We put it in our coffee, on our skin and even use it in the shop. Is there anything coconut oil can't do?
During my 20-plus years of design and shop experience, I’ve used — and had to remove — a countless number of oils, greases, solvents and other chemical-based substances that my body probably wishes it didn’t have to process.
Over the last 10 years I started cooking more and added bullet-proof coffee made with coconut oil to my morning routine. During that time I learned about coconut oil’s health benefits.
I also learned it has a really high flash point.
Tired of using chemical lubes during drilling and tapping, I tried using coconut oil instead of the popular and expensive fluids marketed for this use. Low and behold, it not only worked, but I would argue it performed even better as a machining lubricant than the products marketed for that specific purpose. As an added benefit, getting it on my hands actually feels good and is good for my skin. Fewer toxins in my system is a huge bonus! I’m used to lubricants that feel like they’re killing skin cells and require industrial hand soap and a whole lot of time and effort to remove.
And so I keep expanding my experimental uses of it, and it continues to amaze me. We try to use “solid state” slides for our slide out accessories. Roller bearing slides are great, but with so many individual parts they don’t tend to last in abusive environments. We utilize solid bar sliders in our channels because there are exactly zero moving parts (unless you count the action of it sliding relative to the channel). They’re not quite as smooth as a roller bearing slide, but they still get the job done. And, if you add a little lube, they slide much easier. Any guesses what I prefer to use? A little brush of coconut oil and they glide like a pair of ice skates on a frozen lake with a few inches of fresh snow on top!
So the next time you have a stuck part, squeaky door or need some machining lubricant, head to you kitchen, grab the coconut oil and let us know how it goes.