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  1. #1
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    Air Tool Lube as Spoke Prep?

    I'm about to build my first wheelset and was investigating using a spoke lube, but don't want to shell out for a name-brand (wheelsmith) to only use a handful of times. It looks like the goal of the lube is to keep everything spinning freely while under tension. Anyone ever used air tool oil for this task? It is a light oil that keeps my nailers and air guns going smoothly and its dirt cheap - plus I already have a bottle on my shelf.

    Any concerns?

    Thanks,

    -Brent

  2. #2
    Old Skool Dirt Bag
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    I use antiseize, lasts forever. Oil will wash away eventually.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4 Jaw Chuck
    I use antiseize, lasts forever. Oil will wash away eventually.
    I 2nd the antiseize, I've had wheelsets with complete corrision on top of alloy nipples and they just spun right off no problem. But if you want to go cheap at least use grease on the spoke threads and save the oil for the nipple/rim interface area.

    On these boards most people do not use Spoke Prep because it has a slight thread locker in it which a properly tensioned wheel does not need.

  4. #4
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    Most air tool lubes have a lot of volatile components in them to remove sludge buildup in the mechanisms.

    On these boards most people do not use Spoke Prep because it has a slight thread locker in it which a properly tensioned wheel does not need.
    Yep, I got my wheels pro-built, and apparently, among other oddities I found, he properly used Spoke Prep. The only problem is now I can't turn my nipples without winding up the spoke. I'll try some heat from a soldering iron, though I don't like that idea.

  5. #5
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    I think anti sieze makes for false insurance and a coverup for to low of spoke tension when all you need is spoke threads lubricated with about any oil and spokes properly tensioned up around 100Kgf. They will not loosen!
    Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmodavis
    I think anti sieze makes for false insurance and a coverup for to low of spoke tension when all you need is spoke threads lubricated with about any oil and spokes properly tensioned up around 100Kgf. They will not loosen!
    I actually find the complete opposite. The anti-seize made the nipples spin more freely, even after the nipples were corroded to the rim.

  7. #7
    Beware the Blackbuck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmodavis
    I think anti sieze makes for false insurance and a coverup for to low of spoke tension when all you need is spoke threads lubricated with about any oil and spokes properly tensioned up around 100Kgf. They will not loosen!
    Pretty sure you have an incorrect idea of what anti-seize is... Thread locker covers up for low spoke tension, when all you need is spoke threads and nipple seats properly lubricated... For example, lubricated with an anti-seize compound.

  8. #8
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    Lemme chime in on some old school....

    Linseed oil. It is a drying oil. The cool thing is that you can work with it in building a wheel and will lubricate very well. Then it dries and hardens acting as spoke prep, or lacquers. It does not take much force to break it loose after it has dried. As it dries it does not shrink which is another great thing about it. Another good thing is that it revitalizes after you give it more of its self... think re-tensioning and truing. It also is a great impregnator, meaning it will find it way into a spoke and nipple that may be full of grim, rust, or old oil/grease.

    As you can all see I am sold on linseed oil. But it works... and it works better than anything else I have tried to date.
    Bikeless Rider

  9. #9
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    +1 for boiled linseed oil. Pretty cheap from the hardware store- $5 for a lifetime supply.

  10. #10
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    intresting idea on the linseed oil... think i've got a jug of it in the garage from a wood project a decade ago haha
    - Surly Disc trucker
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  11. #11
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    Frankly, the most effective and lest expensive way is grease on the spoke bed, and anti-seize on the spoke threads.

    Take a spoke, thread a nipple onto it upside down, squeeze some grease out, roll the nipple in it, and then use it to apply it to the spoke bed.

    Just take the cap off the anti-seize, and stick the ended of the spoke it in just before you thread the nipple on.

    This will allow for the easiest wheel build up, and will keep the nipples turning smoothly years down the road.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Frankly, the most effective and lest expensive way is grease on the spoke bed, and anti-seize on the spoke threads.

    Take a spoke, thread a nipple onto it upside down, squeeze some grease out, roll the nipple in it, and then use it to apply it to the spoke bed.

    Just take the cap off the anti-seize, and stick the ended of the spoke it in just before you thread the nipple on.

    This will allow for the easiest wheel build up, and will keep the nipples turning smoothly years down the road.

    I think I need a visual demonstration... the method is not making sense to me at the moment. Are the two mixing??? If so... doesn't one negate the other, or both just cancel out? To me sounds like alot of steps. Not saying it doesn't work to fix the original problem... just saying I need more visualization and a better explanation.

    On that note.... one more on Linseed. This morning I completed a laceover. The original wheel was about 8yrs old and had a few curb kisses. When it was originally built it was linseeded. Spotted it when undoing the first few spokes, it had the dried linseed lacquer on the threads that flaked off. When more linseed was put on the rest of the spokes it reconditioned and prep-ed the nipple/threads for easy disassembly and reassembly.
    Bikeless Rider

  13. #13
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    Um...no...the two aren't mixing. You're applying the grease to the spoke bed, and the anti-seize to the spoke threads. The spoke bed is where the nipple seats in the rim.

    You're using the nipple threaded onto the spoke upside down to apply the grease to the spoke beds. Once you make the tool, it'll make sense. Then, once you're actually lacing the wheel up, dip each spoke's threads into the anti-seize.

    I don't like linseed oil because it tends to go where I don't want it to go, and I don't like anything drying up. A properly tensioned wheel doesn't need dried linseed oil helping keep nipples from turning, and I'd rather have the spokes turn freely if I need to tweak the wheel down the road. It's old school for a reason - the new options are just better, especially on a modern, high tension wheel.

  14. #14
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    ^^^ that's probably a slightly better method than I use. (IIRC, I think that's the same method MikeT uses)
    I just grease the beds w/ a q-tip and dip the spoke threads in grease. I guess I may be a bit lazier but I've had no problems with seizing over the years...YMMV
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    I don't like linseed oil because it tends to go where I don't want it to go, and I don't like anything drying up. A properly tensioned wheel doesn't need dried linseed oil helping keep nipples from turning, and I'd rather have the spokes turn freely if I need to tweak the wheel down the road. It's old school for a reason - the new options are just better, especially on a modern, high tension wheel.
    Sorry... let me mention it.... all wheels should be properly tensioned.



    "gets all over".... what did you use to apply it. All you need is less than a drop. I put it in a small bottle that lets out tiny amounts(a chain lube bottle, ie. dumond tech). It will find its way into a nipple and spoke... lubricating it long enough for you to work on (think spin freely). Then it will dry and lacquer... leaving no mess or residue to collect dirt or grime. Linseed lacquers (or dries up) but can become rehydrated by more of its self. Last I checked they use this stuff to finish wood... you ever seen a dirty wooden chair upon completion? Remember... all the while... you must have "proper spoke tension."

    BTW- Thanks for the explanation... makes more sense. Honestly, we are on the same page.... you take it a step further with lubing the spoke bed. I on the other hand think it sufficient to have a nipple and thread spin freely when you tell it to.
    Bikeless Rider

  16. #16
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    The fact that it's an oil makes it messier to work with. Like I said before, the fact it dries up is not a positive as any lubricant used is sealed inside the rim and inside the nipple. Having to rehydrate it to let the nipple turn freely again is a pain, and there's no reason for it with a properly tensioned wheel. You're just making more work for yourself.

    I build my wheels with high tension, around 130kg, and grease on the spoke bed helps keep the nipple turning freely, and keeps the two from galling when turned under high pressure.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    The fact that it's an oil makes it messier to work with. Like I said before, the fact it dries up is not a positive as any lubricant used is sealed inside the rim and inside the nipple. Having to rehydrate it to let the nipple turn freely again is a pain, and there's no reason for it with a properly tensioned wheel. You're just making more work for yourself.

    I build my wheels with high tension, around 130kg, and grease on the spoke bed helps keep the nipple turning freely, and keeps the two from galling when turned under high pressure.

    Thanks for the "facts," but it's quite apparent that you have never used linseed. Now how explicit do you want my instructions??? Like I mentioned... it takes less than a drop on each nipple. Walk away... get a drink, or take a wizz... come back. Less than 2-3min to rehydrate.

    No need to lecture me on properly tensioned. If you do a search on some of my other wheel building info, you will see that I mention it quite often. 130kg works only for some wheels and spokes. Depends on the rim, spoke gauge, material... etc.
    Bikeless Rider

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyrm
    Thanks for the "facts," but it's quite apparent that you have never used linseed. Now how explicit do you want my instructions??? Like I mentioned... it takes less than a drop on each nipple. Walk away... get a drink, or take a wizz... come back. Less than 2-3min to rehydrate.

    No need to lecture me on properly tensioned. If you do a search on some of my other wheel building info, you will see that I mention it quite often. 130kg works only for some wheels and spokes. Depends on the rim, spoke gauge, material... etc.
    I did use linseed, but that was well over ten years ago...might be closer to 15 years now. While I understand your instructions just fine, it's simply that I don't bother with linseed anymore because I have better, faster options. There simply isn't an advantage to using linseed oil over grease and anti-seize, though obviously I'm not going to convince you of it otherwise.

    No kidding tension is dependent upon the components used, but feel free to pick on the fact that I simply threw a number out there.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmodavis
    I think anti sieze makes for false insurance and a coverup for to low of spoke tension.....
    You're going to have to explain that one to me. And here's me thinking that anti-seize was a wonderful, purpose-made thread lubricant with ZERO thread locking characteristics. At least MY anti-seize is anyway.
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

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