Mill Lubrication

Under development

Recommended lubricants include?
        Best oil for wooden bearings? 
See for a description of a modern research project looking at wooden journal bearings for steel shafts. Animal and vegetable oils mixed with beeswax have lowest coefficients of friction compared to graphite or petroleum oils. This result is thought to be related to polarity of bio-oil molecules (carboxyl groups of fatty acids) which bind to polar surfaces (hydroxyl groups) of the wood's cellulose molecules. Beeswax does make the mixture gummy and it may not allow adequate flow into the bearing surface from the lubrication point. Consequently, we use pure vegetable oils.  

        Type of grease for zerks? 

        Type of grease for bevel gears and friction tubes (sash guides)? 
When asked via e-mail about appropriate lubricants, the Technical Committee for the National Lubrication and Grease Institute replied as follows. 
"We reviewed photographs of your equipment on the web site that you provided.  For the wood to cast iron interfaces, we suggest coating the wood with a layer of paraffin wax (a possible source is Gulf Wax, which is used in candle making and canning).  The wax should reduce friction and conform well to the geometry of the shaft or oscillating part.  If the wax does not stay on the parts well enough, a block grease (NLGI grade 6) may be needed.  This is a specialty product, not available from most lubricant manufacturers.  A local lubricants distributor may be helpful in locating a source of that type of lubricant.  For the open bevel gears, an asphalt-based gear lubricant is recommended.  Please contact a local distributor of the lubricant supplier of your choice to help with determining the appropriate product for this application."

        Type of oil for babbitt bearings and metal to metal linkages? 
 According to a technical inquiry to Fine Woodworking magazine several years age, non-detergent motor oil should be used to lubricate metal to metal surfaces. Non-detergent oil has a tendency to stick to metal surfaces, whereas automobile engine oil containing detergent does not. Chain saw bar oil and high viscosity hydraulic oils fall are non-detergent oils. See also for a discussion of lubricants for babbit bearings

Locations to be lubricated include:
Steel Friction Tubes on Fender Posts Guide Sash

This is wood to steel sliding bearing joint that oscillates through a two foot span 100 times per minute when saw is running.  Steel friction tubes (guides for sash) on fender posts and wooden slider blocks on sash frame should be coated  along entire length with grease applied with a brush at the start of each season. Old grease  will gradually accumulate abraided filings and shards (splinters) of steel and should be occasionally scraped off with a putty knife. Avoid getting too much old grease on hands as author experienced some mild pain from shards when he allowed his hands to be covered in grease during scraping.  Suggest once a year is  an appropriate interval for scraping, given usage of Ledyard saw. 

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Rack and pinion gear opens gate on tank

This metal to metal mechanism operates at low speed and infrequently. Apply a coating of grease with brush once every year or so. Application reduces friction and prevents rust.

Bevel gears connecting turbine shaft to saw drive shaft

The gearing is metal to metal contact at 100 rpm when saw is operating. Teeth should be brush coated with grease once per year for lubrication and rust prevention.

Bevel on carriage reverse mechanism

Water tank gate opening gear

The metal to metal bevel gears should be brush coated with grease once per year.

Beneath the lower bevel gear is a pivot bearing which should be oiled with nondetergent oil once per year.

Line shaft babbit pillow blocks



Flywheel to pitman arm connection bearing

  Use high viscosity, non-detergent oil for this bearing.  


Saw frame to pitman arm coupling

            2 zerk nipples on front, 1 behind: use grease gun



Rag wheel spindle ends

Rag wheel or ratchet wheel drives the carriage advancement. 
Remove wooden plug and pore in vegetable oil. Replace plug. 

Wooden Pillow Block Bearings for Carriage Reverse Take Off

        Carriage advancement mechanism wood to steel pin joints
            Connecting arms from top of saw frame to rocker arm

            Rocker arm end sockets

            Rocker arm to hinged vertical rocker post

            Drive pawl to rag wheel

        Pivots at ends of rag wheel axel
Created and maintained by Warren D. Dolphin