return to main page

Oil, but only 2 cups

Our project has had "interesting times" trying to get small quantities of special oils

from Grant Saviers, April 16, 2009

The tool suppliers, aircraft suppliers, McMaster have quite a selection in less than 55gals, although may need to buy 5gal.

- Western Tool & Supply
- MSC Industrial
- Travers Tool
- Aircraft Spruce

I got some help from my hydraulic fitting supplier, Royal Brass in San Jose. He buys hydraulic oils in 5 gal pails from Abbott Distributing, a Chevron dealer in San Jose 800-675-3356. The major brand distributors repackage from bulk into 5 gal pails in my experience of buying for various machines and diesel engines.


from Judith Haemmerle, April 16, 2009

I got the name of the local distributors from the oil company. Then I called a distributor and got the names of companies who used the oil. Then I called the companies and asked if they could spare a cup or two. At each stage, I explained what we wanted it for, usually prefacing my remarks with "OK, this is probably going to be the weirdest call you get today, but I'm working with a group of engineers at CHM restoring a 1945 IBM 513..." etc. and explaining that the one thing we needed to finish the job was some oil that met IBM specs. Usually that got laughs and cooperation.

FWIW, I got the oil from . IIRC, the person I spoke to was Louise, who handles all supplies, but I might mis-remember her name. You actually need to start on notch up at the oil distributor, but I can't remember the name of the one we used - I could call Shell and find it if you need me to. Or you could call Louise, if that's her name, and ask her who she uses. Let me know if you need anything else.

Grant, here's what I did for the 513. We ended up with about a half a gallon that they just gave us. I showed up with CHM literature and invited them all to visit. We made new friends, and I got a tour of the foundry. ;)

from Frank King, April 16, 2009

I have ordered a 5 gallon pail of hydraulic oil from the Chevron distributor. ISO VG 15; Chevron Rando HDZ Premium Oil.
This appears to be an exact replacement for IBM # 3.
The smallest I was able to obtain was 5 gallons. I will pick it up when they call. Should be <10 days.

Thanks for your help.