What's new
What's new

Way oil vs HD hydraulic oil

Froneck

Titanium
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Location
McClure, PA 17059
Am I wrong thinking that using HD hydraulic oil to fill the carriage and tail stock reservoirs? Way oil is sticky and will hold fine chips but hydraulic oil is easily pushed off by the way wipers. Ways are always oil covered being oiled by the reservoir and pump in the carriage.
 

tdmidget

Diamond
Joined
Aug 13, 2005
Location
Tucson AZ
Am I wrong thinking that using HD hydraulic oil to fill the carriage and tail stock reservoirs? Way oil is sticky and will hold fine chips but hydraulic oil is easily pushed off by the way wipers. Ways are always oil covered being oiled by the reservoir and pump in the carriage.
 

tdmidget

Diamond
Joined
Aug 13, 2005
Location
Tucson AZ
"HD" oil? What is that supposed to mean? Hydraulic oils come in two basic flavors, R&O and AW. R&O is "Rust and Oxidation inhibited" and is in the same same samily as DTE and circulating oils. AW is antiwear which has the same additive as most internal combustion engine oils, which carries water and particulates thru the system unless equipped to remove them.
 

ramsay1

Titanium
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Location
port allen, louisiana usa
Hi all: I have found walmart bar and chain oil to be very good for way oil.. It is sae30 non detergent with an additive to make it tacky so it stays put... I use it exclusively in my 1943 LeBlond 15 inch trainer.. Was pretty cheap but probably still cheaper than way oil... Cheers from Louisiana; Ramsay 1:)
 

Joe Michaels

Diamond
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Location
Shandaken, NY, USA
JST:

Oy ! Weh ist Mir ! Sounds quite familiar...

In answer to the OP: "HD" hydraulic oil is likely an ISO 68 oil. This is about a 30 weight oil. Hydraulic oil, in its most basic form, is a mineral based oil with anti foam and corrosion inhibitors. By designation, the basic hydraulic oils fall under an ancient designation of "DTE"- Dynamo, Turbine, Engine. This designation predates the automobile and SAE, let alone ISO ratings for oil viscosity. The old DTE designations for oil 'weights' were: "Light", "Medium", "Heavy-Medium", and "Heavy". Possibly, the OP is looking at a hydraulic oil that would be a DTE "Heavy".

Way Oil has "tackifiers" in it so it will cling to sliding surfaces. The way oil has a high film strength, and is what is needed to maintain an oil film between the carriage saddle and the bedways. On a light duty/small capacity lathe used in a home shop, the ISO 68 hydraulic oil could be used in the carriage and on the sliding surfaces. The "pump" in the carriage that the OP mentions is not intended to lift the carriage saddle to get an oil film established. Usually, the oil pump in the apron of a lathe will dispense the oil into grooves in the carriage 'wings', and the oil then flows onto the bedways and is spread by the movement of the carriage. A thin bodied oil on a lathe doing any kind of heavy work (which is most lathes) will not provide adequate lubrication of the bedways and carriage saddle. In addition, if coolant is used, a light oil will be diluted or washed off the bedways. Way lubes are formulated with tackifiers and heavier body for good reason.

The OP mentions 'fine chips' sticking to the ways if a way lube were to be used. Chips are sizeable, and not likely to be stuck in way lube. If something like lathe filing, or taking a roughing cut on some scaly cast iron or a forging is being done, fine particulate will be coming off the work and onto the lathe bed and cross slide. It is good practice to protect the bedways when this sort of grit or fine chips from mill scale is going to happen. A piece of canvas, cardboard, or whatever is at hand does the trick and catches the fine stuff.

I've taken cuts as fine as 0.001" or a little under (as a spring cut to finish work to dimension). The chips are almost invisible, more like a fine powder deposit on the tool bit. This sort of chip just drops off the toolbit and down between the bedways. It may land on one of the 'girths' (cast bracing between the sides of the lathe bed), or it may land in the chip pan. Get into any kind of a cut, and the chips is going to be heavy enough that it won't 'stick in the way lube'.

Get into some heavier cuts or threading steel on a lathe and the sulphur/lard based cutting oil gets used. Even on a small lathe, cutting oil gets put on with a brush or pump oil can rather than from a circulating coolant system.Get to machining aluminum, and something like kerosene or penetrating oil gets used copiously. If the lathe bed were lubed with hydraulic oil, it would be diluted and thinned to the point of doing little, if any, good, if it were not washed away altogether.

There are many good reasons, well founded in experience over many years, that have resulted in certain types of lubricants being formulated for specific applications. While some old machine tools are so old that no information from the manufacturers exists, there is a wealth of experience and knowledge on the part of the members of this 'board, as well as from lubricant manufacturers. Hydraulic Oils are generally good for plain bearings and gearing running in an oil bath or lubricated by some circulating system. Hydraulic oils see service in tractor trans-axles where they lubricate gearing as well as circulating thru the tractor hydraulic system. However, hydraulic oils just do not have the body or film strength to be used as a way lubricant. I get caught short for way lube, and will use chainsaw 'bar and chain lube' which is about like a light way lube. Bar and Chain lube has the tackifiers and body, and is designed to stay in place in the groove and lands of a chainsaw bar and lube the chain. Sticky, for sure. But, I am not running production work nor are my machine tools in my home shop 'heavy duty".
 

johansen

Stainless
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Location
silverdale wa
Hi all: I have found walmart bar and chain oil to be very good for way oil.. It is sae30 non detergent with an additive to make it tacky so it stays put... I use it exclusively in my 1943 LeBlond 15 inch trainer.. Was pretty cheap but probably still cheaper than way oil... Cheers from Louisiana; Ramsay 1:)
My singular experience with that was it's no good.

Application was a 60 pound sled riding on Formica strips half inch wide and 6 inches long, 4 of them. Oil groves were ground in them. (Diy surface grinder I manually pushed back and forth.)

GL4 rated 90w gear oil (which is actually about the same viscosity as 30w motor oil).. held up longer needing less frequent application and was far less friction than bar and chain oil.
 

Froneck

Titanium
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Location
McClure, PA 17059
Yes I know Hydraulic comes in 2 basic flavors but the gallon I purchased has Heavy Duty Hydraulic Oil on the label. As to chips sticking to oil, yes but they stick less to oil that don't adhere to the ways as Way oil does.
 

scsmith42

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 28, 2020
Location
New Hill, NC
JST:

Oy ! Weh ist Mir ! Sounds quite familiar...

In answer to the OP: "HD" hydraulic oil is likely an ISO 68 oil. This is about a 30 weight oil. Hydraulic oil, in its most basic form, is a mineral based oil with anti foam and corrosion inhibitors. By designation, the basic hydraulic oils fall under an ancient designation of "DTE"- Dynamo, Turbine, Engine. This designation predates the automobile and SAE, let alone ISO ratings for oil viscosity. The old DTE designations for oil 'weights' were: "Light", "Medium", "Heavy-Medium", and "Heavy". Possibly, the OP is looking at a hydraulic oil that would be a DTE "Heavy".

Way Oil has "tackifiers" in it so it will cling to sliding surfaces. The way oil has a high film strength, and is what is needed to maintain an oil film between the carriage saddle and the bedways. On a light duty/small capacity lathe used in a home shop, the ISO 68 hydraulic oil could be used in the carriage and on the sliding surfaces. The "pump" in the carriage that the OP mentions is not intended to lift the carriage saddle to get an oil film established. Usually, the oil pump in the apron of a lathe will dispense the oil into grooves in the carriage 'wings', and the oil then flows onto the bedways and is spread by the movement of the carriage. A thin bodied oil on a lathe doing any kind of heavy work (which is most lathes) will not provide adequate lubrication of the bedways and carriage saddle. In addition, if coolant is used, a light oil will be diluted or washed off the bedways. Way lubes are formulated with tackifiers and heavier body for good reason.

The OP mentions 'fine chips' sticking to the ways if a way lube were to be used. Chips are sizeable, and not likely to be stuck in way lube. If something like lathe filing, or taking a roughing cut on some scaly cast iron or a forging is being done, fine particulate will be coming off the work and onto the lathe bed and cross slide. It is good practice to protect the bedways when this sort of grit or fine chips from mill scale is going to happen. A piece of canvas, cardboard, or whatever is at hand does the trick and catches the fine stuff.

I've taken cuts as fine as 0.001" or a little under (as a spring cut to finish work to dimension). The chips are almost invisible, more like a fine powder deposit on the tool bit. This sort of chip just drops off the toolbit and down between the bedways. It may land on one of the 'girths' (cast bracing between the sides of the lathe bed), or it may land in the chip pan. Get into any kind of a cut, and the chips is going to be heavy enough that it won't 'stick in the way lube'.

Get into some heavier cuts or threading steel on a lathe and the sulphur/lard based cutting oil gets used. Even on a small lathe, cutting oil gets put on with a brush or pump oil can rather than from a circulating coolant system.Get to machining aluminum, and something like kerosene or penetrating oil gets used copiously. If the lathe bed were lubed with hydraulic oil, it would be diluted and thinned to the point of doing little, if any, good, if it were not washed away altogether.

There are many good reasons, well founded in experience over many years, that have resulted in certain types of lubricants being formulated for specific applications. While some old machine tools are so old that no information from the manufacturers exists, there is a wealth of experience and knowledge on the part of the members of this 'board, as well as from lubricant manufacturers. Hydraulic Oils are generally good for plain bearings and gearing running in an oil bath or lubricated by some circulating system. Hydraulic oils see service in tractor trans-axles where they lubricate gearing as well as circulating thru the tractor hydraulic system. However, hydraulic oils just do not have the body or film strength to be used as a way lubricant. I get caught short for way lube, and will use chainsaw 'bar and chain lube' which is about like a light way lube. Bar and Chain lube has the tackifiers and body, and is designed to stay in place in the groove and lands of a chainsaw bar and lube the chain. Sticky, for sure. But, I am not running production work nor are my machine tools in my home shop 'heavy duty".
What an excellent post! Thanks much for sharing your knowledge.
 

dundeeshopnut

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
I use hydraulic oil mixed with about 20% of good ol' STP. Works very well. Also stays a long time on open gearing. Figure if it can keep new engine parts [most notably camshaft lobes/lifters] from destroying one another at a couple thousand rpms during break in, it can surely hold up a slow moving lathe carriage.
 

John Garner

Titanium
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Location
south SF Bay area, California
As a point of trivia, the late Robert "Teenut" Bastow regarded way oil to be suited only to modern machines with automatic lubrication and efficient way wipers and shielding to keep chips out of the ways.

I did, and still do, regard Robert Bastow as a British Empire edition of Forrest Addy, and don't dismiss either one's opinions on machine-and-machinist matters lightly..
 

JST

Diamond
Joined
Jun 16, 2001
Location
St Louis
Works OK on everything I have, none of which has the oil pumps, but all of which has good wipers.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
IMO, 68 hydraulic fluid and Vactra 2 are pretty much the same damn thing.

Mobil took all the tackifiers out of Vactra 2 in the late 80's. Totally changed the formula. They introduced the Vacuoline oils which are actually the old Vactra oils.

I have a shitload of way oil so that's what I use, but if I ran out and couldn't find any at a reasonable cost I would run 68 hydraulic without worrying much.
 

Joe Michaels

Diamond
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Location
Shandaken, NY, USA
Another source of 'tackifiers' is 'Lucas Oil Extender'. This will not hurt 'yellow metal' parts, and has the film strength. When I do not have bar & chain lube on hand, I mix Lucas Oil Exteder with ISO 46 or ISO 68 hydraulic oil. I run it in the aprons of my lathes as well as in the "Bijur" lubricator on my Bridgeport.
 

johansen

Stainless
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Location
silverdale wa
Mobil took all the tackifiers out of Vactra 2 in the late 80's. Totally changed the formula. They introduced the Vacuoline oils which are actually the old Vactra oils.
That is earlier than I last remember reading here, but I can tell you from experience that it's not hard to tell the difference with your fingers, huge difference between a straight oil versus one full of tackifiers vs one that is designed to lose film strength and grab.. such as many ATF fluids.

For example Allison says you should use a certain oil in their transmissions, and they can last 750k miles or more, you can buy them for as low as 250$ on eBay, because they survive longer than the engine or garbage truck they came out of and are not in high demand.


A certain car company says their oil is compatible and they have softer clutch shifts on the same transmission. (Also different programming) They last half as many miles. I'm speaking vaguely as a friend of mine and I are putting an Allison 2450 in his dodge ram 4wd 2500 and I'm speaking from memory (it's his truck and he did all the research) and don't want to further fill the internet with bad info.
 

4GSR

Diamond
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Location
Victoria, Texas, USA
Add a can of STP oil treatment to a gallon or two of ISO 46, makes a good way oil for smaller machines and bar oil, too. STP is mostly tackifiers used to thicken oil for engine use.
 

aboole71

Plastic
Joined
Nov 29, 2022
Location
paris
Way Oil has "tackifiers" in it so it will cling to sliding surfaces. The way oil has a high film strength, and is what is needed to maintain an oil film between the carriage saddle and the bedways
 








 
Top