RUST on z-axis lead screws

I was away for about 3 weeks and just returned to find a serious amount of rust all over my z axis lead screws on both sides!

I only assembled my kittaz in December and printed a few things and already its out of commission :frowning:. I never greased the machine and don’t think I live in a particularly humid area (Oakland, CA). The machine is, however, exposed to the sun for several hours a day. I noticed that there is more rust on the side closest to the window. Maybe thats not helping?

Do I need to buy replacements already? Very sad. I guess I also need to pick up some lithium grease to prevent this from happening again?

Lithium grease is recommended, typically every month. You may want to grease it, wipe the excess and run it up and down. You can probably run it up and down while wiping off the excess lubricant to clean the threading a bit.

Do you think I can salvage the current rusty screws?

Sure. I’ve had this happen on my small Chinese mini mill and it does not affect performance at all. Clean them up as best you can. I’d use a tooth brush and some rust remover and protect everything with plastic wrap and rags. Careful with the rust remover, use a little and scrub with the brush. Once you’ve removed most of the rust, clean it up with moist rags and then let dry and treat with lithium grease.

Is there a preferred lithium grease or are they all about the same?

Thanks for the advice! I saw on another thread that Lulzbot HQ uses Lucas brand white lithium grease.

Cool, I have a tub of Lucas in my shop. Time to lube my screws.

I ended up using the wd-40 white lithium spray