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  1. #1
    78sharpshooter is offline Aluminum
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    Default Which grease for Timkens in spindle?

    I just got my new Timken class 3 bearings and searched for grease info and didn't see much besides some $125/tube european grease. What grease should I use that is available at ACE, HD etc?

  2. #2
    johnoder's Avatar
    johnoder is offline Diamond
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    Grease? Spindle bearings are almost always lubed by oil - such as Exxon Mobil DTE Heavy Medium. Does not the machine in question have oil in the head stock?

    John Oder

  3. #3
    78sharpshooter is offline Aluminum
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    It is a millrite and according to the manual they require grease. There is a stamped steel grease slinger just beneath the bottom timken. I was going to use marine trailer bearing grease but don't want to mess things up.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    Grease? Spindle bearings are almost always lubed by oil - such as Exxon Mobil DTE Heavy Medium. Does not the machine in question have oil in the head stock?

    John Oder

  4. #4
    derekm is offline Aluminum
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    The method of lubrication varies see what SKF says
    SKF lubrication Link.
    You will see both grease and oil used for high speed precision bearings.
    And the choice of grease or oil is driven more by the installation environment.
    Note standard NGLI 2 greases are used for high precision bearings.link

  5. #5
    johnoder's Avatar
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    You could call the bearing maker:

    http://www.timken.com/en-us/Pages/Home.aspx

    John Oder

  6. #6
    Doug is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by 78sharpshooter View Post
    ..............

    I was going to use marine trailer bearing grease but don't want to mess things up.
    That may not be a good idea. I was told years ago not to use wheel bearing grease in an application I had because of something about long fibers in the grease. Not sure of the accuracy of the information, but it's kept me from using it except in wheel bearings.

  7. #7
    4GSR's Avatar
    4GSR is offline Titanium
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    The Millright mill we had back in the stone ages used some kind of "off white" looking grease like a lubriplate grease.

    Ken

  8. #8
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    Me personally would start with a NLGI 00 grease. If that flows too much goto NLGI 0.

    Any common NLGI #2 grease might start out fine but I think would end up "packing" into the quiet spots and "running out of oil" and your spindle would get noisy in about a year's time. IMHO automotive greases are wrong for machine tool spindles. Auto hubs get warm from the loads, speeds, and more importantly the braking heat input! And as such they can stand a heavier grease that will be compelled to flow by temperature reasons.

    Get a machine tool spindle that warm and you'll be running for the disconnect. Ergo, it needs something thinner IMHO.

  9. #9
    Forrest Addy is offline Diamond
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    I always thought a short fiber bearing grease was the preferred stuff for an older spindle bearing set. It's cheap, has a long history of reliability, its easy to pack into the bearings, persists for a good many years, and there's little problem with soap/oil separation in the absense of dust wicking. I used to use Mil Spec automotive and artilliary grease in days of yore but plain old ball bearing grease work as well.

    A milling spindle is not a particularly demanding service for a ball and roller bearing grease unless raceway velocities are high. 2000 RPM or less in a light to medium preload bearing of less than 4" ID is well within the capabilities of a general purpose short fiber grease. I would prefer to filter the grease befor using it. Even fresly opened containers of grease may contain contaminents. I filter it by putty knifing a blob of grease in the center of a chamois and twisting it so the grease oozes out of the chamois and repeat. It's messy and hard to hang onto but persist.

    There are many proprietery greases sold for spindle service and I would concede any of them would be suitable provided the service conditions agree with the grease manufacturer's recommendations. But they may be expensive. I would use them without hesitation for heavy preload spindles running at high race velocities but maybe not for a machine having a 40 year old design.

    It comes down to a user call. I've said my piece.

  10. #10
    derekm is offline Aluminum
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    ~I'm with forest Ady because its neary enough what SKF say. An ordinary NLGI 2 (find it almost anywhere " a plain old ball bearing grease") is a reasonable place to start. Get contact thermometer and perform the grease run in procedure as described on the SKF site (its just common sense really) and remember 65C or 149F is normal for a grease lubed bearing temperature...above 100C is hot, below 50C is cool

    From SKF site on High precision bearings grease selection

    Greases are divided into various consistency grades according to the National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) scale. Greases with a high consistency, i.e. stiff greases, are assigned high NLGI grades, while those with low consistency, i.e. soft greases, are given low NLGI grades. In rolling bearing applications, three consistency grades are recommended from the scale. Here are some guidelines:

    – The most common greases, used in normal bearing applications, have an NLGI grade of 2.
    – Low consistency grade rolling bearing greases, i.e. those classified as NLGI 1 greases, are preferred for low ambient temperatures and oscillating applications.
    – NLGI 3 greases are recommended for large bearings, bearing arrangements with a vertical shaft, high ambient temperatures or the presence of vibration
    You will also see advice for not using EP grade grease unless you require it for impact loading.

  11. #11
    JRIowa's Avatar
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    1. An ABEC class 3 bearing would not be considered a spindle bearing by most. Most precision spindles use ABEC 7 or 9.

    2. If you were using a precision high speed bearing, Timken recomends the following;
    Kluberspeed BF 72-22, FAG Arconol L-75, FAG Arconol Speed 2-6, Lubcon Highspeed L252, and SKF LGCT2. My hardware store does not carry any of these.
    JR

  12. #12
    MBensema is offline Hot Rolled
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    The Burke manual is fairly vague about which grease to use and only states a short fiber grease of good quality. Short fiber greases are for higher speeds and long fiber are meant for low speeds. If you haven't done so already, you should download the manual in the manual section of this forum.

    For this application, any name brand NLGI2 grease with a viscosity range of ISO 68-100 would be ideal, but as long as you stay away from axle grease and other higher viscosity greases (>150) you should be fine. You do not need EP additives since the load is fairly low as well. You spent good money on the bearings, don't throw that away by using the cheapest grease you can find. Find a local industrial distributor and get something from there rather then the hardware store, it probably won't cost you much more and might even be cheaper. You can also order this from McMaster-Carr.

  13. #13
    Forrest Addy is offline Diamond
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    I would amend the temperature range described above to something more in line with machine tool spindles and their needs and requirements. You dont want a hot running spindle for the reason that the heat causes thremal expansion and its unequal diffision in the mass of the machine which may cause small geometry changes.

    When the New Departure guy taught the bearing class I attended we asked for the local bearing guy to make sure that ND and Timken both sent people with field experience with actual machine tool spindles. Most of us had many years of experience and the machine tool maintenence people made a special point of asking for expertise not a sales pitch. The trust of his lecture regarding preload setting was this: torque used to detemine spindle the preload may not be a reliable predictor of long term spindle temp or spindle longevity in the absense of statistical data. Besides, in a machine tool the object is to limit temperature rise in the spindle quill or housing.



    Both recommended: install the bearings, try them at about half speed for a few minutes and increase by stages until the spindle is up to full speed. If all is OK run it for 20 minutes with thermometers stuck in near critical places and one to register the ambient temperature. If the temp rise is less than 10 degrees F increase the preload if possible. If the temp rise is greater than 40 degrees F decrease.

    If the machine is equipped with spindle cooling remember that cooling will mask temperature rise readings. I may be necessary to shut down the cooling and maybe reduce the flow or circulating oil to the spindle bearings so that temperature rise characteristics show up clearly and distinctly. No harm will come to a set of roller or ball bearings under restricted oil flow. A few drops per minute is all that's really necessary provided it's directed into the rollers/balls.

    Speaking of spindle bearing classes, here's a handy class of precision sheet from Timken. http://www.timken.com/en-us/solution...ionLevels.aspx

  14. #14
    John Garner is offline Stainless
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    How "traditional" do you want to be?

    Back between WWI and WWII the standard grease for rolling-element bearings was thickened with sodium soap and probably somewhere between NLGI 2 and NLGI 3 consistency. If I recall correctly, Texaco called their version of this grease "BRB", an acronym for "Ball and Roller Bearing". Hardware and auto supply stores sold similar greases as "wheel bearing grease" that, in more recent years, needed to be clearly labelled "not for disc brakes".

    A modern substitute for the sodium-soap bearing grease would be one thickened with a calcium-sulfonate, calcium-complex, lithium, or lithium-complex soap. One that I particularly like is Castrol's lithium wheel bearing grease, which sells for about US$ 5 a pound at many of the fast-food auto supply stores, some real auto supply stores, and some hardware and discount stores. The Castrol grease has a mild scent, is only slightly darker than regular petroleum jelly -- no moly disulfide, graphite, or red dye to stain my T shirt -- and in my experience it holds up really well.

    Cato's Mystik JT-6 and Lubrimatic's Marine Corrosion Control and Wheel Bearing greases have worked well for me over many years, but I do prefer the Castrol grease now.

    John

  15. #15
    Mud's Avatar
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    If you have a jobber in your area that sells Kendall products, I can recommend their SHP grease. It's a nice NGLI #2 grease and it stays in place in bearings and resists washout. We've experimented with many lube products and it's now our go to lube unless something like Moly is warranted or another specific lube like Kluber is specified. I use it in my machines, in truck and car wheel bearings, as assembly lube, even under the subplates and fixtures on our VMCs. Comes in tubs or in tubes.

  16. #16
    lazlo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRIowa View Post
    1. An ABEC class 3 bearing would not be considered a spindle bearing by most. Most precision spindles use ABEC 7 or 9.
    Tapered roller bearings use a different rating system than ABEC. Class 3 tapered roller bearings are equivalent to ABEC-5. Class 0 tapered roller bearings are ABEC-7. Class 00 is ABEC-9.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest
    I always thought a short fiber bearing grease was the preferred stuff for an older spindle bearing set.
    That's what the Millrite manual calls for (from memory): "short fiber, spongiform grease"

    I actually used Kluber on my Millrite that I got from a friendly member here.

  17. #17
    spope14 is offline Stainless
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    I will second the Kluber Lube recommendation, My Tree machine specifies this for the timken top and bottom bearings of the spindle assembly (not for the the bearings in the spindle cartrige, these are sealed components). Quieted down the bearings quite a bit and got them running fine.

    $19.00 for a small tube though, but cheaper than new bearings.

  18. #18
    Bearing Man is offline Plastic
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    ABEC 7 and 9 are call outs for ball bearings not tapered roller bearings. If you are using highspeed angular contact bearings, oil would be the way to go as long as you have good seals.

    Hope this helpts.
    Quote Originally Posted by JRIowa View Post
    1. An ABEC class 3 bearing would not be considered a spindle bearing by most. Most precision spindles use ABEC 7 or 9.

    2. If you were using a precision high speed bearing, Timken recomends the following;
    Kluberspeed BF 72-22, FAG Arconol L-75, FAG Arconol Speed 2-6, Lubcon Highspeed L252, and SKF LGCT2. My hardware store does not carry any of these.
    JR

  19. #19
    JRIowa's Avatar
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    It's a 5 year old thread!

    BTW, the OP put the class on!
    JR

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