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What do you use for lubrication on watchmaker's lathe centers?

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cazclocker

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#1
I swear I read this same topic elsewhere - it might be this forum but I can't find it now. And even if it was on this forum, I don't think it was directed at watchmaker's lathes.

What lubrication should I be using on a watchmaker's-lathe-sized dead center? I normally use collets for workholding, and sometimes a 3-jaw or a 4-jaw chuck. But when I'm turning long (I mean 3" or 4" or longer), I drill a centerhole and support the end with a dead center on my tailstock. I have been using a drop or two of Mobil-1 0-20W motor oil, but it disappears too quickly.

In whatever thread I was looking at yesterday, at least a couple of people said they like STP motor oil treatment. I can kind of see that, because it's made to stick to metal and too thick to run. But I think whoever said that was talking about the larger lathes... ...still, it sounds viable enough to go ahead and try...

What do you guys say?
 
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Tom Griffin

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#2
Graphite grease is the lube of choice for centers.

Tom
 

cazclocker

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#3
Graphite grease is the lube of choice for centers.

Tom
Graphite grease - ah, that's interesting. Is that true for watchmaker's sized lathes as well?

Anyone else with opinions/suggestions?
 

Sk8ter

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#4
Yes I have an opinion my vote is for high pressure grease either graphite impregnated or other...
 

cazclocker

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#5
Thanks guys, much appreciated. I've been using a graphite-impregnated high pressure grease for a couple of weeks now. A little bit goes a long way - I had a small can of it, but it will last a lifetime. So far I like it MUCH better than the synthetic oil I had been using. Haven't had a chance to try STP, maybe later. So far the heavy grease gets the job done. It held my project in place for the duration of a whole turning operation. The operation was fairly demanding, so I think I gave the grease a good workout - and it held up. Onward! :thumbsup:
 
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