By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

How often do you oil your lathe ways?

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Blue Heeler31/05/2019 21:58:13
205 forum posts

How often do you oil your lathe ways?

David George 131/05/2019 22:12:22
1304 forum posts
447 photos

Hi I lubricate at least every other time I use it and wipe it with an oily rag most times I use it to clear swarf etc.


Neil Wyatt31/05/2019 23:10:19
18139 forum posts
713 photos
77 articles

Depends! I regularly use neat cutting oil so more usually I'm cleaning off the excess... I go round the oil nipples once a month, which includes the saddle.


Andrew Johnston31/05/2019 23:13:30
5635 forum posts
652 photos

When I remember, or they look dry.


Hopper01/06/2019 00:46:40
4778 forum posts
104 photos

Beginning and ending of every session of use.

Beginning for lubrication. Ending for corrosion prevention.

Edited By Hopper on 01/06/2019 01:01:41

not done it yet01/06/2019 06:19:25
4886 forum posts
20 photos

Depends on how long between sessions. Sometimes weeks between sessions. Oil costs very little - lathe beds are expensive. Common sense tells me to keep it lubed, rather than run it to death.

Thor01/06/2019 06:23:19
1260 forum posts
39 photos

I do pretty much the same as Hopper do, lubricate the ways at the start of the session, afterwards I clean the ways and add a few drops of oil.


Blue Heeler01/06/2019 07:02:26
205 forum posts

Thanks everyone for the replies appreciated,

XD 35101/06/2019 10:47:24
1461 forum posts
3 photos

I have a slightly different regime as i tend to use my machines on weekends mostly so i usually do a clean up on Sunday or Monday then wipe the shiny bits down with lanotec to stop any rusting and this means i have to clean that off before i use the machine - i use cheap spray degreaser ( repco or supacheap etc) and this means i have to oil the bed before use . You can never apply to much oil to a machine and i use chain bar oil, its cheap , it works , it sticks in there and it don’t stink . If I’m machining cast iron i wipe the machine down so the only oil is between the carriage and bed - cast iron dust and oil = grinding paste !

I’m currently working on a mini dehumidifier for one of my lathes using a peltier module and the arduino code that was described by Silly old duffer in a past issue of MEW, so far results look promising but testing has been hindered by dry - low humidity weather . If it works it will hopefully put an end to the painting on of a thick coat of lanotec to stop rusting in winter as the condensation can be horrific in winter here in western Sydney.

JohnF01/06/2019 11:09:33
1011 forum posts
143 photos

My machines are in a heated workshop under the house so no problems with condensation etc nevertheless I lubricate at the beginning of every use, bearings, bed etc and clean off all swarf when finished. My apprenticeship boss an ex army chap insisted we cleaned our machines and put all tools away -- oil is cheap machines are not -- it pays dividends in the long term.


SillyOldDuffer01/06/2019 11:37:54
6189 forum posts
1345 photos
Posted by Blue Heeler on 31/05/2019 21:58:13:

How often do you oil your lathe ways?

When they need it, which is often.

Lubrication is an obvious reason, but - in my workshop - maintaining cleanliness is probably more important.

Steel and aluminium swarf aren't a major problem compared with brass and cast-iron. But it pays to get rid of steel fragments laid on the ways in case it rusts - Iron Oxide is an abrasive. Brass often comes off in fine particles that get stuck into moving parts to create a kind of junior sandpaper. Cast-iron is the worst; cutting it creates a fine powder some of which - like bits of hard skin or casting sand - make a decent grinding paste. And it's filthy. A good way to clean the ways is to wipe them off regularly with generously oiled paper towels or lint free cloth.

When the lathe is going to be laid up for more than a few weeks, I treat it to some proper Way Oil, which is sticky. Otherwise, it gets plain oil, Lawnmower Oil at the moment. I avoid fancy motor oils because of the additives, but I doubt they make much difference.

I'm not as obsessive as the above might suggest. My lathe is Chinese and it's never going to be a much loved heirloom!


XD 35101/06/2019 12:14:38
1461 forum posts
3 photos

Hi Dave ,

Not wanting to drag this post off topic i have sent you a PM .


Mick B101/06/2019 13:43:15
1660 forum posts
88 photos

I make oiling the ways the last op in any clean-down, which happens whenever I become disgusted with the state of it. The threshhold for that varies with the quantity and perceived interest level of what I'm doing.

old mart01/06/2019 19:58:59
1913 forum posts
151 photos

Since renovating the museums Smart & Brown model A's apron, the built in pump not only lubricates the gears and shafts inside, but also the leadscrew nut, cross slide and ways. It gets topped up about once a fortnight. I t gets semi synthetic 5W40 motor oil and also for the 70 year old spindle bearings which have no measurable wear.

Edited By old mart on 01/06/2019 20:03:02

clogs01/06/2019 22:13:48
577 forum posts
12 photos

I pretty often oil up the lathe bed and most of those stupid recessed ball bearing oilers are now changed for drippers....mostly home made....

tho the best aid to cleanliness I added to my lathes was tin covers fitted with magnets to the carriage ....

these stop virtually all swarf and coolant directly where I'm machining....

quite like the "Rage magnetic swarf wand"

have a dedicated paint brush for cleaning and another for applying oil....

oil is always Synthetic engine oil 5w-40....

Blue Heeler01/06/2019 22:14:47
205 forum posts
Posted by XD 351 on 01/06/2019 10:47:24:hopefully put an end to the painting on of a thick coat of lanotec to stop rusting in winter as the condensation can be horrific in winter here in western Sydney.

XD what causes this condensation? I get it in my shed about two months of the year as well. Usually in the dead of winter July/August I'll go into my shed and everything metal will be dripping/sweating with beads of water?

I setup two fans on timers to go all night and this alleviates it.

Neil Wyatt01/06/2019 22:54:38
18139 forum posts
713 photos
77 articles

Do other folks slather on neat oil like I do?

I'm more likely to worry about it pooling up on the ways than them looking dry!

Brian John02/06/2019 02:49:49
1455 forum posts
579 photos

And if your lathe does become rusty (through a combination of neglect and tropical humidity) then what is the best way to remove it from the ways, lead screw, tailstock and jaws ?

Blue Heeler02/06/2019 03:13:23
205 forum posts
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 01/06/2019 22:54:38:

Do other folks slather on neat oil like I do?

I'm more likely to worry about it pooling up on the ways than them looking dry!

Yes, I do go overboard Neil.

Pete Rimmer02/06/2019 07:50:13
773 forum posts
50 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 01/06/2019 22:54:38:

Do other folks slather on neat oil like I do?

I'm more likely to worry about it pooling up on the ways than them looking dry!

Yes my hobber oil pump leaks from the stuffing gland so I keep a roses tin under the pump. As it fills up I pour it into a jug which I keep on the lathe with a brush in it. The sump was full of dark sulphurised cutting oil when I got it and I marvelled at how good the ways were for a 70 yr old machine, so I figured I would continue the tradition.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest