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Thread: Tool tip- gun oil on lathe ways

  1. #1
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    Feb 2009
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    Tool tip- gun oil on lathe ways

    The discussion about putting oil on bandsaw blades reminded me about something I started doing this year.

    Iíve never been happy with paste wax or T-9 or other stuff Iíve tried to keep my large ways smooth and rust free. This past spring I started using my CLP gun oil that I use the clean and protect my guns. After turning wet wood I hit the lathe with the spray on oil and steel wool. My tool rest has never slid so smoothly.

    Anyways, passing it along.
    Where did I put that?

  2. #2
    I use a product called Strikehold. Designed for cleaning and protecting gun parts. FYI

  3. #3
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    I've replaced my old gun oils with Hornady One Lube dry spray lube. It has done some miracles, like making my 1941 Mosin's bolt work like a well-made modern rifle. SMOOOOTH. Nothing did that before. So I started using the Hornady on my tools, and on many other things. Love it.

  4. #4
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    I just use WD 40 on my lathe. Never on my guns of course.

  5. #5
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    Walworth, NY
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    Probably the wrong thing to do, but I slobber used transmission oil on anything on the lathe that will rust. Shavings soak up the excess. No rust anywhere. I turn in an unheated horse stall in the NE, so condensation is a problem.

  6. #6
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    I often forget the things people face in other areas. I can leave tools unprotected in the garage without any worry, even while running the swamp cooler. The lathe hasn't been lubed at all in years.

  7. #7
    Really? Even after you turn green wood and get wet shavings on the ways.
    Think I may move to AZ.

    Rust is my life... Gonna try me some gun oil.

  8. #8
    Question: Does this oil contain silicone?

  9. #9
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    Slippery

    One thing to keep in mind, oil on the ways may make it harder to lock the tailstock down on some lathes.

    At the NC Symposium last year Graeme Priddle pointed this out as a possible safety concern when turning something that needs solid tailstock support. He said flat out to not oil or wax the ways. He actually suggested, tongue-in-cheek, an extreme measure which might cause obsessive-compulsive neatniks to pass out - leave a new lathe outside in the rain until it gets a nice grabby rusty surface! Of course, a more controlled treatment can be done inside with a water or wet oak shavings.

    I don't lube the beds on my lathes since I noticed some difficulty locking the tailstock years ago. All I do is scrape off any hardened glue/finish and run a bit of sandpaper down the ways if needed. I don't turn wet much but have covered the bed on occasion. A bit of discoloration on the lathe, bandsaw table, or other tools isn't on my radar.

    I suspect some lathes are worse about slipping than others - one of my Jet 1642s is. Some people probably just put more muscle into tightening. I understand one or two people in the world actually use a cheater bar for more force.

    JKJ

  10. #10
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    Interesting thought, and I canít say heís wrong, but Iím not going to purposely rust my tool. If needed to be grabby I would think the manufacturer would texture the surface. They are designed to clamp with a smooth bed. Iíve never had an issue clamping my tailstock on my 3520. If I needed to I would rough up the underside of the ways.

    Did he address the added difficulty of moving the tailstock on a rusty bed? Iíd probably pull something trying to slide that big heavy tailstock across a rusty bed.

    Silicone? Not sure, but the finished piece isnít coming in contact with the bed. I havenít used it on my table saw or bandsaw for that reason. Not sure about finish compatibility of the gun oil. But those tools donít get sloppy wet either.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    Question: Does this oil contain silicone?
    Not sure who you are asking, or which oil. The one I recommended, Hornady One Shot gun cleaner/lube, definitely does not. "CLP" is a generic term meaning "cleaner, lubricant, preservative" in the military and "clean/lube/protect" used commercially. I believe the term was coined by the military, and they have a spec for it. I was issued CLP with no brand and no other info about it, but have been told it was Break Free brand. I don't know what's in that, and other brands of CLP may be different.

  12. #12
    I was asking anyone who knew the answer, so thank you Carlos. It may be a naive question, so I apologize for that. I only asked because I know some waxes contain silicone, which improves their retention and slip, but can make it a pain to remove when/if you want to.

  13. Well, for a year my lathes were in a dirt floor pole barn. the spur center stuck in the spindle so I mistakenly thought some rust was holding it. I took it out and cleaned it off and put a single drop of machine oil on it and then wiped it around to coat the taper and put it back in. The spur drive became essentially worthless and barely turned the wood. So I pulled it a part again and cleaned all the oil off of it and inside the spindle with alcohol.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    I was asking anyone who knew the answer, so thank you Carlos. It may be a naive question, so I apologize for that. I only asked because I know some waxes contain silicone, which improves their retention and slip, but can make it a pain to remove when/if you want to.
    Oh, I totally get why you were asking. Silicone is like herpes and I wouldn't allow it anywhere near my shop, ever. I have, and never will again.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Price View Post
    Did he address the added difficulty of moving the tailstock on a rusty bed? Iíd probably pull something trying to slide that big heavy tailstock across a rusty bed.
    Well, as I mentioned he said this kind of as a joke. I think the point was a slippery bed may not be good, at least for some lathes. My 1642 doesn't hold nearly as well as my 3520b, due, I'm sure, to the more massive tailstock, more contact area, and heavier clamping mechanism. Although I don't lube or wax the bed, there is never any problem sliding the tailstock easily. If there is, it's due to some kind of junk on the ways which I remove with a card scraper, sandpaper, and/or fine steel wool.

    JKJ

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