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Thread: Vintage Oil Can Reccomendation?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Vintage Oil Can Reccomendation?

    I absolutely hate how my "can" of 3-in-1 oil works. It is plastic and has a telescoping spout. I don't use it often, (and in fact have probably had this can for over a decade) but when I do it reminds me of how much I dislike its operation.

    I would like to buy a proper thumb oil can principally for use oiling my eggbeater hand drills, and squeaky hinges in the house.
    I have no idea where to source one locally in the Austin area, so may need to go to Etsy or something. Question is, what to get? A lot of you folks seem to frequent antique dealers and find great old stuff.
    I'm not sure what spout size or type to get.

    I realize I'm obsessing a bit, but I want something that only puts out a little bit of oil with each "pump".

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Canberra Australia
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    Hope this is not against the rules, but a quick Ebay search may help you.
    There's heaps of vintage thumb oil cans available in the States.
    These were on just the first page.

    Oil can 1.JPG
    Oil can 3.JPG

    Ignore the AUS price and shipping
    Last edited by Stu Gillard; 09-20-2021 at 10:34 PM.

  3. #3
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    Fairbanks AK
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    I see them frequently when rust humting in antiuque stores. How big a one do you want? In my forestry tool box I have one with a three inch base for bar oil and a smaller one with a one inch diameter base for the clutch lube. I have seen some monsters for like I guess steam locomotives. Should be under ten bucks when you find one.

  4. #4
    I use Jojoba bean oil which comes in a small see through dispenser from Lie-Nielsen.
    Jojoba beans are desert plants whose beans are crushed yielding a very light oil
    perfect for protecting saws and chisels.

  5. #5
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    Hi Stu/Scott,

    I found them online... but the variety of sizes is kind of staggering. Hence my search for a recommendation for my application. I'm guessing the applicator/tip may be tied to the type of oil it was designed for and how much a "click" of the base dispenses.

  6. #6
    I've seen ones for sale on Amazon by a company called Goldenrod. I've also found cheap ones in my local hardware store.

  7. #7
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    For egg beater hand drills and door hinges I would be looking for one with a base diameter around one inch.

  8. #8
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    Here is a shot of some of my oiler cans:

    Shop Oilers.jpg

    The three on the right are often used but it takes time for the oil to run down the long spout. They are nice for just a drop at a time. The also have a twist close metal top. These are more or less speciality/penetrating oils. One of them is a light silicon oil that is real slippery and penetrates well.

    My favorite metal cans are the two small ones on the right. The brass can is made by Pfaf for sewing machines. Both of these are good for a small amount of oil quickly. The Pfaf can is faster than the no name can on the left. The small can with a long neck is not only slow but the neck is a folded design tube and tends to leak a bit.

    The pump can shoot a stream, the big bulb bottom can also lets go with a lot of oil. The Army green can on the right will also bring on the flood. It is good for filling the small cans.

    The Pfaf can would be my suggestion for oiling an eggbeater or door hinge.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
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    Erich,

    Take a look at your local sporting goods store at the hoppes gun cleaning supplies. They make a little plastic bottles with a needle like tip that I find perfect for getting in my eggbeaters and other tight spaces, and doesn't take up much room.

    If you want something more traditional I understand, but that little bottle is cheap and works great!
    41vO9iCGZ6L._AC_SX425_.jpg
    Last edited by Jason Buresh; 09-21-2021 at 9:32 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post


    The Pfaf can would be my suggestion for oiling an eggbeater or door hinge.

    jtk
    Thanks for trotting those out Jim. Now I need to find a little one like that.

  11. #11
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    Baton Rouge, LA
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    I feel your pain. When I bought new 3-in-1 oil and tried the plastic can, I hated it. Luckily still had my old, metal 3-in-1 can and I put the oil in it. Works so much better than the new “cans.”

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erich Weidner View Post
    Thanks for trotting those out Jim. Now I need to find a little one like that.
    Remember that type of oiler has a sightly round bottom to make a 'bulb' for squeezing the oil.

    Sometimes someone with an iron thumb has pressed them permanently inward.

    jtkl
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 09-22-2021 at 2:27 AM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
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    I'm also interested in this topic.

    I've never actually owned a proper oiler / oil can.
    I've been thinking that I want to get one for my oilstones (in addition to whatever else I need to oil around the house), as the plastic bottles are ugly and always easy to tipping over spill.
    Do any of you who use oilstones know if this is a good idea, or do these things typically squirt too much oil out, etc.?

    There seem to be 3 types, and I'm not sure what is better for my use-case:
    1. The smallest of the bunch, which is a thumb type. Example -> https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/gp/pro...QENFRJN5&psc=1
    2. Pistol Type -> https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/gp/pro...QENFRJN5&psc=1
    3. Thumb Type, the largest of the bunch with typically a long neck... maybe much too large for my use -> https://www.amazon.co.jp/TOC200/dp/B...04OCQN92&psc=1
    4. Something else?

    Not to derail this thread, but what would you guys suggest I look for? Or are these oil cans sub optimal for my intended use, and I should just stick to tippy plastic bottles?

  14. #14
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Tractor supply sells new ones that aren't too bad. I only use them in the mechanic shop though. I keep one with 30W, and one with hydraulic fluid. They put out more oil than the little, old 3-N-1 cans did, but not uncontrollable. I think one would be fine for honing oil on stones.

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