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pgmrdan
10-27-2003, 10:11 AM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-19-2004).]

tonydacrow
10-27-2003, 10:28 AM
Most drug stores used to carry white mineral oil as a laxative. I don't know if they still do, but would check.

pgmrdan
10-27-2003, 10:38 AM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

Oso
10-27-2003, 11:06 AM
ALL petroleum oils are "mineral oil", as opposed to animal or vegetable oils.

The drugstore mineral oil I have somewhere in the shop is a tad thicker than the Starrett oil, of which I also have some and it is pretty light.

Ah, I saw it... the mineral oil is labeled "extra heavy".. dunno.

My suspicion is that the Starrett oil is more predictable in character than the other. And I doubt that the drugstore charges less...

Some stuff isn't worth substituting, unless you are sure of the results

[This message has been edited by Oso (edited 10-27-2003).]

JCHannum
10-27-2003, 11:48 AM
A $4.80 bottle of Starrett oil will last you a jillion years. Use three in One for general oiling, Starrett for precision tools, a drop here and there.
MSDS lists ingredients, not what may or may not have been done to them to make them suitable for a given application.

Evan
10-27-2003, 11:58 AM
Three in One also sells a heavier mineral oil for motors, bearings etc. It's SAE 20 weight with no additives. It's in a blue and white can. I use it on all the bearings on my SB and have had no problems for 23 years.

I like to sort of drench the moving parts, especially the change gears and headstock bearings since the headstock is steel on cast iron bearings and they work best with lots of oil. I don't just rely on the oil wicks but also drool some in at the edges. On the SB there is also a thrust bearing hidden by a guard on the left of the headstock pulleys that needs ocassional oiling.

pgmrdan
10-27-2003, 01:31 PM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

SGW
10-27-2003, 08:04 PM
You've got thousands of dollars worth of machine tools and you're nickel-and-dimeing over the cost of a can of oil?

MikeHenry
10-27-2003, 09:18 PM
This seems to be a typical characteristic of most hsm's. I can see trying find a cheaper solution for an highly marked up OEM part (spindle bearings from the lathe manufacturer, for example) but dodging $5 for oil seems a little extreme.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by SGW:
You've got thousands of dollars worth of machine tools and you're nickel-and-dimeing over the cost of a can of oil?</font>

CCWKen
10-27-2003, 11:49 PM
ROFLMAO...

It's the principle of being "reamed". Sure the tools are high dollar but they were a good price. Mineral oil in a specially marked container with a 400% markup is not.

pgmrdan
10-28-2003, 12:10 AM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

Oso
10-28-2003, 01:02 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by pgmrdan:
SGW & MikeHenry,

Are you guys elitists or just spend thrifts?

A rather rash judgment to make about me when you don't have a clue about me.

If mineral oil is mineral oil why buy more when I already have some?

Is the Starrett name so sacred that I need to pay $1.20 an ounce for the same thing I already own that cost $0.25 an ounce?

Why waste money?


[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 10-27-2003).]</font>

The point is that the couple bucks you save may end up costing more in aggravation and potential problems later than using the "right" stuff. The old "pay me now or pay me later".

Of course it might NOT cause a problem...... What you are paying for is the ASSURANCE that it won't be the "wrong" stuff.

In some cases the right stuff is "right" only because it is what it says it is every time, and you just don't have to fuss with it.

JCHannum
10-28-2003, 08:00 AM
The Starrett description of their oil reads in part: "ensures thorough lubrication of close fitting parts at high temperatures and below zero; and provides a strong lasting film over all areas requiring protection against rust. This oil has not been adulterated by additives for color and odor."
USP mineral oil, available at your local pharmacy is primarily intended to assist and lubricate bowel movements.
I guess the decision here is whether to save a couple of bucks or treat your tools like crap.

[This message has been edited by JCHannum (edited 10-28-2003).]

pgmrdan
10-28-2003, 09:42 AM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

Oso
10-28-2003, 10:04 AM
Well whatever......

I thought from what you said it was going into an indicator or the like....what is the price of a sticky indicator that keeps hanging up and giving you a wrong reading?

No, a protractor isn't gonna be hurt. I would use most anything mineral-oily on that....

The Starrett oil is made to not gum up etc with time, and is called instrument oil for a reason. Don't bother with it on stuff where that isn't a problem.

pgmrdan
10-28-2003, 10:23 AM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

Evan
10-28-2003, 11:59 AM
Never use any oil on any dial type indicator or other similar instrument. They are meant to run dry.

pgmrdan
10-28-2003, 12:16 PM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

pgmrdan
10-28-2003, 01:00 PM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

Oso
10-28-2003, 02:22 PM
Evan...I have a couple Federal and Tumico tenths indicators, and both of them have oil in logical places in them....similar to a watch. Noticed it when I opened up for a check on what turned out not to be their problem.

At least one of those I am virtually certain had never been opened since new, so someone should have told the manufacturer not to use oil on the pivots etc.........



[This message has been edited by Oso (edited 10-28-2003).]

JCHannum
10-28-2003, 02:48 PM
USP mineral purity deals with biological purity, nothing more. Since this oil is intended for, shall we say, once through application, it may not contain anti oxidants or other additives to prevent gumming or other undesireable side effects which would make it unsuitable as a lubricant.
My original response said to use Three in One for most applications, it is a good lube. If you are really concerned about your precision tools, use the Starrett oil sparingly, one bottle will last forever.
As far as indicators, clock oil, very sparingly applied, is the lubricant of choice, as their movements are essentially the same as clocks and watches, not bowels.
They are your tools, you can give them any treatment that makes you happy.

Lanmanb4
10-28-2003, 03:08 PM
FWIW
I use the mineral oil from like Walmart ..
I mix it with anhydrous lanolin to use for
bullet swaging and case sizing ..
Can withstand 50,000 PSI or so pretty well ..
Not sure if it applies to the topic directly.. but a great side bar LOL

Evan
10-28-2003, 03:29 PM
Many of the devices such as indicators and the tachometer I have say on them "Do Not Oil". This doesn't mean the manufacturer did't put something in there but I would tend to follow the advice to "Do Not Oil".

pgmrdan
10-28-2003, 03:34 PM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

Oso
10-28-2003, 06:11 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by pgmrdan:
Not sure what purpose a lubricant would provide in an indicator anyhow. Might reduce a little wear but it's not like the force applied to the plunger/stem has much friction to overcome, relatively speaking. Maybe this wear is very significant in a manufacturing setting.


[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 10-28-2003).]</font>

Wear wouldn't directly come into it. But the watch analogy is better than you might think.

An indicator is similar to a watch in reverse. The work moves the "spring end", and we look at the "escapement end".

The point in an indicator would be the same as always, to reduce friction, and allow the internal springs to make the pointer accurately follow the plunger.

Since there are a number of pivots, with a mechanical movement multiplication from plunger to pointer, a very little friction on the pointer pivot or an intermediate might cause a few tenths to a thou error following the workpiece.

Depends on the type of pivot as to whether oil would help or hurt.

Non-jeweled pivots, or the cheaper indicators with no jeweled pivots probably need something to help reduce friction and stickiness. At least, that was what was oiled that I saw.

I have no doubt that there are indicators that are not meant to be oiled on account of the pivot types.

John Garner
10-28-2003, 11:07 PM
pgmrdan and the Rest of You --

In June, 1952 Benjamin L. Page of the US National Bureau of Standards presented a paper titled "The Graduation of Precise Circles" at an annual meeting of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping".

In his paper Mr. Page described the NBS's circular dividing engine, which was built by the Societe Genevoise d'Instruments de Physique. As explained by Page, "This instrument, which is fully automatic in operation, is located in a constant temperature room in the basement of one of the buildings. In order for the engine to be free from any serious vibrations it is mounted on a thick block of concrete, about 1 meter on a side . . . The block is insulated from the surrounding ground and concrete by a 2-inch layer of cork board. The temperate at which the circles are ruled . . . does not vary by more than 1/2 degree [C] during the actual ruling of the circle. The main elements of this engine are the worm, the worktable and gear, the main bearing, the correcting device, the ratchet wheel, and the tracelet."

Mr. Page then devotes several pages to a more detailed description of the dividing engine's operation, before writing "In preparing the engine for graduating, special care must be taken with regard to the vital parts of the engine, i.e., the worm, the worktable gear, the ratchet wheels that control the automatic repetition motion of the traduation and the tracelet. All the above parts must be cleaned and lubricated. The worm and gear are thoroughly cleaned with a fine bristle brush and bonzol, and then lubricated with liquid petrolatum (without excess). Special care must also be taken to prevent any impurities (such as dust or lint) from adhering to the teeth of the gear, as these might cause errors in the graduations."

It should go without saying, but such attention to detail is necessary when trying to hold tolerances of 2 arcseconds over a full circle.

And just what is "liquid petrolatum"?

Well, according to the Sixth Edition of the Columbia Encyclopedia, "petrolatum" is "colorless to yellowish-white hydrocarbon mixture obtained by fractional distillation of petroleum. In its jellylike semisolid form (known as petroleum jelly and also by several trade names) it is used in preparing medicinal ointments and for lubrication. As a nearly colorless, highly refined liquid known as liquid petrolatum, liquid paraffin, or mineral oil, it is used as a lubricant, as a laxative, and as a base for nasal sprays."

So, bottom line, the NBS used mineral oil to lubricate their SIP circular dividing engine fifty years ago. You can draw your own conclusion about using mineral oil as an instrument lubricant today.

John

Evan
10-28-2003, 11:18 PM
Liquid paraffin is also a synonym for kerosene in most parts of the world. I don't think you should drink it no matter how backed up you are.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 10-28-2003).]

pgmrdan
10-28-2003, 11:29 PM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

JCHannum
10-28-2003, 11:35 PM
All of the oils discussed have been mineral oil. Question was not about mineral oil, but advisability of using an oil of unknown composition in lubrication of precision equipment. You can bet those guys did not send someone around to the corner drugstore to pick up a bottle of oil to slobber on their gear train.

John Garner
10-29-2003, 12:40 AM
JCHannum --

You're right, the NBS probably didn't petty-cash their liquid petrolatum from a drugstore, but instead bought it to a Federal or USP specification through their normal supply channels. At the same time, I'll bet that USP mineral oil from the drugstore has been at least as consistent over the years as proprietary-specification oil, be it Three-In-One or LSS's Instrument Oil.

John

Evan
10-29-2003, 02:09 AM
This topic is just about as good as politics and religion. In fact, I think it is a religion. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

JCHannum
10-29-2003, 08:48 AM
Beats the hell out of fighting about slavery.
USP refers to US Pharmacological code. It is only concerned with the biological purity of a product. Lubricating qualities of the oil are not involved. I doubt that it even covers viscosity except in an very general sense, ie. light, medium and heavy. Whether it leaves varnish, gum, or lacks antioxidants and promotes rust on fine instruments is of little concern to them. The value of a mineral oil to us HSM guys is as much what is in it as what is not in it.
USP is another beaurocratic organization that makes little sense, but lots of regulations.
Last place I worked made (cheap) hand soap, some waterless hand cleaner, some pomace and grit soaps and others. Since it was topically applied, USP water was needed in formulation. That water had to meet higher standards of purity than water used in kidney dialysis.

pgmrdan
10-29-2003, 09:31 AM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

lynnl
10-29-2003, 12:49 PM
I dunno... I don't think I'd bet they didn't just go around the corner to get their mineral oil back in 1952. Life was simpler then.

nheng
10-29-2003, 01:12 PM
A search for a Starrett Oil MSDS yielded this one (along with M1):

"NYE DELICATE MACHINERY OIL 113"

Is this the same as the oil we're talking about?
Den

pgmrdan
10-29-2003, 01:39 PM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

nheng
10-29-2003, 01:48 PM
According to the MSDS sheet, that's the stuff (Starrett #1620). It's made by Nye anyway so everyone can relax now http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif
Den

pgmrdan
10-29-2003, 01:59 PM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

nheng
10-29-2003, 02:52 PM
I've bought their damping grease kit and some synthetic oil via TAI lubricants (a hobby rep). Don't know what it would take to order from Nye directly ... probably more than $4.80 in headaches.
Den

lunkenheimer
10-29-2003, 03:09 PM
There's a company called Nye that makes clock oils; probably the same folks. Similar objectives for the product-long lasting, rust protection, non-gumming etc. From what I've seen, their clock-type products are a bit higher priced than Starrett's.

Incidentally, when oiling a watch or clock, only the pivots (bearings) are oiled. Never oil the teeth on the wheels (gears) or pinions (little gears). Probably good technique for dial indicators, too. This might be why the mfrs. state 'do not oil' on their products since people will be inclined to oil every moving part, which is a bad idea.

JCHannum
10-30-2003, 11:33 AM
Nyoil general purpose oil is available from Bartlett & Co. www.bartcotools.com (http://www.bartcotools.com) a major supplier to the jewelry trade. It sells for $4.25/4oz. bottle. Add shipping and handling, and you can probably have it at your door for 8 or 9 bucks. Other watch and clock oils from Nye and others are available at various prices, $10.00/oz typical.
Nye Lubricants manufacture some 1400 or so speciality lubricants. www.nyelubricants.com (http://www.nyelubricants.com) is an excellent website.
The MSDS's for clock oils and Nyoil do not specify material, statement is Product information is proprietary. No known hazardous materials or words to that effect.
I seriously doubt they are rebottling mineral oil from their corner drugstore.
I do not wish to offend anybody, but do want to point out the fallacy of using MSDS's, or generic labeling and product descriptions when choosing a material for a specific use. This information is intended merely for safety in use of the material, disposal methods and medical treatment necessary in the event of exposure, spill, fire or other emergency.
One of the benefits of this forum and others is the sharing and information of knowledge. If someone asks a question that might lead to a misapplication of a material or method, a warning as to possible dangers from that misapplication is not inappropriate. In this instance, worst case is the possibility of rusted or gummed up tools. No big deal, go ahead if you want to take that chance.

Evan
10-30-2003, 12:07 PM
JC,

If the MSDS contains the CAS number (Chemical Abstracts Service registry number) then that can be used to find the precise composition of a material.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 10-30-2003).]

JCHannum
10-30-2003, 12:19 PM
Since it is a proprietary material, Nye does not list the CAS number. It is not required on the MSDS.

pgmrdan
10-30-2003, 12:42 PM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

Joel
10-30-2003, 03:10 PM
Nicely said. I think an impartial person should determine the condition of your tools. Please ship them to me immediately for inspection. I will send them right back, really...

pgmrdan
10-30-2003, 03:34 PM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

John Garner
10-30-2003, 04:14 PM
pgmrdan --

I missed the intent of your original question, thinking you were asking specifically about using USP mineral oil as a machine oil. Now that I understand your question differently, I'll answer it differently.

All of the major oil companies make "rust and oxygen inhibitor" hydraulic oil for use in some of the most precise and expensive equipment on the face of the earth. These oils are generically termed "R&O oil" (Texaco's brand-name for this type of oil is a subtle pun on the generic name . . . Texaco named their R&O oils "Rando".)

Any commercial lubricant supplier or bearing house can sell you a gallon jug of a suitable-viscosity R&O oil for the price of two or three cans of the Starrett oil.

Another alternative? If you can live with the red dye, an automatic transmission fluid meeting GM's "Dexron III" specification makes a wonderful light lube oil. A quart bottle can be had from any auto supply store or from many grocery or drug stores for a couple of dollars.

Speaking personally, I've used the ATF when I can tolerate the color and Singer-brand sewing machine oil when I want a clear oil for the last twenty-some years. Works for me.

John

pgmrdan
10-30-2003, 04:29 PM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

lynnl
10-30-2003, 06:23 PM
I certainly don't take issue with any of the inputs offered on oil properties, and appreciate the chance to learn more. But frankly I'd think the quality/properties of the materials used would be of secondary importance in comparison to the diligence observed in providing care and maintenance.

Evan
10-30-2003, 06:28 PM
Lynnl,

I must agree with that. Just about any oil is better than no oil.

JCHannum
10-30-2003, 07:45 PM
It would seem that an important part of the the diligence observed in providing care and maintenance of an item would extend to ensuring that the most suitable materials were used in providing that care and maintenance. Shortcuts may prove to be false economy.
As far as any oil being better than no oil, let me oil your Rollex with ATF one time.

[This message has been edited by JCHannum (edited 10-30-2003).]

Evan
10-30-2003, 07:58 PM
JC,

Don't have a rolex, in fact I don't wear a watch. I was speaking of machine tools.

Other than dial indicators, of course http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 10-30-2003).]

lynnl
10-30-2003, 08:27 PM
Certainly if I were planning the longterm maintenance schedule for some large operation, or ultra high precision activities I'd insist on the most technically proper materials... damn the cost. But I don't think it's gonna make much difference in the final analysis (to me) whether that 65 year old Leblond out in my garage gets fed Havolene 10W40 or whatever. Having said that tho, I'll admit that thanks to the education I've gotten on this BB that I now keep R&O gear oil (from Tractor Supply) on hand for the purpose. I also SEEM to notice smoother operation since I obtained 'real' way oil for my lathe and mill. (Emphasis on the 'seem', since I have no objective means to verify.)

pgmrdan
10-31-2003, 01:10 AM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

JCHannum
10-31-2003, 09:43 AM
Interestingly enough, Long Island Indicator Service does not seem to be aware of this. Their repair routine includes "lubrication with appropriate lubricants". Note the use of the word appropriate.
www.longislandindicator.com (http://www.longislandindicator.com)
No one statement can be all inclusive. Each case must be considered individually, and the proper, educated, course of action followed.

Bill Cook
10-31-2003, 09:59 AM
97.8% mineral oil, hmmm.
Is it possible that part of the remaining 2.2% is a desirable additive package?

bc

pgmrdan
10-31-2003, 10:05 AM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

JCHannum
10-31-2003, 10:23 AM
Congratulations; that is the point I have been trying to drive home. And now you are using my arguments to defend it. Very good.

Oso
10-31-2003, 10:31 AM
Pgmrdan:

Please do not believe things just because they are in HSM or Machinist's Workshop (or The Rolling Stone).

I have found quite a bit of well-intentioned misinformation in both HSM and MW.

This is an inherent issue with admitted amateurs writing many of the articles. Most of it is not a big deal, although sometimes something like the Cheap EDM article gets through, where extreme hazards are hardly mentioned in the article.

People write about what has worked for them, and some of the information is in the nature of "farm remedies". They may work, but for the wrong reasons, or may not work on anything except that particular situation.

lunkenheimer
10-31-2003, 10:55 AM
Interesting comment about using ATF to oil watches-there are people who actually do just that. The subject of oil amongst watch and clock people is just as hot a topic as this one...

Info only, I don't personally recommend ATF for watches.

nheng
10-31-2003, 11:20 AM
JC: I recall reading something (probably an RCM post) a while back about Starrett recommending an internal cleaning of indicator mechanisms with clean mineral spirits and nothing else.

Whenever I lube something with a fine, light instrument oil, I use the torn edge of a piece of paper to wick away all excess. Doesn't look like it does much but watch it under a magnifier or microscope.

Den

pgmrdan
10-31-2003, 11:29 AM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

pgmrdan
10-31-2003, 11:52 AM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

pgmrdan
10-31-2003, 02:36 PM
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[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

Peter S
10-31-2003, 08:01 PM
John Garner,
Thats an interesting note about the SIP dividing engine, I wonder where you found that article? Just wondering if it came from an on-line library?

I have seen a large SIP jig borer which lived in similar pampered conditions, humidity, temperature control etc. beautiful machinery.

The Science Museum in London has a dividing engine built by Troughton in 1778, it is similar to the first such sucessful machine built by Ramsden in about 1775.

It is interesting to see that the incentive to provide accurately 'divided' scales for navigational instruments followed a similar quest to build sea-going chronometers - both were required to find a ships longitude with accuracy.

Peter

John Garner
10-31-2003, 08:24 PM
Peter S --

I tracked down that article about 20 years ago in the stacks of San Jose State College's library. It was published in the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping's journal, and dealt with the graduation of metal circles for high-order survey instruments -- the dividing-engine information was more "mood setting" for the technical information that followed.

John

gizmo2
10-31-2003, 09:33 PM
I will go to the original question, a possible substitute. Got an embroidery shop in your town? Go in with a small bottle and ask for a tad of their machine oil. For the industry it is sold in quarts and gallons, pretty good stuff. The machines are pricey, run millions of stitches each month so lubrication is important. I bet you get lucky and get a lifetime supply, a couple ounces anyway, just for the asking. I know I wouldn't turn away a poor homeless HSM!