Coolant system for hobby lathe

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ranb
Silent But Deadly
Posts: 1997
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:53 pm
Location: WA, USA

Coolant system for hobby lathe

Post by ranb » Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:39 pm

One of the reason for the long delayed build time for my 50 bmg can is the lack of a Coolant system for the lathe. I finally got one put together. It uses an articulated tube/nozzle with a magnetic base ($10) from http://www.littlemachineshop.com, a small metal tray to collect the water based lube and tubing to connect the bottles to the rig. The top bottle gravity feeds to the nozzle, the small green tray drains to another gallon jug (not shown).
Image

I'm now able to cut much faster with no significant heat buildup. The finish is a bit better.

Not all is rosy though. I need a larger tray to collect the lube that flows along the work and drips onto the lathe. The articulated tubing seeps lube; a couple of drops a minute. I have to find a way to keep the lathe from rusting with so much exposure to moisture. I dry the lathe off as best I can and grease the exposed metal on the tool holder and rails.

Where can I get a better articulated tube? Thanks.

Ranb
Last edited by ranb on Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SilencerTalk was a place I could disccuss making registered silencers without being told I was a criminal. That is no longer true. http://www.silencertalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=132&t=99273

wp6529
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Re: Lube system for hobby lathe

Post by wp6529 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:19 pm

Coolant system, a lube system normally refers to a system that oils the machine ways and whatnot rather than the part being cut.

You can find real Loc-Line components at McMaster:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#10095k11/=u30zur

http://www.mcmaster.com/#10095k49/=u30zzg

The mag base is a bit pricy, but it's high quality (I have one).

For the smaller nozzles you might need a pressure system rather than gravity feed. For the size machine you have you might be able to put the entire machine in a collection tray such as one for a washine machine or perhaps an automotive drip tray.

If you're using commercial coolant at a decent concentration you shouldn't have rusting issues. Most coolants will leave a protective film as the water evaporates away. With some like soluble oils the film may be a dark brown color that looks like rust, but it isn't and it wipes away clean.

BTW, this is what is typically referred to as a lube pump:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#2287k2/=u313d5

These normally feed distribution manifolds that feed out to metering orifices at various points in the machine.

lemmethink
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Re: Lube system for hobby lathe

Post by lemmethink » Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:44 am

Do you have any coolants you recommend?

ranb
Silent But Deadly
Posts: 1997
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:53 pm
Location: WA, USA

Re: Coolant system for hobby lathe

Post by ranb » Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:56 pm

I just use distilled water with the green solution added. There is a link in the original post to the solution I bought. I think the solution is just a rust inhibitor as I've had no corrosion problems at all since I started to use it. I drilled a small hole in the base of the lathe to allow coolant to run into a 9x13 inch tray underneath and drain to the collection bottle on the floor. This minimizes loss of coolant.

I have a couple of 60 degree reamers that I use when finishing up the inside of cones and K baffles. Use of the coolant dramatically improves cutting and nearly eliminates binding. I wish I'd put this together years ago.

Ranb
SilencerTalk was a place I could disccuss making registered silencers without being told I was a criminal. That is no longer true. http://www.silencertalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=132&t=99273

wp6529
Silent Operator
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:18 pm

Re: Coolant system for hobby lathe

Post by wp6529 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:36 am

The green stuff is mostly intended as a mist coolant sprayed with air, but it does say it can also be used as a flood coolant. They also list some synthetic flood type coolant on the LMS site as well. You can also find many options on the Enco site. If you at some point want to upgrade to pressure coolant, both LMS and Enco have pump / tank units that work well.

All my machines have pump systems, and the pressure can be helpful for flushing chips away. I'm using regular soluble oil coolant, mostly because I was given 5gal of the stuff years ago and I still have at least 4gal of it left. Another thing that is handy when machining aluminum which doesn't require coolant is and air jet setup. I have the Loc-Line mag base and hose assembly setup with an inlet valve and air QC fitting so I can stick it to my milling vise or wherever and get a jet of air to blow chips away from such places as AR FCPs.

I've been kicking around the idea of getting a $99 Harbor Freight electric pressure washer to use as a high pressure coolant pump so I can feed things like coolant-through boring bars and really flush the chips out of whatever I'm boring.

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