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Question on Oil Lubricants for Older Rockwell/Delta Drill Press

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  • Question on Oil Lubricants for Older Rockwell/Delta Drill Press

    Trying to figure out what oil lubricants to use for an older R-D drill press and I am getting bogged down in things like ISO, SAE, Saybolt, etc. I found online an old Rockwell lube chart and they call for use of three different oils:

    1) Spindle oil (there is a small spring-door reservoir for this on the side of the drill press) - calls for High Grade spindle oil, Rockwell #24-812. No clue what this is. Doesn't come up on a duckduckgo search. Most search results for spindle oil are for Mobil Velocite 10, which is ISO 22.

    2) Pulley oil holes - SAE 40 medium. What product can I use for this? SAE 40 is I believe ISO 150?

    3) Spindle return spring - SAE20-10 light oil. What product can I use for this?

  • #2
    Using a brand/grade/viscosity of oil that is not specified by the tool manufacturer will often result in catastrophic failure.

    Stand away from the machine when it is running, the shrapnel will likely miss you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Bented View Post
      Using a brand/grade/viscosity of oil that is not specified by the tool manufacturer will often result in catastrophic failure.
      Right, so what do you recommend? Particularly for the Rockwell spindle oil, which does not come up in an internet search. By the way, Delta support was no help.

      Comment


      • #4
        You're sweating bullets over something that is not super critical. Yes, you want roughly the right sort of oil for each use. But for something like a drill press I'd suggest that close enough is good enough. We aren't talking about oversize jet turbine bearings turning at 50K+ rpm after all.

        Here is a link for a pretty good OIL VISCOSITY EQUIVALENCE CHART. I printed this out for myself a few years ago when the same question came up. It'll ensure you're in the right sort of range.

        Spindle oils for ball bearings is generally quite thin. The faster the bearings turn the lower the viscosity needs to be to avoid viscous drag and heat. I found some non detergent SAE10 Castrol at the local NAPA that is working well for my spindle bearings in lathe and mill. With thicker oil the lathe bearings used to get a little warm. With the SAE10 I only notice a slight rise at the higher speeds now.

        In a pinch I'd even use a 5W or 0W engine oil. It has a detergent agent which holds contaminants. But it's a ball bearing in a machine tool protected by an oil cup cap and seals. So it should not see flying grit or combustion byproducts.... At least I hope not..... So a detergent additive won't hurt or help.

        The return spring can use the same light oil from the numbers you mentioned. But it's a return spring. Thick oil might stay in place better and on top of that offer a little viscous speed limiting on the return if the handle gets away from you. For this case in particular you simply don't want it to rust on you or rub dry metal to dry metal. So really pretty well anything will work just fine.

        Intermediary pulleys sometimes have sleeve bearings. Sounds like that is what you have. So a thicker oil would be good and stay in place longer. Again at NAPA I found some Castrol non detergent SAE 30. If you find it runs out of the sleeve too quickly perhaps mix a little bottle of oil with a dash of STP or Lucas oil additive to make it a touch more viscous so it stays in the bearing better. And I'd use this same option on the spline shaft of the quill to lube the splines if you don't actually grease the spline.

        I know that this isn't a technically perfect option. But I'd suggest that the machine won't know the difference. Any commercially available oil for this sort of job is going to work if you manage to more or less match the viscosity to the application.
        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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        • #5
          Take Bented's comments with a grain of salt.
          He is being somewhat facetious in his dire warnings of catastrophic failure, disease, pest infestations, global economic collapse, etc. when using an oil without a direct crossover to R-D's part #.

          Like BCRider stated, don't overthink this very straightforward lubrication application, it is indeed a very easy one to fulfill while still keeping the inner bits happy.
          His advice is spot on and when followed will allow you to likely use the drill press for decades of trouble free service.
          Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
          Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

          Location: British Columbia

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          • #6
            What model drill press?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
              What model drill press?
              THIS ONE from his other thread.

              I didn't realize that it is a variable pulley to give you the speed control. The information on weight of oil still stands. But depending on what it fits like I might use a slightly thicker oil or even light body grease in the parts with more pressure on them.

              Like most of us I like to think that my years of working around machines has given me a sense of feel for what works and which is less than idea. So some of it would come from actually working on the pulley assembly to suggest lubrication options.
              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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              • #8
                Originally posted by rank amateur View Post
                Right, so what do you recommend? Particularly for the Rockwell spindle oil, which does not come up in an internet search. By the way, Delta support was no help.
                It was a JOKE, an attempt at humor, satire, and nonsense.

                If the manufacturer "specs" Globil Vactran part number 12964335789 use that, if that is unavailable or to expensive buy another machine.


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                • #9
                  3-1 oil will do for all that.
                  Gary


                  Appearance is Everything...

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the advice, guys

                    Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
                    What model drill press?
                    It is a model 15-655

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rank amateur View Post
                      Thanks for the advice, guys
                      Welcome to the forum, RA. You're new here, and so don't yet know that while Bented has a great deal of knowledge and experience, you can never believe a thing he says. Well, hardly ever. You'll figure out when to take him seriously after a while...

                      -js
                      There are no stupid questions. But there are lots of stupid answers. This is the internet.

                      Location: SF Bay Area

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                      • #12
                        And, wise to remember that in MOST cases.... (generally other than very high speed spindles meaning well above 10,000 rpm).... "ANY" oil is better than "NO" oil. The RIGHT oil is probably better than just any oil.
                        CNC machines only go through the motions

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                        • #13
                          I use way oil on ever place for a Bridgeport, and so does Tom Lipton. Neither of ours have tuned to shrapnel yet. I suspect and old drill press is yet less picky.

                          You may find that the "right" oil leaks right out, as is the case when I use 10 weight a Bport spindle. But way oil stays put.
                          21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
                          1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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                          • #14
                            yes, I also use Vactra 2 for a lot of things. all low speed stuff.
                            CNC machines only go through the motions

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