Cutting oil

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Wizard69

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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.

Sometime whatever is available

For aluminum there is no doubt that WD 40 works well, almost like magic. Unfortunately WD 40 sucks for just about anything else.

At home, cutting steel I use plumbers taping and threading lube from the local hardware store. Oakley I believe is the trade name on the bottle. I use this due to it being relatively cheap and in a handy sized bottle. Seems to work very well for sawing and drilling steel.

For taping I use a variety of fluids depending upon what I'm doing most of these sold in little expensive bottles. Almost all of this is hand taping.

At work sometimes we are forced into using isopropanol IPA for taping, as contamination needs to be avoided at all costs. This is a terrible taping fluid!!!!!! This also means lots of dry machining of stainless which is another horror.

Sometimes the stick wax lubes are very useful especially if vertical surfaces are involved.
 

Wizard69

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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.
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.

I never tried Crisco but got into using electric drills when lots of holes need to be tapped.
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.

The problem with the EPA is that they jump before suitable alternatives arrive. We need to protect the environment but we shouldn't be making things worst for the users if these banned substances.
 

Wizard69

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On thing to consider is what you use when there is no lube allowed or you are limited to stuff like IPA. Here is where coated hand taps come in very handy even if it is an extravagance for hand tapping. A good coated tap will seemingly resist sticking in stainless when run in dry. I know the idea of tapping dry is a bit horrifying but it has to be done sometimes.
 

myrickman

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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!
 

SmithDoor

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The side benefit to sulfur, oil, lard and kerosene is also works as a mosquito repellent' and just any other none machinist.

Dave


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!
 

machinejack

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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.
 

SmithDoor

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A old machinist told me he just bacon fat and oil. Never try it I always just got drum.
I have also back 70's found information on cooking lard oil and sulfur
Today if need dark oil I just get a gal from Home depot.

Dave

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.
 

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