Author Topic: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)  (Read 596 times)

Zang

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Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« on: July 11, 2022, 14:09:59 »
Hi all,

I am restoring very dirty Canon FD 85mm f1.8. I took apart the rear assembly (where you have the ball bearing and the aperture levers) and I cleaned it from dirt and oil. I am putting it together now and thinking its ball bearings might not need grease at all. Grease will catch dust and also it could get to the sensor in some situation. How is your experience, do you think I should put some grease in there?

Cheers,
Zang

Matthew Currie

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2022, 15:41:10 »
 I suspect someone like Richard Haw can chime in with more expert advice, but I'd leave them alone, because grease can induce drag.

The aperture mechanisms in the lenses and converters I've taken apart over the years were not tightly assembled or preloaded, and never showed signs of grease, and I suspect that at most they had a tiny bit of some light oil, and even that was uncertain, but if present was probably something very light and special, like clock oil.



Zang

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2022, 15:46:12 »
Thanks Matt! That was also my thinking. This is not a car bearing so I do not expect a lot of stress nor movement. I'll wait a bit for any potential input and will put the rest of the lens back together :)

Zang

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2022, 16:24:54 »
Ok, the lens is back in one piece.

There was a funny (well, not really funny) story to tell... I think Rick mentioned in one of his articles but I learned it the hard way anyway. I poured all the balls to my workshop carpet. A magnet came handy but I am sure I lost a few balls.

Matthew Currie

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2022, 23:08:35 »
At a far older age than I would care to admit, I have finally gotten into the habit of doing things like this over a big roasting pan.

What never fails to surprise me is how far, and in what unlikely directions, a little part can roll, bounce, or simply be carried off by invisible elves. Or tomtens, depending on where you do it.

Zang

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2022, 23:21:12 »
LOL

You are right again... I found two more balls that 'jumped' a bit further from where they were dropped. The worst part was, when opening the assembly to put those two in, all the balls got poured out from the casing and I needed to start over again.

Snoogly

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2022, 09:20:37 »
These days getting dressed and undressed gives me similar challenges. Lost items of clothing every day!

But when I do surgery on lenses, and especially computers, I have a tendency to lose track of things.

It’s either my age, or the gin :-)
***************
Richard Hawking (not Richard Haw!), in Tokyo

Erik Lund

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2022, 11:10:34 »
Make sure the steel balls and the ball races are completely clean - There is no need for any oil on these aperture leaver connections.
Erik Lund

Hugh_3170

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2022, 15:02:49 »
I recall pulling a lens apart and lossing some of the balls.  A local bearing shop sold me about 50grams (about 2oz) of identical sized steel balls (their minimum order amount), so this workaround is worth keeping in mind if the unthinkable happens.  Also line the tray with some microfibre cloth to stop the bounces.
Hugh Gunn

Zang

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2022, 17:26:49 »
These days getting dressed and undressed gives me similar challenges. Lost items of clothing every day!

But when I do surgery on lenses, and especially computers, I have a tendency to lose track of things.

It’s either my age, or the gin :-)

:) :) :)

I did lose a few parts when rinsing my lens element in my sink after dipping them in mineral spirit over night. That was a painful lesson :(

Zang

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2022, 17:27:33 »
Make sure the steel balls and the ball races are completely clean - There is no need for any oil on these aperture leaver connections.

Thank was exactly what I did. Thanks Erik!

Zang

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2022, 17:28:58 »
I recall pulling a lens apart and lossing some of the balls.  A local bearing shop sold me about 50grams (about 2oz) of identical sized steel balls (their minimum order amount), so this workaround is worth keeping in mind if the unthinkable happens.  Also line the tray with some microfibre cloth to stop the bounces.

Oh yeah, I put towel paper when doing the second attempt. All is good now, thanks for the tip :)

longzoom

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2022, 21:18:43 »
You may add a little drop of watches oil, very little, on the end of the needle. Please put it on the path of the balls. Do not let the oil spread on the aperture - be careful. Good luck!    LZ

Zang

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2022, 14:04:09 »
You may add a little drop of watches oil, very little, on the end of the needle. Please put it on the path of the balls. Do not let the oil spread on the aperture - be careful. Good luck!    LZ

I do not have watch oil :) The balls expose to the back in some part of the case so if I get the oil in the future, I might consider putting some there like you suggested. Regarding spreading the balls out, as soon as I unscrew the case, they pour out and it is very difficult to prevent it from happening. It is easier to put them back than trying to keep them in the path when opening the case.

Erik Lund

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Re: Do I need grease for those ball bearings? :)
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2022, 08:26:59 »
You may add a little drop of watches oil, very little, on the end of the needle. Please put it on the path of the balls. Do not let the oil spread on the aperture - be careful. Good luck!    LZ
Yes, that also works ;)
Erik Lund