By Bob Ferry
I was tired of trying to lube my lathe through the ball oilers. I could never seem to do it without making a mess and it was difficult to tell how much oil made it to where it was needed. While Rich Sedenquist proposed a good solution in his tip a while back, I decided to replace the ball oilers altogether with cup oilers.
I pried out the ball oilers (they are a press fit) and inserted cup oilers of the same size. Cup oilers come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes so you should be able to find something to fit your machine. McMaster-Carr is one source.
Cup oilers hold more oil and they have a lid that is held closed with a spring. They do not lie completely flush like the ball oilers, but on my small lathe that never seems to be a problem.
These oilers have worked great since installing them. I am sure many others have made this replacement long before I did, but I wanted to pass along the idea!