I purchased a used saw 2yrs ago. I was told by the previous owner to
use any 30w oil in it (I haven’t used it yet - it’s been boxed up
since I bought it) Now I want to use it, but everything I read
doesn’t mention 30w oil. The previous owner didn’t have the manual or
any paperwork on the saw. All I know right now about the saw is it’s
made by contempo lapidary. Do you know where I can find a manual or
any info on this saw? & any info Re: oil used & where to get it
appreciated. Live in Calif (san diego cnty)
I purchased a used saw 2yrs ago. I was told by the previous owner to
Do you know where I can find a manual or any info on this saw? & any info Re: oil used & where to get it appreciated. Live in Calif (san diego cnty)
I do not know where you can find a manual. But most saws are built
pretty much the same. Parts can be found a lot of places, I have most
my luck at industrial bearing supply.
There are a lot of rock saw oils as well as ones which are water mix
and other combinations. If you use 30w oil, do not use engine oil,
use the non-detergent bulk type, you can get it in 1 to 55 gallon
drums, thinning can be done with Kerosene. I have predicated my usage
on the size of the blade. All of my small saws now use a water based
coolant and above 10 inch I use oil. On your rock saws, make sure you
have a lot of ventilation. You might not think much oil vapor is
coming off but there is.
If you have anymore questions you can contact me off-line if you
I think that you will find that 30W oil is much to heavy. Rio Grande
sells what they call “Rio Saw Lube”, #204-001, $18.45 per gallon in
their current catalog. This is described as a “light, oil-based
lubricant for hard-slabbing and general lapidary”.
I use Texaco Almag or Shell Pella. The Almag is sold by the drum. I
think you can buy Pella in a 5 gal. pail. Check local oil
distributors in the San Diego area. Do not use car antifreeze!
Its In The Works Studio
I purchased a used saw 2yrs ago. I was told by the previous owner to use any 30w oil in it
I have a lapidary saw, bought used. I don’t have a manual either.
Some stone cutters say you should use oil, but I learned with water,
and that’s what I use. I have a bottle of additive (I forget the
name and I’m not in the studio) that is intended for this purpose,
to prevent rust. I use it if I remember…
I put in just enough water to get good lubrication, and hope it
won’t cause problems before it evaporates. This may be bad for my
saw, but I’d rather ruin and replace it than turn any kind of oil
into an air-born mist that I will breathe and which will settle all
over my studio! I also don’t really want oil all over my stones.
So, right or wrong, that’s what I do… So far, so good!
I think that you will find that 30W oil is much to heavy. Rio Grande sells what they call "Rio Saw Lube", #204-001, $18.45 per gallon in their current catalog. This is described as a "light, oil-based lubricant for hard-slabbing and general lapidary".
Johnson brothers lapidary supply has perfected a water based coolant
that I believe can be used fo any size blade. They are in Southern
Some stone cutters say you should use oil, but I learned with water, and that's what I use. I have a bottle of additive (I forget the name and I'm not in the studio) that is intended for this purpose, to prevent rust. I use it if I remember...
There are several posts today on good oils to use - crystallite makes
one water additive, which is a wetting agent, basically. Oil is FAR
superior in a diamond saw, but there are two caveats: Most people
dislike using oil in trim saws because of the mess, and DON’T use oil
with porous stones, turquoise especially…
The saw blade manufacturer will be happy that you are using only
water, as it will decrease the life of the blade drastically, more
than 50%. There are quite a few non-toxic water soluble oils
designed to be used with saw blades, and they contain mist-killers,
too, so oil mist will not be a problem if you use them. I happen to
use LubeKool 4800, and have no problems with mist in any of my saws.
You can get it from Alpha Supply at alpha-supply.com or Kingsley
North, maybe even Rio or Stuller. Atremendous amount of heat can
build up at the interface of the saw and the material, because
diamond grinds, it does not cut. Water is a terrible coolant, but
once the water soluble oil is added, the heat is greatly diminished.
For materials like agate, straight oil, no water, is recommended, or
that blade will be ruined shortly.
You might try Kingsley North. They have a mineral oil that is
odorless and non toxic. You should still use in good ventilation or
at least a good dust mask, all of these saws give off a fine mist,
(even ones with covers) and the residue from the rocks can be bad
for you. Of course this holds true during the grinding and polishing.
Even the safe stuff can give you a nasty sinus infection.
John is right, Lillie, you need to buy a good cutting oil that is
designed for this type of work. Rockhounds gripe about the price of
the stuff, but it lasts a long time. You can filter it through
several layers of newspaper and recycle a lot of it. People try to
save money by using all sorts of different stuff…soybean oil (gums
it up), kerosene (too volitile), mineral oil…Now, the water
with the additive is good for a little trim saw where you are not
using a shield that goes over the top of your saw. But always drain
the water out of it when you are done, rust preventative additive or
no. There are was an overhead chop saw that I used that had been
altered to give an oil lubricant. Coughed the whole next day. On
something like that a mask and old clothes should definitely be used.
The oil will hang as a fine mist in the larger saws with a hood.
Always wait a few minutes after you turn off the saw before opening
the lid. Such saws are better used some other place than in your
jewelry bench room. I have seen statements that saws using oil
instead of water will last three times as long.
Rose Alene McArthur
For lapidary saw coolant I have used Chainsaw oil quite successfully
for many years in my trimsaw and slabsaw, chainsaw oil is specially
formulated as an anti spray oil and is a parrafin oil based solution,
it also keeps the machinery from rusting when left unused
for long terms. peace to all James Miller
In reference to the post about using chainsaw oil…
Ummm be careful, read the label, I think you are referring to oil
used to store the saw. Up here in Canuk land Chainsaw oil is a thick
Vegetable oil based lubricant used to lubricate the saw. Vegetable
based so that it is biodegradable and non polluting. It has been
several years that petroleum based chain saw oil has been outlawed
(In Quebec province at least, not sure about the rest of Canada.) I
would hate to think what it would do in a lapidary saw.
Some people on another lapidary list I belong to have tried
Vegetable oil for cutting and while some do show promise initially, 1
they don’t cool or lube as well as petrochemical based oils and they
also have a tendency to turn to a gummy varnish after a while that is
a major pain to remove. Also breathing Vegetable oil is no safer that
breathing petrochemical oil vapors.
Most small saws (up to 8 or 10 inches), used for trimming and light
cutting do well with water with a rust inhibitors added.
Larger saws or ones with auto feeds doing more cutting really want a
straight mineral oil with as few additives as possible. You also
have to realize that using oil means oil mist to a larger or smaller
degree. Any oil is dangerous to breathe. Some people say oh I use
food or pharmaceutical grade mineral oil that is used for a laxative
so it is safe…
Yeah well I’m not sure to laugh or cry at their ignorance… but
here try inhaling a martini (or other alcoholic drink of your choice)
and tell me that what is safe to swallow is safe to breathe…
If you are going to use a oil based lube and cut to any great
extent, either do it in a well ventilated area outside of your
regular studio, or set up proper ventilation for the oil fumes.
I have been reading the threads on this subject, and caught a few
people talking about different coolants for the different types of
rock, like porous turquoise, VS agates, i have quite a bit of
Chrysoprasse, Lemon and green and quite a bit of opal denderaitc,
Jasper Ocean, what are they cosidered? porus/water bearing?, what
should i be useing for them water or oil? anyone with info? on this.
know oils will stain some of these more delicate stones but which?
are safe and not.
You can cut turquois in an oil. But first you soak it in water for a
couple of days to completely saturate the porous areas. Clean it
immediately after sawing.
know oils will stain some of these more delicate stones but which? are safe and not.
Nearly all quartz based stones are safe to use with oil.
Chrysoprase, a cryptocrystalline quartz, is safe to use with oil.
Dendrites, such as moss agate I would use only water with as
sometimes the dendrites are crystal structures that form in a void,
if this is the case, the crystals will collapse leaving an ugly blob
if you use oil.
Ocean Jasper is also quartz based, it should be fine, the opal would
Turquoise would not be ok unless if was a very good solid material,
some of the cheaper less stable stuff would absorb the oil, the same
applies to chryscolla.
When using oil always wash your stones after cutting. I keep a
bucket of hot soapy water when I cut and as soon as the stone comes
off the blade it goes into the bucket to be cleaned, and I clean my
rough after cutting also. A lot of times I use a water cooled blade
just to cut down on the cleaning after cutting.
Oil will impair the ability of the dopping wax to adhere to your
stone if it is not cleaned well. I have used acetone to remove oil
For the stones you have listed, oil would be ok, but like all
things, keep a notebook of what you work with. A good example is
Amazonite, Colorado material will cut fine with oil and does not soak
into the stone, most of the Canadian amazonite I have worked with is
ok also, the Russian has pieces of mica imbedded into it and only
finishes well if water cut, any exposed mica will absorb the oil and
turn black, if water cut it will keep the shiny appearance and can
look quit attractive when finished.
May not have answered all your concerns, but just cut and keep a
record of the material, and clean after cutting whether water or oil,
water is easier none of the additives I have used have affected my
stones. Some stones will only cut well with oil, water does not cool
well enough to protect the blade.
Hope this helps.