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Stinky black oil

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  • Stinky black oil

    To day I was cleaning up my lathe and got to wondering where does the oil come out on the carriage. So I decided to start pumping and see where the oil runs out. To my surprise the oil was black and stunk. I had assumed that the old oil that came in the lathe was out of it. I have filled the oil tank at lest five times and give it at least four to six pumps before getting started and a couple while I am working. Now this makes me want to stick a tube down to the bottom of the tank and suck out the oil.The lathe is about two years old and a Birmingham.

  • #2
    Yea chinese (stock) oil is the one thing I refuse to have in my shop, How can oil COME black and full of crud? I sware they must go to car shops and ask for used oil to fill these machines up with.

    If you have never done it, id highly recommend taking apart your lathe carriage and opening the headstock and feedstock
    clean them ALL out religiously of all the factory crud and oil, flush with plenty of new clean oil as needed, flush your (apparent?) one point oiler as its all apart and easy to clean the oil that gets flushed out

    Good to know how your lathe is all put togethor too, they are generaly built really easy to service and if you have ever done work on a car you will love taking apart a lathe because its generaly about 10x easyer then working on a car. :P Just.. HEAVY PARTS! Expect some parts of your carriage to be upwards of 100lbs. gearbox covers alone can be 10~50lbs depending on the lathe. Don't forget to block em up and be really careful to prevent warping your leadscrews.

    Don't start pulling gears outta the headstock or carriage.. maybe massage them back and forth along the shaft if any of the slideing shifting gears are 'sticky'.. I had to do a few gears on my lathe like that when I got it to get the forks to stop jaming.

    one of those 'magnetic' pickup tools is great for getting the majority of the dirt out of the gearboxes as its often magnetic, just be very careful not to touch the gears with it or you might magnatise them or get them covered in magnetic swaff that won't come off easily.
    Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


    • #3
      I flushed my gearbox out with a little diesel fuel - it cleans nicely and dilutes the sludgy stuff down the bottom so you can pump the muck out.


      • #4
        I picked up several of those small block magnets at Harbor Freight and placed them in the bottoms of the gear box cases. After running a few months I changed the oil and sure enough the magnets had accumulated quite a bit of fine metal particles. Seems this mostly happened during break-in because a recent check shows little in the way of accumulation but still it picked up some, these are not metal chunks just fine metal particles. I am not suggesting doing this it is just something I decided to do and since this thread came up about the time I checked the magnets for the second time I thought I would mention it.

        BTW, there is no possibility these things could work their way into the gears and damage anything, I can see no way for them to cause any harm but they do collect metal debris.


        • #5
          Yea I worry less about the magnets and more about them magnatising debrie thats likey to fall off when extracting the magnet..

          Course, it seems the 2nd oil change is really needed to get rid of the last of the chinese crude they call oil.
          Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


          • #6
            I was thinking of the magnets too. I got some of the bada$$ ones you can't pull apart and if you do they will pinch the hell out of you when you try to put them back together holding them. I don't think there would be any way for magnetized metal to fall off. I was wondering about the diesel drying out the seals.


            • #7
              My concern with using magnets in gearboxes is that you can easily impart a semi-permanent magnetism into a gear or whatever by accidently banging the magnet against the gear while trying to install it. Something to avoid.
              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


              • #8
                I epoxied a nedymenorxy magnet to the drain plug on my mill to catch the chips from the finely machined Rung Foo mill. At least it keeps the debri in one area....the bottom.
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                It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


                • #9
                  I could stick one of the magnets on the out side of the machine. By the drain plug but it might magnetize the side of the gear box.


                  • #10
                    Some automobiles have magnets permanently installed in the oil drain plugs, both in the crankcase pan and in the gearboxes. I think that's the best solution.