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Need Help - Owners of 12x32, 36, and 40 Import Lathes

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  • Need Help - Owners of 12x32, 36, and 40 Import Lathes

    I'm the new owner of a used Nova 12x40 lathe. It is visually the same as pretty much all of the 12" import lathes. This one is a couple decades old, and looks like maintenance may have been a little lax, so as I set this up, I want to go through as much as I can and make sure it is in good order. I figure there must be a few of you out there that know your way around these, and maybe could help me out with a few questions.

    1. Drive Belt - Mine is pretty well chowdered up, and I haven't been able to find a part number or any listing of it in either my manual or the Enco online manual. I tried two auto parts stores and neither could cross reference the numbers on it. Does anyone know the exact size, or have a part number for it from Enco or another seller? The belt (in its current condition) measures about 3/4" x 32", but I do't know how much it has narrowed or stretched in the last two decades.

    2. Change gears - The lathe comes with a 40-80-40 ratio installed, which is supposed to cover all inch thread combos. In the toolbox I found all the other steel change gears for metric threads, and another 80T plastic gear. Are the change gears for metric all the same angle and pitch as the originally installed gears? My installed 80T is missing some teeth and shows a lot of wear, but it seems to be of an identical size to the one in the box. I only ask because I'm unfamiliar with the intricacies of gears, and the 40T gears are not used for any metric combo, so I was curious whether there could be a difference in two 80T gears of seemngly the same size.

    3. Lubrication - The manual I have recommends Mobil DTE light oil for the headstock and feedbox. How does this compare to Mobil Velocite #6? I have a gallon of the Velocite and was wondering whether it was a reasonable substitute, or whether I should get the DTE instead?

    Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    I have that exact same lathe. I bought it new in 1995 from MSC. After it arrived I went through and reworked everything that needed it. I lapped in the cross slide and compound slide ways, reworked the half nuts for threading, etc. I use it daily and it is still better than new.

    1. I put a link belt on mine. It runs smoother now than before.

    2. An 80T of seemingly the same size is the same size. Put in the new one.

    3. Any quality lubrication will work. Make sure you can see the level in the sight glass on the R.H. side of the head.

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    • #3
      At work we use hydraulic oil (Hydrex AW32) for the machines headstock/feedgears as hydraulic oils are very good under pressure, they don't foam and that is a good thing in a place where there is gears. I know this is a compromise, but has worked without problems.

      Whatever you use, make sure it doesn't foam and that it handles extreme pressures (meaning it has EP additives) and handles sliding parts (gears).
      Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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      • #4
        I have a Nova lathe as well. I must have lucked out as mine was reasonably accurate from the start. One thing though, the sight glass to see the headstock lube is cloudy and it came that way! I've never been able to see through it.
        John B

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jaakko Fagerlund View Post
          At work we use hydraulic oil (Hydrex AW32) for the machines headstock/feedgears as hydraulic oils are very good under pressure, they don't foam and that is a good thing in a place where there is gears. I know this is a compromise, but has worked without problems.

          Whatever you use, make sure it doesn't foam and that it handles extreme pressures (meaning it has EP additives) and handles sliding parts (gears).
          After I read your post the light bulb went off over my head. The Velocite oil is a spindle oil and meant for bearings. I confess that I don't know squat about the fine points of oil, but since I do have the gearbox to worry about I guess I should go with something else. Enco sells Mobil DTE 24 Super Stabilized ISO 32 Hydraulic Oil by the gallon, so I guess that will be what I go with.

          Thanks.

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          • #6
            If you live near a Tractor Supply, they sell multi-purpose hydraulic oil in 5 gallon buckets for about $40. That is what I put in mine. Farmers buy a lot of that kind of stuff.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jaakko Fagerlund View Post
              At work we use hydraulic oil (Hydrex AW32) for the machines headstock/feedgears as hydraulic oils are very good under pressure, they don't foam and that is a good thing in a place where there is gears. I know this is a compromise, but has worked without problems.

              Whatever you use, make sure it doesn't foam and that it handles extreme pressures (meaning it has EP additives) and handles sliding parts (gears).


              Be very careful about using any oil that contains "EP additives" if you have brass parts - generally not compatible. I also use a generic AW32 hydraulic oil in my gear head lathe instead of DTE24.
              Last edited by lakeside53; 12-20-2012, 11:15 AM.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the help - I've been away for a few days, but hopefully I can get this off the floor and mounted on the cabinets this weekend.

                If this is the case, I should be able to use John Deere Low-Viscosity Hy-Gard, which I have on hand already. It is listed as a 32 viscosity and is used for hydrostatic and gear transmissions in tractors. Any reason that this shouldn't work?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lost_cause View Post
                  Thanks for the help - I've been away for a few days, but hopefully I can get this off the floor and mounted on the cabinets this weekend.

                  If this is the case, I should be able to use John Deere Low-Viscosity Hy-Gard, which I have on hand already. It is listed as a 32 viscosity and is used for hydrostatic and gear transmissions in tractors. Any reason that this shouldn't work?
                  That will definitely work.

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