Lathe LUBE advice needed

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Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:06 am
Location: Kelowna, British Columbia

Lathe LUBE advice needed

Post by wally318 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:24 pm

Where I work we have a lathe with a name plate that say LANCE.
Although all the control knobs say Zubal on them. I can't find anything
on the web about this lathe except a few that were listed for sale.
And they all have the name Zubal on them.
The lathe is made in Spain in the 50's or 60's maybe the Lance name was for USA imports?
We inherited the lathe when our company bought a speaker making company
from back east in the states and brought it up here to BC Canada.
If anyone has seen the 10 part series on the Vietnam war, they are the speakers
the the Americans had on their Hueys that you saw when they were unloading them from ships.
I beleive they and the speakers used in the military compounds like on Mash are the same.
I was told the company made their money during the wars and by the time we bought the
speaker end of it, that was about all that was left, except for a lot of idle equipment.
We make the same speakers today but with updated chasis and electronics for use
on helicoptors.

The lathe has led a very easy life. Turning down aluminum speaker bells and
turning bakelit drivers. And the odd maintenance job and making jigs/tooling.
You can tell. The V ways the carriage rides on show no wear.

I've worked here going on year 18 and have never seen the headstock oil changed.
A few years ago I had the cover off to inspect the oil, it was a bit on the low side, but
with the cover off looked to be splashing oil in all the right places.
Just recently I noticed that what I thought was oil in the sight glass was realy only a shadow
of dried oil. I was thinking its high time to get the cover off/drain the old oil/inspect and refill
with new oil. What I do remember from when I had the cover off was that the oil in there
seemed to be reddish in colour and smelled like ATF/oil.
Barring not having a manual-I did find a manual online for a slightly older version of the same lathe
but all it had was where to oil/grease but not the recommended type to be used.
So my question would be what would be a generic/average oil recommendation for the headstock?
The lathe is a 14" x 40 with speeds 56-1600 rpm.
The headstock only has back gears with a pair of 3 step pulleys outboard.

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Re: Lathe LUBE advice needed

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:51 am

Mobil's Vactra machine oil is a good choice that is readily available. That's what I used with my lathe.
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Re: Lathe LUBE advice needed

Post by shootnride » Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:43 am

Mobil DTE series oils are a popular lubricant for lathes. I have a 14 x 40 lathe with a very similar range of speeds and the manufacturer recommends an ISO 46 grade oil for the headstock. I use Mobil DTE 25 in my lathe which meets the requirement. ... bil-dte-25

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Re: Lathe LUBE advice needed

Post by TimTheGrim » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:25 pm

I second the Mobil DTE series. My ENCO 13/40 specifically recommends DTE Light for the spindle box / gear head. The two most used lubricant oils in the refinery units I worked were DTE Light and DTE Heavy Medium. We used to go through 55 gal drums on a regular basis in our daily routines.
The local distributor also sold plastic 5 gallon pails of the named DTE oils. I have one of those in Light for my lathe. I also use that for my clone BP type mill head. ... med-series
Illigitimi non Carborundum
'96 Birmingham mill, Enco 13x40 GH and Craftsman 6x18 lathes, Reid 2C surface grinder. Duro Bandsaw and lots of tooling from 30+ years in the machining trades and 15+ years in refinery units. Now retired

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