about cleaning and lubricating ordinary bearings

I've developed a method for cleaning my inline skate wheel bearings which I think is likely to remove grit, at least more likely than
just soaking them.
Here is an illustration of the wheel assembly, for what it's worth.
http://www.fasteddiesskateschool.com/Maintenance.html
The method:
... with the bearing shields removed, they are soak in WD-40
... the bearing outer ring is carefully clamped in vise grips (the jaws have been smoothed with sandpaper) using just enough pressure to hold the bearing, there is no apparent damage to the outer ring of the bearing
... using a garden hose sprayer, with the bearing shields removed, both sides of the bearing are pounded with a stream of water
... the bearing is slapped down on a paper towel to remove excess water, I guess high-pressure air would be better... seems to me that WD-40 even though washed off with water leaves a residue which helps repel water
... then the bearing is saturated with this penetrating light grease
http://www.iqproducts.com/new/primis/primis_lubegel.htm
Here is my problem. I am being stoned for presenting a method which my critics say should not work because water touches the bearings. However, it appears to work very well. In a What am I supposed to look for? How can the results not be obvious when I can see the bearing with both shields removed? After two or three monthly sessions, there appears to be no rust, the bearings roll very well, and I cannot hear any grit in the bearings. I'm asking just in case appearances are deceiving.
Thank you.
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John Doe wrote:

If you're certain there's no rust anywhere in the bearings, it doesn't look like you're doing any harm.
Chris
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...

Does rust necessarily mean there is pitting? Assuming normal circumstances.
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"John Doe" wrote ...

Where did the iron come from that is part of the rust? Rust means that there is pitting, in all cases.
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not a good practice to spray with a garden hose - a tiny bit of rust will pit the bearing and score the race, and will cause noise and premature bearing failure.
If you insist on removing the seals and cleaning the bearings, then as a purist (BTW, its invariably cheaper, net of time and damage, to replace sealed bearings rather than disassemble them and clean them - IME, once removed without benefit of clean area and press, most seals no longer seal except against big chunks)
Wash the bearing, seals removed, in solvent. Do not spin them. Use a can of dry air mix used for computer keyboards in a clean area to dry them. Avoid the wd-40, which leaves residue that will damage/soften plastic seals, and whose coating holds very fine contaminants - which are not washed off by a garden hose.
DO NOT hit the bearings on anything to remove residue or particles - that causes tiny flat spots where the roller/ball touches the race at the instant of impact, which causes a kind of fretting (turning the bearing metal into little bits of metal at the spot), and damages bearings.
Oil the clean, dry bearing if it has seals - if it might be submerged in water, you can pack it full with water-resistant bearing grease. Otherwise, if you don't mind the difference in efficiency and want to use grease, pack about a third of the race only with bearing grease (it will move all around when running).

they are sort of correct - water is bad for cleaning bearings - but since you use an oil-based substance before washing, the water doesn't touch the metal during the cleaning, so they are sort of incorrect because water as you are using it doesn't really "touch" the bearing metal because by itself (water won't displace the oil film). However, the wd-40 film is displaced by water once the bearing moves under load, letting the water and the grit in the wd-40 film get to the metal.

Work well with a bearing usually means six months down the road as opposed to the next week. I see you do this monthly - a lot of work, IMHO, but once you breach the seal, you are almost forced into monthly cleaning.
In a What am I supposed to

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Within minutes, they are saturated with a penetrating light grease.

The last step is to apply a penetrating light grease. So neither the water or the WD-40 should be a problem, eh?
Instead of slapping them down on a paper towel, last time I probably used a very powerful shop vac. Then applied the grease. I forgot about that. The shop vac was right next to me. Of course, I was very careful holding the bearings so they wouldn't get sucked into the shop vac canister. A bearing size round nozzle probably would do the job nicely.

I might be doing it that way for years. I like the idea of removing grit and getting the job done quickly.

It's significant. But the skate frames, axles, and frame/bearing spacers get filthy too. It's not much additional effort to clean the bearings.
Thanks for the ideas.
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"John Doe" wrote ...

Mr. Doe has misrepresented things a bit - ok more than a bit. Anyone who wishes to verify things can go to the "bearing maintenance and cleaning" thread on rec.sport.skating.inline.
Background:
Inline skates use standard 608 bearings with shields (some makers use the term seals to hype them but no one actually uses a sealed bearing because of the drag). Most have removable and replaceable shields.
Most of the quality ones run between ABEC 3 and ABEC 7. The tolerances of ABEC are not required but the early non-ABEC bearings used for skates were real junk and people learned that ABEC rated bearings had better quality.
There are usually 5 to 7 balls spaced around the bearing by a retainer. The retainer may be a metal cage made of two rings that covers most of each ball on each side or a plastic clip that has fingers to hold the balls in place.
The lubricant ranges from grease, to gels, to light oil. The loading on the bearings is light compared to their rating and almost any lubricant works but different ones have different longevity and ease of rolling.
The amount of lubricant used is generally minimal. Packing the bearing causes a large amount of drag and leaking lubricant. With solids, several pin head sized bits is appropriate. With oil, a drop or two is appropriate.
Unless a skate is used on wet surfaces, a good bearing typically lasts for a year to several without needing cleaning, depending on the dust level of the skating area and type of lubricant.
There are dozens of methods ranging from almost zero work (dunk in oil, drain, roll) to intricate schemes based on what a racer thinks has worked for them in the past. Most of them work reasonably well.
The usual cleaning method is a variation of" Open the bearing Use one or more solvents to remove the previous lubricant, crud, and water. Removing any materials that would react badly with the bearing or lubricant. Add new lubricant. Leave only one shield on the bearing and reinstall (the inside side of the bearing is in a closed environment. All dirt and water has to come through the outside side of the bearing.
His method was not because of using water. Many people use it at some stage and it is well accepted.
His method was questioned because of many reasons including, using ONLY water, not opening the bearings (some people's methods do not), not drying the water out before adding grease, and making the process more time consuming and messy than most.
He didn't like it that people dared question his method and has decided to shop around for other answers, more to his liking. He has stated that he was going to get answers from "engineers" in order to prove the previous answers wrong.
This is his actual claim, in it's entirety, as he wrote it: (Note the differences in this from what he stated in his message) The ellipses are his and do not indicate that I left anything out,

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B Fuhrmann wrote:

Hi Bill, fancy seeing you here too... :-)
br Franklin -betting a lot of the r.s.s.i folks have checked s.e.m lately...
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I doubt it's necessary, but my apologies to the engineering group. I did not intend to attract frivolous postings. I will exit on this subject and eventually so will my entourage of trolls.

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A troll who just loves to abuse and lie about others.

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B Fuhrmann wrote:

the
because of

tolerances of

were
quality.
retainer. The

each ball

place.
Bill, you should have probably gone with inline skates typically use a standard 608 Deep Groove Ball bearing, however 688's (SKF 618/8) are used by some skaters and even 698 (SKF 619/8) have been used.
Also, I would suggest that it is an industry standard to use 7 balls in a 608 (and 688/698), but I have come across 8-ball and 6-ball variants. Wether either is of any use to a skater or purley another marketing gimmick , the jury is out.

and
side of

come
I don't know about you Bill, but I and other skater also consider that is cleaning some kind of aggetation is needed (and I don't mean your wife standing by nagging you!!). Ultrasonic cleaners are becoming popular for this, however I just throw them in a jar and shake (not too hard or it will break!).
My choice of solvent is shellite, a light, pure hydrocarbon (blend?) which is readily available in the hardware store paint section (well, here in Oz at least). Other swear by citrus cleaners (which I didn't really like, it seemed to leave a residue). Do citrus cleaners have a water content...my gut feeling is yes, but the one I have here doesn't even say what any of the ingreadients are. Others suggest soapy water, and then there is Eddy Matzgers boil and bake method.
In any case, your point of removing anything that will react badly with bearing or lube is key. That's part of the reason I like shellite, it evaps. quickly, and I have a reasonable level of confidence it is gone before I lube. I have no such confidence with citrus cleaner or water.

decided to

that he

previous
Funniest thing to me is he won't take any input from me even though I am a mech engineer and have over 25 years of skating under my (unfortunatly large at the moment) belt. I also lurk on sci.engr.mech and on occasion have been involved in the discussion group. Yet, anything I suggest is met with a 'you are a drunk engineer' type remark. Let's face it, most engineers enjoy a drink. Of the 500 or so in the organisation I work for, I'd suggest at least 90% of them enjoy a regular drink. Since this is cross posted to sci.engr.mech (sorry for perpetuating the cross post), how many drunk engineers are reading this right now??!!
Anyway, back to what is left of my long weekend.
CG
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Anything inlina suggests recently.
Over the years, after inlina has persistently claimed to be an engineer and at the same time made clear that he frequently drinks, I have recently realized that drinking might be why some of his posts are nonsensical or full of errors.
Claiming to be well-educated and then talking through a cloud of booze is potentially harmful, in my opinion, unless you make plain that you are intoxicated. Instead, apparently inlina is playing a game.
Good luck.

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John Doe wrote:

Good lord Doe, inlina is being just a tad sarcastic...he is not drunk when he writes his posts and he speaks with information and experience
Whats harmful is giving lame advice or poorly explained procedures for technical processes.
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The author inlina asks without sarcasm whether anyone is drunk while reading his post. Any intelligent reader can infer that he condones reading and writing while intoxicated.

By all indications, inlina sometimes is intoxicated while posting.

When inlina isn't intoxicated, maybe his posts are useful. Better to ignore them all, in my opinion.

That from a persistent troll who runs around tacking handbills to walls, telephone poles, and cars.

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John Doe wrote:

Absolutely incorrect..i believe i explained this to you twice. So is slander a new thing for you doe?
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John Doe Wrote

Do you understand the difference between having a drink and being drunk?
His posts have less errors than yours. What's your excuse?
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Just another drunken troll's pointless commentary.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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John Doe wrote:

<Snip>
Ok, how many people here have spun up a bearing with air? I've seen estimates that perhaps 100K rpm can be achieved before the bearing experiences spontaneous rapid disassembly.
--
jeff

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Hi Jeff,
jeff wrote:

I wonder if that isn't an urban legend? I did this as an apprentice many times, spinning them up until the tone didn't (appear) to change and letting them loose on the workshop floor. I guess apprentices had been doing that for decades before me, but I never experienced or heard about an exploding ball bearing. Maybe we were lucky... :-)
The ball bearing would spark and jump across the hard floor, hitting stuff in it's way and smack against the concrete wall. Maybe a mark or two on the outer race, but never a crack.
My dad used to crack open ball bearings in the old days, in the 70's, for us kids. We used the balls as marbles, a goonie was worth maybe 5 glass marbles, a really big one, say 10 cm in diameter would be worth 20. He used to wrap them up in a towel and smack them with a 4 pound hammer... :-)
br Franklin -thanks Dad!
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Franklin's UsenetSpamTrap wrote ...

Here is a guy that claims to have blown one up that way - posted 1993 http://yarchive.net/metal/ball_bearing_spinup.html
"I used to spin these bearings up with 175 psi air and release them to run down the road.
The bearings would EASILY outrun cars driving at ordinary residental street speeds, spraying sparks all the while. When it hit a gravel or ...
...When the outer race explodes from over-speed, the particles that fly off     are whizzing and can cause injury. The incident - which ended my     career as a "bearing whizzer" - did not injure me but it DID dig     significant sized divots out of the concrete."
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