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Thread: Best cutting oil for lathe

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    Michaeljp86's Avatar
    Michaeljp86 is offline Aluminum
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    Default Best cutting oil for lathe

    Whats the best cutting oil for lathes? Also where do you get it? I read reviews on the hardware store brand and its sounds like a rip off.

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    tnmgcarbide is offline Titanium
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    whale oil is supposed to be the best , then bacon fat , then i don't know what comes next . animal fats get rancid and stinky, or smell like breakfast.

    on my manual non-coolant machines, i use tapmagic
    on drills and taps and reamers and such. it reduces welding to the tip and galling to the margins .

    i buy it at my local industrial supply , but you can get it at grainger or whatever . about $11 / pint can last i looked.
    only takes a drop. or / cook some bacon and save the grease , put it into a can and apply it w/ a brush

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    FredC is offline Hot Rolled
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    If you are going to use a recirulating pump, these are good oils.
    Mobilmet 440 Series
    Mobilmet 447
    These are both nonstaining, They will not corrode brass or interfere with plating. One of the 2 is heavier (the old NU oil)
    Any petroleum based oil is going to cost more than $4.00 a gallon as the crude it is made from costs about $2.50 a gallon. For brush on aplications some of the members here swear by MolyDee.

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    Michaeljp86's Avatar
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    Theres a industrial supply not to far from me, maybe ill see what they have. They are way over priced though so I could probably order something cheaper.

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    Long Tom is offline Stainless
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    Forget cheap, buy good. A little goes a looong ways.

    By the way you didn't spec material. For aluminum good ol' (bad ol'?) WD-40 is an excellent cutting fluid.

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    Michaeljp86's Avatar
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    For any material, since I never know what projects may come up. I have some really old oil my dad got from work about 40 years ago. Its for tapping and works good but Id hate to use it up so Id like to get some newer stuff. This oil is thick dark and nasty stuff.

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    mike 44 is offline Cast Iron
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    That is plumbers thread cutting oil. I use it myself on steel , You can get a gallon from Enco or a plumbing supply house.The box stores sell them in quarts,costs more that way.
    mike

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    ERS
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    Cutting oil sold at the hardware store often contains sulfur. Even the clear stuff. The sulfur containing oils are good for tough materials like stainless and for gummy steels like mild steel. But the sulfur containing oils stink when they get hot and will stain brass. For general all around machining that requires cutting oil I like the stuff without sulfur. Usually you can only get this from an industrial supplier. Harbor Freight may carry some though. Lots of folks use WD40 for aluminum. It works OK. But there is a cheaper solution. I use lamp oil, the stuff for kerosene lamps. It is just basically deodorized kerosene. I mix it with some non- sulfur containing cutting oil. It doesn't stink, it's cheap, and it works very well. If I'm tapping holes, especially form tapping, I mix more of the cutting oil in to make a thicker solution. It sticks better and works better with the high pressure involved when form tapping. The lamp oil and cutting oil mixture also works great on cast iron.
    Eric

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    Michaeljp86's Avatar
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    Would automatic transmission fluid work as a cutting oil?

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    dgfoster is online now Stainless
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    Here is a recent thread on the same subject with 20 posts: Cutting oil: Mill, lathe

    Here is another with 20 posts:
    Engine oil as cutting fluid

    Here is one on ATF with 20 posts:
    Automatic Transmission Fluid for Lathe Coolant?

    Hmmm... 20 posts seems to be the magic number on this subject

    Denis

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    gmoushon is offline Aluminum
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    If you're not looking for flood cooling, Lard and Kerosene...cut about 60:40. Super cheap and works very well. Was amazed at how nice it works on threading. Read about this on another thread...tried it a really like it.

    gm

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    67Cuda's Avatar
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    If you want something that works, this is what you want. Not cheap, but works great and is VERY high quality.

    Hard-Cut 5258 Light. A unique cutting oil intended for use in Swiss-Style automatics which are dedicated to very difficult to machine alloys, especially high temperature alloys.

    Cutting Oils | Hangsterfer's Laboratories

    Tom
    John Welden likes this.

  13. #13
    Michaeljp86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 67Cuda View Post
    If you want something that works, this is what you want. Not cheap, but works great and is VERY high quality.

    Hard-Cut 5258 Light. A unique cutting oil intended for use in Swiss-Style automatics which are dedicated to very difficult to machine alloys, especially high temperature alloys.

    Cutting Oils | Hangsterfer's Laboratories

    Tom
    whats that stuff cost?

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    Michaeljp86's Avatar
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    I guess you dont want to buy any from lowes

    Shop Ultra Lube Gallon MQL Cutting Oil at Lowes.com

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    machinistrrt is offline Hot Rolled
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michaeljp86 View Post
    Would automatic transmission fluid work as a cutting oil?
    Sure. So does 2 stroke premix oil. I have heard that grocery store canola oil works, though haven't tried it myself. The question is, does whatever you want to use, work well enough for you? There will aways be something that is superior but unless you have it when you need it, or it's the only thing that works, is it really cost effective?

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    Forrest Addy is offline Diamond
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    Sorry to wave my 50 years in a machine shop around like it was an actual badge of authority but be guided by my experience. I worked in a production and repair shop or many years and in all that time I used flood coolant maybe 5% of the time in the heavy tool section where I spent most of my career. When I worked in the lathes and mills I used it about 20% of the time and in vertical turret lathes maybe 40%. It's great stuff used when needed and in a high volume production setting a good coolant selected for the work and the operations will add 15% to the day's production and reduce the tooling costs about the same.

    Look into your actual requirements. Ask yourself these questions: How often do you actually need coolant to improve tool life, carry away cutting heat, improve finishes? Do you make over - say - 20 lb of chips pr week? Are your running a small commercial shop, a nights and weekend home shop, or a hobby shop? How do you intend to use coolant? Flood? Squirt bottles. Spray mist? Brush on? For what material? Steel? Tough stainless? Aluminum? Refractory metals? What operation? Production machining? Threading and form cutting? Why oil only when occasional use of water based coolants is so efficatious, particularly for deep drillings and distortion control? How do you intend to deal with tramp oil and tramp water?

    In my home shop, my rule is never run flood coolant unless it's actually called fror. In 44 years at my present location, I've never filled my coolant systems even in weeks where I generated hundreds of pounds of smoking hot chips making 4" oyster dredge sheave pins from 6" line shafting. I squirt, spray, dab but never flow it on. When streams of coolant meet rotating parts and tools you get splash. Coolant flies everwhere including out on the floor un-noticed unless you have a good coolant containment system. Flood coolant in the home shop is plain too much mess. I have a good 17" lathe and a basic 9 x 42 turret mill. I've never run flood coolant on either. Most of the time I cut dry but with my arsenal of bottles and cals handy for when I need them.

    I have a laundry squirt bottle of mineral lard cutting oil and a bottle of soluable oil. I also have a few cans and bottles of stuff like Magic Tap, Rigid Pipe Threading Oil, WD40 for aluminu (wonderful stuff as an aluminum cutting agent), Chesterdon areosol cutting fluid, and stuff like hand cleaner, bacon grease, and a few witch's brews of my own devising for when I have visitors and I want to seem mysterious.

    So, do you have a well designed splash containment? Do you work with difficult materials or work your machines full time? Make chips by the bucketfull? No? Start a bottle and can collection.

    All that said if you HAVE to run oil based coolant run a simple mineral lard cutting oil. It's a good general ourpose coolant that keeps well in sumps for years. There is little difference in most mineral lars oils sold as coolants. Any differences claimed is mostly hype. Buy a name brand if you wish but house brands work well too. If you have to cheap out and have access to low cost petroleum products for cutting oil use a light hydraulic oil NOT red dyed ATM. The red dye gets everywhere and will permanently stain paints, work clothes, and concrete floors. Useing chainsaw bar oil on machine tools - well, I won't go there.

    Strong emphatic message: Do NOT use motor oil on a machine tool because it's designed to be hygroscopic. Motor oil if used on your machine may cause film rust in cool weather and may stain or varnish if left fror wreeks. Motor oil is designed for internal combustion engine where it works super well. A machine tool has none of the operating characteristics of an internal combustion engine. Use the lubricants reccommended on your machine's lube chart cross-indexed to equivalent lubricants available locally.

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