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Silicone Grease Alternative?

eyedropper pilot parallel silicone grease converter ink pen

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108 replies to this topic

#61 Ron Z

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 11:12

You can use it.  This is the silicone grease sold by scuba shops, and what I used for many years.


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#62 chad.trent

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 12:51

You can go by your local hobby shop and get some as well. A lot of radio control car kits come with tubes of silicone grease. Way more than you need for building the kit. Most of the times the almost-full tubes just get thrown away. I'm betting you can find all you need there.



#63 DavidCampen

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 19:33

What did people use in the old days, pre WWII, before silicone grease existed?

http://www.dowcornin..._index_page.asp

 

Don't people worry about contaminating the nib's feed with silicone and ruining the flow of ink?

 

To quote from a Parker service manual (italics used for emphasis come from the text) "It is strongly recommended that the handling of the feed and collector is kept to a minimum to avoid contamination which can seriously affect the ink flow".

 

The Parker manual's concern I think, is about contaminating the feed with grease from your skin, contaminating a feed with even traces of silicone grease could be much worse.


Edited by DavidCampen, 11 February 2017 - 19:38.

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#64 Jamesbeat

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 20:24

Vaseline will melt rubber, cooking oils may make o-rings expand. I used both of those on Nerf blasters (I'm a child at heart, yes) as lubrication, neither ended well. You know something's wrong when there's sticky black gunk coming out.

Silicone grease is very useful in many applications - general purpose lubricant that's safe for plastics. They sell it at ACE hardware too, might need to do a litte searching, but it's in the plumbing section.
 
acesilicone_zps6d6a416b.jpg
However, it's *not pure silicone because there's a thickener (silica AKA chemically the same as sand) added to it, according to Wikipedia. I suppose going for the ones labeled 100% silicone would be safest, not sure if the diving grease is thinner than pipe grease.

I used silicone grease on top of teflon tape when converting my Platinum Preppy and Uni-Ball Vision Elite into eyedroppers. The original threads were too loose, and I didn't like putting too much grease in there to fill in the gaps.


This is the stuff I use too. Not for eyedropper conversions, but for general pen use.
I think the silica is just to thicken it. Silica isn't very reactive, so I can't see it causing a problem.

On the subject of vegetable oils, I don't think they are safe for plastics.
I have a PS3 controller that originally belonged to my son.
Due to the propensity for teenagers to eat chips and play video games, it came into contact with vegetable oils.
Over a period of time, the oil made the plastic of the analog sticks swell, and it stopped them returning to center because they started to bind.
I had to dismantle the controller and sand the swelled areas down to get it working properly.

#65 RonLyke

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 12:23

Dive shop
Good stuff
Cheap

#66 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 19:08

Hello all,

I've heard a couple people here recommend BEESWAX because it seals AND it's supposed to be water soluble, (if it accidentally gets in the feed). Its also readily available at Wal-Mart.

Anyone here know about this?

- Anthony
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#67 praxim

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 22:08

If the purpose (post 1) is sealing against ink leakage, i.e. water, then something water-soluble sounds less than ideal. I doubt beeswax is readily soluble though. I have not tried it.
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#68 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 22:30

If the purpose (post 1) is sealing against ink leakage, i.e. water, then something water-soluble sounds less than ideal. I doubt beeswax is readily soluble though. I have not tried it.


You raise an interesting point on the solubility. However, a couple members here suggested beeswax when I voiced concerns about how do you flush out and clean an eyedropper for occasional, routine maintenance WITHOUT also flushing the silicone grease into the feed?

That is when it was suggested to avoid silicone grease altogether and use beeswax instead. Perhaps the beeswax could stand up to ink, but would become soluble by using soap and water... I really don't know myself... I haven't tried it.

But I am considering it because the sg can be a REAL PITA when you need to flush out the pen.

- Anthony
With thanks to my Mom & Dad; who taught me to run free, but not run wild.

Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D

#69 cattar

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 23:14

Beeswax is often used for waterproofing.
Beeswax is recommended for the threads on eyedroppers because it's not water soluble, so it seals in the ink.
Coat the threads, don't get beeswax inside the barrel.
You don't want to clean waterproof wax bits out of a feed.

Don't use beeswax to lube a piston.
Use pure silicone from a dive shop or kayak outfitter or pen supplier. Don't flush it out of the barrel.

#70 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 00:10

Hello Cattar,

Okay, thank you for this useful info. :)

Knowing this, I might as well stick with the sg I got from Goulet and make the best of it. :D

Someone please remind me why I use fps when rbs are so much easier. :unsure:

:D

- Anthony
With thanks to my Mom & Dad; who taught me to run free, but not run wild.

Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D

#71 cattar

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 00:15

Because fps are so much more FUN! 😛


Eta emoji!

Edited by cattar, 13 February 2017 - 00:16.


#72 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 01:12

Because fps are so much more FUN! 😛


Eta emoji!


Ah, okay... I knew there was something. :)

- Anthony
With thanks to my Mom & Dad; who taught me to run free, but not run wild.

Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D

#73 DavidCampen

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 03:53

You raise an interesting point on the solubility. However, a couple members here suggested beeswax when I voiced concerns about how do you flush out and clean an eyedropper for occasional, routine maintenance WITHOUT also flushing the silicone grease into the feed?

That is when it was suggested to avoid silicone grease altogether and use beeswax instead. Perhaps the beeswax could stand up to ink, but would become soluble by using soap and water... I really don't know myself... I haven't tried it.

But I am considering it because the sg can be a REAL PITA when you need to flush out the pen.

- Anthony

Beeswax is not water soluble but it will not destroy the wetability of a surface the way a silicone grease will and it will be much easier to remove since it liquefies in hot water.

 

As for silicone grease, as an experiment, if you are ever on the work floor of an automotive paint shop, make a big show of touching and handling all their tools and equipment and then say "oh, by the way, my hands were covered in silicone grease when I walked in here, could I borrow a rag" and see what sort of panic and despair ensues.


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#74 JakobS

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 14:46

I have never worried about silicone grease getting into the feed of my ED pens. One, it doesn't take a lot of grease to create a seal against leaks, the threads don't need to be covered in a thick, or goopy layer. Two, you don't need all the threads to be covered, focus the grease on the threads closest to the section and you will have very little chance of it contacting the feed opening.  

 

As far as removing the silicone grease when cleaning the pen, I take a paper towel, and wipe off the threads both on the section and barrel. This takes a minute or two to do, and is very effective, as i have never found I missed a spot on a final look over before refilling.  


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#75 DavidCampen

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 15:36

An invisible amount of silicone grease on a feed is all it takes to severely affect the flow of ink to the nib.


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#76 DavidCampen

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 18:17

Silicone Contamination Guide for Automotive Paint Shops. Titled: "Three ways that silicone is killing your quality".

 

https://www.kcprofes...rofessional.pdf


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#77 Ron Z

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 18:36

You don't need to eschew the use of silicone.  There are appropriate applications for the material - lubricating piston seals and threads, lubricating the shaft and corks on safety pens, lubricating the back half of snorkel tubes, lubricating plunger rods in Sheaffer and Wahl plunger fill pens for example.  A good silicone grease is one that will resist washing off of the surface to which it is applied.   I use Molykote 111.    In all cases, silicone grease is used sparingly.  I go so far as to say that if you can see it, you have too much.  It is not uncommon to see it glopped all over plunger seals and rods, and of course it just piles up as the extra is scraped off of the rod, or barrel wall or what have you, ready to go where it shouldn't.  Less is better.

 

I have always argued against using silicone grease for sealing threads.  It is a lubricant, not a sealant.


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#78 Flounder

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 18:49

What did people use in the old days, pre WWII, before silicone grease existed?

http://www.dowcornin..._index_page.asp

 

Don't people worry about contaminating the nib's feed with silicone and ruining the flow of ink?

 

To quote from a Parker service manual (italics used for emphasis come from the text) "It is strongly recommended that the handling of the feed and collector is kept to a minimum to avoid contamination which can seriously affect the ink flow".

 

The Parker manual's concern I think, is about contaminating the feed with grease from your skin, contaminating a feed with even traces of silicone grease could be much worse.

 

I think I once read that rubber grease was around a long time beforehand, but as far as I understand it, true hard rubber eyedroppers did not require greased threads for an inktight seal, back in the day.


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#79 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 19:17

 
...I have always argued against using silicone grease for sealing threads.  It is a lubricant, not a sealant.


Hi Ron,

What do YOU use to seal ED threads?

- Anthony
With thanks to my Mom & Dad; who taught me to run free, but not run wild.

Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D

#80 Ron Z

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 20:19

Bees wax, or toilet bowl ring wax, though bees wax may better.  If you want to spread it around, put some on and soften it with a hair dryer or heat gun.

 

Flounder is right though.  They didn't use anything on early eyedropper threads.  I never have to seal the threads on the back knob end of safeties either.   


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