Well the milling machine is still not up and running. Right now I am still held up by tooling. I have been waiting about 6 weeks now for the supplier to get their stock in on some specifics I am looking for. I’m really not too worked up about the delay since I have more pressing projects that should get completed.
On Saturday night I was in the mood the get a quick project out of the way. I had made all the grease fitting mods to the X and Y tables at the beginning of the year but still had no method of actually injecting the lube. Awhile back someone had posted a link on a metal working forum that showed how to modify a standard type grease gun into a high pressure oil gun. I tried to find the posting so that I could give credit where credit is due however I failed at locating the source. The modification is really not that involved. You need to start with a standard type grease gun and basically gut the inside of the tube where the grease tube sits. It then needs to be sealed in such a way that it will become a sealed oil reservoir. The modification that was posted described how to make such a gun without the need for welding but what fun is that? The following is my version of the mod.
I visited my local automotive parts supplier and picked up a LuMax Deluxe LX-1112 grease gun for about 20 bucks. It was spec’d out at delivering 10000psi of pressure so I figured it’ll do the trick.
The idea was to simply seal the cartridge chamber. I took an old oil pan drain plug I had laying around, an old rusty suspension nut that had a shoulder on it, and a washer. I started by gutting the old cartridge. I cut the plunger shaft and got rid of the spring and the plunger. I mounted the cartridge tube onto the lathe and cut off the bottom.
The completed cartridge was given a few coats of high gloss black spray bomb to help hide the surgery. A few wraps of Teflon tape around the cartridge tube threads ensured that the oil would be sealed at the pump end. I got rid of the bleed screw in the pump body and replaced it with a 1/8” pipe plug.
With the gun complete and filled with fresh straight weight 30 motor oil it was time for a test drive. All the fittings on the mill took oil beautifully. I could see oil seep out all the ways. You can feel the pressure the pump creates as it forces oil into the tight clearances. When the cartridge requires an oil re-fill all I need to do is remove the drain plug and fill’r up. I was able to cross one more thing off my “to-do” list however, while spending time in the garage, I came up with 3 more items to add.