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Oil proof brush?

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Philip A18/12/2020 07:28:56
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37 forum posts

This has been a constant annoyance. I started using a 1" brush to brush away chips, but after a week my brush hairs appear to have swollen from the cutting oil despite this being a brush for oil paints. Has anyone found a brand of brush that is resistant to cutting oil?

David George 118/12/2020 07:57:19
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1808 forum posts
503 photos

I have always used engineers swarf brush which has a 10mm round wooden handle and a 20mm wide flat metal piece with black natural bristles 20 mm wide which are unaffected by oil. I just pick a couple up from local engineer supplier when I have wrecked by milling the bristles of by mistake etc.

20201218_075906.jpg

David

Edited By David George 1 on 18/12/2020 08:00:42

Ian B.18/12/2020 08:09:04
169 forum posts
5 photos

Never had a problem with soluble/suds oil and brushes as such. Slideway oil clogs them and swarf and non ferrous chippings stick in the bristles even worse then. A good scrape on the rim of the scap bin and a squeeze in an old towelling rag increases useful life.

The best brushes I have found are the really cheap and nasty 1 1/2 inch paint brushes from the likes of pound shops. We used to have access when in business to a cheap tool warehouse. I bought these things in boxes of a dozen at a time. They each have twice the working life of any branded brush. The very best ones are unpainted handles for this rough work and I have even used these for laying up glassfibre.

Bob Stevenson18/12/2020 08:09:58
579 forum posts
7 photos

I'm with David on this........you need a natural fibres brush. Most modern (cheap) brushes are made of synthetic 'bristles' similar to nylon and this is easiy corrupted by oil. In the workshop at EFHC we have had repeated problems with this and even the floor brooms are now natural bristle fr this reason......we have some of those made in Nepal from natural (pig?) bristles,...they are a distinctive yellow with an orange band both ends and are excellent.

If you find a source of small natural bristle brushes then stock up with plenty as they are very handy in the workshop.....I use then for removing swarf an applying cutting fluid on the lathe but clean ones get used for many uses from the odd glueing job to applying meths and touching up paint etc.

Speedy Builder518/12/2020 08:23:15
2590 forum posts
207 photos

Philip - That looked like a really expensive brush ! I have some brushes like Davids, also use the simple artist's craft brushes. Never leave the brush in the coolant over night, just lay it in the swarm tray.

David Colwill18/12/2020 08:28:38
774 forum posts
40 photos

img_20200524_101630.jpgI too had this and took action. I ordered a load of "acid brushes" (I think acid in American is flux but may be wrong) These are a metal tube with horse hair bristles and work brilliantly for brushing coolant.

I do sell them in my eBay shop but in the spirit of Christmas will send a few out to anyone that PMs me (UK only though)

Regards.

David.

Edited By David Colwill on 18/12/2020 08:34:09

Edited By David Colwill on 18/12/2020 08:36:38

Edited By David Colwill on 18/12/2020 08:37:12

Clive Foster18/12/2020 09:24:23
3103 forum posts
107 photos

I pick up small acid brushes at the local plumbers suppliers. Very useful but too small form serious machine cleaning.

Generally last stop before bin for paintbrushes or a cheap pack from Lidl does well enough for me on machine duties.

But life is short.

Clive

Mike Hurley18/12/2020 09:55:19
305 forum posts
87 photos

Fascinating. I'm certainly no chemist but was genuinely surprised by Bob Stevenson's comment "....made of synthetic 'bristles' similar to nylon and this is easiy corrupted by oil" (I'm certainly not disagreeing with his point) but I suppose thinking about it, most of the cheap brushes I use for cleaning do end up useless & grotty very quickly! I had thought most synthetic materials were pretty well oil-proof (as most oil comes in synthetic containers in the first place).

Can any scientific bod clarify this (in laymans terms) just out of interest. regards Mike

Emgee18/12/2020 10:09:32
2404 forum posts
285 photos

I also find hog's hair brushes up to the task as mentioned by Bob, I get mine from a glassfibre and resin supplier, widths available from 1/2" up to 4" and they don't cost a fortune.

Emgee

Bo'sun18/12/2020 10:11:08
602 forum posts
2 photos

Might the swelling be caused (or at least some of it) by small chips working their way up the bristles?

Brian G18/12/2020 10:25:44
835 forum posts
37 photos

Hog hair glue brushes seem to be immune to neatcut oil, but sadly not to milling cutters. I find they are just the right length not to tip over the oil pot (a small tomato puree tin with a magnet rescued from a fridge magnet glue to the bottom), but long enough that I can use them with the guards in place. Given my habit of collapsing, this last feature is vital

The ones I bought have lasted so long (despite standing continually in oil) that I cannot find the order, but they were similar to these (eBay).

Brian

SillyOldDuffer18/12/2020 10:39:29
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8469 forum posts
1885 photos
Posted by Mike Hurley on 18/12/2020 09:55:19:

Fascinating. I'm certainly no chemist but was genuinely surprised by Bob Stevenson's comment "....made of synthetic 'bristles' similar to nylon and this is easiy corrupted by oil" (I'm certainly not disagreeing with his point) but I suppose thinking about it, most of the cheap brushes I use for cleaning do end up useless & grotty very quickly! I had thought most synthetic materials were pretty well oil-proof (as most oil comes in synthetic containers in the first place).

Can any scientific bod clarify this (in laymans terms) just out of interest. regards Mike

Nylon resists most things - oils, water, etc, but it has many an Achilles Heel! For example, although Nylon resists most Alcohols, Propanol and Anti-freeze both cause severe damage.

There are a shower of unknowns in the question. Brushes are made from various materials aimed at an intended purpose. Nylon, Teflon, polypropylene, polyester and natural materials like Horse hair, and palm fibre. These can be used alone or mixed. We don't know what our brushes are made of, but as polyester and polypropylene are considerably cheaper than Nylon, we can guess cheap brushes aren't made from the best bristles available.

I wonder what's in the coolant? Water, Oils, Soluble oils, anti-pressure chlorides, disinfectants (perhaps an alcohol) - goodness knows what, mixed with swarf. We can be sure coolant isn't formulated to be kind to paint brushes.

Cheap brushes are intended to work with domestic paints and varnishes, and in my experience aren't particularly good for that. Semi-disposable. So there's no guarantee how well an ordinary paint brush will cope with workshop liquids. I use mine until they stop working, then bin them.

Only a few elements are inert. Everything else is more-or-less unstable. In the right circumstances Asbestos will burn...

Dave

Ian B.18/12/2020 11:17:47
169 forum posts
5 photos

Agree SOD. Even PTFE will leach some particularly nasty stuff in the right circumstances. We had to change all the massive insulators in reactive ion etch machines to cross linked polyester (1" thick plate stuff) because of this. And I am very wary of using VITON 0 -rings for anything these days. They are extremely heat sensitive. they leach hydrofluric acid at fairly low temperatures and yeah I got burned. Problem is they were the only polymers that did not out gas at the pressures we were pumping down to. Add heat and BINGO.

Nicholas Farr18/12/2020 11:52:12
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3310 forum posts
1524 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 18/12/2020 10:39:29:
Posted by Mike Hurley on 18/12/2020 09:55:19:

Fascinating. I'm certainly no chemist but was genuinely surprised by Bob Stevenson's comment "....made of synthetic 'bristles' similar to nylon and this is easiy corrupted by oil" (I'm certainly not disagreeing with his point) but I suppose thinking about it, most of the cheap brushes I use for cleaning do end up useless & grotty very quickly! I had thought most synthetic materials were pretty well oil-proof (as most oil comes in synthetic containers in the first place).

Can any scientific bod clarify this (in laymans terms) just out of interest. regards Mike

Nylon resists most things - Snip

 

Only a few elements are inert. Everything else is more-or-less unstable. In the right circumstances Asbestos will burn...

Dave

 

Hi Dave, there is nothing that can't be changed given the right circumstances, but luckily for us, many things are beyond our mortal achievements.

As far as brushes are concerned, this is a photo of what I use on my mini mill and lathe, the thin one is from a pack of cheap artists brushes bought from Tesco's some years ago, which I use to brush cutting fluid on, of which I squirt  a little into a tin, currently WD 40 cutting fluid the larger one with a broken handle I use for brushing away swarf and cleaning down the machines.

cimg2937.jpg

A few bristle have been chewed up when caught on the cutter, but I have had it for a good while.

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 18/12/2020 11:58:19

Howard Lewis18/12/2020 12:56:52
6005 forum posts
14 photos

Pastry brushes, or cheap paint brushes do the job in my shop.

Yes, none of the bristles seem to withstand being milled, knurled or turned. Funny that!

Old toothbrushes, (Manual, not electric! ) once cleaned, are ideal for for cleaning chuck threads, and Taps and Dies before putting away.

A quick swill in white spirit cleans them ready for re use.

Howard

Edited By Howard Lewis on 18/12/2020 12:57:19

Maurice Taylor18/12/2020 13:22:26
211 forum posts
36 photos

Hi ,try a parts cleaning brush from car spares shop or Ebay. Stiff bristles and other end cleans morse taper.Had mine ages been in diesel ,jizer ,gunk ,soluble oil etc.

Don’t know why it’s under lined .

Mauriced64feff9-c444-4285-88e0-76601abc13c5.jpeg

old mart18/12/2020 18:31:46
3717 forum posts
233 photos

Just buy the cheapest possible and throw them away regularly, it is a harsh enviroment for a brush.

Michael Gilligan18/12/2020 20:32:50
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20057 forum posts
1040 photos

Maurice

It's underlined because you have somehow managed to make it a hyperlink to your Album image

MichaelG.

Roderick Jenkins18/12/2020 21:14:59
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2176 forum posts
608 photos

My solution to the problem was a set of these:

**LINK**

Harris 100% natural bristle brushes.

Rod

Chris Evans 619/12/2020 09:56:21
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2050 forum posts

Plus 1 for the "Acid" brushes. I buy the 30 or 40 at a time and they last well. For bigger brushing jobs lathe/mill cleaning I tend to demote used paint brushes from the household painting jobs when they have seen a bit of work.

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