G Scale Model Train Forum banner
1 - 20 of 83 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,484 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Buddy of mine bought a live steam Aristo Mikado. The store told him to filter chain saw bar oil to use for the steam oil. I thought that sounded NUTS! Would this really work? Can't imagine it is designed for what steam oil is designed for and to do. Funny how some try to save a nickel to use something on an $800 or so engine. Jerry
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
65 Posts
Trust me guys, Bar Oil is NOT a substitute for steam oil.

The main "magic" in steam oil is that it contains animal fat tallow... that is what alters the chemistry enough to allow the petroleum oil base to emulsify in the steam.

Bar oil is a high viscosity oil containing additional tacifiers to make it "stick" to the chain and bar during high speed (centrifugal forces) operation

Royce
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,510 Posts
Sure, you CAN use chainsaw bar oil... and you can also use peanut butter to grease your wheels ("Dennis the Meanace" did on his wagon) and you can burn moonshine in your Lambourgini. The locomotive will run... for a while, anyway.

Friction wear ALWAYS occurs, but with the proper oil it occurs very slowly. Use the wrong oil (or no oil) and the wear is accelerated considerably, and can sometimes occur almost in an instant. Chainsaw bar oil will NOT be carried in the steam other than as big blobs which will not reach all of the "wear" points consistantly. A split second of metal to metal rubbing and a significant amount of wear can occur, which can ruin the machine. One minute it is running just fine and the next it can either seize or have a significant amount of leakage.

Remember, one of the best ways to REMOVE oil from surfaces is to STEAM CLEAN it! If the steam is not carrying oil in it, the steam will clean the cylinder walls and the valve surfaces down to bare metal very quickly. Steam Oil, PROPER Steam Oil, will emulsify with the steam and reach all the wear surfaces. Chainsaw Bar Oil will NOT do so.

Also, notice the admonition to "filter" the oil! How much filtering will remove whatever it is that the suggester is fearful of leaving in the oil. It used to be said that bar oil was the "dregs" of the oil manufacturig process, the stuff that was "left over" after getting the good stuff out to be sold for the best purposes. I don't think that is true anymore, but if someone is saying to "filter" it, then there must be something in that oil that is not good for wearing surfaces, even though it is designed to oil a chain rubbing on the blade of the chainsaw. Do you REALLY want to put something in the steam engine that needs to be filtered?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
We have been using chainsaw bar oil for years and have never had a problem. Been using it on Asters, Accucraft, Roundhouse and now on our Aristo-Craft aswell. We don't filter it either.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,510 Posts
Posted By NTCGRR on 10/10/2008 2:15 PM
Is water from a dehumidifier the same as distilled water?


Close... kind of depends on how quickly you collect it from the dehumidifier and what else was in the air to be condensed on the plates in it. PURE distilled water is made by boiling JUST water and collecting just the STEAM from it. The dehumidifier is pasing household air through it collecting moisture that is in the air. The air also has cooking odors, grease, oil, "bathroom" odors, etc. in it too, along with mold spores, pollen, dust, bugs, spiderr webs, all kinds of OTHER things that should not be allowed to collect in the boiler of your model train. Granted, the amount of these impurities is probably pretty small and it SHOULD take a long time for the crud to build up to unacceptable levels in the boiler... kind of depends on YOUR particular circumstances in YOUR house, so your mileage may vary. Many people do use dehumidifer water in their boilersk and others say they would never take the chance.

I suggest that you take a brand new very clean teapot and fill it with your dehumidifier water and boil it almost all away and then add more to it and do it again and again and again... after MANY iterations, look at bottom of the pot and at the "concentrated" contaminates left in the pot. If the bottom of the pot is just as clean as when you started and the remaining water is clear, then there should be no problem. If the pot is coated with a scale of some sort and/or the water is cloudy then maybe it would not be a good idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
The proper oil to use on our model steam locomotives needs to be semi-soluable which means the oil breaks up or atomizes when subjected to hot steam and is carried thoughout the cylinder and valve gear. Chain oil doesn't exhibit any of these necessary characteristics.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,510 Posts
Posted By Dave Sykes on 10/10/2008 2:57 PM
Did any of you guys ever hear of Lucas oil? My son and I have used it for five years in eight engines and nothing but fine running.




Yes, I have read of people that recommend it. BUT, then again, I have read the same about chainsaw bar oil and just the same I have read that it is not really that good and it should not be used.
The final result is: WHY spend thousands of dollars for a fine piece of machinery and then save a couple of bucks using lubrication in it that is not designed to be the correct lubrication ????

Steam Oil was (a few years ago) about $35.00 per FIVE gallon pail (that is what I paid, anyway) It is readily available at any fuel oil depot (look in the Yellow Pages in your locale for "Petroleum Products" and call them... I got mine from the Amoco dealer, or I could have gone about 2 blocks and gotten some from another brand's dealer.

But, then again, who but ME would buy FIVE gallons of the stuff... after 7 years of running my two Mikes (and filling a few bottles for some friends) I can just barely detect that the level of oil in the bucket has gone down (my heirs and assigns will have a wonderful time trying to figure out what to do with over 4 gallons of Steam Cylinder Oil).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
698 Posts
I heard free-range whale oil is best....what about if it came form Free Willy? I really liked the typo in a manual that said it was OK to use I/C oil....I actually was supposed to read it is not ok to use it. I'm sure there were quite a few complaints and returned items under the warranty!

I never could understand the shortcuts taken on getting proper SCO with the tallow additives. Most every dealer has it in stock and it isn't all that bad of a hit in the wallet.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
377 Posts
My old Steamlines "Aileen" won't run on straight steam oil but runs pretty good if I add 50% Lucas oil. "A rebore in a bottle."
I managed to put off a major rebuild for quite a few years now.
I wouldn't use it (Lucas) straight or on a new engine.

Harvey C.
SA1838
 
1 - 20 of 83 Posts
Top