lubricating plain bearings

We have a 1916 ?Boye & Emmes' engine lathe. It's just had new adjustable oil cups installed and after countless google reading we're still stumped as to the proper viscosity of oil. It's got pretty leaky plain bearings and we think it deserves low viscosity oil almost to the range of 'way oil' ? thick. Our thinking is that a slow moving hog of a lathe needs heavy stuff especially due to the fact that the bearings leak all over the place. No detergent oil right because we don't want any dirt particles suspended for some reason. Can anyone tell us why there are so many different oil standards to date? Are there oil conversion tables anywhere? Thankx

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Do you mean thick oil which is high viscosity? The choice of oil will depend upon the shaft speed, shaft diameter and bearing material. A good source of info for this may be from folks who are interested in old engines and machinery. You could try the question on the NG uk.rec.engines.stationary. We're brits but not a bad lot for that.


Reply to
John Manders

I have been using light weight spindle oil in my plain bearing myford ML7. I think they also make medium weight spindle oil.

However I would be very tempted to use 20 or 30 weight non-detergent oil. I think atlas speced 20 weight non detergent oil in their plain bearing lathes.


Reply to
Charles A. Sherwood

The non-detergent stuff is what you want to use if you've got a sump and oil rings or some other non-total-loss oil system. It probably doesn't matter much if your oil goes in the bearing and leaks out to be wiped up and disposed of. Lubricating oil is a totally different product now than when that lathe was built, all you had back then was straight mineral oil with no performance additions and probably lots of wax, or some type of vegetable oil like castor oil. Products evolve, so do standards. You might see what the old engine crowd use in their oil cups for those old low-RPM oil and gas engines. You might also need new bearings cast(or some adjustments) if they leak that much. Rebabbiting is fairly easy to do and Lindsay has the books on how-to.


Reply to
Stan Schaefer

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