Press lube

Hello! I am currently restoring a press and wanted to know what the best frequent lubricant for my press would be?
It is a 6.5x10 C&P Tabletop Pilot

thanks in advance!

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any motor oil will work for a table top i believe. a good oil would be a synthetic diesel product.

Corroborating Eric,s input, Yes virtually any Motor Oil will suffice in this day and age, and Synthetic Diesel Engine (engine oil !) is a good choice, & recommendation.

Usually with the Prefix H.D. implying High Detergent.
In conventional Diesel Engines normally to act as a detergent to keep the Oil as fluid as possible, under operating conditions, and to keep it thinner in mid winter. !

Not too relevant on Your average Table Top.

Modern Multi-grade(s) were well into the future when Table Tops were fist in circulation.

For 2/3 decades, when working out of Farm Buildings Chicken Sheds, etc., we had to >Fly On a Wing and a Prayer< when running Heidelberg Platens in Mid Winter, we could, basically, keep warm, but the H/Bergs with their Central pressurised oiling system, had to have thinner Oil in the Winter and Thicker in the Summer.!!

Hahaha. Where may I find these items?

automotive parts store… seriously, buy the cheapest stuff they have. it is far superior to the oil available when your machine was built. just a multi grade 10-30 or 30 wt but don’t go up to 75-90 gear oil. too thick unless you are in africa.

I hate to disagree with the other responses, but printing presses should always be lubricated with non-detergent oil. Detergent in motor oil does a couple of things, first it helps remove carbon buildup from combustion, second it helps lock away water. It accomplishes these things with additives that are acidic and other additives that contain Sodium and Calcium ions. Both of these things can cause corrosion over time to steel. The steel used in combustion engines is treated to minimize these effects and also the effect of high heat, but there’s no reason to treat steel for printing presses similarly, so untreated steel is generally used. You will increase the likelihood of pitting if you use detergent motor oil. We use 3 different oils on our equipment, depending on the application. 30w non-detergent oil is for heavier, load bearing parts and bushings. We use mineral oil on medium size parts and in older automatic oilers (This is the recommendation of both Heidelberg and Miehle in the 1950’s). We use light machine oil on small parts like numbering machines and counters. On a hand fed table top press nothing moves very fast and there’s not a lot of load on any parts. I also don’t recall there being any small or delicate parts. I would just go with the 30w non detergent oil. Hope this helps. joe

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I use hydraulic fluid. It’s available in a number of different of weights, has no detergent, no weird smell, and it’s cheap. By its very nature, it’s designed to be a very good lubricating oil for machinery. Here in Canada, I can buy a gallon of ISO AW46 (equivalent to SAE 20W) off the shelf in Canadian Tire for $20. Beats trying to track down esoteric small batch artisanal lubricants from specialty dealers.

i guess the jury is in… ANY lubricant will work better than none. what you have is a very slow speed/ low load press… Ant thing you use will make it work well. if it has been dry for a long time then maybe use a quart of the hyd fluid to start. To get the “Blood flowing”, then if 30w non detergent is readily available, it will be fine.
If you were to oil this machine every 1,000-2,000 impressions, you should be fine. a quart will probably last a long time. over oiling isn’t going to do anything other than make a mess of work station and press.
I, with 3 kluge 14 x 22 ehd presses that i have to manual oil, am a true believer in synthetic oils. i find i use less. i have run Very heavy jobs oiling non essential/ low load parts ev 20,000 impressions and side arms, main shaft bushings, and really expensive parts to replace, every 3 days, or 10,000 impressions. Just oil, casually. don’t Freak over it….

From my days in industry, there are three reasons for lubrication:

1. To provide an oil film for the bearing surfaces to run on, so there won’t be metal-to-metal contact (if metal-to metal contact were to occur, it would cause extreme wear)

2. To flush out contaminants and wear products from the bearings

3. To allow the bearings to run cooler

With our slow moving presses, item 3 is not applicable for us, except for motors

Item 2 above cannot be effective unless we lubricate enough so some lubricant will run out of the bearing areas, taking the contaminants and wear products with it.

I personally lubricate at the start of every operating day with 30 weight non-detergent motor oil. For my short runs, that works fine.