Whats a good cutting oil?

Discussion in 'QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (Get Help Fast Here!)' started by Newmetalmark, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Newmetalmark

    Newmetalmark Active Members Active Member

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    Being a noob to machining and metal working in general, I'd like to ask what a good general purpose cutting oil would be. I was given a gallon of oil in an unmarked bottle when I bought my Atlas lathe(I think the p.o. "liberated" it from bulk from his work). It was a little dark and smelled like the oil I've used to thread pipe. There are a lot of choices out there- tapping, cutting, grinding, water soluble, lite, dark, has sulpher& chlorine, doesn't have it, rancidity safe...... And then theres those who say to use bacon grease, lard, kerosene and wax or other home brews.
    I want to keep it simple, I use mostly mild steel, aluminum and brass for my projects so I'd like to get something that works for all, doesn't stain and cleans off easy, works right out of the can. Is there such a beast? I've heard that the Mobil products are good, anybody here use them?
     
  2. randyjaco

    randyjaco Active Members Supporter Active Member

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    My favorite is a mix of kerosene and lard, but if you want something out of the bottle dark sulfur cutting oil will do the job. You ought to be able to get it at the hardware store or a plumbing supply place.

    Randy
     
  3. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Active Members Supporter Active Member

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    Since you already have a good supply of what may be the plumbing version, why not try it and see what kind of finish you get. If it ain't bust, don't fix it.
     
  4. Kennyd

    Kennyd Active Members Supporter Active Member

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    For steel I use Rigid Dark Cutting Oil from Home depot in the plumbing section. Comes in quart size bottles and is pretty cheap. I use WD40 for AL.
     
  5. Newmetalmark

    Newmetalmark Active Members Active Member

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    Uh,well, I sort of knocked it over and spilled most of what was left on the floor, made quite the spot on the floor 'cause I didn't find it for a few days.
     
  6. churchjw

    churchjw Active Members Supporter Active Member

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    I use Cool tool on my mill and lathe. Its a water mix used with compressed air. Does a great job cooling and a gal of the concentrate last for a year or more. I mix it up in 1 gal batches and add a bit of bleach to it to keep mold from growing during storage. If you get the air/fluid mix right it keeps everything nice and chilled and evaporates at the point of cutting so there is very little of the fluid left on the machine after. Also since I am in my basement it has almost no smell (just a slight bleach about what you get from laundry) or smoke just a little water vapor steam. I always do a quick wipe down with way oil after to make sure no rust. For taping I use tap magic. For cut off and threading on the lathe I use a heavy sulfur based oil.

    Jeff
     
  7. stevez

    stevez Iron

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    I use either motor oil, 3 in 1 oil or WD40 for most of my work-which is usually not heavy cutting or at high speeds. The WD40 is easier to clean up - the motor oil sticks better. Clearly there are better fluids but these serve my hobby needs sufficiently.
     
  8. randyjaco

    randyjaco Active Members Supporter Active Member

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    Ed
    What is dark sulphurized oil recommended for? And who is making this recommendation?

    Randy
     
  9. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Curious as to what particular oil you have that recommends against ferrous use, Ed. What I generally use as the dark sulfur oil says good for ferrous. I can't remember the brand I have, but it seems like the name starts with an R.

    It will stain copper and brass alloys though. I mix a little Tap Magic in when I am cutting a very fine thread, unless I use straight Tap Magic.

    Coolant is another story, but I keep a anti-spill Dykem container with an acid brush in it full of oil on the lathes.
     
  10. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Relton it is. My mind kept going to Rigid, since they build threaders, but I know that wasn't what I'd bought.
     
  11. bobbyjim

    bobbyjim Iron

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    I just use what ever is handy and for me this seems to work. I am now using a mix of Tiki Torch oil (appers to be just deorderized kerosene), Marvel Mystery Oil & Trans Fluid. Made it up thin enough to use in a sray bottle and works for me on the lathe & drill press. All these oils were aquired for free or for penneys at yard sales.

    With the gallon of Tiki Oil, Marvel Mystery Oil (smells nice) and Trans Fluid for .25 cents a qt. at yards sale I have enough to last for years. I am sure there is better but for the light duty work I do on my 1937 Craftsman 12" this works fine.
     
  12. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    While we're on the subject, don't use Moly-D on copper alloys. Definitely stains. Great for stainless varieties, but never for brass or copper.
     
  13. randyjaco

    randyjaco Active Members Supporter Active Member

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    I just scored a case of Marvel Mystery oil for free. It looks like MMO will now be my go to cutting oil for a while 8^)
    And I just dropped $27 on five gallons of kerosene 8^(

    Randy
     
  14. Video_man

    Video_man Active Members Active Member

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    I've been playing with century-old ideas, like lard oil. Not used much today as a primary component because of cost and, if used in a circulating system, bacteria problems, but by hand application it works pretty good. I bought 5 lbs. at the grocery store, heated to melting, and let the components separate, which they do when cooled to room temperature. The white stuff that floats to the top is stearic acid, which afaik is not useful for anything, and the rest is a yellowish oil (oelic acid, I think) which is what you want. Just from my experiments: Mixed with mineral spirits, 1 part to 2 parts oil, great for steel. Mixed with turpentine in the same ratio, the best brass, copper, and aluminum bronze I've ever turned. Mixed with trichloroethane (hard to get, don't ask!) it does wonders on aluminum. Mixed into melted beeswax, a good tapping and reaming compound.

    Probably more trouble than it's worth, but I was just curious; maybe those old guys back-when knew a thing or two.... I do ordinarily use a semi-synthetic diluted with water, which cools better, of course. I have circulating systems on my mill and lathe but they make a huge mess and I just use a squirt bottle. In the bandsaw I use Astro-Saw; it doesn't leave oily stuff to mess up welding, but it does eat the paint on my saw...
     

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