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can I use a high heat lube on a sticky air control?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by bag of hammers, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    I took the cover off the primary air slide this past weekend to see why it likes to "stick" a bit at the top end. I was looking for burrs or junk or whatever but things appear to be perfectly clean. On the Osburn 2200 the air control is a small rectangular plate that moves side to side and is held in place by 2 small 'slider" rails tacked to the underside of the stove. There is a bit of slack between the sides of the small rectangular cover plate and these little sliders, so the plate can actually "rotate" just a tiny bit as it slides, and bind up a bit, particularly when I first back the air down from the full open position. I can jiggle it a bit and it straightens out again so it's not a show stopper but I was hoping for an easy fix to an annoying issue (i.e. was hoping to just clean it out). The sliders are welded on, and it appears as though there are stops at both ends of the slide, so I can't easily slide it right out or rework anything.

    Is there a lube I can smear in there to make it slide better - something that won't burn up on me? I thought I read somewhere here that someone used graphite grease or something to loosen a sticky air control but for some reason I'm too brain dead to find the posts...?

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    How about just straight graphite powder?
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    graphite powder and never-seez are the two most popular solutions I think.
    raybonz and DAKSY like this.
  4. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    My air control wasn't really sticky, just not as smooth as I would like. I used plain powdered graphite, it worked very well.
  5. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Unless you can remove it and sand/polish it with emory cloth I would imagine graphite powder is your best bet. I can see even the best high heat lube would be a big ash dust collector and become more of an issue that help.

    Thinking outside the box a little and if you still cannot get it to slide the way you would like with the graphite powder maybe go on a little tangent and run it back and fourth alot and just sort of wear it in?? Depending on access you could even put a little abrassive in there and do the same thing but this may have to wait until spring cleaning?? Is this a new stove or new issue?
    pen likes this.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Whatever you put on there, don't worry about it bursting into flames. The pros and cons for the various lubes have more to do with staying power, gumminess, and heat resistance.

    I have used regular wd-40 on the intake slider with no worries. After several products I settled on 90 weight gear oil for hinge pins and door latches. If you can get it in there, 90 weight likes to crawl into dry areas and has high viscosity and temp resistance. I like liquid and I'd shoot some wd40 in there first, then work it back and forth to sort of wash out the junk causing the sliding plate to get crooked and jamb up.
  7. KodiakII

    KodiakII Feeling the Heat

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    Synthetic called Super Lube.
  8. 69911e

    69911e Member

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    I use a moly-graphite blend from my kids Pinewood Derby car supplies on hinges, door handle for the stove. Look for a dispenser with a fine needle at the tip.
    In general, I would stay away from any type of grease/paste as ash or dust will accumulate which increases the friction and makes a cleanup required before you can re-apply at a later date.
  9. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    thanks all for the excellent feedback.

    Highbeam - yeah, that thought did cross my mind - lots of heat mixed with some kind of lube - thanks for the sanity check.

    Bob - yes believe it or not I did actually do a couple of "speed runs" when I had it open - didn't make much difference though. This is year # 3 for this stove and the slide actually got a tiny bit worse over time which is what made me think it was just getting gunked up. But it was shiny clean in there.

    begreen - i believe I do have an old can of never-seez in the toolbox from way back when I actually used to tinker with the vehicles etc.. I see some common concerns here around the potential for grease to collect ash / dust over time, which I never even thought about - but since this slider was so clean when I opened the cover I'm wondering if a light coat of the never-seez might work ok for me. I can get the cover off in @ 30 seconds if a quick cleanup is needed, so it may not be a big deal, once in a while, maybe beginning of season would do it.

    got some ideas now - thanks again everyone....
  10. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The grease type products, including anti seize, that I have used do leave behind a carbon crud layer once the lightweight oils in them evaporate away. The antizeize is almost chalky when it dries out. The gear oil and wd-40 leave no hard residue behind. All of the prodcuts lose their lubricating properties in this environment over time and need to be reapplied which is why I ended up sticking with the product that did not leave behind a crust.
  11. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Is there a particular brand, or something I can grab off the shelf at an automotive store, etc...?
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    gear oil? or wd-40. Well, each is available at walmart or the local auto store. I use gear oil for lubing motorcycle chains too, as the manufacturer recommends for o-ring chains.
  13. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Yeah sorry it was the gear oil I was referring to. I see Castrol SAE 90 outboard gear oil in stock at a local box store - I can give that a try that for $7.
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    It would probably work fine but what I had on hand was regular 80-90w hypoid gear oil which is usually like 4$ per quart, the tall skinny quart, from just about anywhere. It has a sulfur smell if you get it all over the place.
  15. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Pretty much guaranteed with me...;lol
  16. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Walking thru a local hardware store looking for gear oil and - saw a small tube of graphite powder so I grabbed it. The air control plate is easy to access so I squeezed in a bit along the sliders. Worked great. Smooth as silk now. Just a follow up in case anyone's interested....
    pen likes this.
  17. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Honda recommended gear oil on their chains but I found it messy, flings off onto the tire and dirt sticks to it.. Switched to chainwax and that stuff works awesome with no flinging and no dirt on chain but this wouldn't be good for lubing woodstove parts...

    Ray
  18. Lowtech

    Lowtech New Member

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    Pyro-Lube sold by Kano labs. Great stuff I've used it in some stage lights that I was having trouble with focus control binding up as they got hot, really hot.
    High Temperature Lubricant - up to 1800 degrees F
    Pyrolube performs in industrial furnaces and heating equipment,
    where high temperatures create lubrication problems. Produces smooth graphoid lubrication. Will not drip or form abrasive particles. Grease or liquid. In a liquid carrier Pyrolube spreads graphite, evaporating at 600 degrees F, leaving a smooth graphite lubricating surface. Prevents metal-to-metal contact - reducing wear. Used on Kiln cars, Conveyors systems, Rotary kilns, Stokers, Baking and Drying ovens, gears, chains, bearings, glides...

    Used by Leading bakeries: Pepperidge Farms, General Foods, Brandtford Ltd.Glass Plants: Ford Glass Plant, Owens-Illinois, Libbey Owens
    Steel Plants: U.S. Steel, Central Foundry Division of GMC
    And others: Westinghouse, TVA, Continental Can, ALCOA
  19. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    My Jotuls have a similar air control, and both were a little hard to slide like yours, when I got them. I lubed with Moly Assembly Lube (used for new engine assembly) containing graphite powder. It's made to withstand heat, and when the oil does eventually dry out, leaves a graphite binder behind. It worked very well on mine.
    raybonz likes this.

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