I've seen various "natural" cutting and tapping fluids such as
"tapmatic natural" which claim to be esters of some sort of vegetable
oil. They also have a "citrus spice" scent which leads me to believe
they are either an ester of orange oil or a mix of orange oil and
biodiesel. My bedroom is right next door to my lathe so I don't relish
the thought of regularly using sulfurized cutting oil or kerosene.
With biodiesel so cheap (free for me) and less toxic than water
according to the MSDS, I was thinking of using it as a flood
coolant/lubricant. Does anyone know of any major disadvantages of using
biodiesel in this way?
I can't say for sure about the bio diesel but regular diesel makes a
pretty good cutting oil for aluminum. But it stinks more than kerosene
which is as good. Since you can get the stuff free why don't you try
it on a little aluminum?
Is biodiesel the same stinky stuff as "normal" diesel?
Joe Agro, Jr.
Know someone with a motorcycle in the NY Metro area?
There must be more than one meaning of BioDiesel. Here in MN, there putting
up a lot of pilot plants for manufacturing diesel from soybeans. A 2% blend
is being used in many public vehicles and farm supply outlets.
FWIW, Crown Manufacturing is the company around here developing this
technology. My son made a huge number of parts for their soy processing
plants when he worked for them.
It's really just one meaning. There is an entire cottage industry of people
who are making their own, scrounging used vegetable oil from McDonald's
etc., filtering it through paper filters, and then treating it with
something -- maybe lye, I don't remember.
I read a couple of articles about it last year and these must be some
characters. They're very scientific about it. Apparently they prefer 5-cyl.
Mercedes-Benz engines from some years ago, which they say are the toughest
and most forgiving diesels around.
Anyway, they run it straight. If you blend it with regular diesel, it's a
biodiesel blend, which must be what they're using out where you are. And, if
they're making it from pristine soybean oil, that should make the soybean
farmers pretty happy. After all, how many Freedom Fries would we have to eat
to produce that much used grease? <g>
That was me. It does stink. And I can't stand the smell of diesel
anymore. But I worked in a lumbermill many moons ago and the
cheapskate owner had us using siesel for aluminum cutting oil.
Fortunately I didn't work there vey long. And eventually the owner's
greediness landed him in jail. After an investigation my the CA
I've been hearing a lot about biodiesel for an alternative clean, no toxic
emissions fuel. I've heard that it can be brewed anywhere, without any
safety hazards to the maker, so I suppose that it will gain a small or
moderate number of users. If it isn't hazardous and doesn't require imported
materials (lots of soybean farmers and cooking byproducts here at home), it
might gain a lot of popularity. I think I heard that Al Gore invented it.
I've been using a cutting lube marketed by Lenox (the saw blade company)
called Pro Tool Lube which doesn't appear to be any type of petroleum
product, and the label states that it doesn't contain silicone. It's
available at Fastenal distributors.
I dunno about esters and that stuff (knew an Ester once, but I called her
Eileen because she only had one leg).
It could be vegetable oil based, but I don't think I'll try frying baby seal
steaks or turtle eggs in it.
It seems to be a great product for steel, stainless, brass, hard synthetics
In my limited HSM machining operations, it works great for turning, milling,
knurling, drilling, sawing and tapping. I'm convinced that it contributes to
longer bandsaw blade life.
It doesn't promote rust or corrosion, and actually seems to have inhibitors
in it, since my steel parts don't rust quickly even after using a water
It's nearly clear, water soluable and about the same appearance as liquid
dish soap, and it has almost no odor until it gets hot enough to smoke, even
then it's low on the stink scale.
The one unusual characteristic is that it softens or blisters many common
(enamels) paint coatings that it gets on. It doesn't appear to leave any
residue after water rinsing that effects primer or paint adhesion.
I don't have any lube delivery systems, so I just brush it on or dribble it
in place from a dispenser bottle.
I tried a few soybean based paint removers which were quite effective,
although I later found out they contained about 50% NMP, which is more
benign than methylene chloride but not quite the green product they led me
to believe. One of the manufacturers did claim that the soybean product
worked synergistically with the NMP. I suspected it was BS but maybe they
We had a door to door salesman talk me into a vegetable oil based
coolant about 15 years ago. He actually gave me the first gallon to try
out. Since, at that time, most of our coolant was used with the brush
dip method it lasted quite a long time. Several months after we started
using it I notice that the machines were getting a sticky residue on
all the surfaces the coolant evaporated from. Almost nothing would cut
thru the gooo so we stopped using the crap and have been scrubbing away
at the vegetable oil based varnish ever since. It did have very
pleasant odor when it got really hot. It smelled like bread baking. Our
current flush coolant is Blazers and we have been on the same drum for
about 5 years and that is in four or five machines. I'd suggest using
coolant that is intended for metal working. BTW The petroleum based
coolant we used, in small amounts, has no sulfur odor though it tastes
bad when you get it into our mouth. It comes from Champions Choice in
Fullerton,CA and their special difficult to machine oil is fantastic. I
use it when threading 304 SS and O-1 tool steel and I can make threads
you would thing were rolled. Leigh@MarMachine
On 3/21/05 8:15 AM, in article
1Oz%d.211$ email@example.com, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"
I have two questions regarding cutting fluid, I just used a fair amount for
a cut off operation and was amazed by its effectiveness, but it wasn't
biodiesel, it was some tapmatic product.
First how does it do it, I mean what is the mechanism by which cutting is
soo obviously improved?
Second, what does it do to me. I am not supposed to breathe the fumes and
avoid contact with my hands while, in reality I breathe nothing but and I am
practically swimming in it.
How long do I have to live??
I'm not sure I can provide the proper reasons cutting fluids works as they
do aside from reducing friction and cooling, but as far as how long you have
to live, I'd say you have little about which to be concerned.
I started in the trade back in '57. It was common practice to add (gallons
trichlorothene to the oil in lathes to improve machining. You'd have it on
you day in and day out.
I'm not suggesting it was anything good, but no one that I know has suffered
anything obvious from the experience. That isn't true of many solvents,
Avoid breathing the fumes as much as possible, and keep the stuff off your
hands and arms, but don't lose sleep if you happen to get the occasional
sniff or splash. You should live to be an old Uwe.
Dunno. I checked the obit's this morning, only to find I'm strangely
missing from the listing------
I ran an electronics connector modification job for Univac time and again.
The body of the connectors got split, machined and drilled. After
handling, the only thing that would clean them perfectly that I found was
the use of chlorothene. The parts were submersed, swished around and
quickly withdrawn and dried with a blast of air. That left them free of
finger prints and spots. Moments after contact with the chlorothene I
could taste it in my mouth, so I know it had to be absorbed to some degree
through my skin. Mind you I'm not bragging about how healthy I am, but I
just had a physical, and at this point in time I seem to be normal. I
haven't used the solvent in that fashion since '83, but prior to that, I was
exposed to it fairly regularly. None of my peers have died that had
similar experiences, nor do I know of any of them that have had any health
issues aside from one, who had kidney failure (and diabetes). He is doing
well with his second kidney transplant. First one didn't work.
As I said, I don't think I'd lose any sleep if exposed to the things we use
in the shop, but I'd certainly avoid any unnecessary contact.
Talk about taking risk------how many people worry about being exposed to
solvents, all the while reaching for their cigarette?
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