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Thread: Grease for blocks?

  1. #1
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    Default Grease for blocks?

    I have a couple of these old teak shelled blocks with bronze roller bearings on shafts that look like stainless. There doesn't appear to have ever been grease in the bearings. Should I grease these? If so, what kind of grease.

    Please advise, KenIMG_6503.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbowen View Post
    I have a couple of these old teak shelled blocks with bronze roller bearings on shafts that look like stainless. There doesn't appear to have ever been grease in the bearings. Should I grease these? If so, what kind of grease.

    Please advise, KenIMG_6503.jpg
    I would think grease would be a good idea. I'd use white silicone grease or perhaps winch grease.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    I have a bunch of these old blocks on m y ketches...all used from swap meets.
    Gear oil.heavy weight ..at least 90.
    Get it in there with a zoom spout oiler.
    Grease dries up and turns to poo.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    LOADED QUESTION/SUGGESTION ?

    what about boat trailer wheel bearing grease lightly/gently injected in place w/ a syringe n skinny needle ?

    or cautiously hand wiped on contacting parts by fingers ?

    i've never had that stuff get wonky/stiff on me

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Even winch grease dries up over time. Which raises the question, how often will they get overhauled?
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Even winch grease dries up over time. Which raises the question, how often will they get overhauled?
    SERVICED ?

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    I have blocks similar to those and I oil them with triflow as sort of an event.
    Walking around the boat with an oiler that has a wee plastic extension hose takes about ten minutes
    I have others that have been upgraded to harken inserts, never need lubrication...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I have blocks similar to those and I oil them with triflow as sort of an event.
    Walking around the boat with an oiler that has a wee plastic extension hose takes about ten minutes
    I have others that have been upgraded to harken inserts, never need lubrication...
    what is triflow? About the harken inserts: do they replace the sheave, or are they a new bearing inside the sheave? I kind-of like seeing the bronze sheave...

    Ken

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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbowen View Post
    what is triflow? About the harken inserts: do they replace the sheave, or are they a new bearing inside the sheave? I kind-of like seeing the bronze sheave...

    Ken
    Great spray lubricant

    https://www.hardwarestore.com/brands...xoCLlsQAvD_BwE
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    I'm a big fan of these, got half a dozen. When new, they have a light weight oil, (sewing machine flavor).
    Gear oil stays put better and lasts quite awhile, when it's gone ,there is no dried up grease to scrape off.
    A bit gets on the line, that is a good thing, not a bad one. The most chafe a sheet or hlyd gets is where it is at rest, constant small movement.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by swoody126 View Post
    SERVICED ?

    sw

    Well, serviced would be squirting more lubricant in there periodically. I used to volunteer with the Kalmar Nyckel, and hours would be spent every winter overhauling something like one-third of the ships' blocks. So they get completely disassembled, scraped clean and refinished, lubed and reassembled. These are all stropped blocks, so a bit of marlinspike work is involved, too. So there's my distinction in the terminology. At any rate, if thick grease is used the block will have to be overhauled to clean it out properly. And while at it, fix up the varnish.
    -Dave

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    If they spin freely and smoothly, I would do nothing.
    If not, spray dry lubricant.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    'If I recall' , our Forumite Mr. Ledger did a thread not so long ago, where he fabricated a number of those blocks - Might be another good source of information -- ' just saying'



    Rick
    Charter Member - - Professional Procrastinators Association of America - - putting things off since 1965 " I'll get around to it tomorrow, .... maybe "

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    A traditional approach would be anhydrous lanolin. Gets very thick when cold, can be runny when very hot, but basically non toxic.
    Chuck Hancock

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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    I often use Vasoline on boat bits that want a "clean" lubricant, and there are plenty of "food grade" grease options out there.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gold Rock View Post
    A traditional approach would be anhydrous lanolin. Gets very thick when cold, can be runny when very hot, but basically non toxic.
    Lanolin would be a junky lube for roller bearings .

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Talow
    basil

  18. #18
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    Default

    I second the motion of no lube, since it has worked fine for years without any.

    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Lanolin is a viable lube for blocks. It would be disastrous for, say, wheel bearings, or anything else that sees any sort of consequential rpms or heat generation of course. I won't argue that one could demonstrate superior performance by other lubricants in certain selected areas, but I'm here to tell you that lanolin was a primary lube for a great many components of my rig on a 7 ton cutter that I sailed for 10 years, and I had no problems as a result. It worked fine for me.
    Chuck Hancock

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Lanolin is a viable lube for blocks. It would be disastrous for, say, wheel bearings, or anything else that sees any sort of consequential rpms or heat generation of course. I won't argue that one could demonstrate superior performance by other lubricants in certain selected areas, but I'm here to tell you that lanolin was a primary lube for a great many components of my rig on a 7 ton cutter that I sailed for 10 years, and I had no problems as a result. It worked fine for me.
    Chuck Hancock

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    I second the motion of no lube, since it has worked fine for years without any.

    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    I see no wear on the pictured block. It looks like it was barely used , not well lubed or not needing lube.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gold Rock View Post
    Lanolin is a viable lube for blocks. It would be disastrous for, say, wheel bearings, or anything else that sees any sort of consequential rpms or heat generation of course. I won't argue that one could demonstrate superior performance by other lubricants in certain selected areas, but I'm here to tell you that lanolin was a primary lube for a great many components of my rig on a 7 ton cutter that I sailed for 10 years, and I had no problems as a result. It worked fine for me.
    lanolin is for lubing screws, not machines
    ( mine is bigger for longer )

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    lanolin is for lubing screws, not machines
    ( mine is bigger for longer )
    It makes a nice lip balm too. ,)
    Chuck Hancock

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    I've had good results using a silicone high-vacuum grease. It stays greasy across an enormous temperature range, is resistant to water and most chemicals and doesn't harden or develop a crust due to oxidation like the hydrocarbon based greases.
    If you try it, be sure to wear rubber gloves as it's really almost impossible to wash off your hands when you're done.
    Sometimes you've gotta leave the kibble out where the slow dogs can get some....
    ... Roy Blount, Jr.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Those are not old blocks; they were made and sold maybe forty years ago. A drop of light machine oil now and then and every three years or so pull the axles and straps out, drop the sheaves in degreaser and start again.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    Those are not old blocks; they were made and sold maybe forty years ago. A drop of light machine oil now and then and every three years or so pull the axles and straps out, drop the sheaves in degreaser and start again.
    Triflow... with the "straw"
    I haven't taken mine apart in 25 years and I know they are just fine without disassembling them.


    I give them a squirt and a spin about once a week, or whenever I go sailing, whichever comes first!

    (Those with the (black) Harken inserts just disappear, they get flushed with fresh water once in a while. They also have less friction)
    BD96E806-960F-4E9D-B155-BC60D4821A7A.jpg

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    I located some of the magic tri-flow oil today! I gave the shells another coat of Tung oil and will lubricate and assemble the blocks tomorrow. Report forthcoming.... :-)

    Ken

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    No lube !!!

    Goblin came with then almost 70 year old blocks that had never seen lube of any sort. The roller bearings do the job dry (or wet with rain or spray or going in the water during a little knockdown. Greasy/oily lube will gather grit and salt and the dry lube's not needed.

    If you have worm gear steering, have fun lubing that. Some old boats have grease fittings near the stopwaters and you can have fun there. Lots of places to lube. Just not those blocks. Nor their modern equivalents.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Make sure you shake the bejebus out of your Tri-Flow. I may have used less than 100 gallons in my life, but I doubt it.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Grease for blocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    No lube !!!

    Goblin came with then almost 70 year old blocks that had never seen lube of any sort. The roller bearings do the job dry (or wet with rain or spray or going in the water during a little knockdown. Greasy/oily lube will gather grit and salt and the dry lube's not needed.

    If you have worm gear steering, have fun lubing that. Some old boats have grease fittings near the stopwaters and you can have fun there. Lots of places to lube. Just not those blocks. Nor their modern equivalents.
    It makes a substantial difference between oiled or dry,for me. The blocks work fine dry, but they work easier, quieter and better freshly lubed.
    b

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