Best way to clean and grease/lube my reloading press?

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Since I bought my Lee Classic Turret press around a year ago, I haven't cleaned it except for occasionally wiping it with a dry paper towel. And since the press has been sitting around for most of winter, I would like to properly clean it and grease/lube it.

Do you experienced guys have suggestions on how to best clean & grease/lube it so that it continues to function properly and hopefully the press will last a long time? Are there any specific cleaners or lube you guys recommend that exists specifically for cleaning a reloading press? Or is just a water damp paper towel good enough? Or just a dry paper towel? I don't care if the press is shiny or anything, I just want it clean and functioning. Or do I use brake cleaner or some other specific substance?

Also do I have to take it completely apart in order to properly clean it? Call me lazy, but I'm hoping that I can just clean & lube without taking it completely apart in order to do regular maintenance. Maybe I have poor internet search skills, but surprisingly I can't seem to find much information on this subject. Thanks in advance for all your answers.
 

deadeye

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Since I bought my Lee Classic Turret press around a year ago, I haven't cleaned it except for occasionally wiping it with a dry paper towel. And since the press has been sitting around for most of winter, I would like to properly clean it and grease/lube it.

Do you experienced guys have suggestions on how to best clean & grease/lube it so that it continues to function properly and hopefully the press will last a long time? Are there any specific cleaners or lube you guys recommend that exists specifically for cleaning a reloading press? Or is just a water damp paper towel good enough? Or just a dry paper towel? I don't care if the press is shiny or anything, I just want it clean and functioning. Or do I use brake cleaner or some other specific substance?

Also do I have to take it completely apart in order to properly clean it? Call me lazy, but I'm hoping that I can just clean & lube without taking it completely apart in order to do regular maintenance. Maybe I have poor internet search skills, but surprisingly I can't seem to find much information on this subject. Thanks in advance for all your answers.
 

ageingstudent

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After wiping down with dry towel/rag and then using a towel/cloth to apply a coat of oil to the piston, be sure to put a few drops of oil in all joints.

What does your reloading user guide/manual say?
Lee recomends 30wt motor oil on the ram but I find that too thick for winter work out in the shop in these parts. I prefer a heavier gun oil like g96. Thinner than 30wt and dust doesn't stick as much and it smells pleasant. I spritz some on the ram and moving parts every so often and it seems to work well and keeps the rust at bay.
 
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I don't have any real experience with the lee classic cast, but IIRC that's a cast iron frame, with a steel ram, motor oil, or grease are going to be your best options. I've had really good luck with moly automotive greases on the dillons, ammoloads and camdexes. However you might try one of the newer gun type greases (like frog lube). However I would recommend cleaning off the old gunk before applying. Usually I try to tear down heavily used presses once per year, I use a combination of brake cleaner, or purple power to get all the goo off. However, you cannot use purple power on anything aluminum (well, you can, but it will discolor it). In those situations I use dawn dishwashing liquid with hot water.

Over-all, I kinda hate using oil on reloading machines, but grease comes with it's own set of problems. For slides, and other bits, I usually use a teflon spray, like Elmers, or Loctite has one. they all work about the same, it just has to dry when done. The other thing you can use is wax/silicone drawer lubricant, that works really well on primer slides, doesn't really catch dirt, and has good sliding characteristics.
 

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