When do I need lubrication?


I’m wondering for what materials and material thickness I would need to apply lubrication and is the machine designed to handle getting wet with oil?

Des (waiting for Nomad in the UK)

Hi Des,

You can cut most materials dry—the only ones you are highly recommended to apply cutting oil for are metals, such as aluminum and brass. You can use coolant on other materials to improve cut, and I’ve used it with machining wax also so far, but I wouldn’t recommend it for wood, Renshape, or other porous materials as it will just soak into the chips and not be terribly useful, plus it’ll stain the part and make it more difficult to apply some finishes.

On big industrial wood routers they use refrigerated air to cool the tools because of this, rather than liquid coolants—which is pretty wild in my opinion!

You can get a soy-based cutting oil from www.bitsbits.com or potentially any tooling supplier there in the UK as well, and just apply it liberally on top of the stock before and during machining in aluminum and brass.

I use irrigation syringes with mine, like this one:
They work quite handily to get cutting oil in where you need it, and also for getting isopropyl alcohol down and under a part to get hot-glue to release when I’ve used that for fixturing.


Thanks Jonathan, very informative answer and very helpful.