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will update later NT 03:08, 2 September 2014 (BST)

FAQ at

"What surfaces or materials are OK to use WD-40(tm) Multi-Use Product on?"

"WD-40(tm) Multi-Use Product can be used on just about everything. It

is safe to use on metal, rubber, wood, and plastic.  It can also be
applied to painted metal surfaces without harming the paint.
Polycarbonate and clear polystyrene plastic are among the few
surfaces on which to avoid using a petroleum-based product like
WD-40(tm) Multi-Use Product." 



I don't have time now but this needs sorting out.

3 in One is a brand of oil that attempts to be 3 things in one: lubricating oil, penetrating oil and corrosion prevention. Since these 3 tasks have conflicting requirements its impossible to make a good job of them all with one product. + 3-in-One is a brand of oil, marketed for lubrication, cleaning of metal and protection against rust. It is prone to becoming gummy, which limits its usefulness for lubrication. Nevertheless, it comes packed in a small can with a spout, so it comes in handy for all sorts of jobs.

− Since its prone to becoming gummy we don't recommend it as a lubricant. The cans it comes in are handy. + At least one manufacturer of air conditioners recommends 3-in-One for use during making-up of flared pipe connections, because it does not contain unwanted additives. NT (talk) 14:27, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

... I think it reads better now with a little introductory text before it. I am unsure what "sorting out" would be, but it might be better to rewrite the section as a description of the generic "handy oil" types of products sold in small cans with spouts, and give 3 in One as a popular and typical example. I can do this if you are happy ... Richard Gawler (talk) 08:42, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

I think really it would be best to sort out the existing material first. While you've trimmed a lot of debatables you've also removed an awful lot of diy info. If I didn't have other things to do I'd revert the huge deletions & take the material to uk.d-i-y for the newsgroup to discuss & decide what to do. NT (talk) 00:07, 26 April 2018 (UTC)

I think the structure is much clearer now. Much of the information is still there, just better organised and some of the duplication gone. There was a tendency for some of the sections to include lots of information that while correct did not really have much practical use and were not really DIY relevant like how tankers are labelled, or what markers are included in various oils to discourage tax evasion etc. --John Rumm (talk) 23:15, 26 April 2018 (UTC)

Glowplug fuel

Many differing formulations of glow fuel have been used. Some contain ether & other substances that can cause major accidents or death by inhalation. Some of these formulae are or were surprisingly toxic.

Yup, although its usually the methanol that's the most dangerous component. I put a link into the Model Technics site (A local firm, who are also the largest manufacturers of glow fuel in the UK), they have COSHH sheets for all the components they use.
The take away message being - don't use it for anything other than running engines! (although there is a slight irony, that using petrol as a solvent is an effective way of clearing the gunk out of an old glow engine that was never laid up properly and where all the caster oil has solidified)

--John Rumm (talk) 16:08, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

They have used far more dangerous things than methanol. NT (talk) 17:12, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

Of the compounds used in the model technics fuels, the methanol is the one with most serious health effects (look at the COSHH sheet) - certainly worse than the ether and nitro. Other brands like Byron seem to use similar compounds. Weston seen somewhat more cagey about their blends. Having said that its a bit of a moot point, since I can't see many people thinking that glow fuel is going to be useful as a lubricant anyway. (I would be happy to take the section out along with petrol, since neither really fit most people's understanding of "oil". --John Rumm (talk) 01:45, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

3 brands of current stock does not cover all glow fuels. There have been some nasty formulae out there. NT (talk) 08:25, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

The three mentioned pretty much dominate the market. Still this is not really worth debating further since we are in agreement that its not suitable for use as a lubricant anyway. --John Rumm (talk) 14:50, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Possible Restructure

I suggest, split this page into two topics "lubricants" and "finishing oils" and redirect. This would allow for a better treatment of the two most useful subjects and their applications. We could add for example molybdenum (which I think is worth a mention), and a reader wishing to find out about graphite will cfind it under a more relevant heading.

Fuel oil might justify a topic of its own, but perhaps better with a generic "fuels" topic. There seem to be few details of fuel oil specific to DIY applications.

Yup, that makes sense. Not sure what level the "finishing" category ought to be though. e.g. we could have a "wood finishes" article that includes oil but also other finishing options - that might be too broad though. Could have an "oil finishes" one - that could include metal finishing oils and patination oils, or even a more specific "wood finishing oils", with all the types and perhaps applications techniques as well. --John Rumm (talk) 09:53, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

Only problem would be how to split them. I guess you could just duplicate sections into more than 1 article. Though TBH I don't see an upside, would be more useful to add another article. NT (talk) 14:08, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

The split depends on what you are trying to achieve. To my mind, a wiki like this one should convey useful knowledge and not be a plain repository for information. And so, if you structure articles along the lines of tasks rather than solutions, the "split" as such sorts itself out. Details of items such as airline oil would thus either drop out of the wiki altogether or be called up in an article on compressed air systems. Restructuring needs assessment, selection and removal of material, but not duplication. The goal being to record knowledge in a way people can find it and use it for their own DIY projects.
Yup, its a fair point, we are not trying to be an alternative to wikipedia here. Answering questions like "what are the advantages of different types of wood finishing oil" or "What is the best way to oil oak" are far more useful for our target audience than "what is linseed oil". --John Rumm (talk) 18:43, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
If such articles were to be written (well, two or three important ones to begin with) we might retain this page on 'Oil' to provide links to relevant topics. This needs work of course and a page with dead links is more nuisance than benefit, but it would show which kinds of oils are addressed in the wiki. When most of the topics are written, the entries without links will show oils for which there is little of no DIY application we know of, and they could be removed from the page. Richard Gawler (talk) 14:34, 6 December 2018 (UTC)
We still have a number of what I would term "list" articles - a kind of "here is a loose topic, and now let's vomit everything we know about it onto the page" approach. Some of these are ok starting points for actual articles of interest, but many of these lose sight of an actual narrative. So perhaps a top level article should focus on applications of oil that are of interest - say lubrication, protection, cleaning, finishing etc. Each with its own introduction. Some may be obvious (e.g. the majority will know of oil for its lubrication properties), but may starting woodworkers for example may be unaware of the range of finishing applications for oils. You then also have a nice starting page for oil related DIY jobs as well as a description of the actual products. --John Rumm (talk) 11:13, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
So ... there is no clear primary DIY topic for oil but I think it would be best to keep a page entitled 'oil' because it has so many hits. The revised page might look like this:
Oils for DIY use include a wide variety of natural and refined products. Many applications of oils are complemented by alternative solutions and details of oils are with individual applications:
  • Lubricants [link to a page on lubricants]
  • Wood finishes [link to ...]
  • Cleansers and Degreasants [..]
  • Personal Care [..]
If we also delete all automotive details (there is not enough coverage elsewhere in the Wiki to make them worthwhile) then what is left can either make a few minor fresh topics (perhaps for example "computer care") or be lost. Richard Gawler (talk) 14:20, 7 December 2018 (UTC)

Yup sounds ok to me. One can always move stuff from an article to the pages talk / discussion page if one is not sure what to do with the content. --John Rumm (talk) 17:09, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

I think you 2 may have missed a key point. The prime reason for the existence of these list type articles is that a lot of the entries have uses in more than one situation. Eg paraffin is used as fuel, lubricant, solvent, cleaner, mould release, and more. If you divide this article into 'what do I use for this' type topics, you either do a lot of duplication or omit a lot of relevant info, neither of which is an advantage. The Tape article is another example of this, for most tasks one could pick from several tape types, so splitting it would not be constructive.

I suspect if there were an article on (for example) how to properly use masking tape, it would satisfy questions on that better than the current tape article. At that point you could simply link the section in the current article to the masking one, and satisfy both needs. In fact delegating bits of list articles to more detailed explanations elsewhere helps the list article as well, by making it shorter and less intimidating. You still get the same google hits etc, but they may go to the more specific article.
Generally if you look at the top articles, they are ones that have a narrative and a relatively narrow focus. For example House wiring for beginners is not "weakened" by not including the detail in the cable article or the TT earthing one. --John Rumm (talk) 13:25, 15 December 2018 (UTC)

The number of hits for this page also shows that the article is popular, so it would not really be constructive to remove & replace it.

The other point is that if you want to find out about oils & other lubricants, it's all right here. Having to trawl through a bunch of articles is not an upside.

I thus conclude that removing or replacing the article would not be a good thing.

That leaves the question of how you can address specific subtopics if you wish to. As far as I can see the options are

  1. duplicate content into other new articles
  2. add sections near the top of this one answering topic questions with lists, which the reader can then find more about by reading the current content.

And finally, when there are dead links it's better to replace them with live ones than remove them. Once removed they are generally forgotten about & not replaced. Maybe a discussion thread on how to improve the longevity of chosen links might be worthwhile in uk.d-i-y, as the wiki does have a lot of dead links now. NT (talk) 11:04, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

I am sure, any optimisation is not as binary as you fear.
We can suppose, readers are wanting to do DIY activities. They are searching for conceptual information and reference information, but do not expect step-by-step instructions on how to do these activities. For example, the section on hand cleansing is conceptual information and belongs in the Wiki. The section 'Multigrade Vs Monograde' is also conceptual, but really it belongs in an essay on automotive lubricants. Conversely the section on PTFE is reference information, while the section on DOT5 brake fluid is a bit of a mixture.
If we can separate the conceptual information from the reference information (in our minds, at least) then the composition of Wiki pages becomes a great deal easier. Richard Gawler (talk) 19:50, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

Well, I see plenty of downside and no real upside. If I want some info on oil, it's all right here. And at the same time I get to see about solid lubricants, which many don't even realise are a thing. And other uses of oils, which many don't know about etc. It's an effective way to impart useful info.

Why not add some sections on how to do this or that. I see no reason to fear an article where people are just going to read the sections relevant to their enquiry rather than the whole thing in one. NT (talk) 08:48, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

"This page has been accessed 125,525 times." That is mostly from google & bing, which direct people heavily based on text content. News:uk.d-i-y is in need of new diyer blood, though I don't drink it myself, and this wiki is of course a major source of that. So dismembering the current article would be rather counterproductive.

It's the 40th most popular article out of 614. The people have voted with their mice. NT (talk) 13:19, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

Not sure the page count tells you much of interest really - only that its good at landing search results. We have no further metrics like how long someone stays on the page, or what they seach for after. Given its "lets throw everything including the kitchen sink at it" approach, that is not surprising. Lets face it Make_Things_from_PVC_Pipe is 35th on the list and that is pretty much a "content free" article with a long list of links to external sites, followed by a bullet list with no expansion, explanation, or example. --John Rumm (talk) 13:25, 15 December 2018 (UTC)