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  1. #1

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    Needle Valve Sight Gravity Drip Feed Oiler - What tubing have you used?

    Hi folks. I didn't find much mention of an answer in a search, so here is my current question:

    I have one of these brass and glass Needle Valve Sight Gravity Drip Feed Oilers, which has a 1/8" MPT at the delivery end. Rather than experiment and re-invent the wheel, I am wondering if any of you have used these for dripping cutting oil on a lathe, mill, saw, etc. and can tell me what size, what material, and how small a diameter tubing one can use on these and still get a decent drip feed. I want to rig it up with a magnetic base mount (I have a couple extras not in use) so I can stick it on my lathe or mill, and use it to drip cutting oil on the cutter as it is working. I think a small diameter tube, something I can bend, position, and re-bend without kinking or breaking would be ideal. Would one of the "Cardan Joint" bendable tubes (looks like little plastic bowls stacked against each other) like they use on pump cutting oil systems work for a drip feed?

    I've also got some 1/4" PEX tube, but its rather stiff. I think small copper refrigeration tubing would bend OK at first, but eventually work harden and get brittle. That's why I thought getting a Cardan Joint tube, with the small nozzle on it, would make things simple for adjustment. I just don't know if they are too small to gravity drip cutting oil.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Needle Valve Sight Gravity Drip Feed Oiler - What tubing have you used?-sight-gravity-drip-feed-oiler.png  

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  3. #2
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Why do you need to have the tube be flexible? As long as the mag base is positioned on the cross slide and the dripper is located over the tool tip, it will remain over the tip as you make the cut.

    If you really need the spout to be flexible, why not cannibalize a cheap oil can with a flexible spount, e.g.,

    https://www.harborfreight.com/4-oz-f...-can-1106.html
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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  5. #3

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    Well, as I mentioned, I want to be able to use this on my lathe or mill. On the lathe, it could probably be a fairly rigid setup. But on the mill, with the various kinds of operations and work mounting it can handle, I think a flexible tube coming down from some safe location, say the side of the head casting, would be the best way to go, so I could then position the drip wherever it is needed, on either side of a cutter, close to a small end mill, further away for a large fly cutter or boring head, etc. , while keeping the glass oiler up out of harm's way from flying chips and spinning cutters.

    The oil can spout is a really good idea, if I can come up with one that actually will stay how it is bent. I have several oil cans, and none of their flexible spouts can be used with much accuracy unless I use one hand on the spout and one on the can. The beauty of the Cardan Joint tube is that it is highly position-able. But, I do have one can that has a nice thin flexible metal spout, rather like a piece of miniature armored cable in appearance. It is probably the best at staying as positioned, and it threads into the top of the can pump. If I can match whatever thread they used and make an adapter over to female 1/8 pipe thread I can give that a try!

    Thanks for the idea!

    Hopefully its ID is not too small so as to interfere with oil flow under only the pressure of gravity.

    Edit - Good news! Since the oil can using said spout is a Dutton-Lainson, made in USA, I am pleased to find they used 1/4-28 threads to attach the spout to their can. So all I need to do is make a 1/8 NPT to 1/4-28 F to F thread adapter to try it. I was afraid it would be some unusual thread I didn't have taps and dies for. (I've never turned internal threads yet on a lathe, and wouldn't want to try to learn on something this small. )

    It is not what I would call "highly" position-able, but it does seem to hold whatever curvature I make on it, within its limitations. It won't curve very tightly. Now to make the adapter and see if its small passage will allow a drip feed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Needle Valve Sight Gravity Drip Feed Oiler - What tubing have you used?-sight-gravity-drip-feed-oiler.png   Needle Valve Sight Gravity Drip Feed Oiler - What tubing have you used?-dutton-lainson-oil-can-spout.png  
    Last edited by Metalmuncher; 07-15-2017 at 06:22 PM.

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  7. #4

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    I am happy to report that this configuration works very well for dripping the Reli-On Cutting Oil I primarily use here. I did not think it was going to work at first, as the very tiny hole in the tip of the flexible tube appeared to be holding the oil back. I started a drip about 0.3 Hz, (3 seconds per drip) and watched the drops in the drip viewing tube for over a minute, yet nothing left the end of the tube. But before I decided I might need larger tube, I opened the drip control to a very fast drip and allowed the tube to fill with the drops of oil. Once that happened, it started dripping out the end of the tube. I was then able to cut back to .3 Hz again, as well as trying other speeds, and the tip mirrored whatever time scale I used up at the sight viewer for the drips. Turning it off instantly stops the dripping from the tip, even though the tube is still full of oil (capillary action - very handy!) As soon as I turn the drip on again, the tip instantly returns to dripping at the appropriate rate.

    I still need to decide what kind of bracket to make between the magnetic base I am using and the oiler housing. But my temporary rigging for proof of concept is a success. So apparently even a small diameter tube can be used on one of these oilers.

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  9. #5
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    Hi Metalmuncher,
    It's not a bad idea, but after some proofing, the solution with the venturi technology seems for me a better and easier solution, the problem with the gravity lubrication for your use is that your oiler has a tendency to make some drops in place of a perfect "smog" of air and lubricant, you haven't seen that if you don't use it for hours but in normal workshop use it comes everytime in my experience.
    If you forget to close some seconds before ou close the air, when you open the air the next time, you have too much lubricant at the beginning.
    The position of the pipe is of great importance too, if you have the possibility to place the tank under the end of the pipe solve a lot of problems but is not very often possible.
    For the transparent tank I use polycarbonate which can be found easily in differents diameters, the first I've made were in technical glass, nice solution but need more work to cut and polish than synthetic material.
    If you want i can make some pictures of one installation I use on the lathe principally.
    Have a good day.
    Pierre
    Last edited by Okapi; 07-17-2017 at 01:19 AM. Reason: adding informations

  10. #6

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    Loc-Line is what is used for flood coolant on most machines. The fittings give endless possibilities and configurations. The material is inert and should be immune to most all cutting oils. This is only one link on this site . . . there are too many combinations to list here.

    https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/09777012
    Last edited by Saltfever; 07-17-2017 at 01:06 AM.

  11. #7
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    I agree totally with Saltfever for the use of Loc-Line, some pipes I use are more than 20 years in activity without breakeage or eaging with oils etc…or others media with high Ph levels in use in differents workshops employing this products line.

  12. #8

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    The problem with Loc-line for dripping fluid is they are usually of a much larger bore and, as described, useful for flood coolant. Not for expensive lubricants unless you are rich. Capillary tubing would be perfect except it needs a bit of pressure to force the fluid through it. A high enough placement of the reservoir would give you enough head to push the fluid through the tubing. To make it point where you need it (very close to the action), wrap soft aluminum wire around the tube.

    Air mist systems do work better and also provide significant cooling. So much so that frequently air alone is adequate as long as you are not really pushing the cut.

  13. #9
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    Metalmuncher, those needle valve sight glass gravity drip oilers work great on old machines to keep bronze bushings properly oiled. You are gonna use pretty lightweight oil which will gravity flow down a very small tube.

    I first put a couple small 1 oz ones right on the bearing caps of my Southbend lathe. I just drilled and tapped the cap for 1/8 PT and because they are right there in your line of sight whenever you're working on the lathe, its easy to remember to flip the levers to turn them on. The harder part (for me) is remembering to shut them off when I'm done!

    I also put a 3 oz oiler on the side of my Do-All vertical bandsaw. I just have a standard 1/4" PT fitting going thru the saw frame column with the oiler mounted on a 90* on the outside and then an old 1/4" hydraulic hose on the inside to direct the oil flow to the bearing on the variable speed pulley. Works great! Bill
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Needle Valve Sight Gravity Drip Feed Oiler - What tubing have you used?-sb-2.jpg   Needle Valve Sight Gravity Drip Feed Oiler - What tubing have you used?-6-end-view-800.jpg   Needle Valve Sight Gravity Drip Feed Oiler - What tubing have you used?-3-rear-countershaft-motor-panel-frames-800.jpg   Needle Valve Sight Gravity Drip Feed Oiler - What tubing have you used?-img_3007.jpg   Needle Valve Sight Gravity Drip Feed Oiler - What tubing have you used?-img_3430.jpg  

    Needle Valve Sight Gravity Drip Feed Oiler - What tubing have you used?-img_2989-90s.jpg  

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  15. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalmuncher View Post
    Hi folks. I didn't find much mention of an answer in a search, so here is my current question:

    I have one of these brass and glass Needle Valve Sight Gravity Drip Feed Oilers, which has a 1/8" MPT at the delivery end. Rather than experiment and re-invent the wheel, I am wondering if any of you have used these for dripping cutting oil on a lathe, mill, saw, etc. and can tell me what size, what material, and how small a diameter tubing one can use on these and still get a decent drip feed. I want to rig it up with a magnetic base mount (I have a couple extras not in use) so I can stick it on my lathe or mill, and use it to drip cutting oil on the cutter as it is working. I think a small diameter tube, something I can bend, position, and re-bend without kinking or breaking would be ideal. Would one of the "Cardan Joint" bendable tubes (looks like little plastic bowls stacked against each other) like they use on pump cutting oil systems work for a drip feed?

    I've also got some 1/4" PEX tube, but its rather stiff. I think small copper refrigeration tubing would bend OK at first, but eventually work harden and get brittle. That's why I thought getting a Cardan Joint tube, with the small nozzle on it, would make things simple for adjustment. I just don't know if they are too small to gravity drip cutting oil.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
    Yes your idea will work but only up to a point that when you want to part off you will find the drip feed oiler does not deliver enough coolant and that you have to fill it to frequently to be practical. Bite the bullet now and get yourself a small coolant pump with tank, they are reasonable price. The alternative is to use a loaded coolant brush from a coolant can BUT this is not a good solution as the parting process needs two hands.

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