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Author Topic: 55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?  (Read 1879 times)

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Offline George Jones

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55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?
« on: May 03, 2015, 09:05:33 AM »
Im spraying enough of this stuff around the forest that I would like to find a biodegradable alternative.  Seems like buying by the gallon is too expensive, anybody have a source for drums?  If I can keep it under $10/gal, I will make the switch. 

Offline teakwood

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Re: 55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2015, 09:36:19 AM »
You can use any vegetable oil. I use soya oil. it cost me 8$/gal. In europe they use rape oil, thats even alot cheaper but i cant buy that here. i use it for 3 years now, it works great.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: 55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2015, 09:38:11 AM »
Welcome to the Forum!

I think it would be hard to find "real" veggie bar oil that cheap, as the dinosaur based stuff is that expensive. I know some people run canola oil. Using veggie oils can have some issues, like spoilage. I haven't used it, but have used the Stihl stuff years ago. We had some trouble with burning bars using it.
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Offline thenorthman

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Re: 55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2015, 09:48:01 AM »
You can use any vegetable oil. I use soya oil. it cost me 8$/gal. In europe they use rape oil, thats even alot cheaper but i cant buy that here. i use it for 3 years now, it works great.

Rape seed is Canola... Just a more PC name for it...

Anyway I imagine any of the veg oils will work, probably try to avoid the Soy stuff though its kinda on the thin side.

It can get gummy if left to long though, it kind a dries out and hardens, then gets funky.

I would imagine you could get 5-55 gallon drums through a restaurant supply house or find some fryer oil?
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Offline teakwood

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Re: 55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2015, 09:55:29 AM »
you right northman!

It hardens out but if you use you saw every two month its no problem. I just use it on the small saws MS260 and it lubricates the bar just fine. I dont spend more chains or bars than with normal oil. The soy oil is a little thin but i dont have an other choice of oil. i rather spray around gallons of soy oil in my own plantations than normal oil.
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Offline furltech

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Re: 55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2015, 10:03:18 AM »
I once got a five gallon bucket of used cooking oil from a restaurant and tried it for bar oil in the saw ,just kept making me hungry after it heated up all i could smell was french fries.other then that semed to work ok  :D

Offline Puffergas

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Re: 55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2015, 07:02:58 PM »
This is the second year that I will be using canola oil in my bar tank. Canola is one of the more stable vegetable oils (oxidation). Seems to be good down to about 30f also. I also use it for engine oil for my small four cycle engine (6.5hp), experimental thing. Need to find some kind of forest plant that makes a good stable oil. Meadowfoam is about as good but that grows on the west coast, I think.

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Offline George Jones

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Re: 55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2015, 07:44:34 PM »
I'm not going to use straight veg oil, I dont think it is appropriate for heavy usage.  Friends who have experimented with straight veg have had negative experiences.  What I want is a veg-based bar oil, like Stihls BioPLus, although I assume having a name brand like that attached would be very expensive.  Ideally I hope to find a no-name, veg-based oil made to be used as a bar oil, with the necessary tacking additives, etc.  It seems like buying bulk would be the best way to keep cost down, but it is hard to find anyone who sells by the barrel.  I would even consider mixing up my own if I can find a recipe and a reliable supply for ingredients, and no special equipment is required. 


Offline Jhenderson

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Re: 55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2015, 08:58:49 PM »
I knew a guy a long time ago who mad his own bar oil. If I remember correctly he used sulphur  for tack agent.

Offline thenorthman

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Re: 55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2015, 09:53:19 PM »
come to think of it the screw machines at the machine shop use a veg based oil for cutting oil.

Its a little thin for bar oil use but we do get 55 gal drums of it...

If I can remember I'll ask around about getting a slightly thicker version of it.

Also sulfur is a common additive to cutting oils/lubricants, it adds more resistance to pressure (super heavy load its still slippy)its why they used to add it to diesel to lube the injection pump...

I would imagine that glycerin or even good ole starch would thicken it up a bit. Both are plant derived.


Maybe... big Maybe unflavored gelatin in small amounts would thicken oil? 

Remember I'm just a dumb machinist with delusions of being a dumb gypo...
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: 55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2015, 04:17:37 AM »
Here is a very good article on the subject: Biodegradable Lubricants

From what I read, veggie oils have some undesirable properties like oxidation and low cold flow that can be overcome with further processing or with additives. The problem is both further processing and/or additives adds to the already high cost and also make veggie oils more toxic and less biodegradable to the point they become just as toxic and resistant to being biodegradable as mineral oils.

Just as a point of reference, mineral oils (dino oils) are also biodegradable. They just take a bit longer to break down in the soil. The problem with the mineral oils is too high a concentration in the soil and the additives (and sludge in used oils) make the site of the high concentration toxic. But even the EPA suggests that unless you dump more than five gallons in one spot, you can assist the degradability by adding (mixing) some organic material like sawdust or wood chips.

So the mineral oil based bar oil that is spread out and mixed with wood chips is far less harmful to the environment than you think. Used motor oil with it's concentration of heavy metal sludge is a different story.
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Offline gjersy

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Re: 55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2015, 11:10:15 PM »
I've been using used fry oil for bar oil for 6-8 years. i filter it and only use it in warmer weather. I use it straight in my tree processor, and mix it with bar oil in my chainsaws. I do have problems with bears attacking any jug left in the woods so leave nothing out. Never had a sludge or harding problem yet, just don't get caught with it in a tree processor if it gets cold. I set the flow up a bit as it is thin, i need to get a tac additive to mix in but can't get it anymore?! Sulfur is a good anti wear additive and it's in gear-lube so i save all the 80-90 gear lube i can and filter and use it also for bar oil. When is oil (engine,hyd,bar,ect) price going to come down? It should be but greed must be keeping the price up.
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Offline George Jones

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Re: 55 gal drum of veg-based bar oil?
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2015, 07:36:28 PM »
Thanks for your thoughts fellas, I wil continue to look for a suitable product and let you know what I find.  Gary, interesting point about mineral oils being less harmful in the low concentrations that a chainsaw oiler produces.  I just have a hard time at the truck at the end of the day, looking at the 1 gal jug I just about polished off in the last hours, knowing that that oil didnt get burned or otherwise "consumed", but just spit out all over the woods. I tend to think that its as if I just poured that jug out on the ground, but I will reconsider, thank you


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