• Scam Alert. Members are reminded to NOT send money to buy anything. Don't buy things remote and have it shipped - go get it yourself, pay in person, and take your equipment with you. Scammers have burned people on this forum. Urgency, secrecy, excuses, selling for friend, newish members, FUD, are RED FLAGS. A video conference call is not adequate assurance. Face to face interactions are required. Please report suspicions to the forum admins. Stay Safe - anyone can get scammed.

EricB

Active Member
Hey guys,

I haven't been here in forever! My stupid phone is a piece of junk and I had to get rid of Tapatalk. Anyways, I'm finally getting my lathe back together after a year apart (I know, it's embarassing) and I'm wondering:

What do you guys use for lubrication?
Where do you go for oils/grease?

I'm a journeyman machinist, and I know what we use at work and where we get it, but I can't exactly afford (or make use of) huge quantities of high-end synthetic lubes. My lathe originally was supposed to use two types of Texaco oils and a Texaco grease. I've been looking at Mobil. I'd love to hear some suggestions!
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Good timing, I just so happen to be looking into lathe lubrication recommendations myself as I plan to make a bottom plate to seal it off my apron casting & convert to an oil bath which seems to be the predominant mode. Anyway, to answer you question, 'it depends'. Headstock gear oil, vs oiler nipples vs some have drip oil mats to feed certain shafts & sliding surfaces. I've pasted in a sample page, happens to be from Grizzly G9731 lathe. They actually do a decent job of describing the lathe, operations, adjustments etc. This is 1000% better than the cryptic Chenglish documentation that used to be the norm. If you don't have a user manual for your own lathe, this might get you in the generic ballpark.

I've lost the link but there is a muther-of-all lathe & related machining website that has many models & documentation sources, particularly the older iron.
 

Attachments

  • SNAG-4-1-2017 0003.jpg
    SNAG-4-1-2017 0003.jpg
    277.8 KB · Views: 18

EricB

Active Member
Hey PeterT, thanks for that sample page! I think the page you mentioned is http://www.lathes.co.uk/ it's an amazing source of information. I do have the owners manual, and there's a lubrication plate on the back of the lathe as well. The recommended lubes are:

Texaco Regal Oil BR &O
Texaco Starfax #2 Grease
Marfax #0 Grease

images


Another guy with the same lathe contacted Texaco, and it sounds like they still make equivalents to two of those products but I'd have to source the third. I'm just curious about other options though, before I go buying a bunch of unknown product. I'm embarrassed to say that at the moment I don't know enough about greases and oils to look at the designations and choose what would work best for my situation. As you can see from the information plate, my headstock actually has two opposing Timken bearings that take grease rather than oil. I also have belts running in the headstock and down from the headstock, so whatever grease I use on the open gears needs to stick even at high-speeds and not drip down or fling off onto my rubber drive belts.

Quick (and terrible) video from yesterday!
https://www.instagram.com/p/BSUe2TvjniQ/
 

RobinHood

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Hi EricB,

Here is a website from Shell that allows you to possibly find what you are searching (look for "find the right oil"). I just picked a similar machine if mine was not on the list.

http://www.shell.com/motorist/find-the-right-oil.html

I use Shell Tonna (way oil), Tellus (hydraulic fluid), Spirax (gear oil), Gadus (grease) line of products on all of my machines (no I am not affiliated!). All of them are available for sure at UFA farm stores (they may have to order the Tonna). They can also cross reference.

I have seen the Tellus, Spirax and Gadus line at Princess Auto and Napa Auto Parts.

Even though both my Standard Modern lathes specify 30 weight mineral oil (available at PartsSource, etc) on all (non greased) parts - even the ways, I found that once I started using proper way oil (Tonna in my case), it made a massive difference on how the slides move! That stuff is super slippery and sticks very well to even vertical slide ways (eg. milling machine).

Yes, the proper lubricants are not cheap, but neither are machines....
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
KBC sells way oil EEZ brand (whatever that is repackaged/relabelled I'm sure). Nice range of viscosities ~26$/gal. I cant recall if I got 20 or 30. Goes a long ways. I'm not sure if its appropriate for low rpm gears but I found - light oil basically doesn't stick around & grease just attracts mung, so tried it there figuring better than nothing. But for bed ways & vertical mill column, I love the stuff
 

Attachments

  • 2017-04-01_21-09-26.jpg
    2017-04-01_21-09-26.jpg
    77.9 KB · Views: 13

Alexander

Ultra Member
Administrator
I really try hard to use what I have at home before buying anything machine specifc. This is mostly an effort to de-clutter and standardize. I have been using automatic transmission fluid for the spindle and ways. For the low range gearbox and apron gear bath I use heavy diff oil with a small ammount of lucas oil stabalizer. @Janger has some good ideas about oil. Was it 32w jack oil you used?
 

John Conroy

member
Premium Member
I have had good luck using TGH hydraulic oil for all my machine gear boxes and as a way oil. It has no detergent so it does not keep particles in suspension, a necessary quality in gearboxes with splash lubrication and no filter. It also has extreme pressure additives for use in even hypoid gear sets where there is wiping movement between gears that can overcome the shear resistance of other non-detergent oils. I've never tried a purpose made way oil so I can't say if there would be any improvement. I wipe the oil and chips off my ways several times each day and apply clean oil and I go through quite a bit of it. I buy it at Princess auto when it goes on sale for about $50 for 20 litres. Other grades of hydraulic oil that are not suitable for use in transmissions have no extreme pressure additives so I would avoid them.

https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/tgh-hydraulic-oil/A-p8479230e
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
I guess I could have posted lubrication rec from my own lathe because that's what I should be paying attention to :) You can see except for the headstock gear oil spec, its pretty generic everywhere else. I'm pretty sure I have 90w gear oil in headstock. I know my general oil was non-detergent but cant say for sure if it was hydraulic. I ran out & that part of why I wanted to try way oil an experiment, mostly directed at my mill. It sees more intermittent use (trying hard to remedy that!) & I noticed regular lighter weight oil was not hanging around on the vertical surfaces & it felt dry to me. The way oil seems to do the trick. I chose the lighter side of the spectrum because it goes into cups with a felt biscuit in the base. But same deal on the lathe. I wipe it down clean, inject the oilers & manually apply some to ways with a rag. I could feel a noticeable difference in how my tailstock slides. Actually maybe a slight downside, I notice it likes to back up more under heavier drilling even though its clamped securely.

Interesting discussion. Its like one of those everyone has their favorites sort of things.

ps - what happens to 'old oil' that has been left standing for say 5 years? Say its leaked through to the backside of a casting surface having done its job. Does it turn waxy & hard over time?
 

Attachments

  • 2017-04-02_9-11-52.jpg
    2017-04-02_9-11-52.jpg
    100.1 KB · Views: 6

Earl Wong

Active Member
I use Mobil Vactra #2 for way oil (Vactra #1 is out of production from what I understand), and use Mobil DTE Heavy for spindle and gears ISO Viscosity 100
I purchase it online from MSC Industrial supply in 1 gallon containers. $38.48 U.S, for the Vactra and $38.81 U.S. for the DTE
 

EricB

Active Member
Thanks for all the input, guys! I definitely have some things to think about. I'm going to ask work if they mind if I occasionally fill up a small oil can with way oil; that would be one thing down. As for the two types of grease my lubrication diagram calls for I know I want to make sure that whatever I pump into the opposing Timken bearings or put anywhere within the spindle housing is the proper stuff for that application. The belts aren't cheap and are a pain in the ass to replace (you have to remove the headstock and pull the spindle) so I don't want to risk contaminating them. I'll let you guys know what I decide to go with and why!
 

schor

Active Member
I use 20 weight 3in1 motor oil for the spindle and all oil points for gears on my lathe and I use chain lube on the headstock gears. I got some way lube from a tool and die friend, not sure the brand but I don't think that matters. I have an atlas th54.
 

EricB

Active Member
Well, to keep you guys up to date: I wound up going a totally different route than I had planned! My shop and many others use Fuchs brand lubricants; after talking to the rep and getting awesome service I am now running Fuchs in my lathe and will be using it in all other machining equipment that it's suited to as well. I'll be using Renolin HPL 46 oil as way-lube, Renolit Polyplex grease on my gears, and Renolit S2TX grease in my spindle-bearings.

Now to pick up a couple of grease guns... ;)
 
Top