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Thread: Drilling Oil

  1. #1
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    Default Drilling Oil

    I remember reading years back that vegetable oil can be used for drilling. Is this a fact? The other day I ran out of cutting oil so I stole some vegetable oil from my wife's kitchen. It seems to be do a good job. Just wondering.

  2. #2

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    It used to be that lard oil was considered the best cutting oil. Vegetarians will have to use something else and I have no data on how peanut, canola, corn, or olive oil compare.
    .
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  3. #3
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    peanut oil would probably be no good as it has a much lower flash temperature than other vegetable oils. Olive oil is similar but not quite as bad.

  4. #4
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    Mustard oil is very little lower than Olive oil and towards the high end of the vegetable oil spectrum.

    The reason that vegetable oils and animal fats make good cutting oils is (I think) that the triglycerides the oil is made from break up with heat and shear forces to form chemically active compounds that bind to the freshly cut metal surfaces and stop them welding back together. Mineral oils which are mostly long-ish chain alkanes, don't break up much at any temperature below the point where they catch fire, so they lubricate very well but do nothing to help the cutting action.

  5. #5
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    I must admit to using veg oil now and then, see no reason why not myself, palm oil is used on rolling mills making tinplate gauge steel, stinks a bit after a while but you won't roll steel down thin without it, taken there are synthetics available.
    Mark

  6. #6
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    As any old time blacksmith will confirm, if sulfur is present, iron will not be weldable. I Don't know about non ferrous.

    Black old fashioned cutting oil is sulfur based, says right on the jug.

    I think most vegetable oils contain sulfur.

  7. #7
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    Many veggie oils are 'drying oils" and will polymerize to form a plastic-like coating similar to paint if left on the surface for a while. "Seasoning" a non-stainless kitchen knife is an example.... wipe it with olive oil or similar cooking oil and it will have a protective coating after a bit, one that does not wipe off.

    The general run of cutting oils will not do that, and you may not want it. Hard to clean off once it has "dried".
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  8. #8
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    I would be inclined to use veggie oil in a pinch, but the potential for the oil to go rancid, and or the potential for polymerization.

    I have, on occasion used canola oil to lubricate equipment in environmentally sensitive areas.
    Last edited by camdigger; 05-12-2015 at 09:52 AM.
    Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit

  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone for the interesting info. I guess I better give the olive oil back to the wife, but she probably wouldn't want it back just because it is tainted with some drill shavings... sheesh!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rand View Post
    ...
    The reason that vegetable oils and animal fats make good cutting oils is (I think) that the triglycerides the oil is made from break up with heat and shear forces to form chemically active compounds that bind to the freshly cut metal surfaces and stop them welding back together. Mineral oils which are mostly long-ish chain alkanes, don't break up much at any temperature below the point where they catch fire, so they lubricate very well but do nothing to help the cutting action.
    Interesting post.

    Found this thread while searching for the proper cutting fluid for milling and turning stainless that is to be welded.

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