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Thread: What type of oil for my lathe?
06-05-2011, 08:16 PM #1
What type of oil for my lathe?
My manual (leblond 15 x 30) reads
(use high quality rust oxidation inhibited oil, 300 s.s.u. At 100 degrees f. For all lubrication)
what type of oil would that be at a regular automotive store?
Or where do i need to get it & what would it be called?
06-05-2011, 08:23 PM #2
Exxon Mobil DTE Heavy Medium is 335 SSU at 100 F. Sold at places like McMaster-Carr. I have used it in lathe head stocks for over 30 years now.
06-05-2011, 08:27 PM #3
Your local auto store probably won't have it, but a farm supply probably will (here they do anyway) if you don't have an industrial supplier handy.
That's an ISO 68 gear oil, R&O is the designation for rust and oxidation inhibitors.
To convert all kinds of weird oils viscosity specs this page has it all: oils.
If you are in a pinch and just need some oil in there get some 80W gear oil.
06-06-2011, 01:54 AM #4
This chart cross references a number of ISO 68 lubricating oils from different manufacturers which are suitable for your lathe. It's a useful chart to keep at hand as it covers a number of different machine tool ISO lubricant grades.
Automotive stores don't carry these sorts of lubricants, oil distributors and machine shop supply firms do. MSC carries (as does McMaster-Carr) ISO 68 in gallons for about $25. Oil distributors generally carry five gallon pails as their smallest amount sold.
06-06-2011, 02:32 AM #5
In a pinch to commission a machine you can fill the headstock with a medium hydraulic oil from the farm store or a hydraulics outfit. Or in a bigger pinch use ATF and suffer with the red dye. Any oil is better than no oil but it's best to use the reccommended lubricant or its modern equivelent from a cross reference list. The requirements aren't critical and the machine won't explode if you don't get the perfect match.
Oil wars have raged pn PM in threads long as 80 responses. The gist of the discussions is everyone has his favorite series of lubricants for general use in the shop. The correct selection is, of course, mine.
06-06-2011, 05:13 AM #6
A 68 Hydraulic oil is about the easiest thing to come by, Shell Tellus 68 is quite commonly used in headstocks. I use shell omala 100 usually. Some lathes with a friction clutch might get a little pickier on oil type, but I know hydraulic oil did just fine on the ones I used.
06-06-2011, 08:55 AM #7
I note that the lub recommendations is for all lubrication. I found that it is better to use a way oil to bed and slides. The stick/slip coefficient is lower than a standard machine oil, giving a smoother slide operation.
06-06-2011, 09:54 AM #8
06-06-2011, 11:45 AM #9
06-06-2011, 12:04 PM #10
06-07-2011, 08:37 AM #11
06-07-2011, 08:57 AM #12
06-07-2011, 09:47 AM #13
Actually TD is right and it has been discussed at length in at least one thread already.
People and lubricants seem to fall into 3 categories:
-Those who will use anything and everything other than what is officially recommended.
-Those who are overly anal about it and will obsess about some weird discontinued oil when a modern one will do fine.
-Those who need to get a machine running and need something slippery and "good enough" until they get the real stuff.
I figured the OP was in the last category and I will bet my Schaublin that for a few months or even much longer that an automotive gear oil won't hurt a thing.
06-07-2011, 02:14 PM #14
OK, if we're gettin' picky...
300 SUS @ 40C is equal in viscosity to an ISO 68. I would aggree with using a hydraulic oil. As for availability, most farm stores and some O'Reily stores.
80W and 80 weight (wt) are not the same. Similarly 80/90 and 80W/90 are not the same. Screwmachine originally said 80W. That has a minimum viscosity of 7 cst @ 100C not at 40C (100F). The problem with 80W is on the cold end. 80W can go as high as 100 cst or 500 SUS when cold. Too thick IMO.
Staying away from automotive lubes is a good general statement. It's not the lubes in general, but many contain an EP additive that usually consists of a chlorinated ester or a sulfer dioxide compound. It's the EP additives that cause the problem. Unless you know for sure that an automotive lube does not contain an EP additive, buy something else.
06-07-2011, 09:43 PM #15
Also, I thought spindle oils contained some sort of rust inhibitor not present in automotive oils, because the latter was intended to be dumped fairly regularly while the spindle oil was meant to be kept in service for years on end? I too have an old 13" LeBlond and have wondered just how critical all this was. I mean, the thing was built in 1947 and as Screwmachine noted there have been numerous improvements in the world of oil & lubrication since then. I've run just about everything in my headstock throughout the years simply due to availability (or lack of) with no adverse effects, and it presently contains ISO 68 "circulating oil". Don't know what differentiates "circulating oil" from any other, it claims to contain a rust inhibitor, and I was told "that's the stuff you want" by someone who knew more about all this that I ever will, so there it is.
JR, I have to ask ..... if the EP additive is such an issue then why would it not also be harmful to the innards of an automotive gearbox? After all, it contains thrust washers, shift forks, bearing cages, etc. I have yet to figure out what makes a machine tool gearbox so different from an automotive gearbox ..... it's not like the gears realize that they are rolling down a highway and therefore the Union Rules say they have the right to ask for a different oil
06-08-2011, 06:41 AM #16
For the automotive stuff, it's the SAE specs that you have to look at. Most of the new automotive fluids are no backward compatable. Case in point; if you are building up an old 1960s V-8, most engine builders will tell you to use a racing oil and that the newer oils will not stand up to an older engine.
06-08-2011, 07:03 AM #17
GL-5 has the EP additives and is needed for hypoid gears such as in differentials, etc. GL-4 either doesn't have these additives or has a very much smaller amount and is intended for straight cut spur and helical spur gearing with synchronizing rings such as found in manual transmissions. Newer manual transmissions (especially those with needle bearings) run ATF.
None of this matters in a lathe of course. An ISO 68 circulating oil would be perfect. These will often have "R&O" on the label, which stands for Rust & Oxidation inhibitors - at least Mobil DTE 68 has such a designation.
06-08-2011, 05:28 PM #18
Fasto, that's one of the things that confuses me ...... one oil for hypoids, one for helicals/spurs, another for needle bearings, etc. Yet in some automotive applications (motorcycles) you might find all these things in the same box, plus a few more (plain bearings) all sharing the same oil, .... engine oil! That's what originally started me questioning all this. I'm guessing the most important spec for machine tools is the "R&O" designation? Also, I get the impression that running a lighter weight oil is less harmful than a heavier one, assuming the correct one isn't readily available?
06-08-2011, 05:58 PM #19
borne, a major consideration is that the oil must be able to flow into the areas where it is needed. If the oil is too thick then rolling element bearings will form a channel where there is no oil. Plain bearings will force out the oil film and it will not be replaced. With a pressurized system a thicker oil could be used but there is usually no benefit.
internal combustion engines use oil that has additives to keep combustion products in suspension, to carry them to a filter or out when changed. Systems like your lathe are not exposed to such contaminants. Their oils are not supposed to retain contaminants but release them, to settle out to the bottom of the gearbox. R&O oils are probably the most common lubricant. They are found in hydraulic systems, gearboxes, machine tools, and very large systems such as turbogenerators. When an internal combustion engine and gears and such are combined in one application then the internal combustion oil is usually used. It is however a compromise.
06-09-2011, 06:47 AM #20
Oils are a different story from lubes. As Midget stated, it's the additives, this time, detergents. 2 problems that they will cause in a machine tool; keep the contaminants in suspension and foul an oil wick.
One of the most clever marketing ideas that I've seen is the name for Texaco's R&O hydraulic oil...Rando.