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Oil on Bradley brake

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How are Bradley owners keeping oil from the main shaft oil points dripping down onto the brake/fly wheel and preventing the brake from stopping efficiently?

I'm using a very thick die-set oil to lubricate those points. 

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I've only used a Bradley for an afternoon once and it didn't slobber or drip oil. The owner only puts a couple DROPS of oil in the cups at the beginning of a day even though you could easily apply a couple squirts from a pump oil can. My 50lb Little Giant doesn't slobber, sling or drip oil anywhere but the ram guides and they're not bad.

I use chainsaw bar oil with about 1/2 cup of an automotive friction proofing oil additive per gallon. When I oil my LG it's only after checking to see if it moves freely by hand, if it does the cups get ONE drop, if it's dry they get 3-4 MAX. I let the oil rest for a minute before turning it on and bumping the treadle to distribute the oil. Chainsaw bar oil is thick and sticky so it stays where you put it and has a very high film strength. 

The ram guides are open and WILL shed lube, I use lithium or graphite grease. Graphite works better but gets on everything, it's worse than silicone grease, get any on your little finger and in half an hour it's on your everything. Graphite grease stains but will wash off with soap and water so it's an acceptable nuisance.

The clutch on a LG requires oil to work and gets sticky if you overdo it. I've had to use brake cleaner on it when I was learning how much was was right. I've heard you can put enough on a LG clutch to make it slip but haven't enjoyed that one myself. 

I don't k now if that'll help any.

Frosty The Lucky.

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My hammer will get oil on the brake easy when it runs out of the shaft, I have to give it a wipe every 30 mins before it reaches the brake, when I am finished with it I jam a rag where the drip comes from, brake cleaner is good for getting the oil off the asbestos

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It's been my experience that most folks over oil the hammer. I know I did when I first got my 30 pound Star. I had to pour the Babbitt bearings and you know if 2 drops of oil is good then 10 drops must be better.:D I also found out from Frosty the best oil is chainsaw bar with a little additive like STP is the best I've found, it runs less and sticks to the bearings.

I can't control the wind, all I can do is adjust my sails.

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     Our 100# Bradley Strap Hammer has been in daily service for about 20

years and no leaks worth mentioning.  No problem with the brake wheel

either.  Frosty mentioned a bad seal  or Babbitt bearing wear, which is a

real possibility. 

     I've never poured Babbitt for a 100# hammer, but I did rebuild a 25# Little

Giant for one of my students.  Two points to remember when you pour are 

how much you pour & temperature of the bearing cavity. 

     (1) 500 degrees F or 260 C is what you want the bearing cavity at when

you pour.  I used a rosebud with oxy/acet and an infrared thermometer with

a laser to measure the temperature of the cavity.  I got a Babbitt kit from 

Centaur Forge in Wisconsin, don't recall the cost, and the laser thermometer

was $30 from Harbor Freight.  The kit had all I needed to do the job.

     (2) Make sure you have melted more than enough Babbitt to fill the cavity.

Weigh the remnants from the worn bearing and add 50%.  If the pour is short

there will be voids in the Babbitt and you know what a pain it was to remove it

the 1st time.  Pour only shiny metal, don't let any dross get in the cavity as it makes

porous voids which are best avoided.  Not a do over, but voids collect dirt

will wear a groove in the shaft.

     A quick fix would be to remove the brake wheel and rig a seal around the shaft

between the journal and the brake wheel.  If it can be bolted on where the shaft

exits the journal area you can tighten it further to stop the leak.  Please be advised

that as the Babbitt wear advances, it may wear the journal opening til it's out of round.

Not a good thing.

  Good Luck  & Stay Well,


Stoughton, Wisconsin, US



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  • 3 weeks later...

Wipe it off from time to time. That’s really all you can do. My 75 does this, and a wipe down usually does the trick. The alternative is to not oil the hammer and destroy the bearings. More than a little bad advice about Babbitt here. These bearings require an oil film to function. If you aren’t feeding them oil they will run dry and then it’s game over. These are meant to be total loss bearings, they gush oil. Little giants do too and any other Babbitt type bearing. Some prefer grease to reduce the mess, but I never trusted grease to give a proper flotation. There are no seals in these bearings. I am not sure how you would add one. Perhaps a leather washer on either side of the bearing to act as a wiper? A rag and a can of wd40/ break cleaner and the oil wipes clean pretty easily. I have considered trying some more aggressive break lining. My hammer had belting nailed to the maple break shoe when it came to me. I removed this and have run on the wood block for nearly 30 years now. 

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