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  • Redneck Way Oil

    I dunno if anyone is tracking it, but Vactra 2 is OOS everywhere and nearly impossible to get in reasonable quantities for reasonable prices.

    So, if you had to make a homebrew makeshift oil with affordable constituents, what would you use and why?

    Paging Willy​​​​​​​
    21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
    1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

  • #2
    Buy a quart of 50 weight non detergent oil and add about 20% STP to it. You'll have enough way oil for a looong time.

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    • #3
      Chainsaw bar oil. Contains a lot of the "stickifiers" that regular way oil has.

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      • #4
        Personally, for several of my machines I simply use gear oil. Just a jug of whatever 90w the local auto-parts store has on sale. It's a bit thicker and takes a little longer to run off.

        For an older machine (like all of mine ) it's a "total loss" oiling system, of course- it all just runs off and ends up in the chip tray anyway. And I tend to over-oil my stuff. In most cases I rebuilt it from junk, I want to make sure it lasts as long as possible- and a little extra oil is cheap compared to another way grinding.

        AND... as I keep saying, any oil is better than no oil. And really, the only "trick" to Vactra is it has 'tackifiers' to help it not run off as quickly. That's it. My CNC stuff just calls for ISO32 hydraulic oil- they're not worried about tackifiers because they have auto-oilers. All the tackifiers mean is the maintenance guy who goes around to oil all the machines, doesn't have to come by quit as often. Pay attention with your own oil can and you're golden.

        Up here, Vactra or similar is fabulously expensive just because of shipping. I have some, which I save for certain machines, but gear oil is cheap and ubiquitous. For the Sheldon, I have a trigger oiler of it for the cups, and a push oiler for the balls, and I usually give everything a blast just before I start a job.

        Doc.

        Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by The Metal Butcher View Post
          I dunno if anyone is tracking it, but Vactra 2 is OOS everywhere and nearly impossible to get in reasonable quantities for reasonable prices.

          So, if you had to make a homebrew makeshift oil with affordable constituents, what would you use and why?

          Paging Willy
          I use Vacuoline 1409, its the original Vactra 2 recipe with the tactifers and works better for older machines. Maybe you can find some of that.

          ​​​​​​​-Jerry

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SLK001 View Post
            Chainsaw bar oil. Contains a lot of the "stickifiers" that regular way oil has.
            The bar oil comes in two viscosities. One is thick like honey and the other is about the same as 30W motor oil. I'm not sure why the two vastly different viscosities. The thinner grade is for cold winter use perhaps?

            I'm using the thicker grade with what I feel are pretty good results. On top of that I toss in a small dosh of STP oil treatment for even a little more tenacity.

            This witch's brew when used under the lathe tail stock keeps it floating on a definite film you can feel for about 6 to 8 passes the whole length of the bed. And easily moved for another 10 to 12 passes. By that time it's time to clean and relube the whole machine anyway.
            Chilliwack BC, Canada

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            • #7
              I don't understand about not buying Waylube
              Here is 5 gallons of the best Waylube on the market for $70
              https://petroleumservicecompany.com/...b4e9fe7bd5cbef
              They are east Coast suppliers and may not ship west of Chicago

              FYI , The Metal machinery company's making Lathes and Mills after WW II had competition every year and Sunoco won hands down
              Your old Bridgeport manuals and lathe manuals use to specify Sunoco Way Lube
              Rich
              Green Bay, WI

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Metal Butcher View Post
                I dunno if anyone is tracking it, but Vactra 2 is OOS everywhere and nearly impossible to get in reasonable quantities for reasonable prices.

                So, if you had to make a homebrew makeshift oil with affordable constituents, what would you use and why?

                Paging Willy
                For Bijur type of system of oil cups ? ? ?
                I would be more hesitant making substitutions
                on a Bijur system because there may be a
                chemical reaction between the oils that causes
                the metering units to clog.
                That being said, I think it would be safe to sub
                a hydraulic oil with no tack additives. Then switch
                back to Vactra when the time comes.
                Can you get Vactra 4?
                May get you by.

                ​​​​​​​-D
                Last edited by Doozer; 05-09-2022, 04:14 PM.
                DZER

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                • #9
                  Have you searched eBay for "way oil"? You'll get a few hits for HSM suitable quantities at reasonable prices.

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                  • #10
                    Just had a look and KBC has way oil in 4 different weights for about $30 per gallon in Canada, probably cheaper in the US.
                    Larry - west coast of Canada

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                    • #11
                      KBC appears to have way oil in stock.
                      Mike
                      Central Ohio, USA

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                      • #12
                        MSC carries 1-gal and 5-gal containers of Vactra 2.
                        Website price is ridiculous however.

                        I'd follow Rich's advice. By the way, the same site in his link sells Vactra 2 for 2.5 times less than MSC.
                        Last edited by MichaelP; 05-09-2022, 08:15 PM.
                        Mike
                        WI/IL border, USA

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I haven't looked for the availability of V#2, but I do know that no matter what, it costs me between $35 and $50- probably more with the latest rate hikes and "fuel surcharges"- per jug to get it up here.

                          Doc.
                          Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Metal Butcher View Post
                            I dunno if anyone is tracking it, but Vactra 2 is OOS everywhere and nearly impossible to get in reasonable quantities for reasonable prices.

                            So, if you had to make a homebrew makeshift oil with affordable constituents, what would you use and why?

                            Paging Willy​​​​​​​
                            I usually purchase my way oil from one of the local machine shops that I have a working relationship with. An occasional box of donuts at coffee time also goes a long way to help solidify that bond.
                            A gallon lasts me a long time and shipping to my location is often a deal breaker when purchasing small quantities online so this works well for my circumstances.

                            However the question was, what would I use as a home brew concoction using easily obtainable ingredients?

                            I have in the past had very good results using an ISO 68 straight hydraulic oil blended with about 30% Lucas Oil Stabilizer. I suppose STP would work equally well, but not having used it I won't go out on a limb to recommend it as I have not actually used it in this role.
                            Very little stick slip, one of my pet peeves, I get anal about it at times but it can be a royal pain just when you don't need it. LOL

                            The Lucas because of it's high level of tackifiers,I'd be surprised if STP didn't work as well.

                            The straight hydraulic oil because in addition to being easy to obtain it is also an excellent lubricant.
                            It also has a set of pretty benign additives that won't discolor metals or form corrosive deposits in long term use or storage. It does however have a very robust level of anti-wear, rust, and anti-oxidation additives. These not only helps protect the finely machined surfaces from wear and corrosion but it also helps fight off the formation of lacquers during long periods of inactivity.

                            I didn't include the TDH hydraulic fluids (transmission, differential, hydraulic) in my recommendation due to the large and unknown effect of the large number of additives present in these fluids, friction modifiers for wet clutch packs come to mind that may or may not affect stick slip as one example.
                            I also have never tried chainsaw bar oil, summer or winter varieties, despite this seemingly being the go to source of way oil from what I've seen on these and other pages.

                            Lots of other cocktails out there I'm sure that will work to some degree that could be better or worse, and as stated,any oil is better that no oil.
                            Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                            Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                            Location: British Columbia

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by macona View Post

                              I use Vacuoline 1409, its the original Vactra 2 recipe with the tactifers and works better for older machines. Maybe you can find some of that.

                              -Jerry
                              I know there has been a lot of discussion about this over the years at PM, but that's not the case in my experience. Vacuoline is a combination way/hydraulic oil. I use it in my surface grinder. The Vactra 2 is still supposed to be plain way oil - and when directly compared in my shop is WAY tackier and strings more between the fingers.

                              For the O.P. - I generally get my Vactra 2 in a gallon or so quantity at a time for free from a friend who uses way more than I do, but I notice that it's still widely available on eBay in sizes from quart up to 5 gallon pail.
                              Last edited by eKretz; 05-09-2022, 10:22 PM.

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