Lubricating Guide Carriages
July 10, 2017 12:07PM
I am curious as to lubricating my Guide Carriages. If it would help? If I can? Or if I should?

First off I have a Kossel Mini that came with some Chinese knockoff Linear Guide Rails & Carriages. They are not official HIWIN but just a generic brand. they have been running ok since I got the printer but I over time they have just become a bit more noisy. Also I have noticed a little rattle like sound when I print now. I do not know if it is from them or not. I thought it may be a loose bolt or something but they are all tight. I have narrowed it down to either the Carriage Bearings or the twang of the Belt. smiling smiley LOL If that makes sense. I am sort of leaning to the belts as when I pluck them it sort of does make that rattle sound I now hear when I print. But the bearings themselves are a little bit more noisy than when I first got them.

Anyways... It got me thinking on the carriages and lubrication. These Guide Carriages do not have grease nipples on them but they do have a little hole on each end but those holes do not seem to pass all the way into the carriage. There is a green plastic spacer between the red rubber end and the carriage itself with another plastic but thinner green shim on the top half only and it looks like the holes just go to that thinner green shim. It does not seem to penetrate into the Carriage itself. So it doesn't look like these bearings can be lubricated like ones with actual grease nipples.

I am wondering if it would be OK to just lightly lubricate the rail then just run the carriage over it to work it in?

Also which type of lubricant would you recommend, if any, for Guide Carriages?
(I have done a bit of research on what lubrication to use and noticed that Super Lube with PTFE is highly recommended but I mostly notice that it is mentioned for rods and screws. I have not seen much talk about the Guide Carriages Lubrication in this regards. But I do have a tube of Super Lube as well as some Lithium Grease and other silicone based penetrating oils and such. I am not sure what these Chinese Guide Carriages are initially lubricated with if they even are. I am thinking that Super Lube would be the one to go with if I can or should.)

Another question I have is if I lubricate the rail on the outside would the lubricant even get in? The Carriages have rubber seals on the ends that seems to brush the rails pretty tightly. You can see it clean the dust off, which is their purpose. Would something like Super Lube make a small enough micro layer of lubricant to get into the Carriages and lubricate them? Or would it be better to lubricate the Carriages from the under side by applying a very small dab to the bearings themselves? As I can see the bearings when I flip over the Rail and Carriage.

Any thoughts on this subject would be appreciated. winking smiley

I attached three pics of my Carriages so you all can know exactly what I have. They are just Generic Chinese versions.
open | download - Carriage Pic 1.jpg (189.3 KB)
open | download - Carriage Pic 2.jpg (217 KB)
open | download - Carriage Pic 3.jpg (115.4 KB)
Re: Lubricating Guide Carriages
July 10, 2017 12:49PM
Recommend Slick 50 One Lube, a short shot on each under-side on the bearings. Move while still wet to circulate balls.
Not only is One Lube a rust preventative, it also deposits a micro layer of PTFE.
You can also spray some on a cotton rag and wipe the rails down to clean them.
Re: Lubricating Guide Carriages
July 11, 2017 06:39PM
Thanks for the suggestion.
Re: Lubricating Guide Carriages
June 30, 2018 11:53PM
Can you confirm if this worked or not? I'm having similar problems with my FLSUN Kossel.
Re: Lubricating Guide Carriages
July 02, 2018 02:46AM
Ive just got some of those cheap linear rails, first thing i did was clean and grease them which made a huge difference.

I used wd40 to clean them first then some 1200 grit wet n dry very lightly on the rails, cleaned again and greased with lithium based grease using a grease gun with a point on the end.

There is one thing missing from these rails and thats the caps that go in the bolt holes on the rails. Normally these caps fit flush so when the carriage runs up and down the wipers can do there job but when theres no caps rubbish can get inside the carriage.

I have thought about filling the holes with silicone and then slicing them flush, cant find the caps anywhere for sale on small rails .
Re: Lubricating Guide Carriages
July 15, 2018 07:06AM
I thouhgt about 3d printing the caps.

I read somewhere to protect the rails by vaseline, thinned with isopropanol and let dry. The balls replaced by high precision balls (Hiwin 2.381 mm = 3/32 inch, clones 2.5 mm in most cases), then oiled.
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