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Renovating a filing cabinet, where to lubricate and which lube?

Discussion in 'General DIY' started by DIYNotIan, 28 Sep 2019.

  1. DIYNotIan

    DIYNotIan

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    Hi all

    Just bought a cheap old metal filing cabinet which has been stored in a garage for decades. I'm cleaned it out and now I want to lube the runners. Some of the wheels on the runners were so dirty and gunked you could hardly turn them by hand. But I have some Multisolve, and a little squirt with that fold with a brush down has gone them turning freely again.

    So, what lube would be best to use? All I have in the house at the moment is WD40 (which I don't think is suitable), 3-in-1 general purpose oil, and Regin REGZ40 Silicone (Plumbers) Grease. Are any of them any good and if not what's best to get. Silicone based, lithium based, PTFE, spray, grease? There's so much choice and I must get round to finding out what's best for what application...

    The other thing I wondered is whether I should just lubricate the wheels, or whether I shold put some lube in the channels as well (i.e. inside the cabinet, as per the second photo).

    Any help appreciated and all lube nudge nudge wink wink comment acceptable, seeing as it's the weekend :)

    Cheers


    Filing Cabinet Runner 01.jpg

    Filing Cabinet Runner 02.jpg
     
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Now you have unscrewed the runners (grooved metal strip with ball bearings) you can clean it out more thoroughly. White spirit and a brush should do.

    these runners tend to clog with dust, grit, fluff and hair, which sticks to the grease.

    So after cleaning them out, I think a non-greasy lube would be best because it will not hold the dirt and you could brush or hoover the dirt out in future..

    Graphite powder is used in locks for this exact reason and is sold in places that sell locks. A 5g container will last you a lifetime. It only needs to be applied two molecules thick.

    There are some dry lubricating sprays containing PTFE on the market now as well.
     
  4. DIYNotIan

    DIYNotIan

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    Thanks JohnD, very helpful. When you refer to the runners, you mean the parts inside the cabinet (as in the second photo)? If so, there are no ball bearings in there. They are just empty channels for the wheels to run along...

    ["Guy Fawkes, we need you now" - very good! :) ]
     
  5. JohnD

    JohnD

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    yes, but the channels also accumulate dirt.

    (mine are slightly different)

    If yours have no balls it might not be necessary to unscrew them.
     
  6. DIYNotIan

    DIYNotIan

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    Balls, screwing, lube... It's only a matter of time...

    OK, great and thanks for the advice. I'd already cleaned the channels in the cabinets but only with a lightly dampened cloth to get out the dust etc. I'll do the same with white spirit.

    As for the wheels on the rails, I'll take a look at the graphite powder and dry PTFE sprays you recommend. I used to have a can of Superlube which contained PTFE and was great. I used it for my office chairs, door hinges, guitar parts, all kinds of stuff and it kept things lubricated for such a long long time. Hated the smell though!

    So just to be clear, are you saying I should just lubricate the fixed wheels on the rails I've detached? Or would you also lube the channels in the cabinet even if they are just empty channels with no ball bearings or anything?

    Cheers
     
  7. JohnD

    JohnD

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    on yours, probably just the axles the wheels move on.
     
  8. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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