View Full Version : Dial Test Indicator oil?

07-01-2007, 10:23 PM
What is so special about Starrett's instrument oil? Can I use way or 3 In 1 oil on my Last Word Dial Test Indicator?

J Tiers
07-01-2007, 11:13 PM
No I would not.........

Way oil is too thick and sticky.

3 in 1 is not sticky now, but will be later, wrong viscosity anyway.

Instrument oil is thin, and perfect for, well, instruments.

At 4 bucks or so for a bottle, and given that it takes very little, why substitute something unsuitable?

And, specifically, the Last Word should need hardly any oil. I don't recall if the spiral SHOULD have oil. Mine was troublesome until cleaned off. But whatever oil is used ought to be very light, and put on as you would on a watch.

07-01-2007, 11:58 PM
What is so special about Starrett's instrument oil?

Nothing really. Prior to 1978, it may have been whale oil but it's a light mineral oil now. The name "Starrett" makes it special; However, Starrett doesn't make it. It's made by William Nye, Inc.

07-03-2007, 04:39 PM
Thanks for the insights. I plan to do a "life time buy" of instrument oil. Probably many life times...

I never thought that 4 oz was such a large quantity.

07-03-2007, 06:53 PM
4 oz. isn't a lot if it is fine bourbon.

I fear in the near future we will be arguing about a new post on oiling instruments with whatever is handy. :)

07-03-2007, 07:09 PM
If it's a jeweled bearing, you don't want any oil at all. At that rate, 4 oz. can last a really long time!

J Tiers
07-04-2007, 12:23 AM
The Last Word has a jewel running on a hardened & polished helical track, that's what spins the dial.

The pivots elsewhere can deal with some oil, and probably a cleaning first. I.m thinking SGW is correct that the jewel pin and helix need no oil at all.

If the problem is that the LW is sticky and does not return well to zero, probably it has nothing to do with oil. Look in the Starrett catalog for the re-setting procedure. Likely you need to perform that and all will be well.