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lubrication question for Craftsman lathe

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ARC-170

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#1
I have a Craftsman 101.07403 12x24 lathe.

I've been told to use 20-weight NON-detergent oil for the spindle, but that has not been easy to find, especially non-detergent.

How important is it that it be that specific weight; can it be thicker or thinner? Can it be a mixed-weight oil, for example 10W-30?

What about the detergent issue? What will the detergent do to the lathe over time? I've heard it's just for cars with high heat differentials and for moisture control (not sure of all the technical stuff, but let's just go with that!)

Thanks!
 

coffmajt

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#2
As I understand it, the motor oils have detergents added so that any small trash is kept suspended until it can get to the filter where it is trapped for removal, unlike the spindle oils which let the trash drop out. For my South Bend 9 as well as my milling machine I have been using Mobile oil from MSC spindle oil and way oil in one gallon containers and it works well for me== Jack
 

pontiac428

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#3
Use the Mobil Vactra way oil for your lathe mechanicals. If you try 20-wt spindle oil, it will end up draining out the back of your headstock and out of the bearings and onto your chuck, where it will be slung in a perfect tangential pattern on your walls, ceiling, and the front of whatever you are wearing. These open-bearing designs require a tacky oil (way oil) to stay where it needs to while you are running your lathe. Everybody with an Atlas lathe uses Vactra, and that's no coincidence.
 

dbq49

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#4
Simply use ISO 68 oil. Northern Tools sells it in 12 oz containers. I went to my lubrication seller(local) and asked for ISO 68 and he came out with a 4 gallon pail for $39,00. Done and now I have a lifetime supply. I understand Blains Farm and Fleet sell ISO 68. Look around, it there.
DBQ49
 

ARC-170

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#5
Three are 4 grades. LMS sells Mobile vactra #2. I assume that's the correct one? I can use it for the ways and also for the spindle?
 

JPMacG

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#6
Harbor Freight used to sell SAE 20 non detergent in a 5 quart bottle for about $20. Someone said it was no longer carried, but might be worth a look.
 

pontiac428

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Three are 4 grades. LMS sells Mobile vactra #2. I assume that's the correct one? I can use it for the ways and also for the spindle?
Vactra #2 is the right one. Your machine will love you for it. You'll want a half pint pump type oil can with a rigid nozzle to go with that.

Sent from my SM-T800 using Tapatalk
 

wa5cab

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#8
Do not use Way Oil for the spindle bearings or in fact anywhere other that on the ways and dovetails. It will never get through the felts in the oil cups and the bearings will always run dry. You should never run the machine with the belt cover raised. On the Timken equipped machines, the oil will not drip out of the front of the front bearing. Any other drips that are slung off will be caught by either the belt cover or the gear cover.

High Detergent oil is designed to scavenge moisture from inside an engine as it cools off. When the engine is running, it goes out the exhaust as the engine warms up. Hopefully, your lathe will never get that hot. But it will scavenge moisture as your shop cools off at night and promote rust inside.

You cannot mix SAE 10 and SAE 30 to get SAE 20. What you will get will start off as a mixture of 10 weight and 30 weight molecules. The 10 weight will drip out faster than the 30 and you will soon enough have only 30 left. SAE 20 is equivalent to ISO 68. Either will work OK.
 

pontiac428

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#9
Do not use Way Oil for the spindle bearings or in fact anywhere other that on the ways and dovetails. It will never get through the felts in the oil cups and the bearings will always run dry. You should never run the machine with the belt cover raised. On the Timken equipped machines, the oil will not drip out of the front of the front bearing. Any other drips that are slung off will be caught by either the belt cover or the gear cover.
Not necessarily. Fluids move through felt due to the physical principle of capillarity, which is a function of surface tension and capillary channel cross-sectional area. Vactra #2 has a much higher surface tension than ISO 68, therefore it has a stronger capillary action through felt. I use Vactra #2, and I make my own felts from wool felt stock. They work great. Caveat is that I run a babbitt head because I like it better than my Timken head.
 

ARC-170

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Harbor Freight used to sell SAE 20 non detergent in a 5 quart bottle for about $20. Someone said it was no longer carried, but might be worth a look.
They didn't have it in their website. I called a local store and they do not carry it.
 

JPMacG

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#11
I'm very sorry - I meant Tractor Supply, not Harbor Freight. :oops:

But I just checked the Tractor Supply website - they don't list it. I purchased some from them about 2 years ago.
 

wa5cab

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#12
Someone on I think the A-C Group on groups.io reported that last time that he looked for it at Tractor Supply he found a couple of gallons on the store's Clearance table. SAE 20 crosses roughly to ISO 68. I've been using Moble Heavy Medium Circulating Oil ISO 68 for several years.
 

ARC-170

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