"Slick 50" for mainspring lube?

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by TJ Cornish, May 17, 2019.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Check it out in the NAWCC Events forum:
    Talk about the upcoming National Meeting
    If you love watches or clocks you've got to come!
  1. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 12, 2013
    280
    29
    28
    St. Paul, MN
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I received a recommendation to use "Slick 50" for mainspring lube. I went to the auto parts store and picked up what I presumed was meant, which is a motor oil-style container of liquid motor oil with additives that purport to make your car run better. Somewhere else I saw a reference to "Slick 50 One Lube" which comes in a form much more like WD-40. Which one should I be using? I've used the Slick 50 oil additive on several clocks so far and over the short period of time I've been running them I haven't experienced any issues, but I would like to know now if I'm setting myself up for trouble.

    Thanks
     
  2. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    4,505
    298
    83
    oakland, ca.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    if you search the message board you’ll find lots of threads on this topic

    google this:

    slick 50 site:mb.nawcc.org
     
  3. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    10,692
    376
    83
    #3 Willie X, May 17, 2019
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
    Slick 50 is a brand that you will see on several products. The first one you mentioned probably looks like honey and is sold as a engine oil additive. It is designed to add viscosity to the engine oil and increase the film strength. It also adds 'cling' properties to the oil. This can slow leaks and compensate (somewhat) for decreased oil pressure, which is the real problem.

    The 'One Lube' is a different animal. It has a light weight carrier and leaves a hard dry surface that is very slick. I have seen reports that say it once used a silicone compound but some are now saying the silicone is no longer used?

    I have used both products and I don't think you will be making yourself any trouble using either. I would lean toward the thick oil adative for old rough springs and the One-Lube for springs that are in good shape.

    Note, it doesn't take much oil to lube a properly serviced mainspring. With the spring stretched out (for a common 8-Day spring) apply about 4 or 5 drops and spread it out evenly over the full length of the MS using your gloved thumb and forefinger. That will do it.

    Willie X
     
    Kevin W. likes this.
  4. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    20,947
    98
    48
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I use one lube in the spray can. Harold Bain used it and recomended, i have been using it ever since.
     
  5. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    8,456
    307
    83
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Some years ago, before One Lube, and before the current Slick 50 engine oil additive, there was Slick 50 engine oil additive with Teflon. Some here purported that it gave longer run times, especially in 400 day clocks. After that a lot of us adopted it as the standard go to product for main springs. When left to sit in a clear container for a long time it appeared that the Teflon separated and went to the bottom. I went back to Keystone main spring oil, which smells to me just like 90wt gear oil. I believe the original Slick 50 one lube also had Teflon, which was arguably the main reason to use either form of Slick 50. I believe that neither product contains Teflon today. The spray stuff today appears to be little more than 3-in-1 oil spray and in my opinion is too light weight and too volatile to use on main springs. 75W-90 Mobil-1 synthetic gear oil seems to work OK but has an unpleasant smell. Slick 50 and similar thick oil additives are likely safe to use but some may be better than others. I avoid the spray stuff.

    RC
     
  6. wow

    wow Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    3,144
    97
    48
    Male
    Retired Music Minister
    Pineville, La. (central La.)
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I’ve been using Slick 50 One for years. Harold got me started too. No problems.
     
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    8,456
    307
    83
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I may be mistaken but I believe the product that Harold was using was before they removed the Teflon.

    RC
     
  8. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    585
    24
    18
    Male
    Tulsa, OK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    According to Slick 50's web site, the original formula is back and improved. It now contains "CERFLON" which is some form of ceramic reinforced PTFE (teflon).
    I have not had the opportunity to find a place that sells it or actually tried the new formula since I am still working on my original bottle of Slick 50 engine oil additive containing regular old PTFE. I have used it on close to 200 clocks (probably 500 mainsprings total) and have not had any issues that could be attributed to mainspring lubrication. As Willie said, 4 or 5 drops is all you need for a mainspring, so a quart bottle will last a long time. I cannot say that it works miracles or that it has any drawbacks either, it just works. One benefit it has over some mainspring lubes is that it does not have the sulfur smell like gear oil or way lube.
    Allan
     
  9. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    18,549
    198
    63
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Me and Kevin.
     
  10. wow

    wow Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    3,144
    97
    48
    Male
    Retired Music Minister
    Pineville, La. (central La.)
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    And me. In the can.
     
  11. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    38,766
    390
    83
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    And me. Haven't had any issues with it. Getting the spring clean is probably the biggest factor.
     
    Kevin W. likes this.

Share This Page