lubricant for machining aluminum

Discussion in 'General Engine Discussion' started by farmerbill13, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Jul 24, 2008 #1

    farmerbill13

    farmerbill13

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    I've used kerosene and wd-40 in the past,just wondering if there was anything cheaper that worked just as good?I'm machining cooling fins on a cylinder for a hot air engine.Thanks,Bill
     
  2. Jul 24, 2008 #2

    rake60

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    Welcome to HMEM Bill!

    You'll never find a better cutting fluid for aluminium than straight kerosene.
    It may not be the safest thing. I've had more than one little yellow flame
    flair up in front of me. ;)

    There are some commercial products available such as Tap Magic Aluminium
    Now THAT is the TOP of aluminium cutting fluids.
    For the cost of 16 ounces of that you can buy a gallon of kerosene that is almost as good.

    Rick
     
  3. Jul 24, 2008 #3

    farmerbill13

    farmerbill13

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    Thanks Rick,tap magic is good stuff,I have used it on deep hole tapping and reaming and your right about the price.
     
  4. Jul 24, 2008 #4

    LCT

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    WD-40 is my choice. I have heard some people get good results from automatic transmission fluid too.
     
  5. Jul 24, 2008 #5

    Florian

    Florian

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    Hi Bill

    I usually use denaturated alcohol. You will have to open the windows but it works quite well and the surfaces look nice.

    Florian
     
  6. Jul 24, 2008 #6

    JaguarB

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    I have been using Barbecue lighting fluid with good results

    Paul
     
  7. Jul 24, 2008 #7

    Metal Mickey

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    Does anyone know where you can buy clear cutting oil?
     
  8. Jul 24, 2008 #8

    Tin Falcon

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    There was some discussion on this on another thread. A-9 appears to be mineral oil with some additives. Perfume dye and a couple "secret" ingredients. So mineral oil from the drug store or big box store should work fine.Mineral oil is clear
    Tin

     
  9. Jul 25, 2008 #9

    rake60

    rake60

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    I have a very OLD Machinery's Handbook here.
    It is a 1st Editon printed in 1914.
    (No it is NOT for sale!)

    Aluminium was a precious metal then.
    The book recommends "Rendered Beef Tallow" as a cutting fluid
    for aluminium.

    Cut a chunk of fat off a cow, boil it into an oil and your all set!
    Well... It worked in 1914!
    :big:


    Rick
     
  10. Jul 25, 2008 #10

    Stan

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    Metal Mickey: Are you looking for a high sulphur cutting oil or a cutting fluid for some particular metal?

    Tim: Those 'additives and secret ingredients' make a big difference in the mineral oil for cutting aluminum. Like the additives and secret ingredients your wife puts in the flour when she makes a chocolate cake.








     
  11. Jul 25, 2008 #11

    Tin Falcon

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    Many years ago when I was a teenager my dad, brothers and myself were into black powder shooting and casting our own projectiles. the recommended flux for the lead was Tallow we did just as you mentioned above went to the butcher shop came home with several pounds of beef fat cooked it down in Moms kitchen poured it into a 1 lb coffee can and had more tallow than we would ever use or need. Probably pretty smelly if it is still around. The last time I melted lead I used some Crisco from the wifes cupboard with similar results.
    IIRC a piece of candle wax does the same thing. BTW I have used bees way for sawing and drilling lube.
    Tin
     
  12. Jul 25, 2008 #12

    sparky961

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    My own personal warning on ATF: If you expect even a bit of moisture/condensation around your machines, don't use it. A while back, when I was still working in an uninsulated, unheated garage, I thought ATF would be a good rust preventative. I coated all surfaces of pretty much any bare metal I could find with the stuff.

    To make a long story shorter, when I came back after a day (or a week - it was a while ago), everything that I had coated with it had serious surface rust.

    As a side note, I now use chainsaw oil as a rust preventative with great success. This stuff is very sticky and stringy, and it gets very pronounced in the cold. The viscosity resembles that of honey. I've also used it with some success as a parting-off lube, though I'm willing to bet there are better alternatives.

    -Sparky
     
  13. Jul 25, 2008 #13

    ronm

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    Here's a story that will tell how old I am...in my first year of high school machine shop, the cutting fluid of choice was carbon tetrachloride...& it worked great, as I remember-second year, the instructor said no more carbon tet, it's been banned because it causes cancer... :eek: up until then it was widely used in dry cleaning & other uses, I have never seen it since, must have been pretty seriously bad stuff...that was in the 60's, before the state of California found almost everything to be carcinogenic to rats when they were drenched in it every day of their lives...I think we used kerosene after that, I don't think it was quite as good as carbon tet...
     
  14. Jul 26, 2008 #14

    farmerbill13

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    I know what you mean,all the stuff that worked good they got rid of,like the tap magic we used back in the 70's,I think it had 1-1-1 trichlorethane or something like that in it.I remember the metal sounded like it sizzeled when you used it.Still have a couple of cans of it that I save for special occasions. ;D
     
  15. Jul 26, 2008 #15

    Tin Falcon

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    The Tapmagic original formula is still available. One of the places I work still gets it and uses it (They make freon by the ton at this place) and it is still listed at the tapmagic site.
    I think I will stick with the safer formula for home use
    Tin
     
  16. Jul 28, 2008 #16

    PolskiFran

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    A friend of mine used to use automatic transmission fluid for machining brass and aluminum in his automatic screw machines. We used to use a mix of lard oil and kerosene for cast aluminum.

    Hope this helps,

    Frank
     

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