View Full Version : Lathe Oil

04-24-2008, 01:09 AM
Whats a good oil to lube the bed, bearings etc. detergent or non detergent or something else.


04-24-2008, 01:15 AM
Hi Brian! Welcome to the board! You just opened a can!
FWIW.. I use hydraulic oil on the ways and the gearboxes. I'm a freak about letting anything much stay on the ways anyhow so I could probably just use suntan oil :D .. just kidding (about the suntan oil.)
Get ready to order a 5 gallon bucket of way oil :D

04-24-2008, 01:50 AM
hehe this should start some noise

Use the search function and see what you get ;)

Mobil Vactra is always a good choice, imo. No matter what you end up using, non-detergent is the preferred variety. Detergents will oxidize bare metal given enough time. Unless you frequently change the oil in the lathe I would say go with some kind of non-detergent oil

More importantly, what does your manual say? Maybe you don't have one. What type of lathe is it?

04-24-2008, 08:30 AM
The subject of machine oil has been flogged to death, so as fasttrack suggests, the search function ought to yield a ton of information.

What kind of machine do you have?

In general, medium-weight way oil on the ways, and probably about #20 or #30 machine oil for all bearings except the spindle bearings, which would probably want about a #10. If you have a South Bend lathe with journal bearings, they need about a #6.

But that's just a rough approximation. Your machine may need something else.

04-24-2008, 08:41 AM
Use way oil for the ways (bed), spindle oil for the spindle, hydraulic oil for the hydraulics, and machine oil for all other. Some blenders suggest using there machine oil for hydraulic oil.
Generally you can purchased these oils locally from industrial oil suppliers, or it can be ordered from supply houses.

04-24-2008, 09:07 AM
all i use on my lathe for a lube is sae 30 non detergent motor oil , it works great for my lathe i have a busy bee 10x18 b2227L lathe

04-24-2008, 10:32 AM
Enco and MSC sell Tru-Edge "Semi-synthetic" ISO-68 way oil with free shipping. I've used Tru-Edge, and it clings a lot better, and has a lot less stiction than Vactra #2:


A.T. (TTok here on HSM Forum) and I bought some Mobil Vacuoline (which is the old, "good" Vactra formula), and that sticks as well as the Tru Edge, but it's only available in 5 gallon pails.