Press Maintenance

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by fmj, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. fmj

    fmj Active Member

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    Just wondering what all y'all do for press maintenance?

    I was looking at my ram the other night thinking i might want to clean and re-lube it. What would i use? Just regular degreaser, then a quality bearing grease?
     
  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    i did a thorough clean on my xl650 a few weeks ago. complete dissassembly i used clp on the ram to cut through the gunk, then wiped it down with a clean rag, then just used light coat of gun grease.

    gunked up non-plastic parts got cleaned with a clp covered rag then wiped down real good to get the clp off. coulda used wd40 but i dont like the smell of that stuff.

    plastic parts got cleaned with a rag damped with water and dried. springs got cleaned with clp.

    i prolly coulda degreased it but the clp was handy.
     

  3. 1hole

    1hole New Member

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    You won't read much about it because it's not critical other than keeping it moderately clean and keep the moving parts wet with some kind of lube.

    About once a year I'll spray something like Windex on the body and wipe it down with a paper towel if it needs it or not. :D

    When it needs it, I'll use a paper towel to wipe the ram, then put a couple-three drops of a medium weight oil around the ram hole and work the lever a few times to spread it. Put a drop or two on each of the toggle link pins and I'm done.

    Don't know if that will make a press last forever but it's done very well on my old Lyman Spar-T for well over fourty years.
     
  4. fmj

    fmj Active Member

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    From everything i have read and heard, WD-40 has NO BUSINESS in a reloading room. From what i have read (no personal experience) the stuff de-activates powder and primers alike.

    Anywho...thanks! sounds like a good routine
     
  5. fmj

    fmj Active Member

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    I would say 40 years makes for a pretty good argument. Will keep in mind when i go down and service my press.

    Thanks
     
  6. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Im not defending wd40 but oil and grease deactivates powder and primers as does water and windex ;)
     
  7. fmj

    fmj Active Member

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    Aye, point taken. :)

    I dont even buy the garbage...as penetrating oil theres better stuff on the market, as a lube its useless (it gums up after time) so i just buy PB buster or liquid wrench and for lubes there 3in1, hoppes gun oil or a good gun grease.
     
  8. anm2_man

    anm2_man Member

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    Well if you care about the equipment, you should maintain it regular basis.

    Back in 1989 I bought a Dillon 550B. My kids and myself reloaded on this machine for about 17 years. We never cleaned/lubed nothing. If something got stuck, we cleaned it, but we never did any serious maintenance.

    After about 7 years, the bushing were so loose, that you could move the handle left/right about 2 inches. Sent it to Dillon and they rebuilt the machine like new.

    So after another 8 years, with the same Maint schedule (IE none), it was again in need of a rebuild. Had it done again, and gave it to one of my sons and purchased a XL650 for myself, 6 years ago. I also decided that I would strip/clean/lube the entire press after 40,000 rounds reloaded. I have done it twice now, and the press is still like new.

    So for your info, Maintenance works !:cool:
     
  9. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    I simply wipe mine down every 10 years or so. I clean my bench w/ an air hose, so I guess it gets clean. I use a single stage press. Silicone is all I have ever used to "lube" joints. Mine is 16 years old.
     
  10. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    mine belonged to my father, RCBS he bought over forty years ago. i just lightly lube the ram and wipe off the excess, lightly lube all the pivot points. that's all he ever did, so if i get forty years out of it, then he and i both got our money's worth out of it!
     
  11. noylj

    noylj Member

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    After 45 years, I have never worn out a press for lack of lubrication.
    You can go to the extreme of once or twice a year tearing down the whole press and cleaning and lubricating it. This might extend the life from 50+ years to 75+ years.
    A reloading press really doesn't need any tight tolerances, as you should be locking all your dies with a round still in the die so you establish the alignment and don't rely on tight tolerances.
    Cleaning is very important, if you are using a progressive press.
    You will want to clean any spilled items, like powder, immediately and you will want to keep things generally clean and lubed for ease of use.
    A single-stage press is so simple and so stout that wear is not that big an issue.
    Right now at my age, I'll never wear out any of presses.
    Also, most progressive press manufacturers will clean and overhaul your press for some nominal sum (where shipping is generally about 1/3-1/2 the cost of the refurbishment). This seems much better to me. I have other presses to use while it is off for refurb, but I don't "have the time" to do it myself.
    As such, there are no hard-and-fast rules. It depends on how much time you want to spend on the press and how much time you spend at the press.
     
  12. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    IMO, if you buy a quality press, and oil and lube the moving parts, (single stage, as i have no experiance with the progressives yet) they will probably outlast the original buyer and his grandchildren. looking at most of the quality made presses, they actually seem over built. made to last several lifetimes. single stages, there aren't a lot parts that move and wear out. just clean them every once in a while and oil the ram and the pivot points. GTG!:D