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Trico Micro-Drop vs flood coolant?

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coolidge

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#1
After a couple weeks thinking about the mill stand design to contain flood coolant my CAD screen is still blank. After some research tonight I think I'm going to go with a Trico Micro-Drop system instead of the flood coolant. Accu-Lube is a similar system. These are not mist coolant systems that fog up your shop, they were designed precisely to not do that and they don't run water base coolants they are oil based. Not sure which system is best yet but in either case some people report liking the Trico synthetic oil best even at (gulp) $99 a gallon.

Flood coolant cons...I ran flood coolant on my old mill so here are some lessons learned,

1. Its not really flood coolant its more like a weak stream, nothing like the pressure you see in say a Haas. You can't turn the pressure up much because A you will run your coolant tank dry, it won't drain back fast enough to keep your average 5 gallon tank supplied. Second if you turn the pressure up coolant flies in all directions you would really need a tall completely enclosed enclosure. My old one was about 2 feet high and that was not enough. I was constantly mopping up the flung out coolant off the floor.

2. If you go CNC all the electronics have to be water proofed. I kind of like CO's CNC kit especially the servo's but they are not water proof.

3. Its a big mess, wet chips don't vacuum well, the coolant makes them sticky, you get rust under your vise, the drain holes in the table plug up then the table fills with coolant, drain screen gets plugged with chips, it really was annoying.

I think it would require quite some engineering to fully enclose the 12z for flood coolant especially if also going CNC. Do I really want to go that far? Again if I'm getting that serious just go buy a Haas designed for it right.

So far the research on the Trico Micro-drop and Accu-Lube systems has been quite favorable. These systems also work really well on bandsaws (kicks self for already buying 2 gallons of coolant). Plus my brother kept telling me coolant on the bandsaw makes a huge mess. I didn't listen of course, then I read some reports from others tonight backing that up, it runs out the end of stock being cut and basically drips all over the place. The drop type systems pretty much give you dry chips and no mess, and the air blast keeps the chips away from the cutter.

I think I'm going to go this route, sure will make designing the stand a lot easier, any thoughts?
 

wrmiller

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#2
I like the looks of that Trico system myself. Never liked flood coolant systems, although I do understand their requirements on CNC systems. When I used to hang out at my friend's shop I much preferred babysitting the wire and sinker machines than those messy CNCs. :)

For my manual usage I am looking at the FogBuster system.
 

catoctin

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#3
I left a post for feedback in the "Machine Accessories" area regarding the Trico MD-7 cutting lube. There were no takers. Mess, rust, fog and coolant turning rancid were my biggest concerns with the other coolants/systems that are out there. Trico also has a a veggie based coolant that most folks have had mister clogging problems with. MD-7 seems to fix most of the problems I was concerned about. However, both the MD-1200 micro drop system and MD-7 are expensive but they seem to solve most of the issues with coolant and mister based solutions. I am still considering doing a knock-off of the Karl Townsend design for a no fog mister using MD-7.
 

coolidge

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#4
I left a post for feedback in the "Machine Accessories" area regarding the Trico MD-7 cutting lube. There were no takers. Mess, rust, fog and coolant turning rancid were my biggest concerns with the other coolants/systems that are out there. Trico also has a a veggie based coolant that most folks have had mister clogging problems with. MD-7 seems to fix most of the problems I was concerned about. However, both the MD-1200 micro drop system and MD-7 are expensive but they seem to solve most of the issues with coolant and mister based solutions. I am still considering doing a knock-off of the Karl Townsend design for a no fog mister using MD-7.
Yes the Trico stuff seems expensive, then I consider the cost of building an enclosure to contain flood coolant, a few hundred dollars for the pump, tank, and coolant, nozzles, etc. The micro drop type systems also seem ideal for my lathe and band saw. I'm pretty much sold on them at this point. Not sure which system yet though, Trico, Accu-lube, FogBuster, they all seem to have a few minor complaints against them. I'll continue my research.
 

JimDawson

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#5
That Trico unit seems really expensive. Why not just build one like I did. If anyone is interested I'll do a better write up on this. Total cost if I had bought everything new would be <$200.

The following is an excerpt from my web site:

My old mist coolant system finally gave up. The tag on it said ‘DON’T USE ANYTHING BUT APPROVED COOLANT’, ok, I ignored that. I don’t think it liked my WD-40 / kerosene mix (my preferred coolant for aluminum machining), so I replaced it with a one-inch air line oiler that I had laying around. It worked pretty well as a mist coolant system except it required frequent attention, ok for one-off parts and short runs, but a pain for continuous production. I needed more coolant capacity and a more consistent output.

I went to Harbor Freight and bought their 20lb pressurized sand blaster. What I wanted was the pressure tank. It holds about 3 gallons, has a large screw on cap, and will handle up to 160 PSI. (I am running it at about 60 PSI).


coolant1.jpg

The flow controls allow fine adjustment of the liquid and mix air stream, the disk is a magnet so I can stick it in any convienent location.

coolant2.jpg

I went to my junk box and found enough parts to make it all work. By using an adjustable pressure relief valve I am able to maintain the tank pressure at about 15 PSI above the outlet air flow pressure so that the coolant will always flow into the air stream. The air flow is adjusted with the main regulator and the coolant flow is adjusted with a flow control valve. This way I get constant volume of coolant at any input pressure.

DO NOT USE FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS IN THIS SYSTEM

I could have used a small high pressure pump (50 PSI carpet cleaner pump from Grainger), but I chose this method. With the solenoid valve, it has full control from the CNC program. I could have made it a bit differently and cleaned up the plumbing, but it works fine.
 

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Karl_T

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#7
I made a heavy fogless mister back in 2002
http://www.machinistblog.com/?s=mister&submit=Search

Its probably the most copied project I've ever done. I built an improved third generation unit last winter. I'll try to writeup the project in a week or so.

IMHO, this is 90% as good as flood, and a fraction of the mess. You can go from a heavy stream to a light mist, or air blast only (on my most recent unit). Cost is low, a gallon of water soluable coolant makes 20 gallons of coolant and it can be reused if you strain it through your boss's panty hose.

Karl

EDIT, Just realized I posted a picture in another thread today that shows the mister running. I'll repost it here

CNC cutting.jpg
 
Last edited:

coolidge

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#8
Good lord Jim built a warp drive flux capacitor, I'm calling that into CERN :holdphone:
 

kd4gij

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#9
I use a trico little mister. Any mister can be adjusted to work just like the fog buster. And the Trico micro drop system. I run 15 to 20 psi into the little mister then open the air valve about 1/4 to 1/2 turn then open the collant valve just enough to drop the temp of the air comming out. No mess no fuss no fog. I go through less than a teaspone of coolant an hour.
 

catoctin

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#10
Hey Karl,
I am glad to hear you are still iterating on your original design and real interested in seeing your latest improvements.

Thanks,
-Joe

I made a heavy fogless mister back in 2002
http://www.machinistblog.com/?s=mister&submit=Search

Its probably the most copied project I've ever done. I built an improved third generation unit last winter. I'll try to writeup the project in a week or so.

IMHO, this is 90% as good as flood, and a fraction of the mess. You can go from a heavy stream to a light mist, or air blast only (on my most recent unit). Cost is low, a gallon of water soluable coolant makes 20 gallons of coolant and it can be reused if you strain it through your boss's panty hose.

Karl

EDIT, Just realized I posted a picture in another thread today that shows the mister running. I'll repost it here
 
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