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Looking for compatability charts to update old oils with new and sources for oil


Nov 3, 2003
Phelps, NY, USA
I have a range of older machines in my retirement/puttering around/fun shop and am looking for the appropriate, spindle, carriage, way and other oils for these machines. My newest machine hails from the mid '70's and most are older. Are there references available that translate the oils which may have originally been spec'ed to present day equivalents and are there also compatability charts so that rather than purchasing oils for each machine, I can find a few compatible oils for all of my machines? Finally, what are good sources for small quantities of these oils. If it matters, I'm in Central NY near Rochester.

My equipment includes the following

Lodge and Shipley Powerturn 20x54 Lathe from 1958
Harrision 10-AA 11x20 lathe from 1979
Bridgeport J-Head from late 70's
Buffalo Forge 1A RPMster drill press (probably mid '60's)
Electro Mechano 15" variable speed drill press (probably '70's)
Taft-Peirce surface grinder (unknown vintage, but rebuilt in '70's)
KO Lee tool and cutter grinder (1972)
Boyar Schultz 612 surface grinder (70's? has sheetmetal base with built in dust collector)
Walker Turner radial arm drill press (50's?)
Rockwell 20" variable speed bandsaw ('60's or '70's. Has fabricated sheetmetal base and housings)
Powermatic 20" planer ('60's)

scatter cat

Oct 7, 2008
Hot Springs Arkansas
I am retired and have older machines also. A few years ago I wrote down the the old names for some of the recommended oils. Such as Gargoyle heavy medium oil. The people at the bulk plant/ distributor didn't have a clue what I was looking for. After thinking about it for a little while. I decided on using tractor trans-hydraulic oil. Its a good 20wt oil with antifoaming/antiwear properties. I use it in tractor manual transmissions/ hydraulic systems that I work far harder than I ever will the transmissions in my lathes and mills. No problems to date. Its also fairly cheap around 30 dollars for 5 gal and can find it in any farm store.

Bill D

Apr 1, 2004
Modesto, CA USA
I think "Bob the Oil Guy" has a chart on his site.
Bill D

found some on pm



If you can find auto gear oil with a GL-4 spec and not GL-5 it will not contain the chlorinated EP additives. It's harder to find than you'd think - I use Red Line MT-90 in my old cars that need GL-4 and not GL-5.
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.

Joe Gwinn

Nov 22, 2009
Boston, MA area
Be aware that some decades ago the lubricant industry adopted ISO viscosity grades, renumbering all their then products, like the Tellus series of hydraulic fluids from Shell used by Clausing. The transition process began in 1975, when "ISO 3448:1992(en) Industrial liquid lubricants — ISO viscosity classification" was first standardized.

The old numbers (often arbitrary) were gradually replaced with their ISO viscosities at 40 C. So the pre-ISO "Tellus 27" cited in the Clausing 5900 lathe manual is not close to ISO viscosity 27, it's actually Viscosity Grade 46, an entire viscosity grade thicker. Likewise, old "Tellus 33" is new Viscosity Grade 68.

These correspond to Mobil DTE 25 and DTE 26 today. Before making this change, I had endless pronlems purging the air from the 5914's variable-speed hydraulic system, especially in the summer.
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neanderthal mach

Cast Iron
Dec 18, 2008
princeton b.c.
Any of the bigger oil company's all have trained staff available. One of there jobs is cross referencing and recommending modern replacement oils of obviously their own brand products and specific to the application requirements. I've found it best to Google and then phone not email there application or however they chose to word it number. Maybe not ALL oils or lubrication products will have a direct cross reference to something more modern, but most will. It's free and why not get proper expert recommendations from those who are trained to do exactly that? Guessing and thinking I somehow knew better than those experts cost me an $800 lathe motor. I'd have to be stubborn and retarded to repeat that dumbass mistake on anything else.


Dec 21, 2012
Brisbane Qld Australia
A lot of oils and greases used in larger machines were compounded with lead......none of these are available.......and with the current situation with lithium ,seems like the various Li base greases will be changed over to something cheaper.