Coolant for the Mill

Discussion on all milling machines vertical & horizontal, including but not limited to Bridgeports, Hardinge, South Bend, Clausing, Van Norman, including imports.

Moderators: Harold_V, GlennW

kroll
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:10 am

Coolant for the Mill

Post by kroll » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:30 pm

Guys I been watching lot of Youtubes on coolant or mist systems for the mill.Dang there is a lot of ideals out there some are store bought and others are home made.Some using the ventura method and others using a pressurize tank.So I was wondering what do you have for your mill or lathe or for both that you like?I am looking at the Noga coolant system which uses the ventura system that puts the coolant under a vacuum as the air moves to the nossle.Just looking for some ideals before pull the trigger on Noga system which is nice.

Harold_V
Posts: 17541
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:02 pm
Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: Coolant for the Mill

Post by Harold_V » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:41 am

I highly recommend you avoid ANY system that atomizes coolant. If you use it much at all, pretty much everything in your shop will get coated with a sticky layer of crap that attracts all manner of dirt, and unless you clean it up each time you use the unit, it won't be long before your entire shop is grimy. I used to run one and finally gave up on it for that reason. It also had a nasty quality of making the quill of my BP sticky, so it lost feel. Cleaning it with a chemical cleaner (like 409) would free it up, but that took time. I also didn't enjoy breathing the vapor.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

LIALLEGHENY
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:36 am
Location: Bohemia, NY

Re: Coolant for the Mill

Post by LIALLEGHENY » Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:49 am

Like Harold I don't recommend any system that atomizes coolant...except I did run a job machining 1/2" x 2" stainless bars (304) where it did work exceptionally well. The material which was sheared, had to have both edges faced. The coolant with constant air flow helped keep the cutter cool.

Nyle

Harold_V
Posts: 17541
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:02 pm
Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: Coolant for the Mill

Post by Harold_V » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:04 am

Yeah, they work great, if you can stand the mess.
I had to make a couple dozen washers from stainless (actually, they were the inner restraint for a gasketed filter press). I trepanned them from some 5/32" thick stainless, using a boring head and a hand ground tool, single point. They were about 3" in diameter. Had a dreadful time with tool breakage, so I did some research and landed on Boelube. It, too, is applied by spray, and creates a fog, but it solved the problem. I addressed the mist by running a vacuum cleaner that discharged out of doors through a permanent discharge tube in the shop wall. I still have the Boelube and dispenser, reserved for that special job where nothing else works.

Boelube is more like a thin oil, and does not resemble any of the water mixed cutting solutions. I'm not convinced a guy wants to breath that stuff.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

kroll
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:10 am

Re: Coolant for the Mill

Post by kroll » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:22 am

Dang I did not know or think about the mist all over my garage,thanks for the heads up.Any suggestions for a coolant system for the just for fun garage mill or maybe a home made type system?I watch lot of You tubes over last few days they are there by tons

mihit
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:04 pm

Re: Coolant for the Mill

Post by mihit » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:51 am

My experience running coolant is rather dated, but is there a good reason you can't run flood? Or dry?

Compressed air by itself may help, certainly it's less messy. What's the problem you're trying to solve?

kroll
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:10 am

Re: Coolant for the Mill

Post by kroll » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:23 pm

I'm new at this so have no experience at milling but I now have a mill wanting to learn.Been watching lots of You tubes about home made coolant systems and I guess store bought systems.Reason for coolant wanting to learn how to mill stainless steel and most say to use coolant which will help with longer tool life and better finish.I was just wanting the mist type and not flood but I see there is problems with the mist systems.Will also be milling aluminum for the most part and I have read to use WD40 for that so I guess just a squirt bottle will do.Flood may be the way to go,just have to find a plan for it something thats not fancy just works.
Not at the point right now cause still putting the mill back together was just thinking why not at system.

mihit
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:04 pm

Re: Coolant for the Mill

Post by mihit » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:22 pm

You could mist with plain water which will save you breathing nasties and as said by others, keep the rest of your shop un-slimy. Blast the tool so it's not subject to thermal shock, and clears chips. Your best (cleanest) bet is to feed hard, so the heat leaves the piece with the swarf/chips.
I ran flood when I was in production, the machines were in constant use so no chance of going rank, as it might if sitting in a home shop. Setup is pretty simple, catch tank, filters and pump.

I am intending to set up flood-oil on my big home lathe (belt driven so low speed) , it flings less has the benefit of lubing the machine at the same time.

For a noobie I would rank coolant as "nice to have" not essential..

Harold_V
Posts: 17541
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:02 pm
Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: Coolant for the Mill

Post by Harold_V » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:50 pm

Before making a choice to put flood coolant on a mill, you'd want to ensure that it is built accordingly. Flood is really effective, but it's also messy. And, if not used on a regular basis, it has the potential to stink. Simply circulating the coolant regularly will aerate it enough to limit, if not eliminate the stink.

Water soluble oil has a tendency to leave a machine feeling sticky. The synthetics less so. I refuse to use water soluble oils for that reason. Some folks don't agree, so there's not a right or wrong here---just what one prefers.

I read of the recommendation, above, to use plain water.

DON'T DO IT! You'll rust your machine. Using plain water would prove to be a disaster, as it gets everywhere and usually doesn't dry all that fast when in areas not open to good circulation. You run the risk of ruining a machine that way.

Machinists have used a small can and an acid brush to lubricate cuts as long as I've been in the shop, and that's what I highly recommend you consider. It's not as good as flood or mist, each of which will provide cooling, but it does promote a better finish, and does cool a little (evaporation). It's not as messy as either of the other choices, and can be used, or not, as required. I keep two cans at the ready. One of sulfur based cutting oil, the other of kerosene (or lightly contaminated, with oil, solvent---which I use for aluminum). If you have compressed air at your disposal, put a piece of scrap steel in your containers, so they don't get blown over with a small air blast.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

User avatar
BadDog
Posts: 4715
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 8:21 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Coolant for the Mill

Post by BadDog » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:31 pm

That's what I've done with the acid brush.

But in recent years I've started using lab wash down bottles. The kind with the bent straw sticking out of the top that work by simply squeezing to apply a stream sized by how much you cut off the tip. For lighter cutting fluids (WD40 and tapping fluids) I use a tiny pin hole that produces a stream that looks a lot like a sewing needle. Less mess than the brush. For heavy sulfur cutting oil, slightly larger. Easy to apply to a hole for drilling or tapping, along an edge for milling, or directly to a thread ahead of the cut without brush dripping or getting the bristles hung up in the work while actively machining. Unbelievably cheap, and unlike the inexpensive standard piston or inverted "canning" squirt bottles, no mechanical leaks ever. And without returning the brush to the mix, no contamination issues of any kind. I also use them for spindle oil and the like for direct application or filling the little pots. And acetone, and...

If you go that way, and you aren't actively using them for a matter of weeks or months, just remember to crack the seal when done because barometric pressure and (mainly) temp changes can cause it to self express over time.

I've also cut off an acid brush and fixed it on the wash down nozzle, but that proved too messy, though handy in some limited cases.
Russ
Master Floor Sweeper

User avatar
warmstrong1955
Posts: 3258
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Northern Nevada

Re: Coolant for the Mill

Post by warmstrong1955 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:19 pm

Oilers, squirt bottles, is what I use the most often. I have a couple of those wash down bottles too.
For steels, the cheapest cutting oil I can find on sale.
WD40 in hand spray bottles on aluminum. I like the adjustable kind. WD40 costs more than Kerosene, but like Johhny Bench says, "You wonnnnn't stink!".
For flood, I mix up some Kool mist fluid & water. No rust, no sticky residue. I did get some black tarnishing once, when I left the vise clamped to the table after a job for a couple weeks afterward. I always remove anything on the table after I use it now.
For mist, I also use Kool Mist/water, and a Kool Mist venturi sprayer. Again, no residue. Mist does have some advantages. One, it will cool & blow chips out of the way at the same time. It's also stingy on the fluid use. And it's not nearly as messy and cleanup intensive as flood. It doesn't however, work as well as flood for anything serious, like milling AR500 or AR550 wear plate.
If you do a large job using mist, you can also fog up the shop. I tend to use it for smaller jobs.

Bill
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

johnfreese
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:10 am

Re: Coolant for the Mill

Post by johnfreese » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:04 am

My lathe is set up for coolant. I don't use it regularly enough to keep the coolant from going septic. I usually cut steel and cast iron dry. For threading I use dark cutting oil. For aluminum I have a spray bottle with soluble oil.
On the mill I usually cut dry. On aluminum I use the spray bottle. If the job is long enough I might set up mist to clear chis and to lubricate. For drilling and tapping I use Rapid Tap.

Post Reply