High on my list of nominees would be the grease gun. In theory it's very simple. Just install the new cartridge, drop the plunger, and squirt. But in the real world it's invariably an annoying struggle to get the thing working the way it's supposed to.
Absolutely AGREE!! I still have two grease guns which don`t want to work.....Still haven't figured out just why? Hope someone knows....Paul
and they all leak !
My trouble lights drive me nuts. It is a pain to get them positioned so the light shines where you need it, and as soon as you start work they move. And don't get me started on those clip on lights with the aluminum reflectors that fall apart. At least the new led lights are bright and stay cool. They are the silver lining. Cheers, Bill
About 60 years ago my grandfather would grease up the track rollers on his Cat 2 Ton before using it. The gun was the old style, no cartridge. He had to remove the nozzle end, stick the main body tube into a bucket of grease, then draw the grease in with the plunger it had for that purpose. Once thusly "charged" it was good for several greasings.
All in all it was pretty messy but effective.
Most people put in a new cartridge, screw the top back on tight and then release the plunger. The problem with doing that is that there is now an airlock inside. You have to leave the top still threaded loose and release the plunger to push the air out. Then tighten down the top. A few pumps should be all that's needed to get the great going.
Steve, Paul & Darryl - You guys just made my day! I thought I was the only one to have trouble with something as seemingly simple as a grease gun! Because mine absolutely will not work, I bought another that has proven to be just as worthless! I've struggled with them both and ended up with the most sloppy, greasy mess you ever saw, and still, neither of them will work! Thought it must just be my own stupidity, but thanks to you guys, maybe not! Mine are both laying in an empty oil drain pan, because I've been too embarrassed to take either, or both of them to some "expert" to have him help me load my stupid grease gun. Sure would like to hear from anybody that knows of a good grease gun that doesn't take a degree in mechanical engineering to load,........harold
Garnet - Yup! That's exactly how I do it! Sounds simple, right? The Key words" in your post are,...."a few pumps SHOULD BE ALL THAT'S NEEDED......"
You guys are spoiled. Try a period grease gun. They don't even have a spring loaded plunger, only a follower. And no mechanical advantage. You pushing on the plunger is what forces the grease in the fitting. And the nozzle doesn't lock onto the fitting. You have to hold it against the fitting while pushing the plunger. Spoiled indeed.
That's the way I did it working on the farm and I kept doing it the same way throughout my railroad career Harold. In all that time I never had trouble (after learning how to do it right, that is)
My neighbor just bought a 24 volt Lincoln cordless grease gun after loosing a bearing on his flail mower last month.I have not tried it yet but I want to as I find it difficult to work a grease gun under a car or truck,trying to hold the fitting on,hold the gun and work the lever. My left arm is not fully capable and that is 1 place it's limits are a real issue.
Anyone have experience with cordless grease guns?The 1's with battery's! I know the old 1's were cordless.
I aint had a chance to try the neighbors grease gun yet.
I have had the same problem with a grease gun getting an airlock in it.
I used to unscrew the little plug at the end by the hose or pipe with the end on it. I think if one uses a petcock in place of the plug it would be a lot less messy than trying to get the plug back in or trying to let the air out by unscrewing the top. That can be areal mess!
I have used several grease guns. The best way for me is to fill the end that is not full. That eliminates the air pocket.. In my shop I would use 2 to 3 tubes a day with no problem.
Grease gun education:
How to tell if empty: Pull the plunger handle down/out. If it does not come down/out, try rotating it to ensure it is NOT engaged in the plunger. Does not come down/out, it's empty. Comes partially down/out; indicates amount of grease left in cartridge.
How to fill: Unscrew the barrel with empty cartridge and plunger assembly in it. Pull plunger down/out fully, then allow to slowly return into the barrel. This will push the old cartridge out of the barrel.....Usually. If not get some pliers and pull it out. Take new cartridge and remove the PLASTIC cover. Pull the plunger down/out fully and latch by sliding it sideways into the catch slot. Carefully insert the new cartridge into the barrel. Carefully pull the "pop top" and remove the aluminum lid. Carefully thread the barrel into the head about 2 turns or so. IF you bump the plunger handle, you'll send your new cartridge to the MOON, or at least across the garage. AFTER threading the barrel in approx. 2 turns, release the plunger handle from the catch. Allow the spring to press the new grease into the head. NOW, thread the barrel in all the way. Try to pump some grease. If it pumps easy, with no resistance, you have air in the pump. Two ways to remedy this: First, keep pumping and see if you can get the air bubble to move down the delivery tube. Second, twist the plunger handle to lock it into the plunger. Push the handle/plunger up/into the barrel while pumping. You'll need three hands, two legs, a dog, 4 kids, and make sure NO ONE is taking photos or video. Once the pump is well primed, you should be able to pump the entire cartridge without any problems. BUT, lower quality grease cartridges often have air bubbles dispersed throughout the grease in the cartridge. You will need to use the plunger press technique to remove them most of the time. After the air bubble has been dealt with, you can rotate the plunger handle to release it from the plunger and press it up/into the barrel, leaving the plunger near the bottom of the barrel, spring loaded to keep pressure on the grease.
Leaking: Grease is a very heavy "oil" and prone to separation. As age, pressure, temperature, and vibration work on the grease, it WILL separate into oil and grease. It's usually the oil that leaks out. And it WILL come out....everywhere it can find a way. One way to deal with this is use a higher quality of grease and do a thorough cleaning of your grease gun every 6 or so cartridges. The main part needing cleaning is the barrel & plunger assembly. Take them apart, wipe them off, clean with a degreaser, of some sort, and reassemble.
Problems: 1. Grease leakage is usually a loose connection. 2. Often, there is a spring loaded vent valve on the head. Pressing down on the top is supposed to vent air out of the head. I haven't had a lot of luck with these although I know of people who swear by/at them. 3. Nozzle, zerc connection; these wear out, get loose, get dirty. Use a quality nozzle for best results. 4. Use grease gun accessories such as a needle point attachment, rubber nosed extension, or a button nozzle for button type grease fittings.
I hope this helps. Experience level: User of grease guns since 1959.
I wish all tools would work as well as any cheap grease gun.
When you buy a grease gun you should also buy a flexible hose for it.
the nozzle needs to be one that clips on to the zero fitting.
The ones you just push against the zero are pretty much useless. If you have that type you'd better go buy a decent grease gun nozzle and a flexible hose.
Mack, yes I have a battery operated grease gun. It works very well. If you get the chance try your neighbors you'll like it. Mine is a Lincoln.
Many years ago the Great Race stopped in a town only 40 miles away. I drove down to watch the cars come in and view them. I watched a couple of guys trying to grease their late 20's Dodge? to no avail. I asked if I could help. Their reply was that the grease gun was broken and they needed a new one. I asked if they would mind if I took a look at it. 30 seconds later I handed it back fixed and they instantly warmed up to me. ( I was wearing 8 hours on a TD9 discing clothes)
I gave them a short lesson on how to PROPERLY fill and burp a grease gun and they were quite thankful.
Garnet is spot on.... just thread the top of the grease gun back on just far enough that when you release the plunger it doesn't blow it back off. Then after the plunger has been released just tighten the top of the grease gun up the rest of the way. This will work every time the first time.
Once you have the air purged out, store your grease gun hanging upside down and it will be ready to go until the cartridge is empty.
This thread is funny but true.
I have all the problems others have mentioned.
I will have to see if YouTube can help
The messes I make when filling and using a grease gun are epic. I keep buying new ones thinking the old ones must be defective. I am obviously the defective component. Misery loves company and it appears I have lots of company. Great post Steve.
As far as trouble lights go, I just buy the good old fashioned type and put an 15 watt LED bulb in it. I've dropped it, stepped on it, beat it up, and once threw it across the garage in a bad mood. It still works great, and I have yet had to replace the bulb.
On my grease gun there's a screw that's on the top of the gun to release the trapped air. I replaced it with a blot so it's easier to hang on to when bleeding off trapped air. Get the air out, give it a couple pumps and I'm ready to go.
Bless you, Steve J. for starting this thread. And here all these years I thought I was the only one.
Maybe we should re-title this thread, "Coming out of the closet with my grease gun."
"Hi, I'm Dick. And I don't know how to work a grease gun."
I grease my own vehicles and change oil and running a grease gun on a creeper,under a vehicle got tough. I went to the small gun so I could pull the trigger with one hand,hold the nozzle on the zerk with the other but got concerned about the quality of grease for those small guns. Then I went to Lowe's and ordered an 18 volt DeWalt gun that takes the same battery as my drill,sawzall and grinder. It works great but was just over $200. Has an extra long hose and a shoulder strap. If it quits working it's because of an air lock,just open the vent for a second. The object is to grease the unit and go on the the next thing,not fight with the grease gun all morning,quality makes the difference.
Being the purist I am, I made sure all the modern grease fittings were removed from my model a and replaced by the original cone type. I use the original grease gun on them. I rather enjoy using it. No, it's not as easy, but neat nonetheless.
I bleed my modern grease gun like a lot of you mentioned above.
Always buy a gun with a pistol grip instead of the lever ones. When I load a grease gun , I put the cartridge in screw the end on and turn it upside down and bump it several times on the work bench. this gets the grease at the head end then push the rod down through the grease and that packs the grease in the gun better A rubber flex hose is a must. I do not like air or battery powered guns because if you have a air bubble issue you can not feel if the bearing is getting grease. Never buy a new gu. go to a yard sale and buy one for a $ that someone has that don't know to use it.
There are several types grease fittings and the first thing is to be sure you have the proper tip for the fitting you are trying to grease.
A grease gun would be easier to use if you had three arms. One to hold the fitting in place, another to hold the gun and the third to pump. But it can be done. A similar problem is installing the manifolds with one person!
Mack--one thing to be aware of about the powered grease guns is that you lose the "feel" of the grease plunger working. If it is a stuck fitting, or an air bubble or for any reason not forcing grease into the fitting....you won't know because the grease gun goes through the motions just the same. One of the guys at work uses a battery powered grease gun and often makes a mess of the fitting without getting any grease into the bearing, and he thinks he's pretty clever for the ease with which he can accomplish it. Not everyone agrees with him.
That said, if I had to grease with one hand I would like to use a powered grease gun and just keep my eyes on what I'm doing.
I use a Milwaukee electric gun with a flex hose for most equipment as it will indicate a plugged fitting by the pump coming to a stop after building pressure.
For plugged or difficult fittings I use a manual gun with a locknlube coupler (locknlube.com) that allows you to give it your all.
At first the cost of the coupler sounded a bit much, but it has been well worth it, especially when using a flex hose where you canít lean on the fitting. Highly recommended if you consume as much grease as I do.
Grease gun couplers are wear items, so replace them when they start popping off fittings.
Itís amazing that, of all the tools we use, the only one that gives trouble is the grease gun, which is pretty impressive. I have been racking my brain and canít think of any tool I have trouble with to add to the list, except for maybe the paint spray gun.
I may be bucking the trend, but I donít really have trouble with my grease gun, as I have the small, one handed lever kind, which allows my other hand the freedom to hold the tip tightly against the fitting while I pump the grease in with the lever, which is the key (getting a good tip to fitting seal).
When I do grease equipment, I find that the bigger grease guns are too big for the job and as you all point out, very difficult to use unless you have 3 hands or someone to hold the tip tightly on the fitting while you pump the lever and the wife is never the one to ask, especially if she just got her nails done (I sure am glad Iím not a woman). Anyway, the small grease gun I have, contains more than enough grease to handle any grease job I tackle and itís much easier to use. Jim Patrick