Cutting fluids

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Mike Ginn

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For the past 40 years I have only used oil cutting fluid - Neatcut. My reasoning is that it doesn't encourage rust, doesn't stain when left for several weeks, doesn't smell, doesn't encourage bacterial growth and acts as a (limited) machine lubricator . Many years ago I operated machines using what was called "Soap Water" which was water based and needed de-ionized water to prevent bacterial growth. It had a nasty smell which always seemed to cling to clothing.

Some of you use mist systems which are water based.

So my question is:- should I keep with the oil lubrication or are there better system which perform in the same way and critically do not stain the machine ways when left for several weeks?.

I don't think cost is a consideration as my 5ltr (about a gallon) lasts for years in my pumped and filtered system.

Thanks for your advice - in advance!

Mike
 
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I much prefer a neat cutting oil to 'suds'. The best I have come across came from A J Reeves. They called it 'Cutmax'. I diluted it with paraffin (kerosene) as recommended. It is many years since that was available, and I now use Morris's Cora-B. I find that too suits me best when diluted 50/50 with paraffin. When I started using it it was available in 5-litre cans. No more. Last purchase, I had to accept 25 litres. That will last me for some time! Pumped systems are still on the to-do list, so my application method is a washing-up liquid bottle with an extended spout.

I think some model engineering societies have schemes for sharing large containers of things like cutting and steam oils.
 

SmithDoor

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For the past 40 years I have only used oil cutting fluid - Neatcut. My reasoning is that it doesn't encourage rust, doesn't stain when left for several weeks, doesn't smell, doesn't encourage bacterial growth and acts as a (limited) machine lubricator . Many years ago I operated machines using what was called "Soap Water" which was water based and needed de-ionized water to prevent bacterial growth. It had a nasty smell which always seemed to cling to clothing.

Some of you use mist systems which are water based.

So my question is:- should I keep with the oil lubrication or are there better system which perform in the same way and critically do not stain the machine ways when left for several weeks?.

I don't think cost is a consideration as my 5ltr (about a gallon) lasts for years in my pumped and filtered system.

Thanks for your advice - in advance!

Mike
I found just air does good job of keeping the tool bit cool.

About the only time I use oil is for cutting threads.


When work at machine shops all the equipment use water type coolant. But down side to this is something times there was rust on machine. The coolant was mix wrong I is my guess 🤷.

Dave
 

Mike Ginn

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Charles
We seem to be on the same page but I would have thought that mixing it with paraffin would make a smelly lubricant!

Dave
Not sure about air. One of the purposes of the lubricant is to ease the cutting by "lubrication" between the cutting point and the material. I have to say I have never heard of this air approach so lets hear from the wisdom of HMEM.

Thanks for your interest

Mike
 

Badhippie

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I have used one of these for a couple years now and really love it. Pretty much eliminates all coolant. The only time I use any lube or coolant is for tapping.
 

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Toymaker

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I prefer "Kool Mist 77". Doesn't stain clothing, pleasant odor, prevents rust. At about $50 to $60/gallon, it is a bit pricey, but one gallon of Kool Mist is mixed with 33 gallons of water,...which should last many years in a small home hobby shop.
 

timo_gross

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For the past 40 years I have only used oil cutting fluid - Neatcut. My reasoning is that it doesn't encourage rust, doesn't stain when left for several weeks, doesn't smell, doesn't encourage bacterial growth and acts as a (limited) machine lubricator . Many years ago I operated machines using what was called "Soap Water" which was water based and needed de-ionized water to prevent bacterial growth. It had a nasty smell which always seemed to cling to clothing.

Some of you use mist systems which are water based.

So my question is:- should I keep with the oil lubrication or are there better system which perform in the same way and critically do not stain the machine ways when left for several weeks?.

I don't think cost is a consideration as my 5ltr (about a gallon) lasts for years in my pumped and filtered system.

Thanks for your advice - in advance!

Mike
Hello,

Is the coolant recirculated? Pumped filtered system sounds like it.
The water soluble oil I was using from one brand was "horrible stink after some time stuff", now I am using a different type which is better, but still requires "maintenance" refill, keeping concentration up, occasional change. (brand and type seem to make big differences in price and performance)
I find it only acceptable on an enclosed machine.

CNC lathes use often oil when they do small parts, it makes a mess everywhere, but seems to work good.

Why are you thinking about a change?

I am interested how the oil works for you. What is the drawback of the oil?
I have a small open machine I use for amateurish diy hobbing. Ocasionally using an oil can, or run it dry.
The water soluble tank does not work very satisfying. Solution was always turning bad, It was splashing too much and the return line always gets clogged. Compressed Air would work for chip removal and cooling, but the small chips the particular application produces, already end up everywhere without beeing made "compressed-airborn".
For aluminium machining Alcohol works very good but it created a rust problem and one has to be super detailed reoiling and cleaning after every use.

Mist is lost coolant or not? Does that end up everywhere in the shop?

Greetings Timo
 

timo_gross

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I have used one of these for a couple years now and really love it. Pretty much eliminates all coolant. The only time I use any lube or coolant is for tapping.
Bummer: "require no electricity just a compressed air source!". Yes just connect it to the "compressed air wall(et) outlet?" :rolleyes::D
Questions: How much air is it using? How much noise does it make?

Greetings Timo
 

Drawfiler

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For ‘straight’ oil I use hydraulic oil on my machines, I have free flow as this clears swarf as well as cools and lubricates. It is cheap, conducts heat reasonably well, doesn’t gum up or foam. Soluble oil, ‘suds’ works better as coolant as it has higher thermal conductivity but despite all the oil company publicity, it does leave nasty marks on the machines and it will corrode gearboxes etc, particular with the interrupted use we give our machines, I got this from a director of a company that made it.
The only exceptions are cast iron, which I cut dry (SG is cut wet) and aluminium on machines without flow coolant when I use WD40.
 

Mike Ginn

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Timo asks "why do I want to change". As an engineer I am always on the look out for improvements. For me cutting oil works but is it the best/most suitable? Misting seems to be popular but is an unknown to me and anything water based seems to be fundamentally wrong for modellers who do not use their machines every day. Industry needs water based systems due to cost and the low viscosity is probably essential with small drills with internal lub holes.

The air system is new to me and I can see all sorts of issued regarding the nozzle control and of course compressor noise.

You ask about the drawbacks of oil - I really can't think of any. No rust, no staining, helps lubrication, long lasting, no smell. However in choosing the oil make sure it doesn't leave deposits when left on the lath bed for extended periods. Generally best to use an oil formulated for cutting - I use Neatcut but I guess there and many more makes. I don't like the idea of diluting the cutting fluid with paraffin due to the smell.

For many operations I use a small container of cutting oil and a brush but when it comes to knurling, large cuts and screw cutting, Aluminum cutting the pumped lubrication is just magic!

My system is home made. It consists of an open top slab sided container holding about 5Ltr. There is a metal (welded) framework which sits in the container which support the workings. The motor is outside the tank and drives a spindle which drives a gear pump which sucks in oil via a cartridge oil filter (Ford). Being a gear pump, the pressure is high so there is a bleed valve which allows flow control to the flexible outlet nozzle. Simple but works. Used oil drains back into the tank via two overflow tins to catch small swarf.

Hope that helps and thanks for your collective views.

Mike
 

Badhippie

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Bummer: "require no electricity just a compressed air source!". Yes just connect it to the "compressed air wall(et) outlet?" :rolleyes::D
Questions: How much air is it using? How much noise does it make?

Greetings Timo
Hello
The air consumption is 15-35 SCFM @100 psi depending on model. Air required is 80-100 psi. At 70*F the outlet temp is -10* / 35*F depending on model and outflow is 2-35 SCFM depending on model. As far as noise goes it is not to bad just about like using a blow gun. But there is no splatter to worry about. I work in a food safety environment so we have to worry about oils and cleaners etc. Also the amount of wear that is reduced on inserts and tooling makes it well worth the money. All I can say is it works very very well. I have nothing but manual equipment both my lathes and my mill. 2 band saws couple grinders etc. I have 4 of these air coolers 3 of them stay on machines and one is portable. They do work damn fine. But you do have to look at the cost of them and see if they work for yourself.

Thanks Tom
 

ajoeiam

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Hello
The air consumption is 15-35 SCFM @100 psi depending on model. Air required is 80-100 psi. At 70*F the outlet temp is -10* / 35*F depending on model and outflow is 2-35 SCFM depending on model. As far as noise goes it is not to bad just about like using a blow gun. But there is no splatter to worry about. I work in a food safety environment so we have to worry about oils and cleaners etc. Also the amount of wear that is reduced on inserts and tooling makes it well worth the money. All I can say is it works very very well. I have nothing but manual equipment both my lathes and my mill. 2 band saws couple grinders etc. I have 4 of these air coolers 3 of them stay on machines and one is portable. They do work damn fine. But you do have to look at the cost of them and see if they work for yourself.

Thanks Tom
Hmmmm - - - IIRC it is in the saws and tapping where air cooling just don't cut it.
 

timo_gross

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Hello
The air consumption is 15-35 SCFM @100 psi depending on model. Air required is 80-100 psi. At 70*F the outlet temp is -10* / 35*F depending on model and outflow is 2-35 SCFM depending on model. As far as noise goes it is not to bad just about like using a blow gun. But there is no splatter to worry about. I work in a food safety environment so we have to worry about oils and cleaners etc. Also the amount of wear that is reduced on inserts and tooling makes it well worth the money. All I can say is it works very very well. I have nothing but manual equipment both my lathes and my mill. 2 band saws couple grinders etc. I have 4 of these air coolers 3 of them stay on machines and one is portable. They do work damn fine. But you do have to look at the cost of them and see if they work for yourself.

Thanks Tom
Thank you for reply Tom,
So that is about 6bar and up to 0.850 m3/min, not really low. I was not aware that there are dedicated coolers like this available.
A simple plastic cooling nozzle ( blue one with orange tip ) near the cutter costs as much as a *$$coffee and does already help a little. Not so much for cooling, but to lessen recutting of chips. It is very noisy though so only useful for occasional use.

Greetings Timo
 

ofaf

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I don't like any of it. Oil and water are stinky and a mess to clean up. Air blows swarf all over the place. Except for threading, I use nothing if possible. Even then, I use just a squirt or two of cheap cutting oil. I think it is relatively easy to tell if a lubricant is really needed. I usually use a little bit of way oil- for cast iron mainly to keep the dust from flying all over the shop. Bad stuff to breathe! Of course, the situation is much different in a commercial or industrial shop. My comments pertain to a small home shop.
 

timo_gross

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Timo asks "why do I want to change". As an engineer I am always on the look out for improvements. For me cutting oil works but is it the best/most suitable? Misting seems to be popular but is an unknown to me and anything water based seems to be fundamentally wrong for modellers who do not use their machines every day. Industry needs water based systems due to cost and the low viscosity is probably essential with small drills with internal lub holes.

The air system is new to me and I can see all sorts of issued regarding the nozzle control and of course compressor noise.

You ask about the drawbacks of oil - I really can't think of any. No rust, no staining, helps lubrication, long lasting, no smell. However in choosing the oil make sure it doesn't leave deposits when left on the lath bed for extended periods. Generally best to use an oil formulated for cutting - I use Neatcut but I guess there and many more makes. I don't like the idea of diluting the cutting fluid with paraffin due to the smell.

For many operations I use a small container of cutting oil and a brush but when it comes to knurling, large cuts and screw cutting, Aluminum cutting the pumped lubrication is just magic!

My system is home made. It consists of an open top slab sided container holding about 5Ltr. There is a metal (welded) framework which sits in the container which support the workings. The motor is outside the tank and drives a spindle which drives a gear pump which sucks in oil via a cartridge oil filter (Ford). Being a gear pump, the pressure is high so there is a bleed valve which allows flow control to the flexible outlet nozzle. Simple but works. Used oil drains back into the tank via two overflow tins to catch small swarf.

Hope that helps and thanks for your collective views.

Mike
Thank you for the explanation. Gear pump? ( so I need to make a gear pump first?, a gear pump for the gear cutter ;)) Were did you get the gear pump and what size is it. It seems I should give the oil a try. Slow rpm so I guess splashing will not be too bad. It seems to be a good fit for my intended application.

Greetings Timo

p.s. I think this is also related, in case not everybody reading here saw it MQL system (compare to fog buster)
 

Badhippie

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Hello
Yes it is no good really for tapping I still use lube for tapping. But it does work pretty good on both my 21 inch vertical saw and my 24 inch horizontal saw. It keeps the blade good and cool on the saws the thing it does not do good on the saws is getting rid of the swarf. You can only run it on one side either before the cut or after the cut. So to a certain point you are correct on the saws. But other then that it will save you money on inserts and even drill bits it also works damn fine for drilling and boring. It’s almost as good as sliced bread. Lol
Thanks
Tom
 

Mike Henry

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I use QualiChem 251 diluted to about 7% with a Fogbuster and that has worked well for me. No rust, not much odor, no skin problems, and no biological growth over 5+ years of use. I use the same coolant in a lathe with flood coolant and have the same experience there. I'd also used Hangsterfer S-500, previously with similar results.

This is in a basement shop which tends to be moderately cool year round, so experience in a Florida garage with no A/C might vary.
 

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Charles
We seem to be on the same page but I would have thought that mixing it with paraffin would make a smelly lubricant!

Dave
Not sure about air. One of the purposes of the lubricant is to ease the cutting by "lubrication" between the cutting point and the material. I have to say I have never heard of this air approach so lets hear from the wisdom of HMEM.

Thanks for your interest

Mike
I use air on the mill, not on the lathe. Depending on the stock I use plumbers cutting oil on ferros stock, kerosene or WD-40 on aluminum. Nothing on brass, plastics and phosphorous bronze. Been told milk is a turning lube for copper. Have not tried it myself. Air cools the cutter and stock. Not a lubricant I
would imagine.
mike
 

Mike Ginn

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timo
You asked about gear pumps. They are typically used as oil pumps in autos and other applications where high pressure is needed. Usually for coolant an impeller pump is used since high pressure is not needed and the flow can be easily shut off. With a gear pump you cannot/must not shut off the flow but you can provide a bleed. I use a gate valve as a regulator but I have drilled a small hole in the valve gate to ensure that there is always some oil flow.

So why did I use a gear pump - I had one!

Best of luck

Mike

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Nice to recognize the different opinions on cutting fluids. In our horological society and its light cuts we mostly prefer pure oil cutting fluids, applied with a dispenser or just a brush. Some members use in their home workshop 'mist' or cutting oil applied with air. Two problems here 1) when the air pressure is high and/or ill directed the air will force chips and dirt between sliding surfaces 2) the oily mist will eventually find its way all over the place - on the walls and the ceiling of your workshop, but also in your lungs. So our members with a medical background most strongly advise against 'cutting mist'.
 
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