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Gear in drive train froze on shaft

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mickri

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Had an interest thing happen today. The combo gears that allow me to switch between imperial and metric threading froze on their shaft and stopped the lathe. Because my craftsman lathe is belt driven the belt just slipped and no damage was done to the lathe. It was a real PITA to get everything apart. Took a couple of hours to get it apart and back together.

I don't use my lathe that often. Sometimes several weeks to a month goes by without using it. The grease on the shaft had solidified and froze the gears to the shaft which in turn unthreaded the nut holding everything together. I have been using lithium grease which must be the wrong stuff to use but that is all I have. What type of grease should I be using?
 

RobertB

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Jul 29, 2019
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Oil is used on lathes......before use,every time.
Yep, oil for all sleeve bearings, gear oil for gear teeth.

There are a few exceptions, like the hi-low gears on a mini lathe that are inaccessible and should be greased, but any grease needs to be renewed occasionally. Annually is a good rule of thumb.
 

markba633csi

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Craftsman lathe- zamak gears can sometimes be very snug fits on the shafts and can seize easily, I've seen that
 

mickri

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I looked at the manual for my lathe and sure enough it says to oil this shaft daily. The problem that I see is there is no way to oil this shaft without taking it apart. I can't imagine that you have to take the drive train apart every day to oil the shafts in order to use the lathe.

What am I missing?
 

KBeitz

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Apr 17, 2018
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I've had more problems with lithium grease than any other grease ...
 
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