Gearbox Oil as lubrication for linear guides and ballscrews

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11 Mar 2021 16:32 #201829 by EragonPower
Hello, i'm building a cnc router using ball screws and linear guides and i was wondering if i could use gearbox oil(75W90 / 80W90) or engine oil (5W40 / 10W40 / 15W40). I know that gearbox oil is pretty aggressive on orings and seals as the engine one, but maybe is not so aggressive on linear guides and ball screws. Gearbox oil could be the right choice because of it's high viscosity and stickiness but i'm unsure of the agressiveness.

Anyone has an idea about compatibility?

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11 Mar 2021 17:03 #201832 by Michael
Why would you want to? The price is nearly the same for a gallon of way oil versus a gallon of motor oil. Don't use used oil either. These are precision ball bearing parts and if you want them to last and be accurate use the correct fluids.

Many systems will use Mobil Vactra No2 but read through the parts you have and see what they recommend. Some of the DIY linear guides actually recommend grease and only need to be greased every xx linear feet of travel, which may be even cheaper than an oil system.

This is the common lube used:
www.ebay.com/itm/1-gallon-Mobil-Vactra-N...p2057872.m2749.l2649
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11 Mar 2021 17:21 #201834 by tecno

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11 Mar 2021 18:01 #201843 by EragonPower
I thought about gearbox/engine oil because I have a lot of both, anyway, I have hiwin linear rails and ball screws. I'll read the datasheets for recommendations.

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11 Mar 2021 18:37 #201848 by tommylight
I use ATF oil while building the machines, then fill them with gearbox oil and forget about them. I am sure my customers will not oil them ever again, so at least they do have a head start due to stickiness mentioned above.
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11 Mar 2021 20:57 #201859 by rodw
Hiwin carriages should come with grease nipples.
Way oil or hydraulic oil is the oil to use I think if not greasable.

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11 Mar 2021 23:26 #201904 by machinedude
i would stick to a way oil they have additives referred as tackifiers to keep the oil from running off. i used grease at first but had problems with the grease not letting things roll and they slid instead causing problems. the cheap ball screws with the plastic ball returns did not like the sliding caused by grease in my case. Vactra way oil no, 2 and ISO grade 68 should be the same they are just different classification systems. Vactra no,2 is pretty common on the commercial machining centers.
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12 Mar 2021 07:26 #201932 by EragonPower
So, in the end gearbox oil is not so bad i would say. For now i'll use gearbox oil for building the machine, and upgrade to way oil in the next oiling or when a long project is ahead.

Thanks a lot guys

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12 Mar 2021 07:40 - 12 Mar 2021 07:48 #201934 by machinedude
i think SAE 9 is another alternative to the other way oils talked about here but don't hold me to that :) after looking at another chart 20W has the Equivalent Viscosity of ISO 68 and no. 2 way oil from a quick search.
Last edit: 12 Mar 2021 07:48 by machinedude. Reason: more information

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