Need advice - Lubricant for RAS

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Forum topic by becikeja posted 07-06-2017 12:10 PM 714 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View becikeja's profile


1109 posts in 3587 days

07-06-2017 12:10 PM

I need to do maintenance on my Radial Arm Saw. It’s a 30 year old craftsman that still works great. The sliding arm is beginning to stick a bit, and the shaft needs a little lubricant on it as well. In the past I have used WD40 – not great results, and on another occasion I used a spray on silicone, again not great results, but both got the job done for a while. I know there is a better solution but I do not know what.

Any advice would be appreciated.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

8 replies so far

View hairy's profile


3073 posts in 4306 days

#1 posted 07-06-2017 12:21 PM

I would use wheel bearing grease or white lithium. All the auto parts place should heave it.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View Jimintomahawak's profile


73 posts in 1249 days

#2 posted 07-06-2017 12:21 PM

I use break free lube.
Doesn’t get sticky. Make sure you clean thoroughly first.

-- Laziness drives creative thinking...

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5289 posts in 4734 days

#3 posted 07-06-2017 12:33 PM

No silicone anywhere in my shop. That stuff can cause all sorts of probs with finishing.
A good cleaning with 220 sandpaper on the column, and a wipe down with 3 in 1 oil. Done
The arm bearings can use a blow out to get rid on the crud, check for any slop in the bearings and rail, adjust if needed, another does of 3 in 1. Those bearings are eccentric, so can be adjusted for the tightness on the bearing rails. I have even removed the rails, and turned ‘em over so that the lower bearing surface of the rail is now the upper surface.
Hope this helps.

-- [email protected]

View Robert's profile


3747 posts in 2255 days

#4 posted 07-06-2017 01:03 PM

Any oil should do. I’ve never had to lube mine. Check to see if you’re bearings are adjusted too tight.

BTW stickiness doesn’t bother me as long as it travels smoothly.

Actually I keep the locking nut slightly tight as it helps reduce self feeding.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View ThistleDown's profile


49 posts in 1491 days

#5 posted 07-06-2017 03:56 PM

Spray Teflon. Guns and tools. Amazon… Get the Dupont no silicon one.

-- My biggest fear is that when I am gone, my wife will sell my tools for what I told her I paid for them.

View Dwain's profile


614 posts in 4633 days

#6 posted 07-06-2017 04:09 PM

Bill White is preaching the word. Any light machine oil can be used. I would not suggest anything else. I think blowing out the crud from the bearings would go a long way to solving your problem as well. Good luck!

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View MrUnix's profile


8091 posts in 2973 days

#7 posted 07-06-2017 04:13 PM

Given it’s age, you might want to yank the carriage (just one stop bolt) and clean up the bearings (possibly re-greasing if needed)... and while you have it off, clean the rails really good and then give them a good waxing. Then put the carriage back on and adjust the bearings as described in the manual. Should be silky smooth after that. A dry lube will work also, but it’s really the bearings you need to address, not the rails..

For the column, a good dry lube with teflon works well… raise the motor as high as it will go (exposing as much column as possible) and clean it good – then lube it up and lower/raise it a few times to distribute. Don’t forget to get a squirt or two on the pinion gears and crank handle mechanism.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View becikeja's profile


1109 posts in 3587 days

#8 posted 07-07-2017 12:36 AM

Great advice. This is why I love this site, I can always count on you to help.


-- Don't outsmart your common sense

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