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Recommended lubricant for a lathe


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I just got an old logan lathe. when I opened up the headstock the grease was all nasty and dried up, my first thought was to wash it out with gas and put new grease in, is this the way to go about it or not?

Also what should I use for grease? The only way to grease it is through a grease zerk( unless you take it a part like I did) but it also has a oil drain plug on the side.

Thanks in advance,
mike W.

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Better get some real specific information on that one. I would think a logan would use oil, and it sounds like someone put in those zerks. I could be wrong, but if it is supposed to have oil, and you give it grease, it will not be properly lubed. Maybe someone knows about a Logan users group or something.

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I would use OIL on every spot you can see a lube orifice use Oil, grease will clog up and pick up swarf which will damag beds cross slides tailstock. I say OIL
Hope this helps Tool Maker from OZ ;)

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If you do a web search I'm sure you can find a lathe or machine tool forum with folk who will be happy to tell you exactly what you need for your new lathe.

I've never seen a lathe with zerks but there are a LOT of lathes I haven't seen.

Frosty

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Here’s a pic, just be glad you cant smell it :D

DSC02179-1.jpg

I heard to try cleaning it out with kerosine but all I have on hand is mineral spirits and acetone can I use ether of those?

Also for now I’m going to use 10W30 oil till I hear something else

Edited by Willman
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Here’s a pic, just be glad you cant smell it :D

DSC02179-1.jpg

I heard to try cleaning it out with kerosine but all I have on hand is mineral spirits and acetone can I use ether of those?

Also for now I’m going to use 10W30 oil till I hear something else



I have an old [40+ years] Logan 1875 10 " lathe
It was in good mech. shape when I got it , but like yours, it needed a lot of cleaning & lubrication.

First off, from all the lathe guys...forums... they say the same thing I learned in the tool room. Don't use DETERGENT [modern engine oils] they leave a sludge, they are meant for a running hot engine. The proper lube for the holes in the spindle[setscrews] is #10 spindle oil. If you must use an engine oil, you can get by with #10 or 20W NON-DETERGENT MOTOR OIL. If you must get it coated with something after cleaning and only have 30w OK but must be ND and ok for hot summer but won't lube the spindle bearings in cool 45 degree or less weather .
My Logan does have 1 zerk fitting on the back gear train...I just give it a shot or two with a good moly-lith. auto grease. you can use 30W ND oil on the gear train, leadscrew, in the apron, but the spindle would best be thinner oil. If you are doing a lot of work, and it is a good tight lathe and you want to keep it that way use "way lube" on the ways. It is a clear "sticky" oil that is much longer lasting under pressure.
If you have major rust, stuck chuck, back gear pin ect., like I did,,,use Blaster or Liq. wrench penetrating oil to free and lift rust. Diesel fuel it up later clean, then oil. Where you mentioned the oil drain plug... that is the apron reservoir. There are large cap screws on either side at the top of the apron. You remove either one to fill up the reservoir [only a pint or so] I would drain it, and if it is empty or sludgy, slosh some diesel in there, let it set a while and drain it.
I would look on E-bay for a Logan Manual. They are very expensive from the mfg. and can be found.
Yahoo has a Logan and South Bend lathe site...check it out...lots of good info. Edited by alfonso
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I have a Harrison lathe and Bridgeport mill that both came with zerks from the start but are intended for oil. The oil guns are simple linear action design but grease guns can be used with oil to as long as you take care not to lay it horizontal for storage. I'm not familiar with Logans but the headstock looks like oil bath to me.Lot's of info here

lathes.co.uk

Dick

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Ok, thanks everyone.
Alfonso, already cleaned out the apron it had no oil in it and was full of sawdust as it was used as a wood lathe in it previous life.
There is also a drain plug and a zerk on the headstock. There’s a zerk for the back gear too.

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  • 1 month later...

I ended up just cleaning it out and filling it with the lowest weight nd oil I had on hand, which I thought was ok because its been around 100 deg most days and the lathe doesn’t get much work. but as winter comes on I should start looking for something better, so thanks for reminding me.

Mike willman

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guy! This is my first post here!

I have a modern Chinese lathe and after much grief trying to find the 'right' oils I went to an engineering shop which runs a lot of machinery and they gave me a few litres of ISO46 hydraulic oil. Right on the can it says it is suitable for lightly loaded spur gear boxes which is a perfect description of a lathe gear box! You can buy hydraulic oils really cheap from farm supplies etc.

Older lathes have that do not have ball or roller bearings will need something different for their spindles depending on the bush or bearing types.

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