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Oil vs. Grease for protection

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  • Oil vs. Grease for protection

    I am in the process of re-assembling my lathe. I am putting the headstock back on to the bed right now.

    My question is should I put a thin layer of grease or oil on the bed under the headstock where it sits?

    My thought is that I will not have a lot of oil on the lathe in general and I so I would think a thin layer of grease will help against rust.

    My head stock has been off for awhile and there was a fine covering of rust which is removed now, but I am just imagining the 2 surfaces where they meet rusting away if I dont do something now.

  • #2
    No idea how correct, but I thought the same thing reassembling my Rockwell a few weeks back. I had a shop towel (the cloth like paper towels actually) "wetish-damp" with DTE ISO 68 R&O oil I used to wipe down most everything during assembly. This seemed prudent since everything had been through a thorough cleaning and degreasing using strong lye based cleaner. Anyway, I took that rag and wiped both surfaces making sure to remove all but the barest skim layer of oil before assembling them. Right or wrong in reality, that seemed right and that's what I did, lets see what others say on the matter.
    Master Floor Sweeper


    • #3
      If anything, I'd use a thin film of oil. With the headstock bolted down, it would (or should, if it's making proper contact) squeeze out any grease you put in there, anyway.
      Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
      Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
      Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
      There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
      Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
      Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


      • #4
        Oil, wipe and reassemble.


        • #5
          Light oil. 5wt, spindle oil, sewing machine oil, automatic transmission fluid, etc. Something thin and easily displaced as not to cause misallignment errors.


          • #6
            Lanoil, Chesterton nickel compound, LPS3.
            Anything that is not hydroscopic and will not readily emulsify. I am a big fan of the first two.