Alps Lubricant FOUND!

mode1ace

12 May 2020, 08:47

Not much to contribute but this is really interesting!

I've always been baffled by how badly most lubes work in 1st gen alps. I really regret ultrasonicing some blue sliders I have as it made them bind more. Would love to salvage them.

RiverDax

18 May 2020, 07:21

Following this too!!!

ZyBeR

22 May 2020, 15:37

Any updates? A comparison with RO59 would be very interesting.

NeK

23 May 2020, 11:20

Wonderful news! please give us an update with the order, did you got it?

NeK

23 May 2020, 11:22

SneakyRobb wrote:
08 May 2020, 15:36
I did find almost the same product code on this pdf page 75
https://threebond.com/wp-content/upload ... -LOCAL.pdf

It has a TB2585G -Not P but, G, and the 1 replaced with the 5. Similar though.

The thing to note is that the sheet while saying its a plastic lubricant indicates its' "x" status for use as a switch lubricant. Meaning unsuitable. Perhaps the P is different from the G though?

Regardless it is a lubricant that is to be used on plastic parts with a white appearance.

Perhaps chyros has some thoughts on this?

I still cannot help but wonder if the TB2581P is merely the currently recommended "modern" lubricant by Alps, versus the actual lubricant used in the 1980s.
I think the letters are referring to the kind of lube it is. L seems to be for Oil, S seems to be for Aerosol (Spray), G for Grease. I haven't figured out what P might mean. Keep in mind that I may be mistaken. Why don't we just ask them if they have the P version and what does that mean?

User avatar
webwit
Wild Duck

23 May 2020, 12:23

Maybe paraffin, i.e. wax.

NeK

23 May 2020, 18:21

This really is very exciting because I was about to make a post about my extensive tests these past few months, where almost daily was trying many different types of lubes and hours upon hours of polishing the sliders and housings with nail files and various sandpaper grits. Only to fail again and again. The lube used on 1st gen is completely out of this general league of lubes. And it is, unfortunately, extremely fragile.

I verified that even if you open a virgin factory lubed switch and just use a gentle paintbrush to gently dust off the rails of the housing and/or the slider, the lube will come off and the switch will lose its smoothness and have binding and stick-slip on corner presses. Just like as if you ultrasonic clean them. And I was about to make a warning post about it for not even thinking of dusting them for this reason.

We need the original spec of that Threebond lube!

NeK

25 May 2020, 08:18

Guys, as I read the spec-sheet for the 2500 series of threebond, I have a feeling that the TB2581P that ALPS recommended, was in fact the lubricant for the bottom part of the slider where the leafs are in contact with. The lubricant on the housing rails and the slider rails may be quite different.

(at least, is almost certain that whatever that lube is, it will probably be from threebond too, so we are still getting closer anyway)

What was the question that you asked them about in your email that they gave that response?

NeK

25 May 2020, 08:26

Chyros wrote:
09 May 2020, 17:50
The wording they use is very specific and doesn't actually say that it is that, which I find suspicious.
In their reply to the second email, the wording is not vague at all:
The lubricant is TB2581P from Threebond.
If the question was specifically asking what was the lubricant used in SKCM/SKCL, then that phrase is unambiguous. It also seems the real deal as this type is out-of-production for decades and nowhere to be found, so it coincides with the timeframe of the production of SKCM/SKCL.

just my 2c

jack0fclubs

03 Jun 2020, 22:33

NeK wrote:
23 May 2020, 11:22
SneakyRobb wrote:
08 May 2020, 15:36
I did find almost the same product code on this pdf page 75
https://threebond.com/wp-content/upload ... -LOCAL.pdf

It has a TB2585G -Not P but, G, and the 1 replaced with the 5. Similar though.

The thing to note is that the sheet while saying its a plastic lubricant indicates its' "x" status for use as a switch lubricant. Meaning unsuitable. Perhaps the P is different from the G though?

Regardless it is a lubricant that is to be used on plastic parts with a white appearance.

Perhaps chyros has some thoughts on this?

I still cannot help but wonder if the TB2581P is merely the currently recommended "modern" lubricant by Alps, versus the actual lubricant used in the 1980s.
I think the letters are referring to the kind of lube it is. L seems to be for Oil, S seems to be for Aerosol (Spray), G for Grease. I haven't figured out what P might mean. Keep in mind that I may be mistaken. Why don't we just ask them if they have the P version and what does that mean?
Not sure how much this will help at this point, but this is a response I got from a ThreeBond Account Manager:

Good morning Jack,

Apologize for the delay here. ThreeBond does still make a product called TB2583G, which would be our closest product to TB2851P. I have attached a data sheet on the product here. Unfortunately, as the product has been discontinued for so long, I'm unable to find a TDS on TB2851P in our files. The letters are assigned to our products as they are created. Instead of changing existing products, when we make adjustments to the formulation they are replaced by a product with a new name (and letter).

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lVS ... sp=sharing

Please let me know if you have any questions at all.
_____

So it seems the letters don't have any specific connotation, just that they tweaked the formula

NeK

04 Jun 2020, 00:59

jack0fclubs wrote:
03 Jun 2020, 22:33
Not sure how much this will help at this point, but this is a response I got from a ThreeBond Account Manager:

Good morning Jack,

Apologize for the delay here. ThreeBond does still make a product called TB2583G, which would be our closest product to TB2851P. I have attached a data sheet on the product here. Unfortunately, as the product has been discontinued for so long, I'm unable to find a TDS on TB2851P in our files. The letters are assigned to our products as they are created. Instead of changing existing products, when we make adjustments to the formulation they are replaced by a product with a new name (and letter).

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lVS ... sp=sharing

Please let me know if you have any questions at all.
_____

So it seems the letters don't have any specific connotation, just that they tweaked the formula
It is way more than useful! Good job Jack. Now we need a sample of that TB2583G. Could you ask him where and how someone can order some of it? Also could you ask him, in what way it differs from the TB2581P? Is it substantially different, or is it just a minor one? Is it an improvement in some particular area?

PS. the link does not work, it give 'access denied', would you be so kind as to upload it here as an attachment? It would be best because it would stay with the forum.
Last edited by NeK on 04 Jun 2020, 01:18, edited 1 time in total.

jack0fclubs

04 Jun 2020, 01:18

NeK wrote:
04 Jun 2020, 00:59
It is way more than useful! Good job Jack. Now we need a sample of that TB2583G. Could you ask him where and how someone can order some of it? Also could you ask him, in what way it differs from the TB2851P? Is it substantially different, or is it just a minor one? Is it an improvement in some particular area?

PS. the link does not work, it give 'access denied', would you be so kind as to upload it here as an attachment? It would be best because it would stay with the forum.
I don't think they know how it differs since they couldn't find the original information on it like the link i posted (attached here:
TDS 2583G.pdf
(23.5 KiB) Downloaded 89 times
). I'll ask them how different they might think it would be and how we might be able to get a sample or order more if it works out.

NeK

04 Jun 2020, 08:52

I noticed that the account manager in his email kept spelling the original model wrong TB2851P instead of TB2581P. This casts some doubts on how well he knows this craft. I hope he knows what he is saying though. Lets see how this goes, let us know when you have any news.

Oldmoon

06 Oct 2020, 04:14

Keep checking this for updates. Any news?

headphone_jack

06 Oct 2020, 16:05

Well, we think we found as close as we're gonna get. TB1855 is a silicone based JIS spec grease that seems to be a direct descendant of the original Alps lube, at least in terms of composition. The only problem is getting a sample of it, as it is not available online anywhere except within Malaysia. However, recently a tube went on sale on US eBay, which a friend of mine promptly nabbed. He has yet to test it on anything though, as his ceiling is being remodeled and it is very dusty. Not exactly an ideal environment for lubing switches as dust sensitive as Alps. Still, I hope this will yield positive results. Still not 100% certain, but I'm pretty damn sure this is as close as you can get to OG alps lube. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the best Alps lube though, so don't go out and start importing gallons of the stuff for resell. There is a high probability that modern silicone based lubes meant for keyboards offer much better smoothness than an industry grade lube meant for contact protection above all else.

zzxx53

06 Oct 2020, 18:19

Exciting news! Looking forward to the review.

bujorc

06 Oct 2020, 18:47

headphone_jack wrote:
06 Oct 2020, 16:05
Well, we think we found as close as we're gonna get. TB1855 is a silicone based JIS spec grease that seems to be a direct descendant of the original Alps lube, at least in terms of composition. The only problem is getting a sample of it, as it is not available online anywhere except within Malaysia. However, recently a tube went on sale on US eBay, which a friend of mine promptly nabbed. He has yet to test it on anything though, as his ceiling is being remodeled and it is very dusty. Not exactly an ideal environment for lubing switches as dust sensitive as Alps. Still, I hope this will yield positive results. Still not 100% certain, but I'm pretty damn sure this is as close as you can get to OG alps lube. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the best Alps lube though, so don't go out and start importing gallons of the stuff for resell. There is a high probability that modern silicone based lubes meant for keyboards offer much better smoothness than an industry grade lube meant for contact protection above all else.
Curious which modern silicone based lube, fit for 1st gen alps nylon sliders, provides better smoothness? Besides RO-59, which is a pain to apply correctly (multiple layers, heat, etc.) and which makes the switches sound high-pitched anyhow in the end, I couldn't get any other lube work great for Alps, like the original did...

NeK

07 Oct 2020, 02:04

headphone_jack wrote:
06 Oct 2020, 16:05
Well, we think we found as close as we're gonna get. TB1855 is a silicone based JIS spec grease that seems to be a direct descendant of the original Alps lube, at least in terms of composition. The only problem is getting a sample of it, as it is not available online anywhere except within Malaysia. However, recently a tube went on sale on US eBay, which a friend of mine promptly nabbed. He has yet to test it on anything though, as his ceiling is being remodeled and it is very dusty. Not exactly an ideal environment for lubing switches as dust sensitive as Alps. Still, I hope this will yield positive results. Still not 100% certain, but I'm pretty damn sure this is as close as you can get to OG alps lube. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the best Alps lube though, so don't go out and start importing gallons of the stuff for resell. There is a high probability that modern silicone based lubes meant for keyboards offer much better smoothness than an industry grade lube meant for contact protection above all else.
Great stuff. I wonder if there is some equivalent lube from other manufacturers (that is readily available in the US and EU) and has a similar composition. I am wiling to bet that especially if they have the same viscosity, they will be indistinguishable from the OG. I don't care to spent some money and buy a few just for testing them. Just the other day I bought an Aluminum Complex based grease just to test (spoler: didn't work). Have you perhaps found the datasheet for TB1855? That would be nice to take a look at.

headphone_jack

07 Oct 2020, 04:49

Will grab the datasheet for you, give me a minute.
Last edited by headphone_jack on 07 Oct 2020, 04:51, edited 1 time in total.

headphone_jack

07 Oct 2020, 04:50

NeK wrote:
07 Oct 2020, 02:04
headphone_jack wrote:
06 Oct 2020, 16:05
Well, we think we found as close as we're gonna get. TB1855 is a silicone based JIS spec grease that seems to be a direct descendant of the original Alps lube, at least in terms of composition. The only problem is getting a sample of it, as it is not available online anywhere except within Malaysia. However, recently a tube went on sale on US eBay, which a friend of mine promptly nabbed. He has yet to test it on anything though, as his ceiling is being remodeled and it is very dusty. Not exactly an ideal environment for lubing switches as dust sensitive as Alps. Still, I hope this will yield positive results. Still not 100% certain, but I'm pretty damn sure this is as close as you can get to OG alps lube. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the best Alps lube though, so don't go out and start importing gallons of the stuff for resell. There is a high probability that modern silicone based lubes meant for keyboards offer much better smoothness than an industry grade lube meant for contact protection above all else.
Great stuff. I wonder if there is some equivalent lube from other manufacturers (that is readily available in the US and EU) and has a similar composition. I am wiling to bet that especially if they have the same viscosity, they will be indistinguishable from the OG. I don't care to spent some money and buy a few just for testing them. Just the other day I bought an Aluminum Complex based grease just to test (spoler: didn't work). Have you perhaps found the datasheet for TB1855? That would be nice to take a look at.
The datasheet should be available here: http://www.threebond.co.jp/en/product/r ... 160129.pdf

Hanslau

07 Oct 2020, 07:53

Malaysia only? Funny, i just so happen to live in Malaysia and am typing this on my Blue ALPS keyboard.

User avatar
Yasu0

08 Oct 2020, 02:27

I think I can get this stuff from a friend if you guys want to purchase. He works with 3B. I mean by that the currently in production product, not new old stock of the discontinued product.

NeK

08 Oct 2020, 07:59

Yasu0 wrote:
08 Oct 2020, 02:27
I think I can get this stuff from a friend if you guys want to purchase. He works with 3B. I mean by that the currently in production product, not new old stock of the discontinued product.
Well that is interesting. I certainly would love to get one.

User avatar
Yasu0

08 Oct 2020, 20:26

Ok I will post here if I am able to get 1855 in US. Non US market product probably will have long wait time.

What is strange, I just started using alps for the 1st time ever yesterday. I noticed uneven key feel and was disappointed. So I was thinking about trying to lubricate the switches then I run across this thread..

Hanslau

09 Oct 2020, 16:35

Do report back, would also like to know if this lube is suitable for other switches

User avatar
Yasu0

09 Oct 2020, 18:45

Heads up on eta, if he can get these products it will likely take 1 to 4 months to arrive. Just to prove I am not an interweeb liar with no 3B dealings here is some trans seal from my last request. :D
Attachments
3b stash.jpg
3b stash.jpg (80.63 KiB) Viewed 290 times

NeK

09 Oct 2020, 19:12

You are now the official supplier of threebond goodies on deskthority. All hail to our great provider!

(I hope it is closer to 1 month than to 4 though)

User avatar
ZedTheMan

09 Oct 2020, 19:12

Count me in if you can end up acquiring some.

Hanslau

09 Oct 2020, 22:40

I can get it for u faster than 4 months haha. Very pricy, 100g for almost 30USD. No smaller amounts. Ur friend might get a better price

Sorry I don't do imperial units

User avatar
joebeazelman

11 Oct 2020, 09:39

Let me preface this by stating that I am not a tribologist, nor have I ever lubed switches. Nevertheless, I have been reading the posts here with keen interest as I plan on restoring some old Alps switches.

A client of mine, who services microscopes, uses a dampening grease made by a company called Nye Lubricants. He suggested I contact them to see if they offer a product similar to Threebond 2583G. He claims lubricants vary little among manufacturers given a specific application, since they often cross license each other's product to serve their respective markets.

I took his advice. After a series of emails with the representative, and sending her the Threebond 2583G datasheet, she suggested trying their 760G formulation. She claims it's nearly identical to it and provided me with a summary along with a detailed datasheet. I figure others who are more knowledgeable might be able to determine if this maybe a suitable alternative as it is widely available and reasonably priced. At the end of the day, it's all about the feel.

I've attached the summary and the datasheet for anyone interested.
TDS_SHORT_English_NYOGEL+760G (2).pdf
Nyogel 790G Summary
(70.86 KiB) Downloaded 19 times
Attachments
product_overview___nyogel_760g (1).pdf
Nyogel 790G Datasheet
(663.72 KiB) Downloaded 8 times

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