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Thread: reassembling 12x36 lathe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Hoodsport, Wa
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    49

    Default reassembling 12x36 lathe

    hey

    I pulled my lathe, new to me, down because I didn't like the color of the oil coming out from under the ways, cross slide and compond. Inside I found at least two different types of grease. One a dark moly looking but still sticky and a white that might have been white lead it was dried out and stiff. There was also a dull red almost chalk looking material on some of the internal surfaces that I've seen mentioned as a anti-rust compound. Several of the ground metal surfaces had discoloration marks but no serious rust or ding marks. I stoned them all lightly with a medium india stone.

    The reason that pushed me to tear it down to pulling the apron off was the stiffness of the carriage. Once I got the feed rod loose on the machine everthing smoothed out and I could with a bit of effort push the carriage along. It also looked as though the bracket on the back of the carriage that the feed rod passes through was installed misaligned so I will be trying to get that back into proper position on reassembly.

    But the big question is "what should I use for a lubricant" on the internal gears, slides, rods, and every other thing?

    Thanks
    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Woodinville, WA
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    7,447

    Default

    Use Vactra 2 or equiv in the apron (assuming it takes oil, not grease) - same as your slide ways. If grease (not on side ways) , an NLGI 1.5 or 2 grease will be fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Live Oak, TEXAS
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    1,704

    Default

    I use DTE 24 on all internal gears and the spindle bearings.
    Vac 2 on the ways

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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    Default

    My own 12x36 has a sump style front apron. If yours is the same then filling it up with gear oil to just under the level of the first through shaft should do the trick. Mine did not have a filler or drain so I drilled and tapped to provide these. The drain is just a 5/16 bolt with an aluminium crush washer. The filler is a 1/2 inch thread drilled and threaded such that the lower edge is just a 1/4" lower than the lowest through shaft. Some oil will leak out as it passes through the shafts that run in and out so expect some dribbling and need to top the apron up from time to time. Just fill until it runs back out at you and it's at the right level. And you may need to make a gasket for some of the threaded through holes if you find the parts bolted on to the apron are leaking oil where they should not. Likely as not the gear oil leaking out around the shafts will also coat the lead screw nut halves and the pinion gear that runs in the carriage rack on the bed. If not I just put some way oil on these when I'm lubing the carriage and cross slide ways and lead screw.

    The threaded rod, feed rod and power switch rods get wiped down with a little way oil as well. Again that makes them easier to clean when it is needed by just using a "flick" brush to brush stuff away or in any extreme situations such as after a lot of cast iron machining to simply use a little mineral spirits in a dish along with a brush and paper towels.

    Do NOT use grease for anything on the exposed parts. It'll just hold swarf and make it harder to clean the lathe. Oil works well to flood and flow away swarf or other harmful particles.

    For example a common way of cleaning out the swarf and junk that the carriage edges pick up is to liberally apply oil to the edges where the carriage meets the bed. Then run carriage into the oil a half to one inch then withdraw. The oil will hold some of the crud which you wipe away. Repeat until withdrawing does not leave crud exposed. This works regardless of if you have or do not have felt wipers.

    The cheezy plastic bed wipers provided on the Asian lathes are worse than useless. I strongly suggest you replace them with proper felt wipers that have a good contact with the bed. I put new shop made wipers on the front and rear of the carriage and on the front of the tail stock. I feel it was a highly worthwhile effort and over the nearly 30 years of home use the bed is showing very little sign of wear. I attribute most of that to the wipers since I likely do not clean the lathe as much as I should.

    Here is a picture of the aluminium caps and felt wipers I made for my own lathe.



    The caps are made from 1/8" stock and use the original screw holes. The felt is roughly 1/4" thick and came from a set of heavy felt boot liners I found at a work clothes store. Firm felt soles could work as well but I did not find that the insoles were as dense as the liners. Over the 30 years I've removed and cleaned the felt twice. Both times there was not a lot of stuff trapped in the felt. Regular oiling and doing that run into the oil and withdraw cleaning keeps them in good condition.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Hoodsport, Wa
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    Thanks for the quick responses. The lathe came with a gal of Vactra 6 that the previous owner was using in all the oil buttons. The apron didn't have much oil in the bottom so I'll use DTE 24 in it. I'll have to order Vactra 2 from MSC.

    But what should I use on the feed rod worm gear? It now has what might be NLGI 2 on it and also on the half nuts which I thought didn't need grease.

    Thanks
    Jim

    Note: Not Vactra 6 but Velocite 6 spindle oil
    Last edited by jamby; 02-16-2017 at 08:57 PM.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2007
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    Woodinville, WA
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    DTE24- You can use in for spindle bearings (if correct for your lathe headstock) , but generally too light for an apron. Use Vactra 2 in the apron. If you use a gear oil (not much point if you have vactra) make sure its rated for Bronze - i.e. - no EP additives.

    Assuming the the apron doesn't oil the lead screw with an auto-oiler, you can squirt Vactra onto your half nuts and lead screw every now and then with an oil can.
    Last edited by lakeside53; 02-16-2017 at 07:39 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Canada
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    Mobil DTE 24 is a hydraulic oil intended for use in pressure systems w/ pumps and valves - it has a relatively low viscosity of ISO 32.

    By comparison, Mobil DTE Light is a circulation oil suitable for bath and splash environments, it is formulated to minimize air entrainment (foaming) and has a viscosity of ISO 32. Mobil DTE Heavy Medium has similar properties and a viscosity of ISO 68 - a weight frequently recommended for headstocks.

    Mobil Vactra's properties do not include mention of anti-aeration characteristics. Its primary application is for way lubrication where tackiness is featured for extended adhesion to horizontal and vertical surfaces. Use of Vactra to lubricate high speed gear trains in enclosed bath/splash environments may have undesireable outcomes.

    Mobil DTE Heavy Medium for the headstock, apron and misc oil lube points. Vactra 2 for horizontal ways.

    (For spindle applications, Mobil has their Velocite product line.)
    Last edited by EddyCurr; 02-16-2017 at 08:02 PM.
    Cue up Vera Lynn and let the credits roll ...

  8. #8
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    Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamby View Post
    The lathe came with a gal of Vactra 6
    Perhaps check the label again.

    I do not know a "Vactra 6" product. However, Vactra 2 happens to be ISO 68.

    If determined to use Vactra 2, maybe you already have what you want.
    Cue up Vera Lynn and let the credits roll ...

  9. #9
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    Jan 2017
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    Hoodsport, Wa
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    EddyCur

    Your right I went back and checked and its Velocite 6 spindle oil.

    Jim

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    449

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    Quote Originally Posted by EddyCurr View Post

    Mobil DTE Heavy Medium for the headstock, apron and misc oil lube points. Vactra 2 for horizontal ways.
    This is what I use as well, as recommended in the Jet manual. Seems to work as intended.

    Maybe one clarification or difference though is that I use Vactra #2 for the oil lube points, as they are almost all low speed sliding surfaces like cross slide ways, screws, etc on my lathe anyway.
    Last edited by Yondering; 02-17-2017 at 12:57 PM.

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