View Full Version : Lubricant Substitutes

04-26-2006, 07:44 PM
I'm looking for generic substitiutes for Tellus #27 and #33 oils. I see that Wholesale Tool has these available for spindle and way lubrication.




I would like to use these, if they are compatable, in my Bridgeport and my 15 x 40 Enterprise lathe.

Can anyone be of assistance?

04-26-2006, 08:45 PM
According to this site and numbers I've seen before, the 27 is similar to a hydraulic ISO 32 while the 33 is closer to a hydraulic ISO 68.


The spindle oil is an ISO 22 and is good for high speed spindles and plain bearing spindles such as old South Bends. For a larger lathe, especially in the 15" range, you'll probably need ISO 68 hydraulic oil.

Mobil DTE 24 and 26 are ISO 32 and 68 respectively and about $10 per gallon.


04-28-2006, 08:15 PM
can you suggest any good sources for the above mentioned oils? I've looked through MSC and Grainger, but can't seem to find those specific weights of oil. Would something close work?

Thanks for your help.

04-28-2006, 10:37 PM
Look for "DTE Light" and "DTE Medium Heavy". I see the Heavy Medium in gallon containers, but not the Light.

04-29-2006, 03:05 AM
I'm using ISO 68 hydraulic oil as a replacement for DTE medium, and ISO 100 in place of DTE heavy, as recommended by my local oil supplier. They sell the exact same oils with a 'machine oil' label ;)

04-29-2006, 09:19 AM
Halac, MSC and McMaster both list the DTE 24 and 26, in one gallon containers.

On McMaster, just search for "mobil oil" and scroll down to "ExxonMobil oils". MSC's "new" web page can be annoying unless you discover the left hand category links.

Mobil technical support told me a while back that the DTE 20 series and the "Named" series (light, medium-heavy, etc.) are essentially identical except that the DTE series has better anti-wear properties.

Timleech, DTE Heavy-Medium is ISO68 oil.

Here are some Mobil links for both series:


Tin Falcon
04-29-2006, 11:05 AM
Sorry I did not get back to you sooner I attempted a post the other day and it was somehow lost. There are two things you need to look for in an oil the vicosity ie SAE 10/ ISO 22 and the intended use or additive package that gives the oil the desired properties for that use. Also I would pick a name brand you trust like Shell Mobil texaco etc.The big names have been doing the R&D and have the experience blending the best oil for the job.
I use Mobil velocolite 10 (ISO vg22) for spindle oil and Mobil Vactra #2 ISO VG 68 for way oil. These are available from MSC or enco by the gallon for about $14 a gallon These are what we used in the military shop I worked at.They should also work on your equipment. If you need more of a hydraulic fluid such as for a hydraulic variable speed drive. Enco also carries the mobil DTE 24(ISO VG 32) and 26 (ISO VG 68) by the gallon and five gallon. This actualy a closer match to the telus. IMHO stick with the way oil and spindle oils uless it is in some type of circulating system where the extra anti foam additives are needed. The last shop I worked in used a lot of Telus , the machines were hydaulicly controled and the Shell Distributor was right around the corner.

04-29-2006, 12:07 PM
It might be worth a trip to the yellow pages under 'oils, lubricating' or 'lubricants' for local distributor/suppliers. Chances are they will only have 5gal buckets or 50gal drums, but I found Mobil DTE lite and Vactra lite for $42/5gal in '04 at the Mobil distributor
locally with just a few phone calls. Depends on how local of course with gas costs versus convenient shipping and quantity you use. Gear head lathes will use up 5gal spindle oil in relatively short time frames, where 5gal of way oil might last a decade or so depending. Distributor pricing will be very competitive in my experience, no premo repackaging costs involved. Sam's sells 5gal buckets of R&O rated hydraulic oil for ~$25 or so, which works well as spindle oil. An eyeball at Sam's (haven't been to Costco so don't know there) next visit is worth while.

04-29-2006, 12:08 PM
Tin, the Velocite is really intended for high speed spindle bearings, cone or other types. The DTE numbered and named series are specified for gear trains and have anti wear and most likely, pressure additives. I run Velocite #10 in several small gearhead lathes (7" / 8") but for the larger machine, I think you may hear an immediate increase in noise. Den

Tin Falcon
04-29-2006, 04:32 PM
nheng: Yes I see where you are coming from . I use the velocilite on my 9" south bend spindle oil cups and have used it for the spindle oil cups in a bridgeport. I use the vactra in the other areas including the gear train. I agree the DTE would be more apropriate for the gear box in a geared head lathe. That is an application where the anti foaming properties are needed.

04-29-2006, 09:00 PM
I think I will probably need the anti-foaming characteristics. The lathe I have is a 15 x 40 Enterprise and has an internal oil pump.

Thanks guys for the information. I think it will be helpful in my making a more educated choice of lubricants. I didn't realise how complicated and varied oils can be.

04-29-2006, 10:37 PM
I have been using ATF on the spindal of my SB 10-K. It seems to work OK I am not advising anyone to do this but can someone tell me why I shouldn't.

04-30-2006, 04:32 AM
Timleech, DTE Heavy-Medium is ISO68 oil.

Here are some Mobil links for both series:


Thinking back, the recommendation of ISO 68 was after some debate. I reeled off the list of manufacturer's recommended oils, including DTE medium,this is from the 1950's. I was told they didn't all translate to the same modern ISO spec ;)
Maybe DTE heavy-medium didn't exist then? ISO68 was decided on as the most suitable compromise. I'm sure it's fine in the home shop or small jobbing shop environment. For machines working flat out for two or three shifts every day, it's probably worth going to more trouble & expense to get the very best oil to the exact spec.


04-30-2006, 11:19 AM
Tim, you are quite right about the lubes. What's frequently more important than the "best" lube is ANY lube at all. There are many machines out there on the used market which are as dry as the Sahara when it comes to lubrication. Den