Author Topic: Beeswax in patch lube  (Read 1660 times)

Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2019, 06:51:06 PM »
That doesn't mean there aren't better choices in 2019.
Pete

Offline Daryl

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2019, 09:15:44 PM »
That doesn't mean there aren't better choices in 2019.

exactly - as good or quite likely/possibly better.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Online Mad Monk

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2019, 10:50:19 PM »
Here is the Indian Army take on bees wax for cloth patches for the Brunswick Rifle:

In 1847 orders issued and approved by the Commander in Chief and Governor General.......the balls to be put up, five in a string in small cloth bags with a greased patch of fine cloth, a portion carried in a ball bag attached to the girdle on the right side, the remainder in pouch. Patches to be made of calico or long cloth and issued ready greased from magazines a portion of the composition will also be issued with the patches for the purpose of renewal when required, instructions for its preparation forwarded to magazine officers by the Military Board.(The following instructions for the preparation of the grease and its application to the cartridge cloth as follows: To 3 pints of country [Indian made] linseed oil add a quarter of a pound of beeswax, which mix by melting the wax in a ladle pouring the oil in and allowing it to remain on the fire until the composition is thoroughly melted. The cloth is then saturated and held by one corner until the mixture ceases to run, after which it is to be laid out as smoothly as possible on a clean spot to cool. The above quantity of composition will answer for 3 yards of of long cloth, from which 1,200 patches can be made'
These instructions were approved by the Governor General Lord Hardinge, in a letter from the Military Secretary to the Adjutant General dated 6th April 1847.



This one brought a big grin to my face.  The then standard beeswax and tallow lube could not be used in India with native troops.  Sort of Holy Cow!!! When you add a bit of sulfur to raw linseed oil and heat it you get a coating that was known as patent leather.  When heated, the linseed oil rapidly polymerizes and turns jet black in color.  Viscosity increases rapidly while heating.  One day I was playing with linseed oil and a bit of sulfur in a pot over a fire.  Heated about 2 to 3 hours.  When cooled the mass came out of the pot looking like a garden tractor tire.
I would hate to have to clean a bore after the linseed oil and beewax lube.  Water, hot or cold, would have no effect on any film created in the bore.  Only turpentine and a lot of scrubbing would fully clean the bore.

Offline yulzari

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2019, 11:55:23 AM »

This one brought a big grin to my face.  The then standard beeswax and tallow lube could not be used in India with native troops.  Sort of Holy Cow!!! When you add a bit of sulfur to raw linseed oil and heat it you get a coating that was known as patent leather.  When heated, the linseed oil rapidly polymerizes and turns jet black in color.  Viscosity increases rapidly while heating.  One day I was playing with linseed oil and a bit of sulfur in a pot over a fire.  Heated about 2 to 3 hours.  When cooled the mass came out of the pot looking like a garden tractor tire.
I would hate to have to clean a bore after the linseed oil and bees wax lube.  Water, hot or cold, would have no effect on any film created in the bore.  Only turpentine and a lot of scrubbing would fully clean the bore.

I cannot argue against the principle Bill but this was a standard for many years in constant use and used in the field for weeks on end where water (if you were lucky) was the only item available to 'wash out' the bore after actions. I offer no explanation; only the observation. An alternative used was coconut oil which eliminated risks of spontaneous combustion in linseed oil soaked rags. As is usual the bees wax was the thickener and the same ammunition (centrally made generally)  had to serve in the Hindu Kush in winter and the Baluchistan desert in the summer. So the mix was meant to work (in USA terms) in an Alaskan winter and an Arizona summer.

I am presuming that the linseed oil and coconut oil are soluble in molten bees wax. Coconut oil appears to be so but I have never tried linseed oil. Whilst the temperature of the firing is certainly high enough to put linseed oil in the polymerisation range I wonder if there is enough time for it to actually happen meaningfully? I make thickened linseed oil for etching inks and this takes a long time to happen to a thick golden syrup/light molasses consistency even over as much heat as will give the linseed oil a low rolling boil (do this outside with a pot cover children as it risks the oil igniting). Doing it at room temperature by frequent stirring to incorporate skinning back into the oil takes me many days. I appreciate that this is polymerisation in the presence of oxygen not sulphur.

Online Mad Monk

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2019, 06:09:33 PM »

This one brought a big grin to my face.  The then standard beeswax and tallow lube could not be used in India with native troops.  Sort of Holy Cow!!! When you add a bit of sulfur to raw linseed oil and heat it you get a coating that was known as patent leather.  When heated, the linseed oil rapidly polymerizes and turns jet black in color.  Viscosity increases rapidly while heating.  One day I was playing with linseed oil and a bit of sulfur in a pot over a fire.  Heated about 2 to 3 hours.  When cooled the mass came out of the pot looking like a garden tractor tire.
I would hate to have to clean a bore after the linseed oil and bees wax lube.  Water, hot or cold, would have no effect on any film created in the bore.  Only turpentine and a lot of scrubbing would fully clean the bore.

I cannot argue against the principle Bill but this was a standard for many years in constant use and used in the field for weeks on end where water (if you were lucky) was the only item available to 'wash out' the bore after actions. I offer no explanation; only the observation. An alternative used was coconut oil which eliminated risks of spontaneous combustion in linseed oil soaked rags. As is usual the bees wax was the thickener and the same ammunition (centrally made generally)  had to serve in the Hindu Kush in winter and the Baluchistan desert in the summer. So the mix was meant to work (in USA terms) in an Alaskan winter and an Arizona summer.

I am presuming that the linseed oil and coconut oil are soluble in molten bees wax. Coconut oil appears to be so but I have never tried linseed oil. Whilst the temperature of the firing is certainly high enough to put linseed oil in the polymerisation range I wonder if there is enough time for it to actually happen meaningfully? I make thickened linseed oil for etching inks and this takes a long time to happen to a thick golden syrup/light molasses consistency even over as much heat as will give the linseed oil a low rolling boil (do this outside with a pot cover children as it risks the oil igniting). Doing it at room temperature by frequent stirring to incorporate skinning back into the oil takes me many days. I appreciate that this is polymerisation in the presence of oxygen not sulphur.

I think you are right about the linseed and coconut oils being soluble in molten beeswax.
The thing about the sulfur acting on the linseed oil at high temperatures would involve the surface temperature of the metal surfaces in the bore.   When I made some linseed oil with a bit of sulfur I was shocked at how fast the reaction went.  I had cooked a lot of oil with lead as the incorporated dryer metal.   Then I looked at the chemistry of what I was doing.  That one gave me a laugh.  They credit Goodyear with the discovery of vulcanizing rubber with sulfur in tire making.  In the steam heated tire molds in the tire plant I worked in the vulcanization took place in the tire forming and curing clamshell molds.  Then I read where the chemistry of curing the rubber was the same as what was happening in my linseed oil and sulfur experiments.  With the asphalt forming process in a bp gun with a petroleum grease lube the formation of asphalt films, in the bore, is a thing of each shot adding a little more to the thickness and length of film in the bore.  This film builds up with time and number of firings.  So any patent leather coating films forming in the bore would be the same.  How many times the gun was fired and how much time between shots.  Rapid firing would build thicker films quicker because of the higher temperature of the metal.  When I had read about how the Brits had to avoid beef tallow in the bullet lubes in India I wondered what they used in place of beef tallow.  What you have posted might answer that question.  I might also add that I played with linseed oil printing ink making.  A little lead in the pot with the oil.  Heat and then ignite the vapors rising off the oil.  That was an exciting experiment.  Like getting the lid back onto the pot with a long stick through the loop on the pot lid.  But given the thing about sacred cows in India the linseed oil and beeswax lube would be the logical thing given what they had available at that time.  But bore cleaning had to be a real chore.  When I look at all of this and how I handled the liquid based lubes in my patched ball guns I realize how lucky we are today.

Bill K.

Offline yulzari

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2019, 07:49:58 PM »
Just thinking out loud Bill. Could the bees wax have some role to play in preventing meaningful polymerisation of the linseed oil under the circumstances? I have no idea of any mechanism that would do this. Wax coating the barrel interior  preventing the build up by stopping subsequent shots sticking to it?

The balls were sewn into a linseed oil and bees wax soaked bag (i.e. the cloth was treated before being applied to the ball) and this might reman in store for some years before issue so the linseed oil would have plenty of time to polymerise from the oxygen in the air yet it obviously did not convert the calico into oilskin cloth which is made by putting linseed oil on cloth and letting it polymerise and set on the cloth. Oilskin would be about as bad an organic patch as one could imagine. In the UK their bees wax and tallow was painted onto the complete patched ball after it was made up.

Offline Frank

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2019, 08:54:12 PM »
Here is the Indian Army take on bees wax for cloth patches for the Brunswick Rifle:

In 1847 orders issued and approved by the Commander in Chief and Governor General.......the balls to be put up, five in a string in small cloth bags with a greased patch of fine cloth, a portion carried in a ball bag attached to the girdle on the right side, the remainder in pouch. Patches to be made of calico or long cloth and issued ready greased from magazines a portion of the composition will also be issued with the patches for the purpose of renewal when required, instructions for its preparation forwarded to magazine officers by the Military Board.(The following instructions for the preparation of the grease and its application to the cartridge cloth as follows: To 3 pints of country [Indian made] linseed oil add a quarter of a pound of beeswax, which mix by melting the wax in a ladle pouring the oil in and allowing it to remain on the fire until the composition is thoroughly melted. The cloth is then saturated and held by one corner until the mixture ceases to run, after which it is to be laid out as smoothly as possible on a clean spot to cool. The above quantity of composition will answer for 3 yards of of long cloth, from which 1,200 patches can be made'
These instructions were approved by the Governor General Lord Hardinge, in a letter from the Military Secretary to the Adjutant General dated 6th April 1847.


Just because some military outfit recommends something does not make it the best way to do things. For example I give you the US Military in Vietnam and their recommendation on lubing the M-16 rifle. The recommendation was minimal lube which was totally wrong. It has been proven that it is best to run the M-16/M-4 wet.

Online Mad Monk

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2019, 09:40:10 PM »
Just thinking out loud Bill. Could the bees wax have some role to play in preventing meaningful polymerisation of the linseed oil under the circumstances? I have no idea of any mechanism that would do this. Wax coating the barrel interior  preventing the build up by stopping subsequent shots sticking to it?

The balls were sewn into a linseed oil and bees wax soaked bag (i.e. the cloth was treated before being applied to the ball) and this might reman in store for some years before issue so the linseed oil would have plenty of time to polymerise from the oxygen in the air yet it obviously did not convert the calico into oilskin cloth which is made by putting linseed oil on cloth and letting it polymerise and set on the cloth. Oilskin would be about as bad an organic patch as one could imagine. In the UK their bees wax and tallow was painted onto the complete patched ball after it was made up.

If simply exposure to air results in the "drying" polymerization of the linseed oil it has little effect on raw linseed oil.  When it comes to simple air drying there are a lot of things that will keep the oil from polymerizing (drying).  I never worked with it but beeswax may prevent any air induced polymerization.  When I got deep into the cooking of the raw linseed oil with a dryer metal I found little prevented polymerization when "boiling" the oil.  But certain additives will keep a boiled oil from polymerizing properly.  You get a film that either does not dry at all or leaves the film soft and tacky.  With linseed oil you play with the simple polymerization where oxygen molecules simply join oil molecules into long strings, or linear polymerization.  Then depending on the dryer metal used and any special additives you can promote varying degrees of cross linkages from one linear chain to another.  When I was a process tech at the Firestone plant we worked with the cross linkage thing in certain rubber products and the various types of PVC resins being made.  Little difference between linseed oil basics and those two items.  For health reasons I have had to set the BP guns aside.  But I am sitting here thinking that duplicating that lube could be a very interesting experiment.

Bill K.

Online Mad Monk

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2019, 10:18:03 PM »
yulzar,

Did some digging on GOOGLE on the beeswax and linseed oil mixture.  Turns out it has also been used as a furniture wax for a long time.  Even today custom woodworkers use it for a furniture polish.

Bill K.

Offline yulzari

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2019, 01:10:44 PM »
Did some digging on GOOGLE on the beeswax and linseed oil mixture.  Turns out it has also been used as a furniture wax for a long time.  Even today custom woodworkers use it for a furniture polish.
Maintaining the OT digression: there is also the mix of boiled linseed oil and cork dust which forms linoleum. Also the combination of boiled linseed oil and linen which was popular before plastics as the mouldable material linenoid; especially known for phonograph horns.

I suspect the HEIC 'country' linseed oil was raw linseed oil. I used raw linseed oil for my air polymerised stand oil but it took weeks with twice daily stirring.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 01:29:45 PM by yulzari »

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2019, 03:04:38 PM »
I have some Tried and True Linseed oil /beeswax finish and used it on some cabinets. Works great. I'm not sure I'd want it in my barrel !

Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2019, 03:39:52 PM »
Linseed oil gives a nice finish on gun stocks. No beeswax needed.
Pete

Offline MuskratMike

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2019, 04:16:57 PM »
Can we get back on topic? Looking for opinions on PATCH LUBE with high quantities of beeswax and petroleum jelly!
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2019, 05:09:39 PM »
My opinion is i'd never use it.

btw...You said he uses 1/3 beeswax and 1/3 petroleum jelly. What's the other 1/3?
Pete

Offline Frank

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2019, 05:29:46 PM »
I would never use it. Been shooting since the mid 1970s and tried them all. Spit patch on the range and Track of the Wolf mink oil for everything else.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2019, 08:26:59 PM »
Can we get back on topic? Looking for opinions on PATCH LUBE with high quantities of beeswax and petroleum jelly!

High quantities of BW makes for a very hard lube, not conductive to good shooting in a muzzleloading rifle with patched round balls.
I think that is pretty much a given, unless your barrel is VERY hot and the lube very soft from sitting in 120degree heat. Than might
soften high quantity BW lubes.

My best bullet lube for black powder loads, ML and Ctg. was 60% very high quality BW, 40% Vaseline. Fired 10 shots with this lube
on 200gr. Lee's R.E.A.L. bullets in my .45 Flinter, with 80gr. 2F, then loaded and shot a patched round ball using WWWF lube, NP loading
the .022" denim patch and .45" ball.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline MuskratMike

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2019, 09:16:30 PM »
To: OldMtnMan, the other third is olive oil.
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

Offline Mike from OK

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2019, 02:46:01 AM »
OK, I've seen MadMonk mention it before... And now Daryl too...

I just wanna be clear here... Am I understanding that petrolatum can be used as a patch lube without ending up with horrendous asphalt fouling?

Otherwise I am pretty much in the same camp as Frank... Spit and Track's Mink grease.

Mike

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2019, 03:18:07 PM »
I don't use beeswax in a patchlube , however when hunting with my rifle, and when shooting round balls in my smoothbores, I use paper cartridges. The ball end of the cartridge is dipped in a beeswax /bear oil mix if I'm using my cartridge box. The mix is adjusted according to the season so that it remains soft. I find it helps with loading , especially in the smoothbores.  If just carrying a few cartridges in my pocket, I skip the lube.

Offline Mike from OK

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #44 on: June 02, 2019, 08:45:24 AM »
Daryl, I said petroLATUM, AKA Vaseline, petroleum jelly, etc...

Mike

Offline Daryl

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #45 on: June 03, 2019, 04:38:17 AM »
Sry Mike - my bad. :(   On the other hand, I will NEVER use Beeswax in patch lube. I can see no worthwhile reason why I would or should do that.
As to the Vaseline, I do not see a reason for it either. It does soften Beeswax nicely for bullet lubes, though. I suspect it is the Vaseline that MAKES
 the bullet lube work with the BP fouling. The Beeswax is simply to harden the Vaseline/wax so it stays in the grooves of the bullet. I have used that
same 60:40 BW/Vas for bullets to 2,200fps with excellent accuracy and no leading. (the bullets were made hard enough to work at that speed and
pressure by heat treating)
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 04:43:33 AM by Daryl »
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Mike from OK

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #46 on: June 04, 2019, 01:11:43 AM »
No worries Daryl... It is entirely possible you misunderstood what it was that I was misunderstanding.  ;D

Mike

Offline Lobo

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #47 on: June 17, 2019, 11:48:41 PM »
100% Bear Oil

Offline Scota4570

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #48 on: June 18, 2019, 01:03:36 AM »
yulzar,

Did some digging on GOOGLE on the beeswax and linseed oil mixture.  Turns out it has also been used as a furniture wax for a long time.  Even today custom woodworkers use it for a furniture polish.

Bill K.

BLO + Bee's wax + turpentine = Slackum.  It makes old gunstocks pretty. 

Offline Bhmack

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Re: Beeswax in patch lube
« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2019, 01:22:26 AM »
100% Bear Oil

Me too. Bear oil. Fits in better with the hog smell around here than anise, or whatever they put in bore butter to make it smell like beta male hand lotion.
-Bob

My Highland ancestors were sentenced to ‘Transportation’ in lieu of death by King George after the Battle of Culloden. Serving time in Dixie since 1741.