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Technical How to seal a partially used grease cartridge

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by MrCreosote, May 13, 2022.

  1. MrCreosote
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 303

    from USA

    I have a bunch (yes, I should throw them out...) and simply have aluminum foil crunched over the end that had the pull tab.

    I looked to see if someone actually made snap lids for them, but didn't find any.

    There has to be a better way than I'm doing it.
  2. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 2,872

    oldiron 440

    Yeah I've got a good way of dealing with grease tubes that works very well, I use them up and don't open up a new one until needed...
    Last edited: May 14, 2022
  3. Really ?

    it’s grease ?

    kinda won’t expire .

    keep the dust off it .

    At work I snap a rubber glove over the end .

    Why not consolidate them into one big jar with a lid .

    427 sleeper likes this.
  4. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 11,125

    from Tampa, FL

    Plastic baggie. Big rubber band or tie wrap. Don't forget to tape up the small end.
    427 sleeper, VANDENPLAS and 1971BB427 like this.

  5. dalesnyder
    Joined: Feb 6, 2008
    Posts: 515


    They always seem to liquefy and make a mess. I toss em.
    nochop likes this.
  6. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,353

    from Oregon

    Baggie and a rubber band is what I use too. It's reusable, so it goes back on when done.
  7. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,554

    from Berry, AL

    Yeah, me too. Sometimes I'll pop off the plastic cap on a tube if I just need a smidgen of grease instead of hunting down the gun, but I stick the cap back on until I use it in the gun.
  8. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,369


    I cut them down to the grease level and put on a cap that comes with new tubes.
  9. Fabber McGee
    Joined: Nov 22, 2013
    Posts: 1,137

    Fabber McGee

    If you're not putting it into a grease gun, just buy the little one pound tubs (or whatever size they are) with a snap on lid for dipping your fingers in and smearing on stuff. Grease tubes that go in a gun need to stay in the gun until they're used up. Watch the yard sales and pawn shops for more guns if you need them.
    Most if not all tubes have an expiration date because the oil emulsified into the slippery moly and other additives separates over time and makes the mess that nobody likes. I think you need the whole package of ingredients to get the lubrication you bought the grease for. Use it up faster or buy smaller quantities. A lot of greases are available in the tiny tubes about an inch in diameter and 6 inches long.
    mrspeedyt likes this.
  10. mrspeedyt
    Joined: Sep 26, 2009
    Posts: 813


    just use them up. then move on.
    427 sleeper and clem like this.
  11. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,661


    Grease guns are my nemesis………
    They hate me, - they never work when you want them too, - I can never bleed them properly, - they dribble every where, - the nipple grabber things never come off without breaking either the fitting or the grease nipple.
    Definitely the only tool that I cannot master…….
    I try not to use them……….
    Last edited: May 14, 2022
    Kiwi 4d, Lone Star Mopar and Algoma56 like this.
  12. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,014


    It took me 40 years and a lot of tries to find a decent grease gun. Wasn't cheap but it works.
    i thought gallon zip lock bags were to put things like grease cartridges in. I usually have a 1 lb tub that I can nab grease out of though.
  13. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,994

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    How about sharing the specifics on this gun?
    clem and Jay McDonald like this.
  14. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,519


    Wanner gun from the 60's. Easy to bleed and prime, fills up from a tub with fingers or a spatula. Does not leak if left with spring tension relieved (as in picture).

    Not had a single zerk I could not clear with it yet. Made in Switzerland. Well worth searching for.
    The grease gun of choice of the aviation industry for decades.
    Same angle to the tube as you find on the end of wrenches, for the same reason. Tube is rotatable for better access.

    winr likes this.
  15. MrCreosote
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 303

    from USA

    I didn't know about the expiration date on grease (!)

    I finally started using CAT 5% moly which is the only grease (so far, knock on wood), does not separate and start oozing oil out the tail of my grease gun.

    A long since departed old German mentor told me how to identify a good grease:
    Put a small amount between your index finger and thumb. Open the gap between fingers about 1/4", then squish grease back between them. Repeat this opening and closing. Watch to see if filiments of grease start to grow and span the 1/4" gap. The more and longer the filiments (you can increase the gap distance) the better the grease. The logic is that the grease will keep being drawn back to a place where there is alternating contact and gap.

    Also looking for creative ways to use up these "superseded" greases.
    PhilA likes this.
  16. MrCreosote
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 303

    from USA

    Wow! Wanner! How about a $700 grease gun complete with pressure gauge!

  17. trey32
    Joined: Jul 27, 2014
    Posts: 297


    Get a lock n lube end for your grease gun.
    It clamps on to the zerk and forces grease into the zerk.
    Then you unclamp it and move to the next one.
    You'll wonder why you didn't get one sooner.
    As for bleeding air from the gun, when I screw the can back on with a new cartridge I get about a half turn from all the way on then I push in the pushrod.
    That purges almost all the air out, then I cinch it up and grease away
    clem, gimpyshotrods and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  18. Who in the world says that grease expires,,,,,,,good grief Charlie Brown .
    How in the world were we able to win the war ?

    Yes,,,,,grease can separate slightly,,,,,but it will go right back together when you use it .
    It’s usually petroleum based,,,,,although most wheel bearing grease is soap based,,,,,I never did understand that,,,,LoL .
    Unless you use multiple types in your grease gun,,,,,,there is no reason to switch the tube until empty.
    Always keep the plastic caps for just such an occasion.

    Oh yeah,,,,,anyone that gives 700 bucks for a grease gun ,,,,has way too much money to spend!

    Budget36, VANDENPLAS and 427 sleeper like this.
  19. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 2,019

    from New York

    I'm too lazy to go out to my garage to get a O.D. of a grease cartridge, but McMaster-Carr has push on, round cap's such as PN 9753K112, 10 cap's for $8.85. They look like they would work perfectly for what you need.
  20. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 1,769

    427 sleeper

    It's not rocket surgery... Keep it in the gun until it's gone and keep the gun handy so you can use it at will... :rolleyes:
    Desoto291Hemi and clem like this.
  21. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,586

    from So Cal

    Grease is almost all oil, ~85 - 90% oil, and about 10% thickener, and a couple percentage additives. It varies by type and brand. The "thickener" is usually a type of soap, the most common being lithium, though there are others, but lithium is the most common by far. The soap is formed in the oil in a large kettle where it is brought up to temperature, then the metal salt is introduced into the oil and a fatty acid is added to form the soap. The process is called saponification. It's a chemical reaction. I always think of it like making gravy; you take drippings in a pan and add some flour to make a rue and add some broth and stir it up until it thickens. It's kind of the same thing, only they do it in large kettles with huge paddles. The thickener, or soap, works kind of like a sponge, it holds the oil until the oil is needed to lubricate the bearing or the load zone where it is applied, the soap lets go of the oil temporarily then takes it back up again. on the other side of the load zone. Pretty fascinating stuff.

    All grease has a separation rate, the rate at which it will release the oil when it is just sitting in storage; different greases do this at different rates. We often sell it by the pail, keg or drum. If it's been sitting around for awhile (several years) the separation can cause there to be several inches of oil sitting on top of the grease when the customer opens it. I've heard some oil companies will tell a customer who complains about this to just stir it up with a paddle, which sounds crazy to me. Asking the customer to stir it up with a paddle is a good way to introduce contaminants and particulates into the grease. The few times I've gotten that kind of a call we've swapped the keg or drum out with another one.

    I have a grease gun in the garage with a good synthetic grease in it. A tube will last me several years. I always store unused tubed standing up, to prevent the formation of air pockets in the tube. The gun is for greasing zerks in front ends and drive lines, anywhere else there is a zerk (even the lawn mower). For wheel bearings I have a separate grease in a small plastic tub with a lid to keep out contaminants. The tub I have now I've had for several years.
    clem likes this.
  22. Wrap them up in shrink wrap

    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  23. MrCreosote
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 303

    from USA

    A couple years ago I got this locking grease head - this particular model because it had the smallest barrel diameter as they claimed - it was the same diameter as the old timey one on my gun.

    I highly recommend and also got the FlexZilla grease hose - definitely more bendy than the common.

    Desoto291Hemi and VANDENPLAS like this.
  24. 1ton
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 598


    Condoms? Ribbed, colored, maybe glow in the dark.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  25. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 2,683

    from norcal

    I use this, or one like it

    Attached Files:

  26. MrCreosote
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 303

    from USA

    Cool, my primary gun is the Harbor Freight pneumatic one (with the FlexZilla hose and Macnaught KY+ Zerk head of course!) even though I have a rather fine full size pistol grip A550 Alemite gun .
    Last edited: May 16, 2022
    nochop likes this.
  27. I have a Lincoln electric grease gun

    and a couple almite manual grease guns

    one has a “tip” for doing flush mount zerks
    The other has a coupling style fitting works great on hard to reach zerc as you don’t need to hold the coupling straight once it’s on.

    There is one Raymond reach truck in our rental fleet with one permanently stuck on a zerc fitting that goes through the floor board , the coupling sits flush with the floor board and there is no room to release the “quick disconnect “ coupling .

    mask me how I know :D

    Other then that one instance they work great

    I also have used a grease joint rejuvenator

    it’s a grease coupling on a brass cylinder you fill it with oil and pound on the end with a hammer , cleaned out countless king pins and joint that either have not been serviced in a long time or used in wet applications , point a bunch of oil through it to flush out the old hard grease and contamination, then pump it full of new grease .
  28. H380
    Joined: Sep 20, 2015
    Posts: 472

    from Louisiana

    Old glass jelly or pickle or mason jars.
    MrCreosote likes this.

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