Keith Cross phoned me this morning asking what he should do about oiling the motors on the two Mass Art shop Vandercooks. One has an oil cup (or two?) with spring cap(s); the other, two cap bolts on top of the gear box similar to my late model SP15. What did I do about oiling the motor on my press he wondered.
I had to say that I had never in the 16 years I’ve owned my SP15, ever concerned myself with oiling the motor, or rather, the gearbox. The motor armature turns on sealed bearings does it not?
The SP15 Manual in all its brevity, states: “follow motor manufacturers instructions for lubrication of the motor.” The make and model of the motor are not in plain view. There is no addendum in the manual, nor instructions in any of my paperwork. All other lube points on the press are mentioned under the LUBRICATION heading as well as the schematic and parts diagrams.
My curiosity piqued, i spun the forward most cap bolt off my gearbox and shown a light down in. I could see the box was essentially dry, with the tan patina on steel parts of 44 year old oxidized lubricant.
So, do I top my gearbox up with S.A.E. #20?
Or is there some intermediary level to come up to, e.g. as in an automotive differential, to avoid losing mechanical drive energy to the resistance imposed by fully immersing ring and pinion in a heavy oil bath?
And is this even necessary? It’s run fine for years.
mjb / interrobangletterpress.com