Snake Oil or Proper Lubrication

Over the years I have been modelling the snake oil salesmen have sold us all sorts of miracle cures for squeaks and groans and I have probably tried most of them.  I have just had a round up on the model room and found more than ten pen oilers with non-descript slippery contents, some with no label and some with miracle claims on the label.  Whilst I haven’t binned them I have put them somewhere well out of the way because I have no intention of using them on my models.

Before going any further about my preferred anti squeak there is one thing to ensure whatever your favoured solution is

Make sure its plastic compatible.  The three in one you keep in the shed isn’t!

So what do I use………

……….Nano-Lube.  Click on the image to read their claims.


DefinitiionThe blurb reads like proper snake oil salesman and you can’t
help but think, “yeah right! What caught my eye though was their claims being endorsed by another US model business  `Shay Fixer’. As I have spent more than my fair share of time fixing American brass shays our paths have crossed and I didn’t think he’d be endorsing something that didn’t work

On that recommendation alone I ordered some from the USA. Not a small step as its, how shall I put it, reassuringly expensive.

It comes in four varieties, three different grade oils in pen oilers and a syringe of grease.


The oilers have grades of 5, 10 & 85 weight which is a bit meaningless so lets go with runny, not so runny and gloopy. In application I use the runny on small shafts in plain bearings, not so runny for bigger shafts in bearings and gloopy on gears that you can see (such as the drive shafts on a Shay)

But here’s a neat trick, if you have something that’s tricky to get oil into adding the runny and letting it into the bearing and then adding one of the thicker ones causes the light one to draw the thicker one in. Also you can mix them to get intermediate viscosities.

Another feature is that when you apply `too much’ of the oil on to the say the Shay gears the liquid element seems to act like a carrier eventually evaporating off leaving the gears coated in a slippery coating of what I suppose must be nano particles.


Nano Grease I use in gearboxes and on gears which aren’t going to be seen and it definitely seems to be the opposite of he Chinese way with new models which seem to think quantity is more important that quality. I clean the Chinese stuff out and add a small quantity of this stuff with excellent results.


So does it work?

Do you remember Victor Kiam? You have to be of a certain age but he was the business man that bought the Remmington Shaver Company and appeared on their TV adverts claiming, “I liked the shaver so much, I bought the company”  [he has also since flogged the company]

Well I didn’t go that far but I do now stock Nano Oils and Grease as the only lubricants that EDM Models sell   [Nano Oils]

In use they make all the difference to the Bachmann 0n30 Shay. Motor current demand drops, the cogging feel you get in the drive shaft when you turn it by hand disappears suggesting the forces that caused the cracking gears have also dropped. In the Ixion models I do sound installs on the motor current also falls but the already excellent slow running also improves.  In one Chinese loco that comes with a low efficiency gear box packed with horrible grease more like congealed cooking fat a thorough clean out and relube with Nano Grease sees the motor current halved.

 1,880 total views,  2 views today