Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?
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  1. #1
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    Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    When milling mild steel I use tapping oil (flux brush it on)and it works fine ,someone told me to use 10W motor oil which I tried, wasn't nearly as good but it worked, I was also told that I could use the cheaper "thread cut oil".I have never use that type.

    My small mill is not setup to be used with coolants so I'm stuck using oils, I'm about to order a small 4 ounce can of "Tap Magic" tapping oil ,for the same price I can get a gallon of thread cutting oil.
    What do you use ?
    Ken from ontario,Canada.

  2. #2
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    the machinist at work uses water soluble oil from my horizontal band saw when using the bridgeport.
    i.u.o.e. # 15
    queens, ny and sunny fla

  3. #3
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    I like dark cutting oil when using a brush. It cuts steel well. A gallon will (should) last a lifetime. I think the biggest difference is the cutting oil contains sulphur and chlorine. Sulfonated and chlorinated oil have been largely replaced in industry due to environmental pressure, which is why most tapping fluids state sulphur and chlorine free.
    Last edited by forhire; 01-08-2017 at 07:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    I've read that sulfonated and Chlorinated oils are still prefered by the older machinists for producing better/cleaner cuts but they complained about the smell .I can get a Gallon of Greenlee dark thread cutting oil but it's about $150/Gal. that'll last me 3 lifetimes.lol.
    Ken from ontario,Canada.

  5. #5
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by docwelder View Post
    the machinist at work uses water soluble oil from my horizontal band saw when using the bridgeport.
    yep, i use one of them 20oz plastic coke bottles w/ hole poked in the cap to squirt soluable oil/wate,r for on the road. as long as you got air comp, you can set it w/ a magnetic mister for a hundred bucks, and a gal of kool-mist concentrate will last forever
    Last edited by 123weld; 01-08-2017 at 10:12 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    I use chain saw bar oil with a flux brush. Use it on the lathe & mill. Smokes a bit, but it works. Use it on the drill press & hand drill when drilling a bunch of holes.
    Mark
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  7. #7
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    The Greenlee dark oil is about $40-$50./gal here. Rigid dark oil is about $20-$30/gal. Some types are not kind to brass.

    Do not use motor oil if you can avoid it. If you just want to keep the cutter cool, make a strong solution of washing soda in water. The soda reduces flash rusting.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by distrbd View Post
    When milling mild steel I use tapping oil (flux brush it on)and it works fine ,someone told me to use 10W motor oil which I tried, wasn't nearly as good but it worked, I was also told that I could use the cheaper "thread cut oil".I have never use that type.

    My small mill is not setup to be used with coolants so I'm stuck using oils, I'm about to order a small 4 ounce can of "Tap Magic" tapping oil ,for the same price I can get a gallon of thread cutting oil.
    What do you use ?
    .
    .
    some people use regular oil as it keep machine from rusting and it is easier to clean. many tapping fluids are thick and sticky and made to not wash away easily. i have used some thick like honey and made to not wash off even if coolant hitting it for 5 minutes
    .
    if you like to easily clean table so you can put part down on clean table within less than .001" then what you use or put on the table becomes important

  9. #9
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    Are all the thread cutting oils available, thicker than Magic tap? I don't think I'll ever machine anything harder than mild steel,a thin tapping oil is probably my best bet, something like Magic Tap.
    Ken from ontario,Canada.

  10. #10
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    Reminton spray gun oil.


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  11. #11
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?


  12. #12
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    Thanks for the links, can't get Enco where I live but the Kool tap by CRC is available.
    Thank you all for your comments.
    Ken from ontario,Canada.

  13. #13
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    I use Oatey dark cutting fluid from Lowes on everything it works great on steel aluminum brass and is inexpensive:
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Oatey-Dark-...ng-Oil/4752939

  14. #14
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    When turning, tapping or milling aluminum I use Tap Magic. Easy cleanup and even smells decent.

    For steels I use a cutting oil with sulfur such as the Oatey product from lowes. Note: The Oatey thread cutting oil is in the plumbing section, not the tools section. I found it next to the PVC solvent/glue after 3 different employees told me they did not carry a threading oil.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    the title of the thread can be taken two diffebnt ways. tapping /trheading is one thing, and milling is another. tapping/threading is best done w/ oil i think. milling is best done by flood coolant or secondly mist, as it helps chips clear, and dont stick as much.
    Last edited by 123weld; 01-10-2017 at 03:54 AM.

  16. #16
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by 123weld View Post
    the title of the thread can be taken two diffebnt ways. tapping /trheading is one thing, and milling is another. tapping/threading is best done w/ oil i think. milling is best done by flood coolant or secondly mist, as it helps chips clear, and dont stick as much.
    Thanks 123weld.

    The small milling machine I'am using is not set up for coolant use unfortunately so whatever I use for machining it has get brushed on. that's why I was asking if there is a fluid I could use for both tapping and machining operations.so far Tap Magic seems to fit the bill, I don't yet know (just ordered a bottle) whether it'll smoke too much during machining but as long as it's not harmful,I can live with it.
    Ken from ontario,Canada.

  17. #17
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by distrbd View Post
    Thanks for the links, can't get Enco where I live but the Kool tap by CRC is available.
    Thank you all for your comments.
    Welcome

  18. #18
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    Tap magic is thin like water and doesn't smoke as much as oil. It has a cinnamon/ chemical smell not too bad. Don't buy small cans. It only cost $10 for 16oz with flip nozzle. There is a thick version of tap magic too. It's better for hard metals. For drilling holes I use a few drops of tap magic at a time. It goes a long way don't worry about the price. try them both and see which you prefer. Tap magic gives a clean thread instead of tearing the metal.

    https://www.amazon.com/10016E-EP-XTR...BDVBHF03CNY27W

    https://www.amazon.com/Cutting-Oil-1...ap+magic+thick
    Last edited by 69sa200; 01-10-2017 at 05:39 PM.

  19. #19
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by 69sa200 View Post
    Tap magic is thin like water and doesn't smoke as much as oil. It has a cinnamon/ chemical smell not too bad. Don't buy small cans. It only cost $10 for 16oz with flip nozzle. There is a thick version of tap magic too. It's better for hard metals. For drilling holes I use a few drops of tap magic at a time. It goes a long way don't worry about the price. try them both and see which you prefer. Tap magic gives a clean thread instead of tearing the metal.

    https://www.amazon.com/10016E-EP-XTR...BDVBHF03CNY27W

    https://www.amazon.com/Cutting-Oil-1...ap+magic+thick
    thanks for your help.
    I have already ordered a 16 oz bottle of tap magic but I'm really curious about the thicker type although I hardly use stainless steel, I bet it'll work like a charm with annular cutters,deming bits, or elnarging holes,etc.
    Ken from ontario,Canada.

  20. #20
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    well if you want something thick, i got some green paste i use for outa position drilling. anchor lube is what its called, it also goes by another name also, which i cant remeber right now. i also use it for drilling stainless, the stuff is better than it looks or sounds. it cleans up real easy, no smell, smoke, etc., and is environmental friendly. i think it's somewhat accepted to use around food plants and stuff. i cant remeber if i ever tried to mill anything w/ it. i bought a whole gal. from msc 12 yrs ago, and still have some . it only takes a wee bit. if you use to much, it makes the cutting edge to slippery on your workpiece, and you don't get a good bite. i like to drill a pilot hole, and fill the hole w/ anchor lube, then come behind it w/ big bit. it works good that way. i love the stuf actually. i bet if you smeared some on your part, it would cling, and keep your tool/cutter cool.

  21. #21
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    That looks like some interesting stuff. Would the water base lube rust the cast iron ways on my lathe? It would work great with a mag drill if it stays in place on a horizontal holes. Plus it doesn't smoke. I want some.

  22. #22
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    i dont think it would be an issue. you use so little that it kinda steams off, or reidue is left on chips, just enough to make the chips stick together. i've seen where others didn't clean the ways after using water w/ soluable oil, and it would get trapped under the carriage or tailstock for a couple weeks, and it kinda stains the cast ways, but i guess cast is so resistant to rust anyway, that i never really noticed any damage to the ways. it's got about the viscosity of tooth paste. not much water in it. if you squirt some out on the table under the sun, and come back the next day, it looks like a dried bird terd. when i drill stainless, sometime i'll even add a lil water to it and shake it, to thin it out so i can run down the flutes while drilling. only then you'll see some steam or boiling, and its amazing how cool just a lil bit will keep your hss cool. it's kinda expensive in lil bottles, so it was a much better deal to buy a whole gallon , and order a dozen of those empty little squirt bottles w/ the little red cap
    Last edited by 123weld; 01-11-2017 at 01:49 AM.

  23. #23
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    Re: Tapping oil vs thread cutting oil,,, which one to use for milling mild steel?

    Don't use a lubricating oil, it is made for surfaces to slide over each other and microscopically is like tiny balls between the two surfaces allowing the slide, cutting fluids are made for cutting and not lubricating. With aluminum you can use a lubricalt WD40

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