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Bryan M
01-18-2012, 03:52 AM
Hi guys, brand new here and looking for some advice on what products to use for servicing a new lathe. I just ordered a machine similar to the Birmingham YCL-1440, just from a different company. The dealer recommended either Tractor Hydraulic/transmission fluid or Mobil DTE mid/heavy weight for the headstock and carriage. I was just wondering what you guys are using for machines similar to this.

justanengineer
01-18-2012, 07:41 AM
Welcome. Please post pics if you have the ability and get the chance. Tool porn is always welcome.

That being said, use whatever lube the factory/manual recommends. Dealers are great, but they are human and make mistakes occasionally. Oil is cheap and machines are expensive, so use plenty. If you want to be "cheap" no-name oils are ok, so long as you check to make sure the oil is truly the same spec...ie 30W detergent free = 30W detergent free, which does not equal 10W30 engine oil with detergents.

Jim Shaper
01-18-2012, 08:26 AM
The machine is a big investment; when you're not going to be changing the oil shy of every decade (if that), don't skimp on the oil.

Get proper way oil for the ways, and proper oil (whatever the manual tells you to use) for the gear boxes. Keep things lubed and you should have a long happy life of service out of the machine.

loose nut
01-18-2012, 10:29 AM
If the manual spec. call for ISO 68 and many do, then get the Mobil DTE heavy medium you can't do much better.

radkins
01-18-2012, 10:35 AM
Hi guys, brand new here and looking for some advice on what products to use for servicing a new lathe. I just ordered a machine similar to the Birmingham YCL-1440, just from a different company. The dealer recommended either Tractor Hydraulic/transmission fluid or Mobil DTE mid/heavy weight for the headstock and carriage. I was just wondering what you guys are using for machines similar to this.



I have the Harbor Freight version of that lathe and I have been using the tractor hydraulic/transmission fluid as recommended by a machinist friend of mine who has the Enco version of the same machine. He has used that fluid since buying the lathe over 4 years ago and it runs 5 days a week so it has worked ok for him. You didn't say what brand your lathe is but the Birmingham, Enco, Harbor Freight and a couple of others are the same machine painted a different color.

Bryan M
01-18-2012, 10:31 PM
Sorry, no pics yet, I just ordered it about two weeks ago and have a couple months to get it here. Radkins, same machine as yours, the one we talked about, just ordered it from Matt at PM.

I've heard a couple things regarding the gear oil and that was the tractor oil and also the DTE. Sounds like both may be ok, but really wanted to get some feedback from you guys on this.

It's going to be a long wait but I feel it will be worth it, the price was reasonable and Matt has been a big help picking out a machine.

T.Hoffman
01-18-2012, 10:35 PM
Mobil DTE 26 is used in lot of lathes.

That's what I use in both my lathes.

rkepler
01-19-2012, 12:05 PM
Not that in most cases the oil is more determined by use and not strictly by weight. For a recirculating system you was an oil with rust inhibitors because it's going to be in there a while. A slow spindle is going to want a heavier oil than a fast spindle. On the ways you want additives that encourage the oil to 'stick' to the metal surfaces.

On a machine tool you don't need or want additives that will take up water as the motor oils will have. The oil doesn't periodically get hot enough to boil off the water. Similarly you don't need the PH control additives that motor oils get.

That being said I tend to use 3 oils for general use in the shop: Mobil DTE Light, Mobil DTE Heavy-Medium and Movil Vactra #2 Way Oil. Outside of odd stuff (gearboxes, etc.) this seems to cover everything from total loss systems to headstocks that I might drain once every 10 years.

As an aside a machinist friend once confessed that in many years of work had never used way oils, instead just using the same weight in a circulating oil. He kept running into the arguments on forums about way oils and finally tried it and found that it really made a noticeable difference on how the saddle on his lathe handled and has since used way oils on his ways.

Bryan M
01-19-2012, 01:36 PM
Thanks a lot to all of you guys who replied to this thread, it's been a big help. I'm leaning toward using the DTE Medium/heavy throughout the lathe and the Vactra #2 way oil, all of these seem to be recommended the most.

There's a guy on ebay that sells the Vactra by the pint, but it also comes with a pint of Mobil Velocite #6. Is the Velocite necessary?

rkepler
01-19-2012, 02:44 PM
There's a guy on ebay that sells the Vactra by the pint, but it also comes with a pint of Mobil Velocite #6. Is the Velocite necessary?

I couldn't find a manual online and so am having to guess from just the specs. The max spindle speed of 1800 rpm would seem to call for a heavier oil in the headstock. I'm assuming that there's a sump and the oil recirculates, so you should be looking at DTE - something like the medium (ISO 32) or heavy medium (ISO 68). I'd go with the medium if the bearings are ABEC 7, heavy medium otherwise (unless there's something spec'd in the manual).

Vactra #2 way oil for the ways and tailstock lube.

Velocite 6 is an ISO 10 oil, pretty dang thin. Appropriate for tight spindles and/or high speeds. My lathe will do 4000 rpm and uses an ISO 32. To give an idea Mobil suggests Velocite 10 (ISO 32 as well) for air tools.

So far as I know the difference between DTE and Velocite is that DTE is intended for circulating systems and Velocite is not.

I'd just wait for a "free shipping" code for Enco and then order a gallon each, likely run $30 total and last a couple of years. I have a couple of 5 gallon pails and they've lasted 10+ years so far. Almost out of way oil now, have about half of the spindle oil.