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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 20th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #1
Jeff McKinney
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Default Cleaning bearings

What's the best thing i can find locally,re:hardware store,to clean & then lube my old non-shielded fafnirs,big skate reunion tonight & the old man needs all the help he can get HAHA
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Old February 20th, 2010, 04:13 PM   #2
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Default best compromise...

Hot soapy water and tooth brush.
Hot water rinse
Dry with hair dryer...
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Old February 20th, 2010, 05:39 PM   #3
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Thanks Doc! should i lube em w/something?
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Old February 20th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #4
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Exclamation Ya better...

The whole trick here is to get 'em dry ASAP. HOT hair dryer till dry, then a couple of drops of Uncle Charlies (AKA 3 in 1 ) and spin 'em good to ensure the oil is everywhere...

This is NOT the best way to clean bearings but it is darn good when you have no access to the correct stuff...
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Old February 20th, 2010, 08:09 PM   #5
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I hate to barge in here Doc, but what in your opinion is the best cleaner? I have been using Isopropyl Alcohol lately but i think gas does a better job.
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Old February 20th, 2010, 09:33 PM   #6
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Exclamation Gas is good

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Originally Posted by pavement View Post
I hate to barge in here Doc, but what in your opinion is the best cleaner? I have been using Isopropyl Alcohol lately but i think gas does a better job.
But GAS dangerous as all get out. It must be used in very small quantities ( I use 2-4 oz about) and in an ignition source free environment...Like outside... with a breeze blowing and ... well, ya get the idea??

Now the safety message... DON'T USE GASOLINE for this... You have been warned.

Carb cleaner (I like Gumout http://www.gumout.com/ourProducts/carbChokeCleaner.asp ) is really good too.. Especially for quick jobs... Gloves on.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 11:13 PM   #7
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Talking What works for me

Small amount of Kerosene in a plastic bottle. I use one of those new style coffee containers your able to take them out by hand. shake em up. remove them from the bottle pat dry with a hand towel or cloth and oil with bones speed cream...
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Old November 4th, 2010, 01:38 AM   #8
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I worked at a skating rink for years and we used good ol WD40. Spray'em down and soak them then spin to get the excess out. Use Bones speed lube if still available. 1-2 drops per bearing and spin until lubed. I sold my skates to Proline and pulled them out of the toybox after 18 years without any maintenance, they'll still spin for 30 seconds before stopping. Of course they were original Bones Swiss with the plastic retaining clips.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 10:24 PM   #9
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I worked at a skating rink for years and we used good ol WD40. Spray'em down and soak them then spin to get the excess out. Use Bones speed lube if still available. 1-2 drops per bearing and spin until lubed. I sold my skates to Proline and pulled them out of the toybox after 18 years without any maintenance, they'll still spin for 30 seconds before stopping. Of course they were original Bones Swiss with the plastic retaining clips.

We at the automotive shop haaaaaaaaaate WD40. HATE it. About all it's good for, according to my techs, is removing goo like sticker and tape residue and playing with it as a torch-in-a-can.

I use brake cleaner to clean my bearings (lucky I have a seemingly lilitless supply of it, we must have something like 40 cases in the back! Costs me 3 bucks a can!) and then when they're dry, I have a spare bottle of Mobil 1 0W40 oil that I found lying around to lube them. If I'm without a bearing press and I'm putting them in aluminum hubbed wheels, I use lithium grease on the outer edges to pop them in the wheels. I've used lithium grease on nylon hubbed wheels too but I don't always need it.

I have been known to use silicone spray and Fluid Film in a can too. If the techs in my shop use that stuff to lube all sorts of stuff like door hinges, I'll use it on skate bearings. I haven't had any problems yet.

I even resurrected a set of bearings when I got caught skating in the rain that I thought were probably ruined. Nope! Soaked them in brake cleaner overnight, dried them in the toaster oven and then lubed them with Fluid Film. They're a little noisy but they're still rolling and they're kinda crappy bearings anyways so I won;t be too heartbroken if they die early

Sorry to hijack the thread but when you're a poor skater girl and you have every grease, oil, and cleaner available to you, I just don't see the need to spend $10 on speed cream. My methods haven't failed me yet!

Maybe I'll try ATF as a lube on a really crappy set of bearings and see what happens........
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Old November 12th, 2010, 05:10 AM   #10
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Default Some thoughts here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Burn View Post

Maybe I'll try ATF as a lube on a really crappy set of bearings and see what happens........
ATF may not be a wonderful idea... It has a whole lot of other stuff compounded into it to deal with valve action, slip rings, rubber seals and friction surfaces... Maybe more extra stuff than would be of benefit?? I have played with power steering fluid... Not sure if it was of any great benefit over light oil...

...
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Old November 12th, 2010, 01:52 PM   #11
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ATF may not be a wonderful idea... It has a whole lot of other stuff compounded into it to deal with valve action, slip rings, rubber seals and friction surfaces... Maybe more extra stuff than would be of benefit?? I have played with power steering fluid... Not sure if it was of any great benefit over light oil...

...

Power steering fluid I have as well, I've also got fancy schmancy transfer case lube (I don't know how thick it is, if I go in the shop, surely a tech has a leftover bottle).

My ceramics prof in art college had a saying "whatever works, use!" and I've been experimenting on almost everything since. I won't experiment on a set of $100 bearings, obviously, but I have a few sets of ABEC 1 bearings lying around that I use as thrasher bearings. So they're the victims of my experiments.

If they're REALLY filthy, they get the parts washer treatment so I can hose off the crap instead of soaking them. Ahhh, the joys of working at a car dealer. The service manager doesn't care as long as I don't leave crap lying around.

Now about that PT Cruiser hood I have floating around in the shop...... that's a bit bigger than skate bearings. I'm trying to strip the paint off it and not having much luck because I don't want to sand it
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:28 PM   #12
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Default engine degreaser.

OK..quick and easy..hot water from the tap as hot as you can stand it...run the bearings under the water and spin..both sides...then spray the degreaser onto into the bearings..spin while holding under water..do both sides till they spin freely..If they stick of won't turn freely,either runner is damaged or there is a piece of crap in the runner. Hold the bearing by the center with your fingers and push against the palm of your other hand. then back under water. If that doesnt' fix it being stuck then the bearing may need to go.

Put on a dish towel and let dry.spin to check. Then 1 drop of 3in1 oil,spin and your done.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 04:12 AM   #13
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Good advice from several posters. If you don't mind something from the Old School, here is what I have used since 1960 but I have a couple of sets of Fafnir 8 ball and some old 7 ball without shields.The formula is the same, I just updated the process in 2002.

Clean bearings in Mineral Spirits and let them soak over night . In 2002 I bought an ultrasonic Cleaner at Harbor Freight and now let them danced the night away but I still use mineral spirits (gotta keep up with the times).

After letting them stand overnight in the Spirits, I use a toothbrush and clean them up ... the old school way. Since I now use the Ultrasonic, I just let them buzz for 6-8 hours.

Then I blow dry them with filtered/dry compressed air. (warning, do not spin the bearings, as they can lock up if they become dry and lack lubricated ... yes, I know that it is fun, but you only need one to lock up ... not fun ... don't ask how I know)

I then soak them in Marvel Mystery Oil for a few minutes, then blow dry them, there will be enough residual lubrication left. If I need a little more lubrication, I have a hypo needle that is filled with MMO and just a drop does the trick.

Three key ingredients that I have always used:
Mineral Spirits
Dry Filtered Compressed Air
Marvel Mystery Oil

If I do get my bearing wet from skating outdoors, I also use WD40, just after I take them off. WD40 will displace the water. WD40 is basically fish oil and if it is good enough for the military, it is good enough for me. I then clean the bearings as soon as possible.

Sorry if I rambled on, but it is my first post on this board, which I just stumbled on about a week ago. Looks like a good spot where I can catch up on the old trade.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 05:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Photog101 View Post
Good advice from several posters. If you don't mind something from the Old School, here is what I have used since 1960 but I have a couple of sets of Fafnir 8 ball and some old 7 ball without shields.The formula is the same, I just updated the process in 2002.

Clean bearings in Mineral Spirits and let them soak over night . In 2002 I bought an ultrasonic Cleaner at Harbor Freight and now let them danced the night away but I still use mineral spirits (gotta keep up with the times).

Does yours have heat?? It helps..

After letting them stand overnight in the Spirits, I use a toothbrush and clean them up ... the old school way. Since I now use the Ultrasonic, I just let them buzz for 6-8 hours.

Does this mean you do both?? I do. The more of the big pieces you get out of the mix the better the ultrasonic works...

Then I blow dry them with filtered/dry compressed air.

Interesting... Most of us don't have access to that grade of compressed air..

(warning, do not spin the bearings, as they can lock up if they become dry and lack lubricated ... yes, I know that it is fun, but you only need one to lock up ... not fun ... don't ask how I know)

Ya know I have heard this story before and have been trying to duplicate it for 10 years with NO success... ... Maybe my lack "dry" air...

I then soak them in Marvel Mystery Oil for a few minutes, then blow dry them, there will be enough residual lubrication left. If I need a little more lubrication, I have a hypo needle that is filled with MMO and just a drop does the trick.

Another interesting idea. Being a grease fan myself I have never played with MMO as a bearing lube...


Three key ingredients that I have always used:
Mineral Spirits
Dry Filtered Compressed Air
Marvel Mystery Oil

If I do get my bearing wet from skating outdoors, I also use WD40, just after I take them off. WD40 will displace the water. WD40 is basically fish oil and if it is good enough for the military, it is good enough for me. I then clean the bearings as soon as possible.

Just don't roll on it.. It attracts way too much dust..

Sorry if I rambled on, but it is my first post on this board, which I just stumbled on about a week ago. Looks like a good spot where I can catch up on the old trade.
No problem rambling here.. I stickied this so everyone could play. Please do read the rules before posting in other threads on Ask Doc Sk8.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 08:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sk8 View Post

Does yours have heat?? It helps..

No, it does not. It works well without the heat. I am not sure I would like to leave it un attended with heat.


Interesting... Most of us don't have access to that grade of compressed air..

Dryers/filters are easy enough to get a hold of, through Sears or Harbor Freight and also keeping the condensation drained out of the tank. No need to go with the sophisticated refrigerated ones for this work.


(warning, do not spin the bearings, as they can lock up if they become dry and lack lubricated ... yes, I know that it is fun, but you only need one to lock up ... not fun ... don't ask how I know)

Ya know I have heard this story before and have been trying to duplicate it for 10 years with NO success... ... Maybe my lack "dry" air...

Just believe me, they can lock up, although the bearing that failed was from something larger than a skate. BTDT and I have the "T" shirt.


Another interesting idea. Being a grease fan myself I have never played with MMO as a bearing lube...

I have also tried Silicone Plumbers Grease on outdoor wheels. Just an idea for those who like grease over oil.


Just don't roll on it.. It attracts way too much dust..

We have a group that skates on Belle Isle in Detroit (pretty dirty and sometimes water puddles) and I spray my bearings as soon as I take the skates off, then clean the bearings when I get home, but I might not be able to get to them for a couple of days. I use it to displace the water and moisture.


No problem rambling here.. I stickied this so everyone could play. Please do read the rules before posting in other threads on Ask Doc Sk8.
Sorry if I violated the rules, but just wanted to add some other thoughts and a little different point of view that has worked for me for years, definitely not criticism of anyone.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 08:57 PM   #16
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Smile No problem...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photog101 View Post
Sorry if I violated the rules, but just wanted to add some other thoughts and a little different point of view that has worked for me for years, definitely not criticism of anyone.

Like I said, this thread is open to everyone and fair game.. There are a lot of interesting techniques, some of which are a bit more extreme than others..
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Old March 28th, 2011, 06:07 PM   #17
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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   #18
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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 March 1st, 2012, 01:34 PM   #19
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Default Anyone Used WD40 to clean bearings?

I've heard thru the grapevine that WD40 works well or even silcone spray to clean and lube but just wanted to get an expert opinion?
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Old March 1st, 2012, 03:04 PM   #20
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I've heard thru the grapevine that WD40 works well or even silcone spray to clean and lube but just wanted to get an expert opinion?
If you have nothing else for cleaning WD40 can help. I use it sometimes when resurrecting ancient treasures.. However, I NEVER lube bearings on sk8s with either..
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