View Full Version : Lathe way oil and carriage fittings.

08-01-2006, 03:13 AM
It seems my Rockwell came with ball ports on the carriage for putting way oil onto the ways from the inside. The ball ports lost their balls at some point in the past and are full of crud. I’ll be disassembling the carriage soon for general maintenance, repair, and whatever.

I’m not inclined to use the ball ports again. I hate those things in general, much less for putting in way oil. I considered Gits cups, but realized I’ve already got a grease gun set up with Way oil for my Bridgeport that has those Alemite high pressure way oil fittings. Why not adapt those things onto the lathe and I can share the gun between them? Then I can be certain I’m getting plenty in there AND it can be used to sort of flush out the ways using the pressure, which seems to work great on the Bpt.

Seems so obvious and superior to the typical oil ports, I have to assume I’m missing some problem. Why is this not more common?

08-01-2006, 07:12 AM
Use what ever method of oiling your lathe that meets your needs, just keep it oiled.

The flush oilers are used because they are flush, and do not protrude to hang up on things, and they are less prone to damage. The alemite or zerk style of fitting and gun are much more convenient to use and will provide a more positive connection.

08-01-2006, 12:45 PM
Of course, we can all do whatever we want with our machines. But it just struck me that I’ve never heard of anyone converting to these.

They also make flush grease fittings that still have a positive seal (though no lock) for use in tight spaces like u-joint trunnions.

08-01-2006, 01:29 PM
Of course, we can all do whatever we want with our machines. But it just struck me that I’ve never heard of anyone converting to these.

BadDog, I posted about this over at PM: the Alemite connectors have a male threaded socket (I think it might be an NPT...), and your current ball oilers are press-fit into smooth holes, so you'd have to tap threads into the saddle. Like JTiers says, I'd then be worried about the Alemite connectors sticking up and grabbing swarf, your clothes, the workpiece...

The ball oilers are easy to replace, and really cheap at McMaster, but the flush-mount oil seals you mention could work too.



08-01-2006, 01:44 PM
And in support of your statement on the confusion of using both boards, I already responded to you over there. :D

Summary: I realize they generally stick up, but it seems no worse than some of the other things sticking up. But there are also flush grease fittings with pressure seals rather than the ball ports that I hate. And alemite/zirk fittings cost only slightly more than the ball ports. Finally, I will probably have to both plug AND tap the holes since they are 3/8 currently. But the carriage is coming down for cleaning and such anyways, so I don't see that as a problem.