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Thread: Coolant types for lathe
01-25-2003, 12:43 AM #1
I have a 14" Leblonde lathe that I am in the process of hooking a coolant system on. I am almost ready to go. What type of coolant do you all recomend? Are water based coolants truly rust free? Are oil based coolants realy messy?
I use the lathe somewhat infrequently (maybe once or twice a week). I am cutting mild steel, aluminum and brass. I use both carbide insert tooling and high speed steel. The lathe is also in a room that in un heated and prone to temperatured below freezing (Baltimore MD). Any advice on coolant brands and types would be helpfull. Thank you
01-25-2003, 01:11 AM #2
Me again, Forgot to mention that it is a flood coolant system that I have ready to hook up.
01-25-2003, 03:46 AM #3
You probably don't want to run a flood coolant system on a small home lathe. They do comein handy at times but their best used to cool prodution machining operations where you're either maxing the motor HP in material reduction, deep hole drilling, or parting on a non stop basis.
Water based coolant systems sooner or later turn into toxic waste or biohazards. Another point is water based coolant intrusion in machine tools crevices can promote concealed rust and consequent mechanical problems.
There's a lot of smoke and mirrors associated with coolant promo. All sorts of unsubtaniated and unverifyible claim are made as to one brand's lubricity or another's cutting action, mostly BS. As with religion and cosmetics, coolant promotion claims much but delivers mostly a warm fuzzy feeling - that lasts until you face mortality, new wrinkles, or get poor finishes.
You're best bet for coolant for a home shop is to use an oil based coolant like one of the many brands covering the general category of mineral lard oil. These coolants last for years in the sump (as opposed to a few months) and their intrusion into the guts of your machinery won't pose a problem - in fact many are accptable machine grade lubricants.
Another point is the mess flood coolant inevitable entails. Unless you machine has an excellent splash containment (or you build one) running your machine at coolant justified speeds will sling coolant all over the place.
On a lathe you'll need as least an eyebrow high backsplash and a chuck guard with skirts that extend below the ways on both sides. The chip pan needs to run the full length of the machine and coolant return has to be devised from both ends of the ways. All this stuff has to be easy (tool free) to remove and replace for cleaning and serviceing.
I machine dry most of the time. I apply oil coolant with a brush for parting and soluable oil with a laundry squirt bottle for drilling.
01-26-2003, 01:36 AM #4
Thank you for the advise.
I am aware of the potential mess with the flood coolant system. The lathe is a 14" Leblond Tool and Die makers. It has good guards and a full lenght chip pan with return plumbing in it.
I See Rustlick WS-5050 as a good general use oil based coolant???
Any other brands or favorites out there??
01-26-2003, 03:06 AM #5
01-28-2003, 05:21 PM #6
Doug, how old is your lathe? My 14" Leblond is from 1918. I'm always on the lookout for others with such an ancient beast. - Mel
01-28-2003, 10:30 PM #7Tom Kaye Guest
Water based coolants usually contain rust inhibitors such as sodium Nitrite (Not nitrate) and or sodium sulfite ( not sulfate). The chemicals scavange oxygen. You may also want to try some cooling tower chemicals as these also prevent rust and prevent scale from the water. The polymers in the cooling tower chemcials also surve as a lub.
01-29-2003, 11:08 PM #8Cass Guest
I have a flood coolant system on a precision machine in which the machine sits in a pan which collects the coolant. Coolant that is splashed and slung off is caught by a hood and channelled to the pan for pick up. I prefer to use oil to avoid any possibility of corrosion or etching of the machine or the work piece. A fair amount of oil remains in the pan and on the machine. My interest is in finding a very low viscosity oil (water like) that has a very low odor. The straight mineral oil I have been using has a distinctive "oily" smell. Even with hooding, enough fine mist gets out eventually to give the shop a noticeable smell as well as operator's clothes. The local Mobil dealer talked me into getting 5 gallons of a light spindle oil that has some EP additives. He said it had a "slight" odor and mentioned that some people added a wintergreen scent to it. When the stuff came in I saw it had some warnings about skin irritation etc. and when I opened it the smell was obviously much stronger than the straight mineral oil I had been using. The extreme pressure additives are mostly sulphur and chlorine compounds and I guess they all smell. The Mobil product probably is a good metal working coolant but it could not be used because of the odor and warnings. We used to use GulfCut 11D which was straight mineral oil with a little lard oil. It had a definite odor and we are using something close to that now. If anyone knows of an extremely low viscosity straight mineral oil with a very low odor I would appreciate hearing about it.
01-31-2003, 09:35 PM #9
i have been looking for some kind of petroleum based oil to run in my machines too. not having much luck so far.
like you, Cass, i would like to find something low viscosity and as odor free as i can. mineral oil seems to be it so far.
i am not too far from you. if you hear of something up around the big city, i would like to know. email me or post here as i look at the forums pretty regularly. it keeps me from working so much.
02-02-2003, 11:39 AM #10
billr and Cass--maybe we need a NE Texas group. I am in Whitehouse south of Tyler
02-02-2003, 02:47 PM #11Cass Guest
It might be fun to meet at some mid point. You might start a NET topic and see who is interested in your idea.
02-02-2003, 09:15 PM #12