[Beowulf] Re: What is the right lubricant for computer rack sliding rails?

Bob Drzyzgula bob at drzyzgula.org
Fri Feb 6 10:29:45 PST 2009

On 06/02/09 11:37 -0500, Robert G. Brown wrote:
> Truly no ball-bearings?  Usually even cheap drawer rails for use in the
> kitchen have either rollers or bearings.  There is sometimes only a
> single ball bearing in a small cage at the torque/stress point where one
> rail is pressed against another, but straight metal-on-metal -- well,
> there is your problem.  If they aren't lubed to the point where there is
> a relatively thick glide-layer of grease, they'll rub.  If you overload
> them, they'll just scrape off the grease.

This is a good point, one I was thinking about a bit
after I sent my initial response. There is also the issue
that those kinds of rails pretty much have to fit together
very tightly so as not to flop all over the place and
in hopes of having the torque at least spread over a bit
more than just the very corner tip of the rails. As a
consequence of this, there really won't be much of any
kind of interstice to hold grease, or any other lubricant,

> So IMO, you're best solution is to buy better rails, at least for your
> heavy servers.

This was also my thought, but I also figured that if
someone is actually using some of those type of rails
they are likely to be extremely budget-challenged. I also
think that if he's seeing binding with ball-bearing rails,
the racks, as Gus suspects, are in very bad shape, and
those may need to be replaced -- or at least carefully
realligned -- as well before the problem will go away


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