Welcome to Laser Pointer Forums - discuss green laser pointers, blue laser pointers, and all types of lasers



Oiling Threads

Snecho

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
824
Points
93
Hey all

I have a host where I'm noticing the threads are getting a bit rough and scratchy.

I know that it's common that people oil their threads to make them smooth, but I've never done that before. I was wondering if anyone can suggest how I would go about doing it and what kind of oil I need to use, as I also have threads with an O-ring and I want to make sure it doesn't degrade.
 
Last edited:



RedCowboy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 10, 2015
Messages
9,226
Points
113
Chase your threads with a tap and chase your lens barrel threads with a die but I wouldn't put oil anywhere near my laser diode/lens as it will end up on your window/lens.
 

Lifetime17

Well-known member
LPF Site Supporter
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
6,058
Points
113
Hi,
If the threads on the host begin to get a little grabby, put a small amount of grease or Vaseline on the threads. Work the lube into the threads buy a gradually back and forth action instill you dont feel the threads grabbing each other . wipe the the excess lube off . that should work or like Red said chase the threads with a tap for inside or a die for outside threads if you know the thread pitch size. Aluminum has a tendency to get oxidized and dry .
Rich:)
 

RedCowboy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 10, 2015
Messages
9,226
Points
113
A tiny amount of lube will go a long way, try to use as little as possible and like Rich said wipe all the excess away then run your lens back and forth, a little bit of lube will work it's way up and down your threads, too much could make a mess. :)
 

Ramsey_innovations

Active member
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
375
Points
28
Let's not forget about Teflon tape as an option as well. If you don't like Teflon tape a small dab of molybdenum would do the trick. I'd personally avoid using oils since they tend to migrate significantly over time, even Vaseline tends to migrate somewhat when heated.
 

Lifetime17

Well-known member
LPF Site Supporter
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
6,058
Points
113
Hi,
In Snecho's OP stated threads on his host , not on the lens barrel. That is why I stated using lube on the threads.
If the lens barrel threads are grabby , like RED said use a M9x0.5 thread die to chase them or a M9x0.5 bottoming tap for the female threads.
Aluminum threads have more of a chance of binding than Copper or Brass , this is why after machining host threads I apply a small dab of lube to the threads then wipe off the remaining lube. This makes the threads smooth for both male and female threads.
Hope this clears thing up.
Rich:)
 

Encap

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
5,576
Points
113
What LifetIme17 said above ^^^ +
Die and tap can clean up and extend thread life a bit but ruined and/or poor quality threads common in low quality low cost mass produced lasers are what they are.

The above being said---DeoxIT products are great on aluminum threads--they clean, improve conductivity, lubricate and protect. They have a wide range of products. see: https://caig.com/
A Q-Tip with original DeoxIT D solution is excellent for cleaning tail cap and battery compartment threads which blacken with use/wear, oxidase, degrade with time where electrical conductivity is important.
A light coating of silicone grease on o-rings works well and doesn't degrade o-rings or rubber.
 
Last edited:

Snecho

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
824
Points
93
Thanks for all the suggestions, wow that's a lot more ways than I expected.

Maybe it would help if I provided an example. I'm talking about lubricating the tailcap threads like here:
20200708_163148.jpg
20200708_163213.jpg
But mostly I have this threaded piece that screws into the head and holds the lens and it has an O-ring that is really dry and making it really hard to screw it in.
20200713_173259.jpg
From what I've gathered, using Vaseline or maybe some type of grease from Harbor Freight seems most appealing. The DeoxiT stuff looks interesting too, but I'm not sure how well it would work on threads and if it does lubricate well and not just clean.

I also heard about using a light coating of mineral oil? Would that be a reasonable choice?

I was looking at these:

Would Lithium Grease work for either application?

Sorry if this is a lot at once, this is just quite out of my area of expertise.
 
Last edited:

Philipnzw

Member
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
90
Points
18
If possible, do not use any oil based lubricants (Mineral oil, vaseline, baby oil etc) when there is an O-ring present. It tends to eat away at the O-ring. Instead, you can use a small amount of silicone-based lubricant, like the ones used for competitive rubiks cubes. Those do not have a reaction with the O-rings.
 

Snecho

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
824
Points
93
If possible, do not use any oil based lubricants (Mineral oil, vaseline, baby oil etc) when there is an O-ring present. It tends to eat away at the O-ring. Instead, you can use a small amount of silicone-based lubricant, like the ones used for competitive rubiks cubes. Those do not have a reaction with the O-rings.
Yeah, I think I'm starting to get it. Will the silicon lubricant also work on the metal threads below the O-ring?
 

Philipnzw

Member
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
90
Points
18
It does work, but i think it could interfere with electrical conductivity if you used too much of it. Anyway, i've been using silicone lube for my laser hosts and never come across that problem. To borrow a quote from the competitive cubing community, "A little goes a long way." So yeah just use a tiny drop of it.
 

Snecho

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
824
Points
93
If possible, do not use any oil based lubricants (Mineral oil, vaseline, baby oil etc) when there is an O-ring present. It tends to eat away at the O-ring. Instead, you can use a small amount of silicone-based lubricant, like the ones used for competitive rubiks cubes. Those do not have a reaction with the O-rings.
Thank you Philip, that really makes sense now! And thanks everyone for all the information.
It does work, but i think it could interfere with electrical conductivity if you used too much of it. Anyway, i've been using silicone lube for my laser hosts and never come across that problem. To borrow a quote from the competitive cubing community, "A little goes a long way." So yeah just use a tiny drop of it.
The lens holder doesn't rely on electrical contact, so I think the logical thing to do now is I'm going use a type of silicone lubricant on the lens holder with the O-ring, and this general type grease on the tailcap. https://www.harborfreight.com/85-gram-super-lube-grease-cartridge-93744.html

It's dielectric so it should be perfect for that. I might also look into the DeoxiT stuff in the future.

Hopefully I can figure out how to apply everything. Thanks again.

Also, looks like you like Rubik's Cubes quite a bit ;)
 

Philipnzw

Member
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
90
Points
18
Thank you Philip, that really makes sense now! And thanks everyone for all the information.

The lens holder doesn't rely on electrical contact, so I think the logical thing to do now is I'm going use a type of silicone lubricant on the lens holder with the O-ring, and this general type grease on the tailcap. https://www.harborfreight.com/85-gram-super-lube-grease-cartridge-93744.html

It's dielectric so it should be perfect for that. I might also look into the DeoxiT stuff in the future.

Hopefully I can figure out how to apply everything. Thanks again.

Also, looks like you like Rubik's Cubes quite a bit ;)
It was my previous wallet-draining hobby until i stumbled upon DIY lasers :LOL:
 

Snecho

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
824
Points
93
It was my previous wallet-draining hobby until i stumbled upon DIY lasers :LOL:
Rubik's Cubes are are wallet drainingly expensive? Are they gold plated?? :eek: :ROFLMAO:
I could never quite figure them out lol. I highly respect people that do.

Hey can I ask you something? What type of silicone lubricant do you use as you mentioned? I'm mostly finding sprays and silicone coatings.
 

Philipnzw

Member
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
90
Points
18
Rubik's Cubes are are wallet drainingly expensive? Are they gold plated?? :eek: :ROFLMAO:
I could never quite figure them out lol. I highly respect people that do.

Hey can I ask you something? What type of silicone lubricant do you use as you mentioned? I'm mostly finding sprays and silicone coatings.
Well some of the higher quality cubes do cost quite a bit, >30usd per cube IIRC.
It mostly drained my wallet because i decided to collect a bunch. Nothing really special about being able to solve it, most people learn the method online and just memorize the algorithms to put the cube back into a solved state. But overall it is quite a fun hobby, the real lesson to be learnt from it is "when you face a big problem, break it down to smaller ones, and solve the smaller ones."

Anyway, i digress.

Here's the type of silicone based lubricant that i use for my hosts.

You can also use the silicone lube in RC cars. They are essentially the same stuff. Some are thicker and "stickier" and some are lighter and "runnier". I guess for our use case in laser hosts, the thicker ones would be better as we don't want any lube going where it shouldn't go.

You can also search the term "treadmill silicone oil". Once again its essentially silicone lube.

IMO almost any type of silicone lube can work, as long as it does not contain water.
 




Top