Greasing Atlas Bearings


As an auto tech I learned early in my career how to grease a cone type wheel bearing.  Now we have all sorts of fancy bearing greasers but the home mechanic or telescope re-builder does not.

So we fall back on how bearings were greased many years ago....


Start with clean hands.  Now mine don't look clean but I assure you they are.  The black you see is perma-dirt from the diesels I work on at my day job.  Place a blob of grease about twice this size in the palm of your left hand if you are right handed.  If you are left handed put it in the right.  If you are ambidextrous, you are screwed.....


Hold the bearing as shown and then scrape the grease off of the palm of you other hand to pack it into the bearing.


Here I am ready to start the process.  Note you can see through the bearing, it is this area you really want filled with grease.


I have started to scrape the grease off of my palm.  You are not interested in coating the outside of the bearing at this time, all you want is grease inside.


See how the spaces between the rollers have grease in them now?  This is what you want to accomplish.


When the spaces between the rollers are filled, then coat the outside of the bearing.  Then using a clean rag, wipe the excess from the bearing.


Place the bearing into the fixed race in the mount housing and wipe the excess away.  The excess has not been wiped in this view.

Low Temperature Operations


A discussion ensued recently on the Yahoo! Group EQ6 about my recommendation of the Finish Line grease and its suitability for cold weather operation of the mounting.  I had cold tested the grease in my deep freeze at temps around 0F and found it suitable for use in these temp ranges.  Once again the mount went into the freezer, this time for a 12 hour cold soak to ensure it was fully frozen.  I pulled the mounting and set it up quickly for testing.  The mounting while hard to turn by hand (axis clutches unlocked) ran fine with the motors.

Bear in mind you are only turning two of the four large bearings when slewing and tracking.

For grins here's the images.....


Fresh out of the freezer!  My wife seemed to tolerate it, but I think only because I tolerate the sack of frozen mice that's in there for her lizards.  :)


Another view.  I had just taken a drink of water and two fingers stuck to the mount, it was that cold.


Cold enough?  Brrrrr!


The Raytek non contact thermometer indicated actually -6F, this is just a cheap freezer thermometer.


A cold climate grease will be recommended here shortly.

Updated 9/03/06


Copyright 1997-2010 by Bill VanOrden