Oil vs. WD-40? And cleaning.

Can I use WD-40 on my Kelsey 5x8? Or does it need to be a certain kind of oil? If not WD-40, why? I’m just curious. How often should I be lubricating the parts?

Also, do I need to clean the press (ink plate + rollers) after every use? Mineral spirits is fine to use, yah?

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a 30 wt. non detergent oil is best, wd40 is ok, regular motor oil is also good, your 5x8 kelsey is not a high speed production press, as long as you have some lubricant on the moving parts you should be ok. it is best to washup every day, rubber ink can be left over night, oil ink will dry and could hurt your rollers if left over night. Good Luck Dick G.

3-in-1 is the best way to go?

I’d avoid WD-40. The WD stands for Water Displacement and it doesn’t really have any lasting effects as a lubricant. What you are looking for is a longer lasting lubricant. 3-in-1 oil is fine, but it’s expensive. Just buy a small oil can and a quart of 30wt non detergent oil as suggested above.

Hope this helps,

I endorse Brad’s comments regarding WD40.
It may be OK for freeing up seized parts, but just don’t leave it at that without the use of lubricating oil, preferably penetrating;
If you do leave as is, after a couple of days of no use you’ll find it’s all locked-up solid.
This particularly applies to small items of equipment such as numbering boxes.

Just to add to Brad and Bern’s comments.. WD-40 is not a lubricant! It’s job is to displace water and was created to stop jet engines seizing up but it will damage your press if used instead of oil. As a rule I try to lubricate once a month on smaller presses and more often if it’s having heavy use.

For a small press like a Kelsey 5 x 8, you can’t beat 3 in 1 oil. It’s just the right viscosity, and lubricates quite well… plus it smells like an oil should smell.

As far as WD 40…. it’s great for cleaning and free-ing up stuck parts, but not so good as an oil. If you want a good spray lubricant, use “Break Free LCP”. It sprays like WD 40, protects against rust, and doesn’t evaporate away.

….and YES you should clean up your press at the end of each day. Leaving ink on a press overnight is an indicator of a less-than-dilligent printer.

I picked up some 3-in-1. Seems to work well, so… yay.