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Lubricating a Mill

Lubricating a Mill

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Mark Eisen03/06/2015 07:33:09
87 forum posts
68 photos

I got the Sieg SX3 striped down and cleaned ready to re assemble.

What sort of grease do I use on the lead screw?

What oil and grease should I lubricate the rest of it with.

Must be some thing I can get in Aust

Capstan Speaking03/06/2015 08:34:54
177 forum posts
14 photos

It isn't critical really. Any light grease for the screw will do. Nothing too gloopy such as copper grease and nothing that will dry out hard.

Any light lubricating oil for the slideways. An ISO 32 if you want to get something techy and specific. Engine oil will do if you are truly desperate. It needs to be light so it doesn't cause stickiness.

Clive Hartland03/06/2015 09:02:34
2820 forum posts
40 photos

The question initially is about assembly, use a graphite grease for initial assembly and as Capstan quoted an SAE 30 oil for ongoing lubrication as the Sieg SX3 has oil nipples not grease nipples. You cannot force lubricate these oil nipples so a few drops of oil occasionally is fine. In addition, PTFE is also a suitable lubrication which has the advantage of forcing out dirt etc and has superior lube qualities.


Ajohnw03/06/2015 09:44:31
3631 forum posts
160 photos

i started using slideway lubricating oil off ebay some time ago. It does it's job well. Little is needed and it's stable and hangs around for a long time with no noticeable fuming. It's obviously from the state of the bottle it's kept in that it doesn't absorb moisture etc from the air either. Can't say the same thing for my cutting oil but I only use that sparingly.

I've used moly grease for a very long time. I was a little concerned about it's speed rating but haven't had any problems. ArcEuro started selling a high speed type some time ago so now if something needs grease I use that. In the past it could be difficult to get hold of it and despite what some people think it does extend life. Ford have been known to start using it on some parts that aren't making it through the warantee period. These days there are some incredibly expensive greases available.

Some people use a hydraulic fluid for spindle and general lubrication especially to replace oils mentioned in older lathe literature. Like those these are generally highly refined mineral oils.

I used to use all sorts of things when my lathe was in the garage including wd40 to prevent rust. It didn't take me long to realise why I developed a cough. Then there is the problem of hand contact - engine oil isn't intended for that and does smell. It's also intended for use where it's very hot for extended periods.



Edited By John W1 on 03/06/2015 09:45:21

Edited By John W1 on 03/06/2015 09:46:57

Bowber03/06/2015 11:15:28
169 forum posts
24 photos

I'll second the slideway oil if you have the choice, just started using it on my new lathe and it's far better than new engine oil, stays on the slideways and leaves a thin layer on anything you apply it to so better for rust protection as well, plus the slides do more a bit smoother.
I've gone through nearly 1ltr so far but I did refill my mills oil pump and give it a good oiling on all the moving parts as well, also I've been oiling the new lathe after each use to clean out any dirt as it beds in.


Muzzer03/06/2015 12:11:15
2904 forum posts
448 photos

The recommended oil for both the gearboxes and slide lubrication in the Colchester Bantam manual and nameplates is Tellus 27, which is simply ISO 32 hydraulic oil in today's terminology.

You can buy this at any decent motor factors or ebay (think farm equipment, JCBs, diggers etc) for peanuts (20L for £30 if you need that much).

Engine oil has all sorts of unnecessary additives and isn't something you want to be bathing your hands in, even when new. No benefit in using grease if your machine is designed for oil obviously.


I.M. OUTAHERE03/06/2015 15:19:43
1468 forum posts
3 photos

If you find slide way oil to be a little expensive or hard to get in smaller quantities like 5 litres then try chain bar oil for a chainsaw , it has the same tackifiers as slide way oil is readily available and works well .

Not a big fan of grease on feed screws as it tends to dry out making the machine feel stiff to operate so i now use chain bar oil on these as well and a few seconds with an oilcan and a clean pait brush is all that is needed on my X2 mill . My larger mill uses an oil gun as i have fitted grease nipples and cut oil grooves in the slide ways so a qiuck pump on these and a squirt from my oil can for the feed screws keeps me going for a couple of days .

CotswoldsPhil03/06/2015 19:27:35
196 forum posts
112 photos

I'll second chainsaw chain bar oil - very tacky, it also makes my change-wheels very quiet when screw-cutting. Hydraulic oil (ISO 32) is also available from the well known machinery shed in most towns both about £7 / litre.



Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 03/06/2015 19:32:15

David Haynes22/06/2015 06:44:21
168 forum posts
26 photos

I have a Sieg X3 and wondered how often people take off the top cover and lubricate the gear train from the motor to spindle. Also, with what - I initially used the type of grease recommended by Sieg.

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