Real Steel

P.E. Erickson & Son, NY c.1915 Leaf Spring Lubricator

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This lonely and unwanted 100 year old car tool followed me home.  It sat there on eBay, embarrassingly cheap, and no takers.  It even came with a fragmented original box top.  Honestly, what else could I do? !

 

It literally looks unused since there are no contact marks at the wedged tip.  There was a little bit of black grease in the cup and along the grease path, and it had the consistency of un-aged NLGI-3 grease.

 

There is almost NOTHING on-line about this particular tool.  I can find it mentioned in auto trade publications in 1915 and 1917, but that's it.  Does someone have one, or maybe has seen one ?  I'm curious how common this tool is now, and was 100 years ago.  

 

 

 

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Edited by Real Steel (see edit history)

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I understand the concept, but how does the grease get from the cup to the tip of the spreader? Very nice find!

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10 minutes ago, 46 woodie said:

I understand the concept, but how does the grease get from the cup to the tip of the spreader? Very nice find!

The wedge looks like its drilled.

 

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I have seen pictures of this type of lubricator in books, but I don't remember where. It is a relic from the days before spring liners, when leaf springs were lubricated with graphite grease. By "graphite grease" I don't mean.the kind you find in a hardware store with a tiny bit of graphite added to enhance slipperiness. No, this stuff was really loaded with graphite. It was probably more graphite than grease.

 

Doing the job with a grease cup sounds like masochism to me. I have a "lubroclamp", a similar tool but for cars with gaiters and a round hole in the middle of the spring leaves for the grease to enter. I dedicated a cheap grease gun to it.

 

Restoration Supply in California has real graphite grease if anyone needs some.

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Yes, the wedge looks drilled but the grease cup is over the threads. How does it get thru the treads into the wedge?

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Never seen this exact tool, but they were common into the mid thirties. I have seen ones that attach to a grease gun. 

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Deep down in a box of Model A & T  tools I have the exact same tool. Until now it was the only one I knew of... 

 

I put a modern zerk in when I use it and it does work well.

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3 hours ago, mikewest said:

The wedge looks like its drilled.

 

That's correct, the wedge is drilled for grease to exit.

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49 minutes ago, 46 woodie said:

Yes, the wedge looks drilled but the grease cup is over the threads. How does it get thru the treads into the wedge?

The tool has an internal passage from the grease cup to the wedge.  As it sits right now, the cup can still be turned down several more turns to move the grease along.

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I have one of them hanging on the wall of my shop . My daughter found it in a junk shop did not know what it was , Thank you all .Kings32

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The ones without the grease cup are a wonderful tool.  The ones with the grease cup are great but a bit slower to use.  Of course they are less messy.

I have a modern (1930's) version and have used it every couple of years for the last 58 years.  My Grandfather used it for the previous 29 years but I am not sure how often.  When he was using it the springs has gaiters but they fell apart in the early 50's.

Edited by Tinindian (see edit history)

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I have seen in old manuals, to pry the leaves apart with a cold chisel and pack in some grease with a putty knife. I suppose this is an improvement.

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On 11/23/2018 at 9:25 AM, Mark Shaw said:

Dry Graphite lubricant lasts indefinitely,

Yes, but the graphite, once it dries out, is corrosive when it gets damp. Remember, graphite is at the bottom of the galvanic series. You have to replace the volatiles every now and again.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)

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Here’s mine, along with a tool you can pack with grease, an then use a hammer to force it into a plugged fitting, that way you can force the dirt and rust in as well... I don’t use it for that reason.

23CEE5A6-6D32-4352-9EC7-4005E7376726.jpeg

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16 hours ago, Mark Wetherbee said:

Here’s mine, along with a tool you can pack with grease, an then use a hammer to force it into a plugged fitting, that way you can force the dirt and rust in as well... I don’t use it for that reason.

23CEE5A6-6D32-4352-9EC7-4005E7376726.jpeg

 

The tool on the left looks like the tool shown in post #1, except the grease cup has been replaced with a Zerk fitting.

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53 minutes ago, Real Steel said:

 

The tool on the left looks like the tool shown in post #1, except the grease cup has been replaced with a Zerk fitting.

 

It is, I mentioned that I changed it to a zerk a few posts earlier, that way I could use a modern grease gun which is a lot quicker than using a cup...

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