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From: Robert Bastow <>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Way Oil..The Kiss of Death!
Date: Tue, 02 Feb 1999 16:45:05 GMT

Kevin Pinkerton wrote:

>  I just got a quart sample of the ISO 68 (medium weight) Syn Way oil
>  from Royal Purple. It acts very tacky and leaves strings between the
>  fingers (like I would expect it to) very similar to the way Chain Saw
>  Bar oil does.

Personally I am very leery of "Way Oil"..Especially on home shop type machines.

Understand that this stuff is developed and formulated for Industrial
machines, working under arduous, heavily loaded conditions THAT ARE

By that I mean that their ways are as fully protected from chips, scale
and dust as mechanical design and layout.

Secondly, they use way protectors and wipers that cost more to replace
than most of us would consider paying for a complete work shop of

Thirdly they are used with timed or constant flow lube systems designed to
flush, filter and recirculate way oil constantly.

Lastly, those machines, expensive as they are, after a short life of
careful, scheduled maintenance, the final analysis...DISPOSABLE!!
Like your hard earned machines RIGHT??

In other words..every thing is done to prevent contamination of the
lube..and prevent that contaminated lube from being carried UNDER the way
wipers and into the (Expensive) guts of the machine.

Now consider your precious HS Mill or Lathe.

Sure, especially on a mill, the ways are out of sight and SOMEWHAT
protected from flying debris.  But, remember the last job you did on cast
iron..Or scaly, hot rolled steel? Boy how the dust flew..took weeks to
rid the shop of it didn't it?

Well I got bad news for you...some of it is still there, trapped in that
lovely sticky, flypaper-like WAY OIL that does such a good job of
sticking to your ways EVEN WHEN those half-assed, half worn wipers pass
over it..thats what its supposed to do RIGHT??

Wrong,  That sticky paste is the reason machine tool rebuilders have a
business..that and the people who use an air gun to "clean down" their
machines.  (A whole other subject!!)

So what should the HSM use?  what do *I* use?

SCRUPULOUS CLEANLINESS..I wipe the ways on my lathe EVERY time I traverse
the saddle any distance and RE-OIL with a squirt of 10W MOTOR OIL...Yeah
the stuff with DETERGENTS in it!!  Why? Because I WANT all that sh*t held
in suspension and flushed out where I can wipe it off in a couple of
minutes.  How do I know my ways get lubed UNDER the carriage?  Because
the stuff gets past the rinky-dink wipers that, even I, only replace once
or twice a year.

Controversial?  Obsessive/compulsive? Not if you value, enjoy and
respect, the knife edge precision I have slowly built up in my
machinery.. I have reground, rescraped and rebuilt MY kit, for the last
time in MY lifetime!

I have no place for "way oil" in my shop!!

Robert Bastow..With asbestos knickers in place!!  8^)

From: Robert Bastow <>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Way Oil..The Kiss of Death!
Date: Tue, 02 Feb 1999 14:25:43 GMT

Doug White wrote:
>  If you think you have a
> better answer, you are welcome to your opinion.  I'll stick with what the
> pros do.

I AM A PRO  Doug!!

Six year apprenticeship in the Machine tool building industry as as
toolmaker/machinist/machine builder.

Service/ Commissioning engineer for ALFRED HERBERT..At one time the LARGEST
machine tool builders in the WORLD... Ever heard of them? or DeVlieg or
Churchill, Broadbent, Coventry Dieworks..all part of Herberts

Thirty seven years in the Industry,

Managed three different LARGE custom/jobbing machine/Tool and die shops.

Owned Two (smaller thank God) machine shops of my own.

Model Engineer and HSM for forty plus years.

I have seen inside, pulled to pieces,  sweated over, wept over,crawled in and
crawled over, bought and sold, rescued, rebuilt and scrapped more machine tools
that your Hardinge "Operators" have had hot dinners.  I know what I know and I
am glad I am not paying for their ignorance.

But to return to my post....and please re-read it Doug before going off half
cocked again..

I simply stated for the reasons I set out..that "way oil" has no place in MY

It doesn't now and, until I choose to buy the kind of equipment for which it is


Robert Bastow

Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: What's wrong with way oil?
From: Robert Bastow <>
Date: Wed, 03 Feb 1999 08:33:08 GMT

Thanks for you polite posting Jim.

It deserves a polite response.

I think (obviously) a lot of people are missing the whole crux of my
viewpoint..the use of way oil in the HOME SHOP and particularly in MY SHOP.

I am well aware as I have stated several times, of the properties, purposes and
uses of way-oil..especially in industry and especially in machines designed to
use it.  Our late lamented and dear departed recent snide-sniper made a fuss
about Stick-slip.

I was doing stick slip research on early, hardwired NC machine tools thirty
years ago.  It is a major problem with machine tools that can be and often are,
programmed to move tons of weight by steps of a tenth of a thou.

But on a Bridgeport mill or a South bend lathe..I doubt you could detect
it..neaver mind measure it.  My research was done on forty ton BROADBENT Oil
Country Lathe..30 inches THROUGH the headstock.  I found those skinny little
slip-sticks pretty elusive!!

It is STICKY to stay on vertical surfaces and to maintain a film under EXTREME

ADMIRABLE!!  But my Maximat Super II don't have non o' they
vermiculite...vermita..that wot you said, faces.  And Bridgeports sure don't
exert the kind of unit surface pressures he is talking about.

But you touched on the down side Jim.  Dust! it isn't chips that wreck machines
it is the constant lapping away of vital metal surfaces by entrapped abrasive
DUST particles.  I have "Opened up" countless, ruined machine slides and never
found chips..they're too big to get in there.

What I do find is a dark brown, abrasive, GUNK,  that results from a mixture of
way oil, rancid residue from soluble cutting oils (Won't use them
there) plus Iron Oxide!

Iron Oxide? know...Rust..Caused by soluble oils, the scale off hot
rolled steel, the skin off iron castings and that batch of rusty pipe fittings
you machined last year.

Anyone know another name for Iron oxide..ground very fine?..did I hear 
"Jewellers Rouge"? thats is a helluva good abrasive,

Now, Jim, I want to machine some hot rolled steel today.

Clean the machine down, wipe the ways clean and apply a fresh coating of that
nice gentleman's thick, gooey, sticky, extreme pressure, Way-Oil on all the ways
we can find.  Ain't gonna be no starved bearig surfaces or those invidious
little stick-slips aroun my lathe Jim.

Wow this stuff is really tenacious..see how even those new wipers can't scrape
it off the bedways..they just ride right over it and leave a nice thin film to
go ALL the way under the slides.

Let's cut metal Jim, I love machining that good hot rolled stuff..lots easier
than cold rolled. My only beef is that reddish dust that comes off it. I wonder
what it is?

OK stay with me on this one Jim..where is that dust going?  Yeh, right all over
the place...but some of it falls on that nice film of sticky oil that is
protecting our bed ways.  Then the wipers will wipe it off so it doesn't get
into the slides?   NOoo this stuff is designed to be almost unwipeable..

So the dusty oil goes into the slides and then you clean it out?..

NO..once those tiny but sharp and hard little boogers get in cant get
at them.  Anyway, they just love to snuggle up between those smooth steel and
iron surfaces and just kinda burrow in there.

Isn't that kinda like a LAP??  

Sure is Jim!!  

Hey why don't we go and do this stuff on Your lathe Jim?

Drop dead Robert!!

Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Bison chuck service?
From: Robert Bastow <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 17:03:52 GMT

3 and 4 jaw chucks catch a lot of S**t!! They are also one of the easiest lathe
bits to pull down, clean and reassemble.  

I strip and clean mine regularly, ALWAYS after a session with the tool post
grinder, cast iron, or even emory cloth!

I reassemble and lube with graphite..I don't want grit to stick in there and
form a lapping paste.

The reward is in the retention of that crisp accuracy you expect from a new

Robert Bastow

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