Quick and Dirty Oil Pots

I’ve been doing a little metal work lately. After a messy spillage at the lathe something had to be done. I needed a pot for my cutting oil.

I had a couple of empty containers, each approx. 4″ in diameter (just as well I don’t throw things out!).             I could make an oil pot for the mill as well. I found two small plastic dishes (2″ in dia.), the type of thing used for feeding gerbils or something. So I chucked them up and drilled each one with a hole wide enough to easily get a small brush into.

Next I chucked up the lids of the containers (one at a time obviously) and drilled them to a snug push fit for the gerbil pots. I drilled the hole by mounting a Forstner bit in the tail stock; the nearest dia. below the dia. of the gerbil pot. The plan was to finish the hole to size with a boring bar. Unfortunately this didn’t work. The boring bar cutter was not suited to doing the job. So, I mounted a standard turning tool as if it was a boring bar in the tool post. This worked a treat and I was able to sneak up on the required dia. All that was needed was to push the gerbil pots into the holes and stick with Superglue.

After twenty minutes work I had two handy oil pots. Just to ensure no further spillages, I dropped a magnet into the bottom of each pot. The picture below shows the type of containers that I used.

And the little gerbil pot:

What was it someone said about necessity being the mother of invention?


  1. Hi brendon nice solution to that messy oil,magnets is the way to go.what lathe have you got? I don’t know if you cut metric threads, and have a imperial lathe, this might be of some interest https://youtu.be/aG-822yk8Ms southbend gear cutting. I just posted.keep well nick

    • Hey! Nick,
      Thanks for your comments.
      Presently I only have a small Chester lathe but I have a new bigger lathe on order. Should have it in a couple of weeks. It’s a Colchester Student 2500. Have to get some wiring done and fit a rotary converter as this lathe is 3 phase. Looking forward to getting to know my new toy. 🙂
      Your video on gear cutting is awesome; you have the patience of Job…
      Best Wishes

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