How to choose a machine oil for the lathe headstock?

DoN. Nichols wrote:
[big snip]


What? Don't they teach the ASTM D 130 in high schools any more?

[...]
There is a lot of info to summarize and comment on. I shall do so later.

No, *you* can get Vactra...:-)
--
Michael Koblic
Campbell River, BC
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<snip>
ISO 32, 46, 68 hydraulic oil can be purchased in gallon quantities at the local Wally World and Can Tire, IIRC.
My lathe calls for an obsolete Esso oil. The factory support engineer cross referenced it to their current turbine oil product for me. $50 for a 20 liter pail seemed reasonable for a lifetime supply given what a pack of carbide inserts goes for. The bulk oil place had it for me in a couple days.

About a gallon or two for an average home sized machine.

New machine, home use, change it after a few hours use in every speed range. After that once a decade or so, sooner if the oil in the sight glass becomes discolored.

Don't go higher, ISO 68 or SAE 80 is about as viscous as you should ever need for a larger lathe. Probably lower if it's a smaller machine capable of higher RPM. I use ISO 32 in my 14" lathe.

Way oil has additives to give it tacky properties, it clings to the ways instead of sliding off. Dirt clings to the oil between and during use so any old machine oil applied at the start of work would be better than runnning the machine over old way oil. Plain oil on ways is great for home use, just apply a little nore frequently.

Probably wise to ditch the Chinese oil to wash out the remaining casting sand and leftover swarf.....
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On Tue, 7 Jul 2009 18:39:02 -0700, "Michael Koblic"
BIG BIG SNIP

MORE SNIP
Hey Michael,
About this point 3) only..... Some smaller or entry level geared-head lathes that have no pressure oiler component are "lubed" by the lighter weight oil "slinging" (like the big end of an auto engine splashing in the pan). They won't have designed slingers per se, but merely by running some gear component in the bath throws oil EVERYWHERE (that's why they leak so bad). That won't happen with the hypoid gear lube products.
Take care.
Brian Lawson, Bothwell, Ontario.
ps...Don't forget my suggestion to ask any elevator guy for a gallon of Tellus 32 (or Rando, or Harmony, or or or). Another posters idea about donuts sounds good!! Park at any downtown Timmy's about 9:30 and look for a van with a company logo.
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On Thu, 9 Jul 2009 02:54:12 -0400, "Ed Huntress"
<snip>

Not trying to slam anyone, but Pennzoil cost me a wet clutch in my 1976 Honda 550-4 years ago. I've been really cautious ever since, always getting oil spec'd for 4-cycle motorcycles and wet clutches. Live and learn...
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Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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Ed Huntress wrote:

Where I was born they still burn tribologists at the stake I think...

Chinese machine manuals are based on feng shui and i-ching.
[...]

Lot of the time it is half the battle to find what is the reliable source of information on a subject.
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Michael Koblic
Campbell River, BC
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Oh, yeah. That was a very big issue when I was writing for metalworking magazines, because you really need experts to get your facts straight...or someone will write a letter to the editor and let you know that the one you quoted, wasn't. <g>
-- Ed Huntress
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Ed Huntress wrote: [...]

Not just metalworking magazines :-)
I am more impressed by an article where the author uses cogent arguments supported by literature even if I do not know his/her name than by an author of renown who simply states his opinion.
Then there are the experts who are widely admired for their publications or presentations at symposia but you happen to know how they actually work...
Aaargh! You nearly got me ranting!
--
Michael Koblic
Campbell River, BC
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On Fri, 10 Jul 2009 18:19:39 -0700, "Michael Koblic"
<snip>

This is one of the many 9x20 flavors offered. Similar to HF-44996, Grizzly G4000... See:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberD996
http://www.grizzly.com/products/9-x-19-Bench-Lathe/G4000
Mine didn't come with the 4-jaw chuck and that may be a good thing. Most of the comments concerning it consider it light-weight, flimsy, suitable for maybe woodworking? :)
The belt drive is flimsy too. It uses a special, hard to find 5mm belt. Part number either 5M710 or 5M730. Plan on having to fool around and align the motor, belt and driven pulley upon assembly and clean-up. Otherwise you will be replacing said belt all too soon.
There are many, many web pages discussing its strengths, shortcomings and modifications. For the cost they are okay machines after fixing the shortcomings.
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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Michael Koblic wrote: [...]

http://www.catalogds.com/db/service?domain=gates.pt&command=locate&category=vbelt_belt
It *is* that one. That is not good...But apparently not totally impossible to get. However, some say that the machine sometimes arrives with the wrong-sized belt!
The other belt is a synchronous type
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Michael Koblic
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On Sat, 11 Jul 2009 22:07:39 -0700, "Michael Koblic"

Gates offers a direct replacement for it (that was the only replacement belt that matched numbering I could find). Other people have had trouble finding belts too. There was a fellow selling them for an okay price via ebay. See:
http://www.bedair.org/Shifter/Belt.html
The belt that came with mine had no markings on it at all. It was so tight you could have played a tune on it and that was without the tensioner applied. I carefully measured it at 705mm, which is neither 710 or 730 per the manuals. The tensioner had to be removed and tweaked (bent for decent alignment with said belt). I pulled the motor loose and was able to remove some washers, gained some slack in the belt. Probably took me 3-4 hours putzing around with it. Wasn't in no hurry though. I had the motor running and the alignment looks good now but the belt is still a tad tight. I think that if I ever get around to doing some work with it, it will loosen up a little more and be okay.
I still haven't used this lathe, bought it brand new from HF over 2 years ago. Still need to finish cleaning the paint off the lead screw, de-burr the threads/slot area on the lead screw, figure out why the cross-slide has a rough spot on every turn, suspect some of the oil ports are plugged up and probably several other things I can't remember right now...
Sorry about that earlier link snafu, this one should be right for the HF 9x20 lathe:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberE861
If you get to Busybee, make sure you look over the 4-jaw chuck good. I've seen images of the one that comes with these lathes and they are pretty light weight. Maybe they supply something better now. I bought a 6 inch 4-jaw from Wholesale Supply, along with a slightly small threaded back-plate for it. I think it (back plate) will just barely work, if I ever get around to properly fitting the two together. First I have to get the lathe running and I don't want this to be the first project if you know what I mean :) This is only a 6 inch chuck too and it weighs almost 20 lbs if I recall correctly. Much heavier than the 7.5 inch they come with, maybe even a bit heavy for this size machine.
If you want a good running machine out of the box keep looking ;-)
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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Leon Fisk wrote:
<snip>

No big deal. they are all the same, after all, except the Jet 920W which is supposed to be better but also costs twice as much.

I suspect that is the correct course of action.
--
Michael Koblic
Campbell River, BC
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On Sun, 12 Jul 2009 17:58:10 -0700, "Michael Koblic"

These machines are pretty common though and you already know about its weak points. I'm sure the other new lathes with a similar price have their weak points too. There is always some value in "knowing thy enemy".
It really depends on just how much you want to put into it, or if you just want to start using it. Even if you find a used one you won't know if it was gone through first or not. When I was researching the 9x20's one guy replaced that little belt 2-3 times before he noticed how badly skewed the tensioner/motor alignment was. He just un-crated it and put it to use. On mine I could tell at first glance that there was some work to be done fixing the belt area before I would ever power it up.
The main parts in mine all appear to be intact/serviceable, nothing seems to be missing. That is all I looked for and would have taken it back for. The warranty in my mind is nothing but a joke for people that don't know anything about mechanical stuff. Anyone worth their salt would never ship a new machine put together like these are. I would be embarrassed to do so and sign my name to it. But, that is the way of retail/manufacturing today. No pride in anything and most people can't tell the difference...
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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Leon Fisk wrote:

That is certainly a valid point of view. There are some other aspects to it:
1) Although it is said that the machines from discount houses (Grizzly, HF, Busy Bee) are very much the same, what if a similar machine is purchased for a little more from an "industrial" supplier. A case in point:
http://www.kbctools.com/can/main.cfm
Looks like the Grizzly, no? But are the details any better, namely the compound and the power train fit? Who knows. Without seeing the machine it is hard to make a judgement. And most of these places do not have them assembled in the show room (unlike, praise be, Busy Bee).
Here is another one:
http://www.kingcanada.com/Products.htm?CD 6&ID#69
here *on sale* through my local outlet for mucho mas dinero
http://www.kmstools.com/flyer/pages/page%2025.pdf
Same applies...
2) Are there options *not* manufactured in China in this size?
I had a look through the big houses and unless you want a 13" + you are pretty much out of luck. Interestingly, though, there appears a resurgence of Southbend and if one is to believe their web page, a 7x15 and a 9x22 are in the offing:
http://southbendlathe.com/lathes.aspx

This grows old. I went through that dance with my mini-mill (and in many ways am still dancing) and even the Taig is not a finished product which needs some pimping if you want to use it with any frequency.
Having to turn a compound clamp straight off is rather off-putting.

I think one may be a bit harsh on our Chinese brethren: Do not forget where they are coming from historywise. Remember the back-yard steel furnaces of the Great Leap Forward? The current state of their technology may be simply reflected in their exports. They will use the stuff themselves without batting an eyelid 'cos they do not know any better. The Japanese went through it. The Taiwanese, the Koreans. None of their stuff is cheap anymore.
There is a price to be paid for, well, low price.
--
Michael Koblic
Campbell River, BC
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    [ ... ]

    Well ... my only experience on this was an example of the "$200.00 H/V bandsaw" which I got from MSC. While I needed to do a little work to get the tension adjust to slide far enough, everything else was much better than reports which I have read of other versions of the same machine which I read at the time. One important example is the mounts for the blade guides. Mine has the ball bearing assemblies screwed to a heavy duty forged block, so it does not shift over time. I have seen other examples from other vendors in which the mounts for the guide bearings were bent steel which would shift over time as chips passed between the blade and the rollers.
    Granted -- the MSC version was up at the $200.00 mark while the others were falling to about $160.00, but I feel that I got the better deal.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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On Mon, 13 Jul 2009 15:47:52 -0700, "Michael Koblic"
<snip>

I have too heard that the Grizzly versions are a bit more "polished". If I could look one over right now as they would ship I could give you an answer. I know where the HF machine needs extra work.

HF had/has a 9x20 on display. It looks like #@$%^. The one I got was still in the wooden shipping crate. They used a forklift to set it into the back of my truck. There are minor differences between mine and the display unit.
I went with this lathe because I could pick it up locally and it was a decent bang-for-the-buck. It was on sale, I had a 20% off coupon, total came to $630 with tax. I also considered Taig, but by the time you add up everything, like what comes with the 9x20, you had more than a 9x20, smaller machine and they don't do threads. Similar with the 7x12 units. Once you see one in person, they really aren't very big lathes.
<snip>

There was some stuff coming from Europe that looked interesting. Problem is finding someone selling it for an okay price. If I planned on using said machine to make money I would seriously look for them. Making money for oneself is just too damn complicated here in the USA. Your tax man, accountant, insurance agent, lawyer... are the ones making the money...

The ones I was thinking of were similar in size to a 9x20, maybe a little bigger (shrug).
<snip>

Well, I was well aware of what I was most likely in for. I could finish up, get it running in less than a day if I wanted. But I've gotten lazy and there is nothing pressing that I really need it for. I chose to burn my time elsewhere right now, but someday I'll get the urge again or really, really need it for something. Kinda nice knowing I have it, only wanted one for ~30 years :) Would like to have a bigger one, but this will do for now.
<snip>

I think they do/make exactly what is contracted. No more than they absolutely have to. Isn't that they way it goes today? The young people we had at work most all came in 5 minutes after starting time and left 5 minutes (or more) before quitting time, every day. If you didn't keep poking them in the butt they would just sit and collect dust or play with their Gameboy. Usually called in sick at least once a week too. They just plain didn't "get it".
Right now I think you need to buy something that should do the job for you, not too expensive though. This will get your feet wet and you will begin to see where improvements can be made and what features, refinements you wish you had. In other words, "you don't know what you don't know" yet.
--
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I will be in the unique position to do just that comparison: I am off to Vancouver and will be visiting Busy Bee. If the time permits I shall hop actross the border to Bellingham and visit Grizzly there.
<snip>

Could not put it better myself.
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DoN. Nichols wrote:

Review of the 9x20 groups reveals that almost *to a man* they had to make a new compound mount which, apparently, in its original state is floppy and useless.

Another frequent beef with this machine. Many recipes for cure - none very simple.

Vendor. But...see comments re-reliability.
[...]

I did. It probably is. They are prepared to send out parts I am told.
[...]

Believe or not, this is one of the better manuals. But I agree. Verification is the word. [...]

In the context of the conversation I doubt it - I was making like I wanted to buy one right there.

From what I have read you are in a good company for that and many other reasons.
I suspect this is rapidly becoming a non-event.
Interestingly those who bought the little 7x8 Craftex from the same source seem to like it. Presumably made in a different Chinese factory.
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    [ ... ]

    So -- my impression (having never actually seen the machine) seems to have been fairly accurate.

    If you *ever* expect to need to turn left-hand threads, you will be in bad shape with this machine.
    [ ... ]

    O.K.
    [ ... ]
    That could help -- depending on how long they will keep it up.

    It is not that bad a manual -- better than a lot that I have seen, but I doubt whether it accurately describes the current machines on their sales floor. The machines change with the winds, and they may be holding onto the manual to try to impress everyone.

    O.K.
    [ ... ]

    I think that you are making a good choice.

    That might be interesting to look at -- to see what features it has and what it is missing.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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wrote:

Quite true. Fortunately...most..not all..but most modern lathes have the low gear driven, with a tossup between gear or belt driven for the medium speed, with High typically being direct drive.
This holds fairly true for most lathes 30 yrs or newer, import or domestic.
Gunner
"Lenin called them "useful idiots," those people living in liberal democracies who by giving moral and material support to a totalitarian ideology in effect were braiding the rope that would hang them. Why people who enjoyed freedom and prosperity worked passionately to destroy both is a fascinating question, one still with us today. Now the useful idiots can be found in the chorus of appeasement, reflexive anti-Americanism, and sentimental idealism trying to inhibit the necessary responses to another freedom-hating ideology, radical Islam"
Bruce C. Thornton, a professor of Classics at American University of Cal State Fresno
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