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Cutting fluids

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Terryd17/04/2011 22:46:53
1936 forum posts
179 photos
Hi all,
the rebuild of my garage workshop following last year's fire has recently been completed. I must admit that although it seems to have taken an inordinate amount of time the results are excellent. I won't bore you all by bragging about details such as cavity walls, double glazing, ceiling insulation and electric doors, so ignore that bit.  Did I mention the home central heating extension in there or the new H&C water supply to the sink?  Sorry about that but I couldn't resist, please don't hold it against me!
My real question is about volume cutting fluids. I have little experience of modern developments and my memories are all of old fashioned soluble oil. I know that many machinists don't mind the smell but I hate it. My mother was a capstan lathe operator for many years, as was my first serious girlfriend and, despite my toolroom time, I really hate the smell with a vengeance. Is there a modern equivalent which I can use which has little or (preferably) no smell?
Thanks all
best regards

Edited By Terryd on 17/04/2011 22:49:07

Clive Hartland18/04/2011 14:59:09
2820 forum posts
40 photos
I have never had an odour problem with cutting fluid at the 20 to 1 mix. Add the oil to the water and it does not globulise and this may be the problem.
It does get adulterated with lube oil from the machines and this can be skimmed off if it gets too much.
Versaboss18/04/2011 15:50:03
490 forum posts
69 photos

I use Rocol Ultracut 250 and am very happy with it. It does not smell, is very economic (3% is enough), and does not get smelly with age. In the container on the milling machine a 'skin' builds up (possibly also because of the lubricating oil), but it can be skimmed off when the machine stands unused for a few days.

However, Michael, I would be interested to know what kind of disinfectant can be put into the mix? H2O2 eventually?

I think at least it would not hurt.

Greetings, Hansrudolf

mgj18/04/2011 17:42:58
1017 forum posts
14 photos
Versaboss - I had that skinning problem with the Rocol. It got on everything.
Now I use Morris Edgeplus, which is soluble (20;1), odour free and doesn't produce that skin. Doesn't separate as easily as the Rocol either.
Andrew Johnston18/04/2011 21:46:06
6602 forum posts
701 photos
I use a soluble oil, Biokool14, from Hallett Oils, now owned by Caldo.
As far as I can tell it doesn't seem to smell (although I have a poor sense of smell) and lasts for ages. The coolant in my lathe and horizontal and CNC mills has been there for well over a year. I just top up with water as it evaporates.
ady18/04/2011 21:48:35
612 forum posts
50 photos
Sparey recommended Whale oil, it's very good I believe.
Ian S C19/04/2011 08:32:29
7468 forum posts
230 photos
Apparently stale beer used to be used, the workers going home on the bus after work used to cause a bit of an odor that was not appreciated by the other passengers.
ian S C
Roy Oxley25/04/2011 14:08:28
1 forum posts
1 photos
Where is the best place to buy cooling/cutting fluids, I don't want to buy 20ltrs.
roy oxley
mgj25/04/2011 17:28:59
1017 forum posts
14 photos
Your local tool suppliers on a trading estate near you. Edgeplus comes in 5l cans. So do various others.
Gordon A25/04/2011 18:45:17
157 forum posts
4 photos
I also use Hallett Biokool14 @ 5% dilution and do not find the smell objectionable.
BTW I read somewhere that a way to prevent mould growth is to use a small air pump and stone as used in aquariums. It was alleged that bubbling air through the cutting oil mixture at regular intervals helped to prevent the fluid from "going off".
Does anyone else know of this?
Gordon A
Andrew Johnston25/04/2011 19:59:07
6602 forum posts
701 photos
I don't know about the stone, but using a small air pump is quite common; see this link:
dcosta25/04/2011 22:31:49
496 forum posts
207 photos
Hello Graham.
I do not know anyone who has tried to aerate the mixture solution of water and lubricating oil. However, there is something with which I had experience some years ago and so I recommend you this: turn off the forced ventilation only if You really need so. Take in consideration that when you forcibly aerates the water that does stimulates the emergence and development of aerobic bacteria at the expense of the anaerobic bacteria kind (smelly... ). If you stop the forced aeration, anaerobic bacteria grow and there will come again, the smelly lubricant.

Best regards

Dias Costa

John Rudd26/04/2011 16:38:59
1450 forum posts
12 photos
I have used Castrol Cooledge...Nice smell too, reminds me of my apprentice days.
I get my cutting fluid from Chronos..
John Stevenson26/04/2011 16:46:09
5068 forum posts
3 photos
I normally throw the odd Elf and Pastry inspector into the big coolant tank.
All the thrashing around as they drown aerates the coolant and kills all the germs because no self respecting germ will live on a Elf and Pastry inspector, win win situation.
John S.
ChrisH26/04/2011 20:49:03
1018 forum posts
30 photos
What about for example Warco's Neatcut cutting fluid? Not a coolant as I understand it - but I am but a new starter in this - but is that, or anything similar by other suppliers, I use the Warco product as a 'for instance', any good as a cutting fluid, or is the volume required just too expensive, or not good for the lathe/mill, or whatever?
John Stevenson26/04/2011 21:02:21
5068 forum posts
3 photos
Problem with neat cutting oil is the amount you need for a given operation.
I have my CVA on this and it's fine unless I start drilling 3/4" holes with a vengeance and then the place fills with smoke because I can't feed enough on the keep the temp down.
Normal work is fine and the plus side of this is that it lubricates the lathe with no corrosion or worry about cleaning down.
I can't run the small TOS on this because it tends to work for a living and that has gone onto soluble Cooledge.
So the problem I have is I'm running two types of coolant, neat and soluble depending on what machine it's fitted to. If I was back to a smaller operation like a home shop I'd use neat and be aware of having to take it steady on larger drills and cuts. I does cost more. Current pricing at J&L for 20 litres of soluble Cooledge, which makes 400 litres is £64 a drum but often on offer at about £45.
Neat Ilocut is £57 a drum, again often on offer for about £40 but remember this only gets you 20 litres. Still probably worth it for the lack of worry.
John S.
John Stevenson26/04/2011 21:48:12
5068 forum posts
3 photos
Problem with these oils [ all ] is that the various companies tell you theirs is the best and spout horror stories about the opposition. However it's at a cost, some solubles are over £250 a 20 litre drum and whist they might be better I'm certain they are not 5 times better.
At the hobby level we are reliant of our suppliers bothering to bulk buy and decant into smaller affordable lots and they are certainly not going to carry 20 different types.
I have tried quite a few soluble oils and tend to run over strength for safety as opposed to cheapness and I have never found one that doesn't stain under vises etc on the mill. Cooledge stains, not badly but it does and they say it doesn't.
John S.

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