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Thread: Vegetable oil as a cutting oil for machining?

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    bobs409's Avatar
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    Question Vegetable oil as a cutting oil for machining?

    I thought I'd give it a try today an it seemed to work good. (so far) The normal cutting oils make too much smoke so I got this idea. I used it today on the lathe with some 1018 steel and not a bit of smoke from this! It didn't even give off much smell at all.

    Would like to hear what others think about using this. Good? Bad?? What other things have you tried?

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    smithdoor's Avatar
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    I have read in machinist hand book using lard works good sell like bacon cooking
    The vegetable will work but may form a gum on your machine tool

    I do most my machining dry and only use oil for threading

    Dave

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    If it works for you OK but it does tend to go gummy.
    Machine oil comes in many grades and is cheap enough so experiment with them, my lathe has a coolant system so I use sulpherised cutting oil. when I use a squeeze bottle I dilute it with kerosene this does not seem to hurt the cutting oil and it evaporates over a long period of time so mixing with the lathes coolant is not a problem so I use it as a general spray over all machine parts as a rust inhibitor.

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    cutting oil substitutes

    Quote Originally Posted by tooly View Post
    If it works for you OK but it does tend to go gummy.
    Machine oil comes in many grades and is cheap enough so experiment with them, my lathe has a coolant system so I use sulpherised cutting oil. when I use a squeeze bottle I dilute it with kerosene this does not seem to hurt the cutting oil and it evaporates over a long period of time so mixing with the lathes coolant is not a problem so I use it as a general spray over all machine parts as a rust inhibitor.
    At Westinghouse Nuclear Reactor Division, we used Crisco for all tapping in various grades of stainless steel, it held up better than anything else we found.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    I have read in machinist hand book using lard works good sell like bacon cooking
    The vegetable will work but may form a gum on your machine tool

    I do most my machining dry and only use oil for threading

    Dave
    use unsalted lard for threading especially SS
    Bacon grease will have salt in it.(salt & moisture,RUST)
    veg oil not the same and smokes above 350* when machining. If it doesn't smoke,one is not using machines capabilities.

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    bobs409's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions. Mainly looking for something that doesn't produce all that smoke.

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    I'm just a hobby machinist but ATF, automotive transmission oil, has worked well for me for years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockytime View Post
    I'm just a hobby machinist but ATF, automotive transmission oil, has worked well for me for years.
    Interesting you should say that I use automatic transmission oil on my milling machine, the main reason is that the coolant pump gives a better flow with the thinner oil,it is not as strong as my lathe pump.
    It seems to do the job OK some smoke on occasions but nothing I can"t live with.
    In general I have not noticed a lot of difference in performance between oils as a small workshop machinist. High speed CNC and production machines is a different call.

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    Want no smoke, adjust speed/feed and depth of cut, till nothing smokes, this way one can turn a 15 min project into all afternoon.
    Last edited by rick9345; 01-20-2017 at 04:54 PM.

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    I use chainsaw bar oil most of the time and it works well and is a lot cheaper than cutting oil $10 for a litre of bar oil compare to $50 for 500ml cutting oil.

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