What kind of spindle coolant fluid can I use if my machine may be subject to freezing temperatures?
I am moving my CNC machine out to my garage workshop. The shop is insulated, but I’ve still found it rather expensive to keep the it heated 24x7 when I only use it intermittently. So, I anticipate the temperature will drop well below freezing…
What is safe to use as both a coolant and antifreeze in my 2hp Chinese water cooled spindle?
Anti-Freeze is coolant. Being as it works in cars I imagine it would work for a spindle too. There are different kinds, and they all work a bit differently from each other. There’s many that swear by various kinds too. Me, I’m a Prestone man myself. There’s probably better stuff, but I’ve never needed it personally. One problem that you may run into if you heat up your workspace to work in is condensation as things cool down. There’s all kinds of schemes to deal with that. I’ve chatted with guys that said they literally had streams flowing in the middle of their workshops. One of the most effective moisture mitigation schemes I’ve ever heard of seems to be having a fan running. When air is moving it has a harder time condensing on cold metal surfaces. You can cover everything too. But then you’re forever taking off and putting covers back onto things. The guy with the stream in the middle of his workshop said he had an old fridge he kept in his shop with a light bulb inside it. He’d keep all of his delicate instrumentation in there. The stuff he couldn’t afford to have any rust on at all. Me, I use a lot of WD-40. I buy it in the gallon can and put it into a pump bottle. It’s more economical than buying aerosol cans. WD isn’t the absolute best rust inhibitor, but it’s damned good, that coupled with it’s low cost and ease of use makes it the best for me. The best I’ve heard is this stuff called Frog Lube. But it’s so expensive and such a pain in the ass to apply I’d never use it. So perhaps not the best in light of that after all?
Thanks Paul. Regular car antifreeze is a clear option. I was not sure though if it might have a negative effect on the inside tubing within my Chinese spindle and also the water pump. Have not heard one way or the other if anyone has successful used auto antifreeze for a CNC machines.
Agreed with your comments about the condensation issue too. Prior to insulating the shop, my equipment (table saw, drill press, hand tools, etc) all tended to gradually build a light coat of surface rust. I presume from the cycling condensation over time with the seasons. Now that I have insulated, I have small direct vent propane fireplace that I use to heat the shop when I am in it. As I think about it, that small fireplace burns cleanly but by definition is putting out water vapor… I thought by insulating, I might stop the rust issue - in fact that I might be adding to my problem.
I think you’re right about spraying down everything with WD40…
More important is to check out what the pump can take - some kinds of antifreeze may make your plastic impeller parts fragile. The inside of the spindle won’t be affected if you use an antifreeze designed for aluminium blocks (pink, as opposed to blue or green).
Don’t use WD-40 - it’s based on fish oil and will leave a tacky residue which attracts dust, goes hard and isn’t good for tools.
The ‘proper’ surface protectant is mineral oil (paraffin oil). A light wipe a couple of times a year - I live on the equator and average humidity here is over 85% every day - tools melt untreated
I’ve had regular car anti freeze in mine for 2 years, only problem I had was when I left the lid off and moths drowned in it! They blocked my pump.
@Mike_Thornbury Where’d you hear that WD-40 has fish oil in it? That’s an old wives tale. https://www.wd40.com/cool-stuff/myths-legends-fun-facts
@Paul_Frederick looked like I’ve been guilty of subscribing to internet rumour
Regardless of what’s in it, I find WD-40 to leave a sticky residue that is a dust and dirt magnet.
CRC-666 and ACF-50 used to be my go-to;s, but less easy to find CRC products snd impossible to find ACF in Asia.
@Mike_Thornbury your experience differs than mine. I regularly spray up all of my tools with WD-40 and I’ve yet to have a sticky problem with any of them. That includes hand planes, pliers, screwdrivers, knives, wrenches, drill bits, machinery, you name it, if it can rust I spray it up. The only thing I don’t use WD-40 on is my table saw table. That I wax. But it can rust up on me a bit sometimes too.
Possibly a difference in US formula from that in the rest of the world.
I’m not talking ‘tacky’, I mean that something like an an electrical switch sprayed with WD builds up crud and needs cleaning if you don’t want electrical breakdown, where if I clean it with contact cleaner and then a dab of dielectric grease I don’t get a problem.
For tool protectant, I use mineral oil, which according to your link is one of the main constituents of WD.
It’s been used for more than a hundred years as a tool protectant and is the recommended protectant for such things as hand planes, etc from the manufacturers.
@Mike_Thornbury while there is mineral oil in WD-40 that is not all it is. There is thinner in paint, but that doesn’t mean you can paint with just thinner and achieve the same results. It is called a carrier. But hey if you’re happy with the performance you’re getting out of straight mineral oil then go for it.
Me I’m sticking with the number one male perfume on the market, WD-40!
Old thread but, just in case someone comes along and thinks that this “number one male perfume” comment speaks on behalf of a consensus here in the US, nope. WD40 is effectively overly-hyped, low-end trash that’s only good for destroying metals when derps decide to use it as a lubricant or corrosion resist.
It attracts silicates like Libertarians collect ex’s and for the same reason: failure to perform as advertised in a competitive market. Go bathe in it if you want to but don’t imply it belongs anywhere near tools / electronics / anything even remotely of value.
This topic is from Google+ and was imported here when Google took the axe to Google+.
I can’t imagine using WD-40 as a spindle coolant. It’s definitely not a lubricant. However, there are a lot of hobby machinists who find that it’s useful as a cutting fluid for aluminum machining when they don’t want the mess of flood coolant.
Are you saying that it actively attacks metals, or that it is neither a lubricant nor a corrosion protection product and that using it as such fails to protect them?
OMG I have seen way too many use WD-40 as a lube or protector and it blows me away. One guy who I lent my Mt bike to and owns and operates 4 back hoes, cleaned and “lubed” my bike with WD-40 and that included the crank, steering head and my wheel bearings. I had to totally disassemble the bike, clean everything and grease it back up. He NEVER borrowed my bike again.
I’ve found far better penetrating oils in these forums and actual lubes here too. But if I get a tool wet and I can’t get it wiped or into a warm spot I will shoot it with WD-40 before following with a lube in the next day or two.
I have used Prestone Green Anit-Freeze for about a year and it has stopped up my strainer and 3 HP Spindle Motor with a type of slime substance. The strainer was completely covered and I can not get any flow or blow air through the spindle motor. I used two gallons of Prestone Anti-Freeze and four gallons of water.
Not sure at this point what to use but I don’t want the motor to freeze and can not use the green anti-freeze.
You could try RV antifreeze which is propylene glycol without all the additives used in car antifreeze.