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Chain Saw Bar Lube - Veggie Oil !!!

Post in 'The Gear' started by Sandor, Jan 11, 2006.

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  1. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I was lurking on an Arbhorist web site this past summer where guys were talking about using vegatable oil for bar lube. These guys use chain saws for a living. Very serious crowd. It seemed that over half of them used the veggie oil for bar lube with no adverse (equipment) effects. Most switched because of their wives complaining about the oily mess and smell on their clothes.

    I did not like the idea of spreading motor oil all over my property, so I thought I would give it a shot.

    After 4 months now, all I can say is that I will never go back to petro for the bar lube.

    The odd thing is, my saw is starting to get cleaner, the more I use it. I can sharpen the chain without my hands becoming an oily mess. The chain still has an oily coating on it. The chain also seems to run more free with less gumming. I see no evidence of premature wear.

    Anybody else use the veggie oil? If not, do our environment a favor and give it try. I'm convinced.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    It's a good thing for all the reasons you mentioned, Sandor.
  3. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Jonsereds oil says Vegetable based right on the label

    Why didnt I get the tub o' grease at BJ's ;)
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I will have to give that a shot. Of course that will be after I use up the three gallons of Poulan bar oil I got at Wal-Mart last summer for ninety-nine cents a gallon. So it's gonna be awhile. Unlike Eric, three gallons will last me more than two months.
  5. JAred

    JAred New Member

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    I use a vegie based cutting oil at work for milling operations it gets used thru a atomiser mister. its about 75 dollars a gallon tho. very clean and purified to atomize correctly.why I did'nt I think of that? Probably beats the motor oil I'm using......
  6. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I have a lot of used motor oil around...Can I use it for chain lube?? Be glad to switch to veggie after that.
  7. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Warren, I am sure that used oil will lube the bar. However, consider the health and environmental risks. I did that years ago, but me and my saw looked like a stinkin, greasy mess. Used oil has some nasty properites such as heavy metals and combustion by-products that are just not good for you.

    Do yourself a favor and drop the used oil at a recycle center and spend the couple of bucks on the veggie oil.
  8. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Sandor - just for clarification, you are talking about grocery store, french fry cooking, salad dressing type vegetable oil as opposed to true chain saw bar oil that has a vegetable base?

    A couple things to consider is that french fry cookin' vegetable oil can go rancid after being exposed to air for a while. It will eventually turn into a sticky, gummy, smelly mess. If the pro's are using this, it's probably still OK as they use it every day and constantly flush the old oil away. For some of us weekend warriors, the saw might gum up between uses. The true "bar oil" (vegetable or petroleum based) usually also has "tackifiers" to make the oil stick to the chain better and probably also has some anti-oxidants and lubricity additives as well.

    Corey
  9. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Co-signs

    Used oil is used for a reason, it did its job in your engine
    Kept the motor cool and carried away the little particles from normal engine wear until it is to the point of breaking down

    Now what good is something with all that crap in it?
    Used oil is just that, used
  10. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Vegetable-based bar and chain oil is made from old french fry grease, but it's been reprocessed to address cozy's concerns. Apparently it contains an anti-bacterial to keep it from going bad and some other additives to make it adhere to the hardware. I'm not sure if the antibacterial treatment negates some of the environmental benefits you might expect with a "natural" lubricant. But it probably still beats spraying conventional oil around when you cut wood.

    You shouldn't use motor oil--new or used--in a chain saw. It doesn't have the right additives and will wear your equipment out more quickly. You can buy some crap to mix into regular oil that supposedly brings it closer to snuff, but at a buck or two a gallon, bar and chain oil is cheaper in any event. The reason for not using drain oil is that it contains inpurities and particulates that will not only allow your bar and chain to wear faster, but will shorten the life of your oil pump. And that's not a cheap thing to replace, especially considering that it might take your bar, chain and sprocket with it when it goes.

    OT, my first car was an old '64 Rambler (straight 6) that burned a little oil. You could tell when it was running low because the oil light would glow when you hung a sharp corner. Since I was trying to make a living cutting pulpwood at the time, I would just stop at the next opportunity and pour a couple quarts of bar/chain oil in the crankcase and be on my way. At the time I didn't know that bar/chain oil contains "anti-throw" additives that keep it from being tossed off the bar when the chain goes around. Theoretically, at least, that's the opposite characteristic that engine oil should have. Anyway, I figured it was thicker oil so probably appropriate for that old engine, and there was enough gasoline getting past the rings to thin it out pretty quick in any event. I should add that I paid $75 for the car and sold a couple of years later for $50, mainly because the clutch was shot. The engine ran fine. Try as you might (and I did), it was hard to kill those old Ramblers.
  11. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    This all sounds like what simple logic would indicate. ('s why I haven't used the old motor oil)

    Much easier to pour it into my stove :)-) :) :) Just kidding...Quick, Someone give Elk Oxygen now!!!!)
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    You think that's a joke, Warren, but I've actually had a firewood dealer suggest putting a little drain oil on the green wood he was trying to sell me in order to "get her burning good." My saw was leaking bar oil this summer (bad cap on the tank) and I thought about storing it on part of my wood pile, but then decided that it might screw up the calalytic combustor, so I found another place to park the saw.
  13. JAred

    JAred New Member

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    To state my position on motor oil I meant to say I use new motor oil, ya know that little bit left over that does'nt fit in the engine... but indeed lazy ness of not buying bar oil has got me thinking about my new saw i don't want to wear it out.
  14. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    For clarification, yes.... the same oil that is sitting in your pantry.

    Tackifiers are what is glueing wood resins, dirt and dust onto the chain, bar and the saw itself. Thats why my saw if much cleaner after use. The lube only needs to do its job for a couple of revolutions before it has flung off.

    The veggie oil would not be exposed to any more air than the way it is stored in the bottle. The oil resevoir on the saw has a cap, also.

    I guess the total lack of additives is what makes me more comfortable using this. I don't think pure vegetable oil is carcinogenic.
  15. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Only thing that dies with vegetable oil, is the vegetable...... %-P
  16. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Hi Guys,

    I like the vegetable oil idea. If the pros use it, why not we? I especially like it after all the pros that Sandor mentioned. Plus it is not made of petrleum which means we are not supporting regimes that want to do us harm.

    Isn't that one of the real easons we use firewood to heat our houses? So we are not dependent on foreign oil??

    Carpniels
  17. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Carniels, use it and pass the word, for the reasons you (and I) mentioned.

    Good day to you!
  18. PAfluedoctor

    PAfluedoctor New Member

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    So after reading all of this I see you're talking about the veg. oil you would buy at the store and that momma keeps in the kitchen. What about using waste vegetable oil after it's been filltered? Kind of the same theory as putting it in my diesel engine? All you need to do is let it separate out and drain the good off the top and run it through a paper filter to get the sediment out. Wouldn't that work?
  19. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I'm pretty sure they put additives into the filtered oil to bring it up to an acceptible standard for bar & chain protection. There's a big difference between diesel oil and crankcase oil, in other words. And there's a significant difference between regular crankcase oil and bar & chain oil.
  20. PAfluedoctor

    PAfluedoctor New Member

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    Don't know if that's for me or not Eric. I didn't mean to imply using vegy oil for diesel crankcase oil. Vegy oil can be used instead of diesel fuel not engine oil. They were actually designed for veg. oil. There are lots of websites to show someone how to make the conversion and I don't want to change the course of the conversation so I'll shut up about that.

    So I'll ask again for clarification; Could you use filtered waste vegy oil for bar and chain oil as others are using "virgin" veg. oil?
  21. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Sorry, I wasn't clear. I mixed up my examples and it got confusing.

    Regular bar and chain oil is basically engine oil with additives that make it stick to the hardware better. Veggie-based bar and chain oil is recycled vegetable cooking oil with additives that make it stick to the hardware better, and probably something to enhance lubrication. Not sure if this is your question, but it wouldn't work to use recycled or virgin vegetable oil without the additives.
  22. PAfluedoctor

    PAfluedoctor New Member

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    Ok, gotcha. But it looks like Sandor is using it without the additives according to his post at the bottom portion of page 1 that is why I was checking. He said the same stuff that's in the pantry. Thanks for the clarification.
  23. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I will clarify again.

    I use the stuff straight off of the supermarket shelf. Period.

    I find that the tackifiers and whatever else they add does a great job of attracting dust, dirt and crap and holding it onto the chain and bar. Just what I want, to hold dirt onto the bar. Clean the groove out on the bar, and you will see what I mean.

    This lube does its job in a couple of revs before it has flung off. How much lubricitity do you think you need? Its not like its in the crankcase for 5 thousand miles.

    I made the original post BECAUSE OF EXPERIENCE, not simple pontification. And the pros on the Abhorist site use the straight vegatable oil.

    Guys, do what you want and believe whatever marketing hype you wish.
  24. PAfluedoctor

    PAfluedoctor New Member

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    Yo, Sandor...It's a conversation, an exhange of ideas. Don't get your underwear all in a knot here. No one said or implied that you were off your nut. If we did I will collectively appologize to you. I thought that was what you had said and sought clarification. Eric answered my question and the discussion went from there. Calm down and take a deep breath.

    Now, is everyone relaxed??? Back to my question then - If you are using off the shelf vegy oil and it works ok, what about the possibility of using filtered waste vegetable oil for the same purpose? Stuff from the french fry machine. It seems like it should work but have you or anyone else tried it yet?? If not maybe I will and will let you know.

    Now a followup query - did you have to clean your oil tank prior to putting in the vegy oil? I'm not even sure that's possible but I'll ask.
  25. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I AM FINE. REALLY. NOT UPTIGHT.

    Just Kidding!

    I see no reason why you could not use filtered oil that was used to cook something non-fatty.

    No flushing necessary, just dump it in and get busy.
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