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manual cutting oil in a hand pump can

Bill D

Apr 1, 2004
Modesto, CA USA
Any suggestions of a cutting oil for manual lathe or hand tapping that can be used in a pump oil can. I like the brush on heavy sulfur oil but I think it will gum up a oil can pretty fast.
Bill D
I’ve found the 5w40 oil I use in the car ok, I use swarfega green hand cleaner ( it’s paraffin or kerosene based) for Ali, in a squeeze sauce bottle, IPA in a wash bottle works too, but flammable
I recently bought a load of oil cans in an antique store.
Most leak!
Most pump gear oil
Buy a gallon Mobilmet. the super black sulphur oil will work fine, but if you use it often, and don't clean it up after, your machines will look like a junkyard dog.
Interesting. I use Mobilmet 426 on the Hardinge DSM, and have never even thought about using it as a manually applied cutting oil. (Mental blinders, I guess.)
For a manual cutting oil, I use Cool Tool II (home shop) or RapidTap (school shop) in lab squeeze bottles. The kind with the longish builtin nozzle slanting downward. If you let CT2 sit around for a long time (like years, not weeks), stuff will start precipitating out and eventually will clog the nozzle. If you use enough of it (or dump/clean/refill your manual lube bottle every couple of years), this won't be a problem. The RapidTap hasn't sat around long enough to demonstrate the issue.
The heavy black stuff that was used for pipe threading in the days when pipe up to 12" dia was threaded and screwed together..........Shell Dromus ,either neat or soluble .....the soluble was a white milky fluid that smelt strongly of phenol.....i tipped maybe 40 gallons on the ground at the other yard,I see it costs around $100/gallon now.
If you only need a small quantity, dark cutting oil can be had from plumbing suppliers or home improvement stores.
I used cutting oil in a squirt can when I started out. Went through a shitload of oil and made a lot of messes. Switched to the brush in spillproof containers and would never go back. Brush works much better.

If you need something other than the brush buy aerosol Tap Magic cutting fluid. I keep some on hand for PITA jobs.

I have a 55 of Mobilmet 760 I'm saving for gear machines. In my brush cans I use some black stinky sulfer stuff I got from an old shop with a machine I bought. No label on the steel bucket, but it works good and will last 20 more years at the rate I use it.
For cutting oil (other than a brush in a tuna can or flood coolant plumbing) I like using the old oil cans with the button bottom. No mechanics to fail and you can squeeze out half a drop at a time, or hold the button and let it pour. Most pump action cans I've had are harder to meter any more than "one pump," which is fine for lubing up machines and the like, but the button bottoms are a good balance of simplicity and sensitivity, and they're practically free too.
In a pinch I used an old Sriracha hot sauce bottle many years ago and it works a treat. That thing has to be 10 years old at this point and still going strong.