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Save your bacon grease and Leather/Serpentine Belt questions

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  • Save your bacon grease and Leather/Serpentine Belt questions

    I had done some reading over the past several weeks and stumbled across something saying that animal fats work good for Machining lubricants... So I figured I would give bacon grease a shot..... Seems to work quite well.

    How I collect the grease is I cook up a bit of Bacon and then pour the grease thru a Coffee filter while still hot. Most of it WILL Drip thru the filter but the last little bit may need a bit of Coaxing(squeeze it with some BBQ tongs).

    The chips tend to hang to the work a little bit using this but the cuts seem to do quite well.


    I do not have any other basis for comparison other than my own observations and I have not used anything else yet due to the fact this is actually free whereas the others are not..... so if any of you want to try and report your Opinions that would be great.


    BTW I also need a 43-44 Inch long belt 3/4-1" wide..... Mine broke the other day mid cut.....May stay with leather belt but I Was thinking about switching to a continuous serpentine belt from either Gates or Goodyear I do know I am going to have to pull the Spindle AND the Rear Step Pulley apart in order to Install a Serp and I already have a new felt set from Ebay.... Thoughts, Opinions????

    Lathe is a South Bend Model A 9" x 54"
    Last edited by FordFanatic1988; 08-15-2018, 09:34 PM.

  • #2
    It does work but the attraction of a fatty grease of this sort for bugs and rodents isn't worth it to me. And if not kept cool it goes rancid after some shortish time.
    Chilliwack BC, Canada

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    • #3
      Originally posted by BCRider View Post
      It does work but the attraction of a fatty grease of this sort for bugs and rodents isn't worth it to me. And if not kept cool it goes rancid after some shortish time.
      I use canola oil a bit for drilling and threading.

      Left out it thickens (polymers do that with time) So I keep the bulk in a cooking oil bottle (creative ehh? )

      There is a small problem with keeping things clean, as hot chips will kick off the oil and stick themselves to most anything. Cleanup after use is a must, but also a good practice regardless of the lube.

      The real issue is that I often need to break away from the machining operation and go make a batch of popcorn. The aroma of hot cooking oil get's me hungry!

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      • #4
        for a belt you can use fiberglass re-enforced packaging tape. loop it around sticky side up and once you get 1 full turn apply some tension to the belt while continuing to wrap the tape around 2 more times. then cut the tape, flip the tape over and make one wrap over the top.

        i recently cut the belt on my lathe in order to move it, but the prior fiberglass belt lasted about a year with no sign of creepage (yes i once tried ducttape, it creeps, and is slipperier)

        anyhow the weight of the under drive assembly alone is enough to tension the belt, i don't have to lock the handle down to apply more tension.

        if you don't have to splice the belt, then clearly a serpentine belt is better..

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        • #5
          whale blubber is the absolute best - kinda scarce these days but i have my connections, yes shop smells awful esp. when you consider it's part of the house - and flys are everywhere but what a finish for cutting fluid and it's great to lube your ways with. once you try it you will never go back to anything else...


          if done right it doubles as a way wiper - remove your old rubber ones the throw them away, sandwitch some blub where the old wipers were and force it down a little before you anchor with the plate and screws, now you will not only have to never lube your machine for a year or two , it doubles as a wiper,,, about every three months the surface will turn gray with rot, just scrape that off to get to the better flesh, put the rotten flesh in the brush bucket for lubing parts whilst cutting,,, works like a charm, try not to heat your workpeice up too much or the smell will about knock you out, if you ever have company explain to people what the smell is, best not to let them wonder what's going on in your basement...
          Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 08-15-2018, 11:40 PM.

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          • #6
            Leatherdrivebelts.com
            Owned by John Knox former Sheldon lathe superintendent
            He can help you out
            Good guy full of information

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            • #7
              Bacon grease will contain salt. Lots of it. Salt can only be removed with water.

              Doesn't sound like stuff to have in the shop let alone on the machines.

              Pete
              1973 SB 10K .
              BenchMaster mill.

              Comment


              • #8
                Now I'm drying for some Candy Bacon.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CalM View Post
                  I use canola oil a bit for drilling and threading.

                  Left out it thickens (polymers do that with time) So I keep the bulk in a cooking oil bottle (creative ehh? )

                  There is a small problem with keeping things clean, as hot chips will kick off the oil and stick themselves to most anything. Cleanup after use is a must, but also a good practice regardless of the lube.

                  The real issue is that I often need to break away from the machining operation and go make a batch of popcorn. The aroma of hot cooking oil get's me hungry!
                  I use Canola oil on my black powder revolvers to keep the cylinders running free and the fouling soft and oily. It works superbly.

                  I learned from looking into it that rape seed oil (Canola) first found a mechanical use in the valves on steam engines in merchant shipping back around WWII. Seems it keeps a lot of its lubricating properties even when being used in superheated steam installations.

                  I worried about corrosion due to fatty acids and such or just the ability to keep water away. So I oiled up some steel samples and left them out. The Canola out did ALL other options.... Then I noticed that the sunny days had kicked off the polymerization and turned it into an actual varnish film... I really should do the test again but this time keep it out of the sun and heat so it stays liquid.

                  On the guns it's fine and I use it regularly on two day shoots when I quick clean the guns in the evening of the first day. But even in the cool and dark it gums up after a couple of weeks. So once back home and the guns are fully cleaned to put away it's back to good ol' Ballistol.

                  Never really thought of using it in the shop though. The gumming up puts me off that idea. But how is it for threading compared to something like Tapzall or Tap Magic fluids?
                  Chilliwack BC, Canada

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                    I use Canola oil on my black powder revolvers to keep the cylinders running free and the fouling soft and oily. It works superbly.

                    I learned from looking into it that rape seed oil (Canola) first found a mechanical use in the valves on steam engines in merchant shipping back around WWII. Seems it keeps a lot of its lubricating properties even when being used in superheated steam installations.

                    I worried about corrosion due to fatty acids and such or just the ability to keep water away. So I oiled up some steel samples and left them out. The Canola out did ALL other options.... Then I noticed that the sunny days had kicked off the polymerization and turned it into an actual varnish film... I really should do the test again but this time keep it out of the sun and heat so it stays liquid.

                    On the guns it's fine and I use it regularly on two day shoots when I quick clean the guns in the evening of the first day. But even in the cool and dark it gums up after a couple of weeks. So once back home and the guns are fully cleaned to put away it's back to good ol' Ballistol.

                    Never really thought of using it in the shop though. The gumming up puts me off that idea. But how is it for threading compared to something like Tapzall or Tap Magic fluids?

                    I do not know yet.... I am not really into threading yet.... getting there though...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 10KPete View Post
                      Bacon grease will contain salt. Lots of it. Salt can only be removed with water.

                      Doesn't sound like stuff to have in the shop let alone on the machines.

                      Pete
                      Completely agree. I just don't understand why people don't buy the proper stuff. Hell a pint of brand name neat cutting oil is about $10 delivered if i am not correct? Last for ages using a brush on a mill and lathe.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you want to use bacon drippings, buy unsalted bacon, otherwise don't use it. If you don't want to go to the trouble of finding unsalted bacon it looks like lard oil is still available.

                        https://www.mcmaster.com/#1308K4

                        Personally, considering just how far a little bit of cutting oil goes, I don't know why any home shop machinist wouldn't just use an easy to find modern cutting fluid.
                        Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Arcane View Post
                          If you want to use bacon drippings, buy unsalted bacon, otherwise don't use it. If you don't want to go to the trouble of finding unsalted bacon it looks like lard oil is still available.

                          https://www.mcmaster.com/#1308K4

                          Personally, considering just how far a little bit of cutting oil goes, I don't know why any home shop machinist wouldn't just use an easy to find modern cutting fluid.
                          If it isn't salted it isn't bacon, just side pork. Instead of bacon grease, just collect the grease from a pork roast that has been cooked without salt.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Arcane View Post
                            If you want to use bacon drippings, buy unsalted bacon, otherwise don't use it. If you don't want to go to the trouble of finding unsalted bacon it looks like lard oil is still available.
                            Boiling the bacon fat with some water and collecting the separated fat after cooling should get rid of the salt. Salt doesn't dissolve much in pure fat even to start with..
                            And even unsalted meat contains salt but the amount is maybe 1/10th of cured meats. Blood for example is pretty salty by nature.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by thaiguzzi View Post
                              Completely agree. I just don't understand why people don't buy the proper stuff. Hell a pint of brand name neat cutting oil is about $10 delivered if i am not correct? Last for ages using a brush on a mill and lathe.
                              agreed. fat and suet is for the birds
                              .

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