Cooling/lubrication on manual mills and lathes

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john_j
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Cooling/lubrication on manual mills and lathes

Post by john_j » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:37 pm

I'm curious about what the folks on this forum are using for cooling or lubrication during both manual milling and lathe operations. Initially, I was using cutting fluids dispensed by hand from squirt bottles. That has become troublesome for me, especially while milling. On heavy cuts, I have to stop frequently, blow the chips away, apply coolant, then start up again. I want to work in a more continuous mode than that. I have been playing with a small, TRICO misting system with TRI COOL water based coolant.
http://www.tricocorp.com/products/product.aspx?c=5

Results are pretty good so far based on milling aluminum with HSS tools. Kind of makes a mess though and the chips still pile up on heavy cuts, sometimes weld to the cutter and ruin the surface finish. So, I still have to stop periodically and blow away the chips. I don't want to have to stop when I am in the middle of a cut.

I'm wondering if a flood system would do a better job at cooling and removing the chips. On the other hand, I suppose a flood system makes an even bigger mess around the mill. I'm also concerned about the misting system because I'm inhaling a lot of that mist. Supposedly "non-toxic", but I doubt it is completely harmless. I also have concern about water soluble fluids causing my tools to rust.

Anyway, I'd like to hear about what you folks are doing and the suggestions you have about all this stuff.

Thanks.

Bill Shields

Coolant

Post by Bill Shields » Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:15 pm

I use an air spray / mist unit connected to a cat litter bucket full of water / juice.

Keeps my air compresser running, but the tools cool. Works well.

For smaller jobs on the lathe, a flux brush dispensing BUTTERCUT handles 90% of the chores.

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JimGlass
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Post by JimGlass » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:48 pm

John;

Here is a link to a discussion we had on coolant application systems.
http://www.practicalmachinist.com/ubb/u ... tml#000000

For the most part, I am doing the same thing you are for applying coolant. Just squirt some on the cutting tool as needed. If you are running production machining then you would need a coolant pump and a recovery system. If the coolant is not used often it turns "skunky" and sooner or later the coolant needs to be changed and disposed of properly.

Another option is a spray mister. They can create a fog in the air and knowone knows how safe the stuff is to be inhaling. You will also need an air compresor for a spray mister and they are not cheap to run.

Furthermore, coolant tends to be messy and not very friendly toward painted surfaces.

Jim
Tool & Die Maker/Electrician, Retired 2007

So much to learn and so little time.

www.outbackmachineshop.com

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Cpt Ordnance
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Location: Washington C.H., OH

Mill Drill Cooling System

Post by Cpt Ordnance » Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:30 pm

Mill Drill Cooling System

I had the same problem while working with my little Grizzly. I gathered some pieces and parts then assembled it. The pictures show what I did, and it works well. There is a problem while working on larger items that hang over the sides of the table because coolant runs over the edges; so I have to resort to the old “oil can” method. The project shown in the pictures is one such item.

Note that my return line empties into a plastic bottle tied to the upper edge of the tank. The bottle has holes drilled around the top, about a half-inch down from its top. That lets the chip-laden coolant to settle out. Chips fall to the bottom, and clear coolant flows out the top holes. I wrap my pump in a piece of panty hose for added filtering of dirty coolant.

The coolant I use mixes 13 oz. per gallon of water. My mixing tools, as you see, are quiet simple.

My control valve you might recognize as a toilet shutoff connected in line with a mixture of fittings from my plumbing “junk box.”

Hope this gives you some help. Never underestimate the power of flea markets, yard sales, and thrift stores.
Tom - AKA Cpt Ordnance





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Cpt Ordnance

john_j
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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Post by john_j » Mon Apr 30, 2007 1:31 pm

That's a pretty good system considering the low cost. Thanks for posting about it. I really liked your idea for trapping chips in the bottle with the holes. Very simple and low cost, but effective.

Over the weekend, I made some improvements to my mist cooling system. I'll try to snap a photo tonight and post it tomorrow.

John J

john_j
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Post by john_j » Tue May 01, 2007 11:32 am

Here are photos of the misting system I set up. I started with the Trico mister I mentioed at the start of this topic. I added an extra length of loc line positionable tubing and then mounted the system to my mill by drilling and tapping a hole in the head of my mill for a #10 screw. I also added a quick-coupler for the air hose and some elbows on the air line in order to orient the mister better. I like this set-up. It's always there-so if I need it, I just turn it on and start milling. If I don't need it, I bend the nozzle out of the way and shut off the valve. With the extra length of lock line tubing I added, I can adjust the nozzle to easily reach short of long tools and put the coolant right where I want it. The small knurled knob on the mister is a needle valve so I can get whatever flow rate I want or even turn it completely off. I was doing some relatively heavy cutting in steel and aluminum over the weekend, and it worked well. Cooled very well and also blew the chips away.
Attachments
mist nozzle2.jpg
mist nozzle.jpg

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BadDog
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Post by BadDog » Tue May 01, 2007 11:57 am

What want (and I hope to do soon) is set up a system like John's, with a shop vac connection on the opposite side. I haven't set anything up for misting yet, because I don't want the mess. For one, the mist itself settling on everything as well as breathing. And yes, I know it can be minimal by proper adjusting, but "minimal" is still "something". I also want to do this for chip control. My mill does a more than adequate job of flinging chips everywhere already, it doesn't need the extra boost from an air jet. So, combine a cooling mist/jet to direct chips toward the intake, with the vac to carry away the mess much more effectively than just sucking up chips from a few inches away, and it seems like a nice setup.
Russ
Master Floor Sweeper

john_j
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Post by john_j » Tue May 01, 2007 4:33 pm

The shop vac idea is interesting. My shop is small and crammed with equipment. I try to do woodworking too, so I have woodworking tools in my shop along with my mill and lathe, plus gas-mixing and boosting equipment for my technical diving pursuits. When I use the mill or lathe (especially the mill) it shoots metal and fluids all over the place. The shop vac idea might help with that. I've got a nice dust collector for woodworking, but I'm not going to put metal into that. What I really need is more space.

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BadDog
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Post by BadDog » Tue May 01, 2007 4:58 pm

john_j wrote:What I really need is more space.
Yeah, don't we all... :D
Russ
Master Floor Sweeper

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