View Full Version : Weird question: Diesel for cutting oil???

06-29-2010, 04:03 PM
I have a jerry can filled with diesel that is going on 4 years old so while I won't put it on my new truck I was wondering........(dangerous concept):p

Would it work as cutting oil, I already use lamp oil for this which is basically kerosene with reduced smell, right?

I would like to know if anyone has tried this as I can see no good reason for it not to work???

06-29-2010, 04:07 PM
Haven't tried it, but it should work very well on aluminum.
OTOH, the fumes are not healthy enough for me to try it out. And I don't want to stink like I slept in a gas station.


06-29-2010, 04:15 PM
I have never used kerosene or diesel oil for a cutting fluid but I use it for a lot of other things. Cutting oil has sulfur or chlorine in it so I don't know about using straight diesel fuel.

06-29-2010, 04:22 PM
Haven't tried it, but it should work very well on aluminum.
OTOH, the fumes are not healthy enough for me to try it out. And I don't want to stink like I slept in a gas station.


I have & it works well.


06-29-2010, 04:29 PM
Mix it with some gas and throw it on a fire gez -_-; The jerry can is worth more then the fuel in it at this point.

06-29-2010, 06:03 PM
I've used kerosene/motor oil mixture for aluminum with good success. Maybe 4:1. Although I haven't done it, I suspect straight kerosene or straight diesel fuel would probably work well too. I understand WD40 is very similar to kerosene?

06-29-2010, 06:10 PM
But I use kerosene for turning aluminum, does a great job. No reason diesel wouldn't work just as well, especially if you don't have to pay for it (again). I've tried it on, doesn't work so good. Later.


06-29-2010, 06:24 PM
Much too smelly for me. Sure it will work but the only thing that smells worse is extreme pressure gear oil.

06-29-2010, 06:38 PM
Since you have jerry can of fuel (I'm guessing 5 gals.) why not add it to the existing fuel in your tank? If you added small amounts, half a gallon or a gallon with each fill-up, there would be sufficient dilution of the old fuel with new fuel and I can not see any problem burning it as fuel.

06-29-2010, 06:51 PM
i've had diesel fuel in a car tank for 3 years and it still allows the mercedees to run fine. . . . . stuff it in your truck. . . . it'll be fine.

Weston Bye
06-29-2010, 07:34 PM
Too smelly for me. I would put it in the tank, a little at a time, presuming it didn't have any water in it.

06-29-2010, 08:17 PM
I tried it once on aluminum,didn't like the results,plus it de-fats the skin and makes it crack.

06-29-2010, 08:28 PM
Since diesel fuel and home heating oil are essentially the same product, dump the diesel into your, or a neighbor's, heating oil tank. I agree that the smell of diesel fuel/heating oil is unpleasant, and hard to wash out of clothes . Although diesel fuel doesn't have the volatile components of gasoline that evaporate easily, bacteria will grow in old diesel fuel. I don't know if that bacteria will affect fuel injection components .

06-29-2010, 09:50 PM
Too bad your not close to Oregon. I'd let you put it in my waste oil heater tank. Easy to get neighbors waste oil but I have to buy 100 gal of stove oil to thin it down enough to burn when its cold

Paul Alciatore
06-30-2010, 12:39 AM
I have never had any experience with diesel except for an unfortunate incident in my Army days about a ditch near a storage shed in Vietnam. Young lad got a bit too generous when trying to burn out the weeds. Amazing how much lost equipment we discovered was actually stored in that past tense shed.

But I digress. My question is, exactly what happens to diesel if it is stored for long periods that makes it unsuitable for use in an engine? Does an essential additive evaporate? Or does it pick up moisture or something? Or are there some chemical changes? Or what?

06-30-2010, 03:08 AM
According to BP (!) diesel stored at 20C has a storage life of 1 to 15 years. At 30C it is 6 months to a year. Storage life is reduced if kept in a metal container that is galvanized or contains copper or it's alloys. Additives may be added to prevent oxidation at high ambient temperatures that will make it last up to 15 years.


Richard Wilson
06-30-2010, 04:50 AM
If you are not married or want a quick divorce, use the stuff. Otherwise, she won't appreciate you coming home stinking like a refinery.


06-30-2010, 05:03 AM
Diesel can loose some of the more volatilte components (not that many in Diesel), but adding fresh fuel pretty much tales care of that.

More of a problem is that it can grow bacteria, which will then clog filters, pumps, etc. It contains a certain ammount of becteriacide, but it's not 100% effective and goes off with age. If you decant the fuel into a clear container, you'll be able to see if you've got the black sludge. You can just filter it out.

John Stevenson
06-30-2010, 05:27 AM
Mix it 40 / 60 % with old oil, 40% diesel, and use it for preserving sheds and fences.

Takes a while to dry but lasts for ages.

06-30-2010, 06:54 AM
Back in the 1970s we lived on Vancouver Island. We were visiting some friends one weekend on one of the smaller islands. It took two ferry rides to get there with the second on one of the smallest car ferry. Basically just a big self powered barge with an open drive on/drive off car deck and a wheel house to one side. On our way back we were parked directly under a tall breather pipe for the fuel system in our ancient rusted out POS Valiant. Just be fore we docked to unload something went wrong and the breather puked out several gallons of diesel all over our car.

It immediately made the car impossible to stay in as the stench was intolerable. The Captain docked and the other dozen vehicles were unloaded but the 10 or so waiting to board weren't allowed just yet. Before they could proceed they had to wait for about 15 minutes as the captain and the two crew broke out the mops and buckets filled with soapy water and proceeded to thoroughly scrub down our crappy Valiant. This produced some very puzzled stares from the people waiting to board as they wondered how we rated such treatment.

06-30-2010, 07:10 AM
Mix it 40 / 60 % with old oil, 40% diesel, and use it for preserving sheds and fences.

Takes a while to dry but lasts for ages.

Same here John.

Does take a while to dry out and perhaps needs two coats - job dependent. May need a maintenance coat every couple of years.

It was a substitute for creosote - the "real thing" - which worked very well.

I used to spray it on with the washing down gun on the compressor - or a proper spray gun.

It all went out of vogue here when the better Copper-Chrome-Arsenic (CCA) pressure pine posts, rails and palings came on the scene.

We have about 1,000 feet of party fencing on our property and have just recently replaced the last of older non-CCA TP fencing.

CCA and the dieso/kero mix as well as creosote worked very well as protection against termites (aka "white ants") here.

We got rid of our domestic oil (dieso?) space-heating more than 20 years ago as we have natural gas heating.

Putting any oil on or in the ground here is a big "no-no" as we have to dispose of it at the Council disposal facility. Cost is very cheap. Batteries and paints as well as solvents all go there.

A lot of our rural non-sealed dusty roads used to be sprayed with waste oil from a local steel rolling mill but that too is on the way out.

Our diesel fuel is about AU$1.50/litre - say x 3.8 = AU$5.70 x 0.85 = US$4.90/US gallon.

I don't need or carry any "dieso" but I do carry up to 10 liters/3.8 = 2.6 US gallons of motor fuel (gasoline) for the mowers and chain-saws and it gets pretty well used and never gets "stale".

I have a dual-fuel (LPG/Gasoline) car that runs 95% on LPG and about 5% on gasoline so as to keep my gas fuel "fresh" and my fuel system in good shape.

I have my car serviced at a local garage and they take care of any old engine and transmission oils.

Now-a-days, spraying a fence is a bit problematic as it will spread to "the other side" and I'd be leaving myself open to justified claims if I had continued to spray the fence.

Over-spray from the fruit trees was a risk and as the trees required a lot of water and time - those problems were resolved by pulling out the fruit trees etc. and letting it go back to grass.

"Saving and using" oils, paints and solvents is false economy here and potentially a lot more costly using them than not and just simply buying them as and when required.

People here used to "blow" (blast) tree stumps and rocks with black powder or gelignite or dynamite too but that been gone for more than 40 years.

There are more people now in the 45-unit Retirement Village that abuts us than there were in the whole town when we came here over 40 years ago. We were in the midst of open land then - but not now.

We have 15 abutting neighbours that we have no problems at all with - 'cos we are all such nice people - but that would probably change pretty drastically if I went back to spraying the fences - the more so as we only own half the fence as it is in joint-ownership with each of the neighbours.

We have never had a problem getting the neighbours - or they with us - to pay their/our half of the cost to have it done by specialist contractors when fences need to be installed (new) or replaced due to poor condition.

There are no oil-fired heating systems here at all and "solid fuel" (wood) heating is all but gone.

So, I don't have or use dieso for cutting. I prefer kerosene (paraffin in the USA) or WSD40 or similar for cutting aluminium.

06-30-2010, 01:11 PM
Thanks for all the replies.

Looks like I will have cutting oil to last me quite a while.

The reason I'm not to crazy about putting it in my(5 day old) truck is that it is a 2.5l common rail engine and they are rather sensitive to dirty fuel so I won't risk it.

Didn't know about the wood treatment so I might give that one a go to.

07-01-2010, 04:37 AM
If course the other use for Diesel is as a penetrating lubricant. It's amazing what you can free off after it's been in a bath of Diesel for a week or two.