Oil for Old Style C&P

For maintenance of an Old Style C&P, what type of oil is recommended? I have heard both 3 in 1 and 30-weight mentioned and I’m not sure which is best. I have the oiling diagram, but I’m also wondering how often the press should be oiled. After every use?

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There are some great discussions (quite lengthy, actually) about this if you get a chance to search the archives. Really good stuff.

Try 40 or 50 weight non detergent oil if available - detergent OK if that is all that is readily available. 50 weight probably better for an OS. Generally we oiled daily before use rather than after. As noted above there are good discussions. 3 in 1, WD40, etc. are good penetrating oils good for first time oiling after a press has set for a long time. Dick

3-in-1 oil is too thin, and expensive. I use straight 20-weight or straight 30-weight, but most anything would work. Like the previous poster said, if the press has been sitting unused for years, it might be wise to use something thin first, to flush the joints out. I’d use kerosene, then switch to oil. I know that some people use gooey differential oil, because it clings better. The main thing is to oil everything before each job.

I have moved to using Castrol Syntech oil, the ability to cling to the metal surface is superior so you don’t run a part dry if you miss an oiling. Most old presses should have a pretty heavy oil or it will just run right through. Except in the winter if your shop is cold run a lighter oil. Don’t use motor oils on electric motors (How can that be?) most motors take a very lightweight machine oil and heavier oils will expand with heat and actually slow the motor down.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it mentioned before - but I’ll put my vote in for way oil.

Named for its use on the slide ways of machine tools, it contains “wetting” agents / tackifiers (is that even a real word) that help it cling to cast & steel and resist squeeze-out (without being gummy).

I’ve been using Mobil’s Vactra (#4). I’ve got a good history with its use on machine tools built of the same basic materials as our presses (cast iron & steel) in similar high-pressure applications. I trust it to be a good choice to protect the longevity of my own press.

The only drawback I could site, is that you may have to buy a “large” quantity (though I think you can get it in a gallon size or so through MSC).

(read all about it - http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/GLXXENINDMOMobil_Vactra_Numbe...)