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27-6-2024 14:41:55  #1

Vaseline oil?

Anyone know what is meant by vaseline oil?

In the maintenance section of the 1964 Olivetti Studio 44 Parts, Service and Adjustment Manual it says:
- lubricate, if it is really necessary, the escapement pinion, the various points of coupling, the pivot studs, the seats of the pull rods and links of the cinematics. Use vaseline oil;

There is a similar reference to vaseline oil in the equivalent manual for the Lexikon 80.


27-6-2024 15:16:09  #2


27-6-2024 16:41:19  #3

Re: Vaseline oil?

Good shout Pete, thanks, that sounds like it.  I did a web search but just kept coming up with hits for the petroleum jelly. Nothing obvious came up on the UK Ebay either, Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Body Gel Oil didn't sound right!

     Thread Starter

28-6-2024 01:16:13  #5

Re: Vaseline oil?

Thanks again Pete, your search skills are way better than mine!  From the ad it does sound similar to 3-in-1 or Singer sewing machine oil so I might go with one of those as I have both to hand.

     Thread Starter

28-6-2024 06:20:50  #6

Re: Vaseline oil?

Pete E. wrote:

It might just be the same as 3-In-1 oil for sewing machines.
,,,, snip ....

Oh, please, do not give advice from fields outside your own. 3-In-One™ oil is definitely not a recommended lubrication for sewing machines and indeed is recommended against for sewing machine, as it is for typewriters and all other precision machines, Please do not associate 3-In-One with fine machines; it is good for garden tools, door hinges, rust prevention, etc. In the sewing machine world, it has a reputation much like WD-40 among typewriter people.

Sewing machine oil is a thing, though not a brand name. I use Singer brand, widely available and cheap, on sewing machines and the very rare occasion when I drop a bit of oil in a typewriter. It is thinner and has no tendency to gum, like 3-In-One does.

And, despite their apparent similarities, the two kinds of machine are very different in their lubrication needs: high speed, continuous operation, moderate force, precision bearings vs low speed, intermittent operation, low force, loose connections.

Sorry for all the fuss about this but I want to squelch this 3-In-One idea early.

You might find it interesting that Vaseline petroleum jelly, found in every American medicine cabinet, is a recommended lubricant for certain kinds of sewing machine motor bearings, though not all kinds, and not for other places in sewing machines.

I do not yet have any idea what vaseline oil is but I will learn in the next few minutes.


28-6-2024 08:18:13  #7


28-6-2024 13:14:11  #8

Re: Vaseline oil?

Guess I better get me a blog on the internet if I wanna have any credibility.


12-7-2024 19:56:30  #9

Re: Vaseline oil?

I looked up the Vaseline Oil discussed here, and what I found is that it is a "White" oil.  White oil is a highly refined mineral oil with no olefins or paraffins that can stain, attract soil, and leave residue.  The purer white oils are used in cosmetics and some food which is probably why the Vaseline in the above links are associated with body care products.
The more industrial grades are the base for non-synthetic sewing machine oil, typewriter lubes, and precision spindle lubricants and much more.  The typewriter oils where about a 10 weight and sewing machine oil is lighter probably about a 5 weight.  I have a PDF copy of the Ames Typewriter Repair from the 1940s, and white oil was specified for lubrication except the segment which is not lubed. Any oil in question can be checked with a search for it's MSDS or SDS, and that will show the base oil be it petroleum distillates or white oil.  The only oil I found in the US that is white oil and weight is Liquid Wrench's Light Machine Oil part# L1004.  I've been using it for years and so far no sticky keys or gummy residue.


12-7-2024 20:06:13  #10

Re: Vaseline oil?

I don't think I can edit.  If in a pinch, any oil is better than none, but for the long run the right oil will help machines last with less hassle down the road.


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