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Thread: Lubricating the Flexshaft

  1. #1
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    Default Lubricating the Flexshaft

    CarveWright/CompuCarve Customers,
    (Updated August 2011)

    Please read the following technical note carefully and perform the recommended flexshaft lubrication.

    The flexshaft construction consists of several layers of tightly wound springs around a solid wire core. These springs are wound in alternating directions to maintain the torsional stiffness. This layered construction provides the needed flexibility, but also causes considerable internal frictional heating because the layers are rubbing against each other rapidly as the shaft spins at over 20,000 RPM. If there is not sufficient lubrication within this layered structure the flexshaft will heat up to a temperature that is higher than recommended.

    We have found that a penetrating lubricant containing solid molybdenum disulfide particles (moly) yields superior results. No grease!!! Use extreme caution when using any lubricant. It can be an irritant and is usually toxic.

    We recommend that all machine owners purchase this lubricant and lubricate the flexshaft according to the following procedure:

    1.) One way is to lay out a plastic bag or sheet long enough to lay the flexshaft on. Using gloves and eye protection spray down the entire length of the flexshaft. Rotate the flexshaft and spray again. It is important that you let the oil penetrate the core. Another way is to place it in the bottom of a bucket and let it soak. Do not force a bend in the core.

    2.) Let the flexshaft dry thoroughly and then wipe off any excess lubricant before placing it back into the sheath. It can be wiped off with a lent free cloth or strong paper towel. You do not want excess to run into the bearings of the spindle.

    3.) Push the core back into the sheath and make sure that it slips into, and engages, the cutting motor. Turn the core with your fingers and feel for resistance of the motor. If the shaft spins without resistance push the core in as you slowly rotate it. You should feel it engage in the square slot in the motor. It should drop into the hole about 1/2".

    4.) Monitor the flexshaft while running your next project. Normally, the entire length of the flexshaft sheath will be the same temperature and slightly warm.

    If the sheath is running hot to the touch or exhibits localized hot spots along the length please contact us. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the procedure.

    We also now have a new "Care of the CarveWright Flexshaft" document that will help you identify causes of overheating. Check for these causes first! SEE ATTACHMENT

    We are often asked, HOW OFTEN DO I LUBRICATE THE FLEXSHAFT?

    1) A new Version C machine or remanufactured machine from LHR will arrive already lubricated and should not at first need to be lubricated.

    NOTE: A new Version C machine or an older model machine that has recently been installed with the CarveTight Spindle may at first run hotter than normal until it is “worked in” (about 10 hours of carving time).

    2) If purchasing a used machine, it may be a good idea to lubricate it according to instructions after you first get the machine.

    3) If you store your machine for the winter, summer or school breaks, it may be a good time to lubricate it before you start using it again.

    4) Beyond that, it will depend on the amount of usage or non-usage your machine undergoes. The best policy is to periodically place your hand in the middle of the shaft where it curves. Remember there is friction, so it will be warm. If it is too hot for you to hold your hand on the flexshaft or is over 70º C (158º F) when testing with an infra-red thermometer then you should consult the "Care of the CarveWright Flexshaft" document to rule out any sources of overheating and then it may be time to lubricate. Others use.

    WARNING! Over lubrication can be harmful to your machine, especially if you are not doing it properly.

    Thank you again to all of our customers. We value your input and as many of you can see we are using your comments and suggestions to continually improve our products.

    Best Regards,
    CarveWright Staff
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2011-Flexshaft.pdf  
    Last edited by lynnfrwd; 02-22-2012 at 05:19 PM. Reason: revised information

  2. #2
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    I know that some may interpret too hot differently so maybe a recommended temperature range that would be considered safe when checked with an infra-red thermometer would be helpful.

    I don't have an infra-red thermometer but would consider getting one for this purpose as I'm sure it could come in handy for other tasks but it would be nice to have a slightly more technical answer as to what is the acceptable operating temp.



    Mine operates at about the same temp that a fresh cup of coffee would fell like if in a ceramic cup. Hot, but within the range that I can keep my hand on it so I assume somewhere around 120 deg F.

  3. #3
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    See new updated information including an actual temperature for What is too hot?!
    CarveWright CX Packaged System - starting at $2000
    CarversClub 1 Year Subscription - $150.00/year
    Adv. Support w/out CC membership - $25.00/issue
    CarveWright Community Forum - PRICELESS!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynnfrwd View Post
    See new updated information including an actual temperature for What is too hot?!
    Were will I find the new update/////also I have been calling LHR for the past 2 days now and never any answer >>I am on hold for about 10 min and nobody answer are they still available #$%^&
    Last edited by henry1; 09-21-2011 at 10:08 AM. Reason: miss words
    Henry

    Every one has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.

  5. #5
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    Here it is: http://forum.carvewright.com/showthr...e-CW-Flexshaft


    Sorry you had trouble getting through. We go through time periods where ALL of us are on the phone and then suddenly, NONE of us are on the phone. Try not to call during lunch times as we are not fully staffed. We try not to have more than one person at lunch at a time. First thing in the morning, 9 to 10 is also a very busy time.

    If you send us your phone # and a good time to reach you, we can call you. Send to support at carvewright.com or sales at carvewright.com.

    The attachment is also in the first post of this thread.

    Connie
    CarveWright CX Packaged System - starting at $2000
    CarversClub 1 Year Subscription - $150.00/year
    Adv. Support w/out CC membership - $25.00/issue
    CarveWright Community Forum - PRICELESS!

  6. #6

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    I was having a hard time finding a spray lubricant with "moly" and could only find lubricants with synthetic "moly". After using two different spray lubes and still building too much heat for me to hold the shaft after a day or two of use I tried a lube I had used before and now after two weeks the flex shaft still runs a couple of degrees above ambient temp from one lubrication. Has anyone else tried "One Lube" by Slick 50?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalic View Post
    I was having a hard time finding a spray lubricant with "moly" and could only find lubricants with synthetic "moly". After using two different spray lubes and still building too much heat for me to hold the shaft after a day or two of use I tried a lube I had used before and now after two weeks the flex shaft still runs a couple of degrees above ambient temp from one lubrication. Has anyone else tried "One Lube" by Slick 50?
    I don't know of anyone who has, but I recall a couple decades ago I purchased some type of Slick 50 oil additive for a tractor mower. Seemed alright for that anyway.
    Michael T
    Happy Carving!


    ═══ Links to Patterns & Resources for CompuCarve™ & CarveWright™ ═══

    Visit the CarveBuddy Website for Additional Exclusive Patterns and Resources

  8. #8
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    Again I will say, I have always (started before LHR made any recommendations) used Lubraplate 930AA on my flex shafts and they barely even get worm. I just replaced the spacer spring on my older B machine because it was in 2 pieces - worn thru just above the middle. The B machine shaft case came unglued from the bayonet thing at the motor end recently, but I super glued it back together. We are talking about 1400 or so hours.
    Clint
    CarveWright StartU team member
    Web Site WWW.clintscustomcarving.com

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cestout View Post
    Again I will say, I have always (started before LHR made any recommendations) used Lubraplate 930AA on my flex shafts and they barely even get worm. I just replaced the spacer spring on my older B machine because it was in 2 pieces - worn thru just above the middle. The B machine shaft case came unglued from the bayonet thing at the motor end recently, but I super glued it back together. We are talking about 1400 or so hours.
    Clint
    Sounds great, Clint. Where do you purchase it from (link)? I see Amazon has a tube for $7.41+ $7.79 shipping. Is that where you order it from?
    Michael T
    Happy Carving!


    ═══ Links to Patterns & Resources for CompuCarve™ & CarveWright™ ═══

    Visit the CarveBuddy Website for Additional Exclusive Patterns and Resources

  10. #10

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    mine always seems to get stuck in the motor

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