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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 February 21st, 2010, 11:01 PM   #7
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What about acetone?
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Old February 21st, 2010, 11:16 PM   #8
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We need a sticky on this so we don't have to have this conversation all over again every time a new member asks a question that has been answered dozens of times...
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 12:23 AM   #9
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+1 what the Doc says, I just want to add.

Even if you think you'll be careful with gasoline about fire, it is very hazardous to the health. Gasoline along with certain other chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, besides the hazards of breathing in the vapors.

Additionally, some chemicals are strong enough to eat through the rubber, nylon, or plastic parts on the bearings. Any thing containing Toluene should be avoided.

99% alcohol is a good mild degreaser that is probably the safest strong stuff to use other than a water based solution.
Others, including myself, use mineral spirits which would be as strong as you should ever need, but use caution as directed above.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 01:35 AM   #10
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Default Good stuff....

Sticky it is...
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 02:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BWI-Sheldon View Post
Additionally, some chemicals are strong enough to eat through the rubber, nylon, or plastic parts on the bearings.
This is something I wondered about. Which ones are going to do this? Alcohol, acetone, citrus cleaner? I've been popping out the nylon cages on my Bones to be on the safe side when I clean them but a couple of times I've ended up disassembling the entire bearing, which is frustrating as heck to reassemble.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 03:00 PM   #12
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So me and the lady cleaned our bearings a couple days ago using the hot water, hair drying and 3 in 1 method. Last night my skates felt incredibly slow, like there was a lot of drag/ rolling resistance. Must be something with the bearings. Any suggestions as to why this might be? I'm sure they were dry before I lubed them and reinstalled the shields... I can't be rolling on these things like this, they nearly sent me backwards a couple times because I'm used to gliding along with little effort.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 03:20 PM   #13
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Default Can only speculate....

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Originally Posted by verymetal View Post
So me and the lady cleaned our bearings a couple days ago using the hot water, hair drying and 3 in 1 method. Last night my skates felt incredibly slow, like there was a lot of drag/ rolling resistance.

Are they noisy?? If it was something in the cleaning..as in you did not get it all... then I can understand...


Must be something with the bearings.

MUST be?? Could you have them adjusted incorrectly??

Any suggestions as to why this might be? I'm sure they were dry before I lubed them and reinstalled the shields... I can't be rolling on these things like this, they nearly sent me backwards a couple times because I'm used to gliding along with little effort.
If at first you don't succeed, try again... Scrub 'em good, You may want to do the scrub / rinse cycle a few times....

One other thought, I ran into some really hard water one time when we were out at the races...(Yes I cleaned my daughters racing bearings like this when we were on the road) and had to get some distilled H2O to rinse them.... Talk about a pain...
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Old February 28th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #14
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So last night I removed all my bearings, again. Cleaned them all individually with a toothbrush and dish soap, again. Dried them thoroughly and noticed oxidation on some of them.. already! Can't have been more than 10 mins in and out of the cleaning process. Ok, lesson learned. Repeat cleaning process individually, dried them each individually straight away, no rust problem... Bearings spinning great

Add 3 in 1 and they don't want to spin.. what's up with that? Should I be using a different lube? I would naturally expect (with the addition of a coating of any lube) that they might slow down a bit but not this much... suggestions are most welcome! gotta get them spinning good by tuesday night for adult night!

Ps. Doc, I'm assuming by 'correct adjustment' you would mean not over tightening the wheel nuts? I'm very careful about that so I'm pretty sure that isn't the issue.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 06:04 PM   #15
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Default Ya got me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by verymetal View Post
So last night I removed all my bearings, again. Cleaned them all individually with a toothbrush and dish soap, again. Dried them thoroughly and noticed oxidation on some of them.. already! Can't have been more than 10 mins in and out of the cleaning process. Ok, lesson learned. Repeat cleaning process individually, dried them each individually straight away, no rust problem... Bearings spinning great

Add 3 in 1 and they don't want to spin.. what's up with that? Should I be using a different lube?

3 in 1 is what is in the Uncle Charlie's tube... It works fine.... I'm buffaloed.

I would naturally expect (with the addition of a coating of any lube) that they might slow down a bit but not this much... suggestions are most welcome! gotta get them spinning good by tuesday night for adult night!

Have you rolled them again?

Ps. Doc, I'm assuming by 'correct adjustment' you would mean not over tightening the wheel nuts? I'm very careful about that so I'm pretty sure that isn't the issue.
Gotta check all the options...
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Old March 1st, 2010, 12:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verymetal View Post
Add 3 in 1 and they don't want to spin.. what's up with that? Should I be using a different lube? I would naturally expect (with the addition of a coating of any lube) that they might slow down a bit but not this much... suggestions are most welcome! gotta get them spinning good by tuesday night for adult night!
Once you add lube they are gonna slow down while free spinning them. But they shouldnt while skating on them. So many people think your bearings are good if they free spin for along time or bad if they dont... that has absolutely nothing to do with how they perform under a load....
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Old March 1st, 2010, 02:01 AM   #17
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Mineral spirits and a $19.00 ultrasonic jewlery cleaner I bought on Ebay. Actually, I use lamp oil (same thing) then get rid of the dirty stuff by burning it in the lamp!

bob
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 06:41 PM   #18
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Default Perfect timing!

I am in the process of trying to clean up an old set of bearings. I can't seem to get all the grit out of a couple of them. Also, it looks like some rust may have set in (I get a little orange color to the residue when I wipe them down). Will the rust make a difference if I get them properly cleaned and lubed? Also, how do I get that last little bit of grit out? I can feel it grinding away at the bearings if I try to spin them.
I'm using mineral spirits and compressed air to blow/dry them out and then bones speed cream for lube when I'm done. This should be okay, right?
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 07:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASP View Post
I am in the process of trying to clean up an old set of bearings. I can't seem to get all the grit out of a couple of them. Also, it looks like some rust may have set in (I get a little orange color to the residue when I wipe them down). Will the rust make a difference if I get them properly cleaned and lubed? Also, how do I get that last little bit of grit out? I can feel it grinding away at the bearings if I try to spin them.
I'm using mineral spirits and compressed air to blow/dry them out and then bones speed cream for lube when I'm done. This should be okay, right?
Hope Doc doesn't mind me jumping in on this one...

If there's visible (evidenced by the reddish orange residue) rust in there then the bearings are basically history - rust = pitting = the noise you're hearing when you spin them.

Pitted bearings are no good to anyone i'm afraid
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 08:26 PM   #20
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Default I don't mind

If you don't mind me coming in too....

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Hope Doc doesn't mind me jumping in on this one...

If there's visible (evidenced by the reddish orange residue) rust in there then the bearings are basically history - rust = pitting = the noise you're hearing when you spin them.

Pitted bearings are no good to anyone i'm afraid
Rust can be from the cages and not the balls or races. If the balls are pitted or spalled (spalling is a different process but has essentially the same result...) You can't fix that... But if it is not real bad you can get by with them for a while...

The definition of "real bad" is what ever you can stand...
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