I've been playing with a Taig 2019 mini mill for a while now, and its fun, but for hogging out any real amounts of metal I need to keep a constant spray of oil on my cutter. WD-40 works pretty darn good. So far I have just stood there metering WD-40 onto my cutter with a standard spray can, but that is getting old. Especially on longer cuts.
I can buy it by the gallon for a pretty reasonable price, but still I hate to just waste it, and of course I need a way to dispense it, and maybe to recover it too. I was thinking to just weld up a big catch tray out of aluminum to go under the mil. Drill a hole in one corner and put a pipe down to a bucket to catch the oil, and then pump it back up to a nozzle on the side of my cutting head. Here are my thoughts. Put a stainless screen over the pan drain hole to keep the big pieces out of the bucket, and then maybe under that in the top of the pipe loosely stuff in some cheese cloth to filter out the smaller particles.
Then I need to figure out a good pump to use to bring the oil back out of the bucket and to the nozzle at the cutting head. I was thinking a five gallon utility bucket with the lid snapped on would be a good sump, but I would like to leave it on the floor under my work bench so as to minimize the chances of knocking it over and wasting 20-40 dollars worth of oil. Of course I need a pump then that can lift the oil 3-4 feet safely and have some decent pressure at the head to be able to spray chips off and keep the cutting point cool. I figure a fuel pump might work, but I do not know if it will have the volume or pressure to do the job. A water cooler pump would have the volume, but maybe not the pressure, and I do not know if those pumps are explosion proof since they are designed to work in a water environment, not a flammable environment.
Suggestions? Last time I checked a generic electric fuel pump was about $40 retail.
P.S. The Taig specifically says not to use water based coolants.
Bob La Londe