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#271527 - 03/19/12 08:40 PM Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil
keith Offline
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Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 3064
Awhile back, I was perusing an antique tractor website and happened upon a discussion about penetrating oils. A number of folks were very enthusiastic about their successes with Oil of Wintergreen. Anyone who has worked on old tractors knows this is a good test track for frozen, rusted fastener removal.

Since I haven't been very impressed with anything currently on the market, and I've tried a bunch, I bought a 4 oz. bottle of pure Wintergreen Oil and tried it yesterday. I was working on an 1891 vintage Lefever that wouldn't cock on the right side, and had a sluggish top lever. There were several stubborn screws, and one, the retaining screw for the top lever spring was broken off flush with the action surface. I gave each stubborn screw a dose of the Wintergreen and let it work for only about an hour. All unscrewed with less effort than I expected. One sear adjusting screw on the right sideplate took a couple taps with a screwdriver in the slot before it turned, but then it moved easily. This one had a buggered screw slot, and apparently had resisted someones earlier efforts to move it. The small (#5-40) top lever spring retaining screw which was broken unwound easily by turning it out with a dental pick. All of the threads on the screws were wet all the way down, and the stuff seemed to wick into the threads quickly. It's very thin. Smells a lot better than most penetrating oils too.

I realize one gun doesn't prove much, but so far this looks promising. Has anyone else here heard of this or used it?
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#271531 - 03/19/12 09:02 PM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
Kutter Offline
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Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 1203
Used it as a graver lube for use on gold, brass, copper ect. Never as a penetrating oil,,but maybe I should give it a go.

Kroil works pretty good for penetrating oil but I hate the smell of the stuff.

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#271532 - 03/19/12 09:07 PM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
Rocketman Offline
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Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 5128
Keith, have you tried "Mouse Milk"?

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#271543 - 03/19/12 09:54 PM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
limapapa Offline
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Registered: 02/22/06
Posts: 74
Loc: Colorado
Marvel Mystery Oil has oil of wintergreen in it, hence the smell. If there is an oil that has been used more on old tractors to free seized parts, I don't know what it is.

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#271573 - 03/20/12 02:34 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
keith Offline
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Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 3064
When I worked for General Motors, Kroil was all we used. Almost everything I used it on was indoors and never severely corroded. After what I had read about Kroil, I expected great things. But many times, even after very long soaks and repeat applications, I would find that it didn't penetrate very deep, and the fastener had dry threads a short way down.

I never tried Mouse Milk, although I did note a few strong recommendations for it when I searched around more for references to Oil Of Wintergreen as a penetrant. I'll probably end up trying it unless the Wintergreen proves to be far above everything else I've tried since Cabot's Tasgon was removed from the market. It contained creosote, smelled very bad, but worked miracles. I have a small amount left that I only use for extreme emergencies.

Other than long experience under different conditions, I don't know how one could fairly evaluate penetrating oils. If I try four or five brands on one stubborn screw before I break it loose, how do I know one of the earlier ones didn't do most of the work?
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#271590 - 03/20/12 07:47 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
2-piper Offline
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Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 10037
Loc: Lynchburg TN
I recall a thread posted here some time back where a group had done some testing on penetrants. Seems they took identical bolts & rusted the nuts on them under identical conditions. They then used various penetrants & recorded the torque necessary to break the rusty nuts free. First place went to a 50/50 mix of Dexron ATF & Acetone, with Kroil coming in second. I don't recall
oil of Wintergreen being in the test, so of course no conclusins on it can be drawn from that test.
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#271597 - 03/20/12 08:03 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
LeeS Offline
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Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 579
Loc: PRNJ
Just curious; Where are you getting your oil of wintergreen?

I know they used to be available from a pharmacies. In a quick search I see Wintergreen Oil essential oil for aromatherapy or food flavoring. I don't know if they are the same thing or simply wintergreen extracts in an emulsion of vegetable/other oil.

Thanks

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#271609 - 03/20/12 08:58 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
docbill Online   content
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Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 190
Loc: college station tx
The key to any penetrating oil is surface tension. The lower the surface tension of the oil the smaller sized pore the oil will saturate and wet. Wetting is the operative function. Wetting reduces friction that prevents turning; much like dry clay soil wetting results in slick mud.

A test to show effececy is to take a rusty nail, 8/10 penny or so, and stand it head down in a jar lid and lean it against a cardboard box. Fill the lid with the product and watch to see if the liquid wicks up the nail. If it doesn't then it won't penetrate well. The one that wicks the highest is the best product.

I make an industrially available penetrating oil and it beats Kroiloil cold.
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#271641 - 03/20/12 10:47 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
TwiceBarrel Offline
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Registered: 03/28/05
Posts: 628
Loc: Flint Hills of Kansas
An additional benefit of Oil of Winter green is that as it absorbed by the human body it creates acetylsalic acid (aspirin) and sooths those aching arthritis joints.

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#271784 - 03/21/12 05:17 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
keith Offline
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Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 3064
LeeS, I bought my bottle of oil of wintergreen from an Ebay seller. The item no. for the 4 oz. size is 220518036153. The same seller has several other sizes. This is supposed to be 100% pure essential oil which, according to several sellers that I contacted, is pure unadulterated product. I was cautioned that this is too concentrated for prolonged skin contact as TwiceBarrel suggests for arthritis relief.

I also saw a synthetic version (methyl salicylate) being sold at generally lower prices, but I never saw any reference to the synthetic version being as good as a penetrating oil. The same seller had some cheaper stuff that is not as pure and is used for scented candle making. This 4 oz. bottle cost me $5.99 with $4.99 shipping.
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#271787 - 03/21/12 06:14 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
Stan Offline
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Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3266
Loc: somwers in Jawja
After 41 years loosening rusted fasteners on the farm, on equipment that may never see shelter, I have settled on Zep 45 as being the best penetrant I have ever used. However, I am certainly open to suggestions as to a penetrant that will beat it. But, for now, Zep 45 is the standard to be beat, for me.

docbill, would you please enlighten us more about your product? If you feel uncomfortable doing so on the forum, feel free to p.m. me.

I'm certainly not pooh-poohing OoW as a penetrant, never tried it.

SRH
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#271811 - 03/21/12 08:29 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
docbill Online   content
Sidelock
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Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 190
Loc: college station tx
Hopefully the powers that be won't object. This isn't advertising.

My product is called Burlite. I have sold it for about 20 yrs. to the refineries/chemical plants along the Tx/La Gulf coast. Each spring/fall they do turn arounds when the plants are broken open and the catylst removed/reloaded to change from heating oil to gasoline production and vice versa. A lot of the hard hats in the plants think this product works better than anything else, of course a lot of people say that. You have to decide on you own.

From my experience with these things, wicking/capaliry action is the critical issue to achieve wetting in micropore spaces like a rust matrix. Nothing will work on galled metal because there is no micro porosity.

If anyone wants a sample please PM me, e-mail at docbill72@ gmail.com or call 800-962-9693 and we can work out the details.
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#271813 - 03/21/12 08:57 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
Julio Offline
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Registered: 06/07/10
Posts: 108
Loc: northern Idaho
Docbill,
How about posting a link to that industrial penetrating oil that you market so I can order some and give it a try. I've not had great luck with Kroil where frozen screws on old doubles are concerned.
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#271815 - 03/21/12 09:11 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
JDW Offline
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Registered: 02/04/06
Posts: 2637
Loc: Eastern Pa
docbill, I have worked until retirement in fossil generating stations for most of my working life. I have taken apart generators, turbines and taking these apart, the shells were held in with 2 1/2"-3" turbine bolts that were coated with anti-seize Felpro with a copper additive to it. Our nuclear stations would only allow the graphite additive Felpro and most if not all bolts were stainless of some kind. These large turbine bolts have a hole in them for an electric heat rod that headed the bolt and then were removed with a 2" drive impact gun held by a crane. These bolts came out fairly easy, but it was some of the other bolts that would not come out so easily. For those we used Kroil penetrating oil. We had many fossil generating stations and also used many gas turbine engines for back-up power. In these building it was always very damp as the buildings were concrete with the gas turbines mounted on stands with rubber bushings. Sometimes these mounting bolts were also very hard to remove and Kroil always seemed to do the job.
The reason I bring this story up is, our company had tried all the available products out there to find out what works the best, and they have stuck with Kroil for many years. It is quite possible that your product wasn't researched, and like you said, I cannot give a comparison of the two. Kroil seems to be like the old Liguid Wrench.

I realize this should be in Mis-Fires, so excuse me.
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#271821 - 03/21/12 09:19 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
Franchi Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 10/15/03
Posts: 479
Loc: Pa.
Hi:

I have found ATF and acetone to be as good as anything for rusted fasteners on cars etc.!

One may add other ingredients to the ATF/Acetone mix to enhance its performance but I am quite happy with the above mix!

I added some Liquid Wrench to the mix to enhance the "wetting action",but it did not seem to do any good.

Stay well,

Franchi

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#271828 - 03/21/12 10:01 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
docbill Online   content
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Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 190
Loc: college station tx
I don't have a web site because when we did NO one from the industrial world ever used it. There have been locations who used Kroil oil and ditched it for us and places who tried us and didn't change and I can't explain why. This is a try it yourself and see what happens problem.

There are tricks to using most penetrants and one is to keep the part wet so that the liquid has time to wick. Sometime that requires wetting rags and putting them on the head/nut or both and wrapping with plastic for several days before hitting the bolt ends with hammers and then torque. Innovative thinking is required sometime.
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#271968 - 03/21/12 08:38 PM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
keith Offline
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Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 3064
Docbill, I found it interesting how you said that a good penetrating oil will climb a rusty nail. That reminded me that the now unavailable Cabot's Tasgon I mentioned as being so fantastic would climb out of an unsealed can and stain the sides and bottom.

I have used the Zep 45 that Stan mentioned, and found it far superior to Kroil, but I still keep searching for something better. I'm glad so many people have had success with Kroil, but if it ever fails you, I would try something else before resorting to more extreme measures like drilling out the stuck fastener. Patience really is a virtue when you are dealing with a stuck screw. I've had a few that resisted repeated efforts for days, and then when I went back at it weeks later it would come out as if it was never stuck. I really don't think topics like this are off topic because many of us are into repairing and restoring old doubles, and if we can help each other from stripping, breaking, or buggering screws, that's a good thing.
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#271977 - 03/21/12 09:01 PM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
tudurgs Offline
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Registered: 10/26/06
Posts: 664
Loc: Au Sable River, MI
I wonder if the types of metals which are rusted makes a difference?

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#272013 - 03/21/12 11:50 PM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
keith Offline
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Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 3064
It certainly does. Some alloys of steel rust faster and more severely than others. Some gall more easily, and some are softer and more prone to twisting off or deforming before the bond of the corrosion can be overcome. Also, some alloys are just better suited for machining clean smooth threads.
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#272034 - 03/22/12 06:53 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
cherry bomb Offline
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Registered: 06/21/07
Posts: 213
I always am amused when some one comes up with substance or concoction to which they attritube wonderful and mysterious properties far beyond and vastly superior to more common things like plain old penetrating oil in this instance. Any oil that is very light or made light with the addition of a solvent like acetone etc, will be drawn into a joint by capillary action. Funny that no one puts forth their credentials such as a lubrication chemist who studied at RPI, etc. Or telling us about his side by side testing of multiple substances on several of the exactly same rusted fastener in the exact same environment, all at the same time. Freeing up up a manure spreader bolt one day, and a sickle bar fastener a month later, doesn't nean much. This is like a grandfather talking about his grandkid who is ugly as sin, but is the most handsome kid in the world if you listen to grandpa. CB

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#272070 - 03/22/12 08:57 AM Re: Oil of Wintergreen as Penetrating Oil [Re: keith]
docbill Online   content
Sidelock
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Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 190
Loc: college station tx
Well cherry bomb, I do have a Ph.D. and have been making lubricants for 25 years although I am not a tribologist. There are ASTM tests for corrosion but I don't know of one for loosening rusted materials. If you have a reference then please pass it along.

When I first bought this formula from the chemist who developed it, I had surface tension tests run on the product to see what its numbers were. Burlite was a 27 dyne's per cm and water is about 75. The key here isn't oil viscosity ie. lightness it's surface tension. There are a number of combinations that will lower surface tension to promote saturated flow in small porosity and with enough back yard chemists trying enough combinations there will be multiple products developed and at that point it becomes a marketing game.

If WD-40 works for you, it is a great water displacer and not much of a penetrant, or your own home concoction then go for it.
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