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View Full Version : Bandsaw coolant, home made, what do you use?



vpt
01-12-2010, 02:48 AM
I have tried a few different things for coolant in my bandsaw. First I tryed watered down blue windseild washer fluid, it worked great but made the saw rusty. Than I tried mixing a little oil with it and it cooled well yet but didn't seam like enought to keep the saw from getting rusty. Lastly I tried strait ATF fluid which worked great for not making rust but it is to much lubricant and makes the blade slip on the wheel.

I know you can buy a coolant but I hear a couple different stories of it being expensive and it will start to stink after awhile.

So what do you guys use for coolant? Any good working home made suff that doesn't start to stink, doesn't make the saw rust, and doesn't make the saw slip?

I just never used the coolant because I was cutting small stuff or tubing which never had the need for coolant. But lately I have been cutting bigger and bigger stock and more repetitively and it would be nice to be able to use coolant if the need arises.

Machinist-Guide
01-12-2010, 03:19 AM
Here is a recipe for some home made coolant. At a cost of around 50 cents a gallon

1 quart cheep motor oil
3 cups liquid dish washing soap
4 gallons water

The water acts as a coolant and the oil acts as a rust preventative
Adding the soap will allow the oil to mix with water


If you get a sticky residue on your machine you have to much soap.
If mixed just right you will get a thin layer of oil on your machine and tools after the water evaporates.
__________________

Peter N
01-12-2010, 03:34 AM
Here is a recipe for some home made coolant. At a cost of around 50 cents a gallon

1 quart cheep motor oil
3 cups liquid dish washing soap
4 gallons water

The water acts as a coolant and the oil acts as a rust preventative
Adding the soap will allow the oil to mix with water


If you get a sticky residue on your machine you have to much soap.
If mixed just right you will get a thin layer of oil on your machine and tools after the water evaporates.
__________________

Bad idea IMO.
Most dish washing soaps contain salt in some proportion, so you're just adding to the corrosion potential.

wagnerite
01-12-2010, 03:36 AM
Machinist-guide... how do you use this solution? spray on? dripped on?

steve herman
01-12-2010, 03:38 AM
The knurling wore smothe on my ring roller after only running a few 1" hot roll pices through.
Is there a way to harden the roller after reknurling it?

Steve

Machinist-Guide
01-12-2010, 03:43 AM
Machinist-guide... how do you use this solution? spray on? dripped on?

I use it in a spray bottle. It separates pretty fast so I don't use it in a coolant tank.
And if you use the lemon scent soap your shop will smell nice and lemony fresh.

If you use it in a coolant tank with a pump it will be ok. After it sits over night it will separate and you will need to mix it

Machinist-Guide
01-12-2010, 03:49 AM
The knurling wore smothe on my ring roller after only running a few 1" hot roll pices through.
Is there a way to harden the roller after reknurling it?

Steve

Steve search the forum for case harden this may be your best bet. There are post on this subject that can help.

JoeFin
01-12-2010, 06:49 AM
5 gal of Rustlix = $100

Rustlix mixed 1:15 with Water = 75 gal / $1.33 per gal

not worth rusting out your tools

Rustlix is a synthetic so it doesn't go rancid. A 5 Gal bucket last about 18 months around here being run in all my tools.

EVguru
01-12-2010, 08:14 AM
My friend Bob (Humbernut) is using Biocool 14 (from www.hallettoil.co.uk) and reports that it has lasted at least two years with intermittent use. I think that many of the synthetic coolants that form a translucent (usually green) working fluid will keep for a long time.

Going 'bad' is associated with anerobic bacteria, so making sure the surface isn't covered with tramp oil is a good idea. If you're leaving machines idke for long periods, then consider an aquarium air pump on a timer.

Black_Moons
01-12-2010, 09:23 AM
What exactly is 'tramp' oil anyway?
I really would'nt bother making your own.. I use pure rapidtap dribbled on everything and I barly use more then a few drops per job and the job gets totaly coated.
You don't even really need coolant for your bandsaw unless your doing super thick peices or you want every last ounce of blade life, and even then you can just dribble some rapidtap or similar into the cut every 20 seconds.

vpt
01-12-2010, 10:09 AM
^ yeah, like I mentioned I never use coolant but lately I have been cutting heavier and heavier stock and repetitively.



One thing I did forget to mention is the shop sees freezing temps allot during winter. Sometimes as low as -20F

JTToner
01-12-2010, 11:20 AM
The aquarium pump works great. I run mine 24/7 (a timer would be nice) and the coolant looks like it will out last me. I'm using the white, water soluble stuff "milk", I bought locally. No problem with rancidity. Years ago I ran a high speed punch press. We used "milk" for aluminum and it stunk like hell. When I got home I'd have to leave my pants in the garage before entering the house. Anyway. the air pump seems to solve the problem.
Johnny

ERBenoit
01-12-2010, 11:21 AM
What exactly is 'tramp' oil anyway?

Tramp oil is any oil that is "picked up" and mixed in, returns to, and then floats to the top of your coolant reservoir.

Tramp oils can cause the rancid stench that emits from your coolant reservoir. Tramp oil will eventually morph into slime and gunk up your coolant system.

Tramp oil skimmers are of some help to keep oils out of your coolant reservior. I doubt they remove "every last bit" of it.

Black_Moons
01-12-2010, 11:46 AM
AFAIK most coolants really HATE freezeing, the coolant stocks that mix with water, iv heard the emusifyer goes if you freeze it, so it all seperates and never recombines or mixes with water anymore.
Pure oil coolants are more likey to surive.

my little bandsaw recently worked its way through a 3" hot rolled bar with just a few squirts of rapidtap. seemed very happy to do so. Id be more worryed about its little motor overheating then the blade.

If you really cut a lot of heavy stock, maybe you should invest in a coarse blade like 4 6 or 8 tpi? (or some varitooth blade)

Remember on a bandsaw theres LOTS of time for the blade itself to cool off, so you should be more conserned about the tempature of the actual cutting tips (feed rate and SFM) and chip cloging (too fine a TPI for the cut, though flood coolant helps some), and tooth strattleing (too coarse a TPI for the cut), and tooth pressure (feed / number of teeth engaged, too little = won't cut, too much and it cuts too much and overheats the tips)

vpt
01-12-2010, 12:22 PM
Maybe I just won't use coolant ever. Being in a cold climate it seems there are just to many potential problems to use coolant. If need be I will just use a spray bottle like mentioned. It just bothers me having something like an accessory for a tool that I can't use.

gnm109
01-12-2010, 12:23 PM
I use a cup of Mobil soluble oil with a cup of Lysol and about three gallons of water to fill the reservoir in my 1987 Taiwanese Enco 7 X 12 Horizontal Bandsaw. It's works great and the blades last a long time. It seldom gets down to freezing where I live. If it did, I'd add some automotive anti-freeze.

Here it is in action. That's a plastic scrubbing pad in the drain to keep the chips out of the tank below. I recently went through this unit and refurbished it with new paint and lots of TLC. I raised the working parts up 6" to gain clearance underneath for a larger drain pan. I made one out of 3/16" steel with bent sides. The coolant originally was open to the weather underneath. Now it is stored in a dry sump tank. No bugs, no problems.

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r188/gnm109/EncoRebuildA.jpg

Black_Moons
01-12-2010, 02:09 PM
vpt: Don't let it bother you, its not a great accessory anyway :)
I wonder how viable it is to use pure oils insted of water based stuff, avoiding all the rancid/etc problems..

Video Man
01-12-2010, 02:19 PM
I use this stuff: http://www.monroefluid.com/images/pdfs/44pds.pdf
which Enco used to carry, don't see it in the catalog recently. It is oil-free so doesn't apper to leave any residue if you're thinking of welding...I use a hand sprayer instead of flood as, while it doesn't get rancid, it doesn't hold up more than a few weeks in the sump. One thing, it softened the chi-com paint on my Grizzly saw....otherwise, works nice.

vpt
01-12-2010, 06:48 PM
vpt: Don't let it bother you, its not a great accessory anyway :)
I wonder how viable it is to use pure oils insted of water based stuff, avoiding all the rancid/etc problems..



That was my thought when I tried using the strait ATF (automatic trans fluid) but I found that it made the blade slip on the drive wheel no matter how tight I had it.

SpyGuy
01-12-2010, 07:15 PM
Rustlix is a synthetic so it doesn't go rancid. A 5 Gal bucket last about 18 months around here being run in all my tools.

Which Rustlick do you recommend? There are about a dozen different products under the Rustlick brand (http://www.itwfpg.com/rustlick/rustlick.html), many of which are not synthetic. In fact, it appears that their grinding fluids are the only full synthetics, the rest being water soluble oils and semi-synthetics.

I think for a home shop, rust protection and bio-stability would be the most important features considering that most HSM machines and tooling are infrequently used.

Has anyone tried Rustlick's PowerCool MaxLife (http://www.itwfpg.com/rustlick/ws_oils/PowerCoolMaxLife.html) or PowerCool MaxLife CF (http://www.itwfpg.com/rustlick/ws_oils/PowerCoolMaxLifeCF.html)? Btw, what are the advantages/disadvantages of chlorinated vs. chlorine-free coolants?

Black_Moons
01-12-2010, 08:06 PM
That was my thought when I tried using the strait ATF (automatic trans fluid) but I found that it made the blade slip on the drive wheel no matter how tight I had it.
Intresting, I'll remember not to try this :)

I wonder if thats why some coolants say 'Not for use as a bandsaw coolant!'

vpt
01-13-2010, 12:15 AM
Maybe. I did really like the blue windshield washer fluid. Even though it is flammable it didn't smell bad and it didn't leave any residue on the parts or the saw. It just made it rust. :(

I wounder if mixing a little oil of some kind with the washer fluid would stop the rust problem but yet keep the blade clean so it wouldn't slip?

EVguru
01-13-2010, 05:38 AM
In the old days plain water was used for machining as it's hard to beat as a coolant. It did of course cause a serious rust problem, so washing soda (Sodium Carbonate) was added as a rust inhibitor.

There is of course little lubrication added, just cooling and chip romoval. On the later subject, using two coolant jets can help, one before the cut and the other after to 'wash' the blade and prevent chips from going through the guide rollers.

JoeFin
01-13-2010, 06:46 AM
Which Rustlick do you recommend?

SN-350 - I use it in all my machines

http://www.itwfpg.com/rustlick/synth/SN350L.html

beanbag
01-13-2010, 09:19 PM
I would give ITW a call and report back what they suggest.
The bandsaw that I use has WS5050 and it seems to work fine.
Why DIY when the commercial solution is almost as cheap?

Rustybolt
01-13-2010, 09:23 PM
Maybe. I did really like the blue windshield washer fluid. Even though it is flammable it didn't smell bad and it didn't leave any residue on the parts or the saw. It just made it rust. :(

I wounder if mixing a little oil of some kind with the washer fluid would stop the rust problem but yet keep the blade clean so it wouldn't slip?


The alchahol will probably help get the oil to emulsify. That's what water soluble coolant does anyway.

BadDog
01-13-2010, 10:52 PM
Coolant is too messy for me. I use cutting wax. Comes in a cartridge like grease guns use. Cheap, works great, lasts near forever, and no mess. Also works great with taps, dies, and things where oil may not be appropriate.

tdmidget
01-13-2010, 10:57 PM
Rustybolt, get a jar of alcohol, ethyl or methyl and put a squirt of oil in it. Let us know when it emulsifies, if you live that long. It won't. It won't disolve either. Maybe a detergent would do it, but why reinvent the wheel?

tslbogger
01-14-2010, 07:02 PM
Hey gnm109

Not to hijack this tread,but can you post more pics of your saw and the stand

Thank;)