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Thread: Educate me on ball oilers

  1. #1
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    Default Educate me on ball oilers

    Picked up a used lathe. Some of the oilers are damaged/missing/obscured. What do I need to know about sizing and installation. Would like to order maybe a couple dozen and standardize a bit. Do the holes need reamed?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boostinjdm View Post
    Picked up a used lathe. Some of the oilers are damaged/missing/obscured. What do I need to know about sizing and installation. Would like to order maybe a couple dozen and standardize a bit. Do the holes need reamed?
    All the ones I've come across are 1/4" dia, with a brass body. The only way to get them out is carefully drill them out with a 15/64" drill and pick the bits out of the oilway. Sometimes the drill grabs in the brass body and you can pull it out on the end of the drill. The new ones should just tap in flush, using a 1/4" pin punch. No, you don't need to ream the holes.
    'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

  3. #3
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    I used a cheap HF slide hammer with a sheet metal screw captured on the end. Pops them right out and if you're careful, undamaged. To install, press or tap them in with a soft rod of aluminum or similar. Never have looked into the sizes or new ones; I reused all the ones removed when I refurbed my A/C 12x36 lathe.

  4. #4
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    Never ream the hole.

    JL.............

  5. #5
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    They come in inch and metric sizes. A 'couple dozen' made by Gits will cost you at least $75, probably more.

  6. #6
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    I have a Grizzly lathe that is no longer covered under warranty but when I called and talked to someone in tech service he sent me a couple at no charge.
    The ones that I got from Grizzly are probably made in China but only 1 went bad within 5 years so I guess they're OK. I don't have a slide hammer but used a sheet metal screw and pried it out.

  7. #7
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    Gits is the place to be when it comes to replacing ball oilers.

    https://www.gitsmfg.com/catalog/oil-hole-covers/

    As mentioned a sheet metal screw inserted into the oil hole is usually the fastest way to remove them. They are a light press fit in the hole so a light tap with a brass punch is all I use to install them.
    Also don't forget they are available in both metric and imperial sizes so check before ordering them. I get them locally from a power transmission supply outlet. Bearing suppliers and/or industrial supply outlets should also be able to source them locally.
    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories

  8. #8
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    I'm most likely going to order from China due to cost for the quantity I want. I have the lathe apart now for cleaning and wish to drill all the holes before reassembly.

    So to ask directly, if I order 6 mm oilers, can I just drill with a 6 mm bit and have a good fit?

    I want to get this thing back together and move on to the electrical. Who knows how long I'll have to wait for the oilers to get here.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boostinjdm View Post
    I'm most likely going to order from China due to cost for the quantity I want. I have the lathe apart now for cleaning and wish to drill all the holes before reassembly.

    So to ask directly, if I order 6 mm oilers, can I just drill with a 6 mm bit and have a good fit?

    I want to get this thing back together and move on to the electrical. Who knows how long I'll have to wait for the oilers to get here.
    Drills normally cut a bit oversize when drilling from the solid. Drill 4mm followed by 6mm and you should be OK. At worst, a little Locset will tighten things up.
    'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

  10. #10
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    Okay, thanks. Wasn't sure what kind of tolerance is acceptable. Just ordered 40 6mm and 20 8mm for less than $10. 9-21 days for shipping.

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