for his bearings. Love that stuff, but can't find it around here now. (before I was trying EITHER step two or step three.... not both. I think that was my mistake.)

So, in a month, we'll see if my bearings hold up with their spin or if I have to resume my monthly bearing cleaning routine again!

Again, thanks to everyone for all the advice! I used to think I knew it all, but the internet has again proven me wrong. lol I know everyone has a favorite way of doing it, and some things work better for some than others, so just wanted to share what I heard in case anyone else is looking for MORE advice like I am. lol

Happy cleaning!
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Old March 26th, 2011, 08:43 AM   #108
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Out of interest, are there any videos showing the correct way to clean, lube and replace bearings?

I'll be doing it for the first time (eaak!) and I don't want to do it incorrectly.

Seems like everyone has their own way of doing it :S
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Old March 26th, 2011, 10:27 AM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alvag View Post
1. Put the metal parts of the bearing in a pot with water
2. Let the water boil for 20 minutes
3. Remove the parts from the pot and put them in the backing oven to dry them fast
4. Assemble and lubricate the bearing.
that sounds great. does this really work? can you remove the old grease with this or do you need to de-grease them with petroleum before you boil them?

this sounds too good to be true.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 01:28 PM   #110
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Default Homework time...

Have you read this thread from the beginning??
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Old March 26th, 2011, 03:26 PM   #111
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I've just made a big mug of tea, and am sat down comfortably....

Edit: I have read the thread, finished my tea, understood the washing process..... but one more Q about lubrication - I don't have any speed cream or skate lube here (yet - will get some), but have sound some silicon grease. Apart from it being awkward to apply, will it do any damage / be completely useless?

Last edited by Goldiloks; March 26th, 2011 at 05:39 PM.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 06:07 PM   #112
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Default Pressure washing Bearings

Skateguy dreamed this one up... I guess posting this over here himself was too much like work... Interesting concept... May be kinda messy however... Lotta splash over
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Old March 30th, 2011, 02:35 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sk8 View Post
Skateguy dreamed this one up... I guess posting this over here himself was too much like work... Interesting concept... May be kinda messy however... Lotta splash over
It can't be any more messy than using an air can to blast out the last of the loose crud that didn't come out after boiling/spinning. First time I blasted them suckers with some air, black crud flew everywhere. After wiping down the wall, I learned to hold a towel behind it to catch it all. LOL!! Although I'm sure someone might be smart enough to take a cardboard box and cut out one side to work on the bearings, that way there's 3 sides catching all the goop that flies out? Either way, I think I might look around for my sister's old dental water pic machine in the basement. I wonder if it would still work after 30 years?
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Old April 8th, 2011, 03:03 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldiloks View Post
I've just made a big mug of tea, and am sat down comfortably....

Edit: I have read the thread, finished my tea, understood the washing process..... but one more Q about lubrication - I don't have any speed cream or skate lube here (yet - will get some), but have sound some silicon grease. Apart from it being awkward to apply, will it do any damage / be completely useless?
Judging by your avatar I'm gonna guess you're in the UK?

Grease isn't the best stuff to lube skate bearings with unless you're using them outdoors (even then expect slowness), best to buy yourself some 3-in-1 from a local hardware shop (or B&Q) or sewing machine oil from a habadashers.
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Old April 8th, 2011, 03:34 PM   #115
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Judging by your avatar I'm gonna guess you're in the UK?

Grease isn't the best stuff to lube skate bearings with unless you're using them outdoors (even then expect slowness), best to buy yourself some 3-in-1 from a local hardware shop (or B&Q) or sewing machine oil from a habadashers.
Actually, unless you love cleaning bearings, grease is the better option.. I have done way too many tests that confirm it..

If you are racing, yeah go with oil.. I did my daughters racing sk8s for 8 years with every miracle lube out there, even developed a couple of my own... Kept going back to 3 in 1.... BUT. I had 4 sets of racing bearings that were rotated between events (and replaced every year
)... Why?? 4 sets?? Because they would get a bit noisy even after 3 or 4 laps around the track.. After the meet, they would come home, get cleaned, oiled up and put away until the next meet..

Here is the twist... After they were taken out of racing service, they were greased up and used as practice bearings.. Care to estimate the time delta per lap between the racing bearings and practice bearings when I would swap them before practice?? Good luck, we never could reliably point to time trial numbers and say what was what.. (My daughter never did catch on to me swapping them. She though she had the same bearings in her sk8s all the time.. Well they were the same bearings, just lubed a bit differently)

Take it from someone that does not have the time, energy or inclination to clean bearings all the time... go wit da grease!!


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Old April 9th, 2011, 07:18 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sk8 View Post
Actually, unless you love cleaning bearings, grease is the better option.. I have done way too many tests that confirm it..

If you are racing, yeah go with oil.. I did my daughters racing sk8s for 8 years with every miracle lube out there, even developed a couple of my own... Kept going back to 3 in 1.... BUT. I had 4 sets of racing bearings that were rotated between events (and replaced every year
)... Why?? 4 sets?? Because they would get a bit noisy even after 3 or 4 laps around the track.. After the meet, they would come home, get cleaned, oiled up and put away until the next meet..

Here is the twist... After they were taken out of racing service, they were greased up and used as practice bearings.. Care to estimate the time delta per lap between the racing bearings and practice bearings when I would swap them before practice?? Good luck, we never could reliably point to time trial numbers and say what was what.. (My daughter never did catch on to me swapping them. She though she had the same bearings in her sk8s all the time.. Well they were the same bearings, just lubed a bit differently)

Take it from someone that does not have the time, energy or inclination to clean bearings all the time... go wit da grease!!


I bow to your greater experience on this one Doc, personally I clean my bearings after 3 or 4 sessions use...

But ofc this is just my opinion

I may dig out my pot of white lithium grease that I swore by for cycling use (mountain bike, I used it for wheels, cranks and fitting brakes) as this is more fluid than the automotive greases I've used on the car.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 06:39 PM   #117
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go wit da grease!!
How much grease do you put in each bearing?

How do you put the grease in (one little glob, many tiny globs, pack the bearing or ...)?
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Old April 19th, 2011, 08:31 PM   #118
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I have another option for a low cost cleaning rig for bearings. I went searching online for options, and found a tutorial of how to make a rig with a sports drink bottle, a 5/16" threaded dowel (6" to 8" depending on the bottle), machine nuts, and cap screws.

Drill a hole in the top of the bottle that the dowel will fit through snugly. Tighten the cap screw to one end of the dowel as tightly as possible. Push the dowel through the bottle cap until the cap screw is seated against the outside top of the lid. thread a machine nut onto the dowel and tighten as tight as possible against the inside of the cap with the plastic of the cap between the machine nut and cap screw. Add 2 or 3 more machine nuts onto the threaded dowel. Thread a bearing with the shield(s) removed onto the dowel followed by another machine screw. Alternate between machine nuts and bearings until the dowel is full of bearings and nuts. Fill the bottle with your cleaner of choice. Place the bearings in the bottle, and screw the bottle cap on tight. Agitate until your heart is content and the bearings are clean. Then just remove, rinse, dry, reassemble, and re-lubricate the bearings.

Parts cost me about $10 at the local hardware store, including the sports drink for the bottle.

The net result is a home-made version of the Bones bearing cleaning unit. I have used it a couple of times now, and it seems to work great. The trick is making sure you have machine nuts that are small enough not to obstruct the bearings.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 05:22 AM   #119
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Has anyone ever tried using vodka as a cleaning solution? I have a gigantic bottle of really crappy tasting vodka sitting in my cupboard waiting for me to find a use for it. It would be great if I could use it to clean my bearings with
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Old April 21st, 2011, 09:27 AM   #120
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Has anyone ever tried using vodka as a cleaning solution? I have a gigantic bottle of really crappy tasting vodka sitting in my cupboard waiting for me to find a use for it. It would be great if I could use it to clean my bearings with
I don't think it would work very well, but at least your bearings would be happy!
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