- Jun 4, 2008
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What do others use for cutting oil for drilling, reaming and milling? I have Tap Magic, WD 40, 30W automotive oil and 3 in 1 oil. I generally use the Tap Magic but using any oil seems to make the chips stick to the drill etc. WD 40 works best for band sawing aluminum.
This is most interesting. Years ago, like 30, I worked with a guy fir a bit that swore by Crisco for tapping. In his case he was involved in steel fabrication work and would run around with a large Milwaukee geared drill motor and hand tap structures with it. We are talking 1/2" and similarly large taps. He would just dip the tap for each hole to be tapped.Best advice I ever got was to buy a can of Crisco for reaming (I do recommend a discreet silence if asked what you're planning to use it for! Or a very detailed answer...) . Fill the flutes solid. Amazingly good results vs cutting oil and the like. Apparently what happens is that the solid fat both lubricates and "floats" the reamer as if it were a solid rod. Fantastic results with hand (ie, longer taper) reamers, they just seem to glide into the hole.
I suppose any solid fat would work, generics included, but after a couple decades I'm still using that first can, so cost isn't really an issue. Might be worth trying beeswax, or something like Johnson paste wax (which is carnauba, beeswax, and kerosene). Paste wax is the best thing ever for saw tables, mill tables, etc. (There is a minor issue with lacquer/paint after cutting on a waxed surface, easily avoided by cleaning first).
For tapping and drilling in Al, I use Relton A-9. If you can find the green can, it won't stink of cinnamon, and it does work extremely well.
Like sulfochlorinated cutting oil, this is getting hard to find. I buy in gallons now, when I find these. Like detergents, the old chemistry works a lot better than the stuff the EPA is forcing into the market.
You might want to try Anchorlube. It is a water based stearate which looks like light green mayonnaise. I put it in a ketchup squirt bottle. It works great for tapping and turning. If the water evaporates, you can add more and thin it out. No smell either!
When I was starting out I got machinist job working with several older Polish and German gentleman. Old school to say the least. Lard oil and kerosene was the standard at this shop. I still use it to this day. Though my lard oil is more refined than then. I didn't know there was an artist grade used for mixing paint. Doesn't have that rancid smell that I remember.