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Old 12-13-07, 11:19 AM   #1
Berre
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Wax mix home recepy

1 part of paraffine (candle stuff)
1 part of motor oil
1/2 teaspoon of graphite powder

Melt paraffine slowly, add oil + graphite. Stirr.

Insert well degreased and dried chain. Stirr, watch bubbles come out of chain links.

Pull chain out of hot mix with pliers and let hot mix drip on newspaper. (Beware! Hot!)

After cooling down, brush off excessive wax mix and wipe with clean cloth.

Enjoy riding a bike with a perfect silent chain that does not catch sand and stays dry & clean for many hundreds of miles.
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Old 12-13-07, 04:19 PM   #2
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First, read up on how not to burn your house down while melting paraffin.
Then, proceed with caution.
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Old 12-13-07, 07:35 PM   #3
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Straight Paraffin (canning wax) works too if you get it hot enough (~300 F). However, as JanMM noted you have to be very careful with it and not let it overheat so a temperatue controlled melting pot or a good thermometer plus constant attention are essential.

Heat the wax to 300-320 F, carefully add the chain, remove the heat, let it soak while the wax cools to about 150F to thicken the wax, remove and drain the chain and let it cool completely. Then flex the now-rigid chain to crack off the excess surface wax. Install and ride.

The result is a VERY clean chain the picks up absolutely no dirt and runs quietly. The downside is that there is little to no rust protection and the hot wax has to be redone every couple of hundred miles even in dry conditions. It's clean but a PITA to do.
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Old 12-14-07, 12:56 AM   #4
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Melting a paraffin candle is about as dangerous as melting butter.

The mix with motor oil lasts longer as a lubricant. Oil makes the mixture less brittle than pure paraffin, but less sticky as pure oil. It does not attrackt dirt or sand.

The graphite is not compulsary; it leaves a residu inside the chain for prolongued "dry" lubrification.

Last edited by Berre; 12-14-07 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 12-14-07, 08:03 AM   #5
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I had to pull up this thread just to find out what a "recepy" was
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Old 12-14-07, 08:56 AM   #6
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I had to pull up this thread just to find out what a "recepy" was
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Old 12-14-07, 09:36 AM   #7
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I had to pull up this thread just to find out what a "recepy" was
That's one way to make sure one's post will be read.

BTW as far as cooking is concerned, I never understood why you guys call some birds "turkey"; isn't that supposed to be a country?
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Old 12-14-07, 10:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berre View Post
Melting a paraffin candle is about as dangerous as melting butter.

The mix with motor oil lasts longer as a lubricant. Oil makes the mixture less brittle than pure paraffin, but less sticky as pure oil. It does not attrackt dirt or sand.

The graphite is not compulsary; it leaves a residu inside the chain for prolongued "dry" lubrification.
I might disagree with that butter statement
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdwAK8Jn75o
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Old 12-14-07, 10:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Berre View Post
That's one way to make sure one's post will be read.

BTW as far as cooking is concerned, I never understood why you guys call some birds "turkey"; isn't that supposed to be a country?
Here's why. "A poultry bird, Meleagris gallopavo, introduced into Europe from America by the Spaniards in 1523. The name derives from confusion with the guinea fowl, which had recently been introduced from the eastern Mediterranean by Turkish merchants."

From answers.com
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Old 12-14-07, 10:35 AM   #10
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I might disagree with that butter statement
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdwAK8Jn75o
One question: do you know the melting point of paraffin? If you do, you should know there is no need whatsoever to heat it on a high flamed torch.

(melting point is 46-56 C)
(flash point is 206 C; rather high compared to other common combustibles)

Try this experiment with with olive oil, butter or any other grease on a lab "bunsen" burner. It will set on fire exactly the same way. As any cook can tell you.

I have been melting paraffin on a vitro ceramic cooking plate, on a low power level, dozens of time, no problem. There is no need to keep on the power on as soon as the product has reached it's liquid state, since that is all you need to prep a chain.

Last edited by Berre; 12-14-07 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 12-14-07, 11:56 AM   #11
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I've found a cheap crockpot is most effective at performing the waxing operation. Gets hot enough, but not to hot. When the wax cools, the whole thing can be stored away.
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Old 12-14-07, 03:09 PM   #12
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It's certainly possible to melt wax safely, and many cyclists have lubed their chains this way for decades. It's just not something that anyone should do without some knowledge of the process and the potential hazards and safest methods.
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Old 12-14-07, 07:12 PM   #13
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For me the biggest downside is the need to remove and reattach the chain every time I need to reapply the paraffin. When I tried this procedure the first time, I was under the impression that it'll last a thousand kilometers, but then I realized that 200-250 is the best I can expect, so I decided "sod it, I'm going back to motor oil". I am very happy with motor oil for two reasons: relatively easy application (though you do need to wipe the eccess off a few times after applying it) and much better lubing effect than paraffin.
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Old 12-14-07, 07:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
It's certainly possible to melt wax safely, and many cyclists have lubed their chains this way for decades. It's just not something that anyone should do without some knowledge of the process and the potential hazards and safest methods.
I used a method known in italian language as "bagnomaria" - sorry, don't know the english word for that - which is basically putting a smaller pot with the wax, in a larger pot with boiling water. This prevents the smaller pot to ever ecceed 100C.
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Old 12-14-07, 07:25 PM   #15
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Why not just use chain lube?
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Old 12-14-07, 07:41 PM   #16
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Why not just use chain lube?
works for me
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Old 12-14-07, 10:35 PM   #17
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I used a method known in italian language as "bagnomaria" - sorry, don't know the english word for that - which is basically putting a smaller pot with the wax, in a larger pot with boiling water. This prevents the smaller pot to ever ecceed 100C.
It's called a "double boiler". Or a "Mary's bath" literally, I guess.
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Old 12-14-07, 11:30 PM   #18
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Where does one obtain powered graphite? Would grinding up a pencil lead work.
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Old 12-15-07, 01:00 AM   #19
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Where does one obtain powered graphite? Would grinding up a pencil lead work.
Absolutely NOT!!! Pencil leads contain all sorts of hardeing compounds (think of them as some sort of glue) to control and improve hardness. They will royally screw your chain.

I thought I'd warn you before you try
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Old 12-15-07, 01:38 AM   #20
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waxer

I knew a guy back in the 90's that had a dedicated chain waxer.
It looked like a metal chain cleaner with two handles on it.
He used a torch to heat up the wax that was in the reservoir, then clamped it over the chain and spun the pedals.

chain butter?

http://www.ecodistributiongroup.com/...utterhome.html
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Old 12-15-07, 02:09 AM   #21
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Where does one obtain powered graphite? Would grinding up a pencil lead work.
It is sold in DIY-shops and car shops.
Used for "dry-greasing" cylinder locks, car locks in winter (to avoid freezing without getting the key sticky).
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Old 12-15-07, 03:02 AM   #22
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For me the biggest downside is the need to remove and reattach the chain every time I need to reapply the paraffin. When I tried this procedure the first time, I was under the impression that it'll last a thousand kilometers, but then I realized that 200-250 is the best I can expect, so I decided "sod it, I'm going back to motor oil". I am very happy with motor oil for two reasons: relatively easy application (though you do need to wipe the eccess off a few times after applying it) and much better lubing effect than paraffin.
I have to remove the chain anyway if I want to clean it thourougly. Cleaning works best if you shake the chain in a plastic bottle half filled with a petroleum based solvent. Repeat the rinsing with clean solvent in a clean bottle. I use three plastic Minute Maid bottles subsequently. (You can recycle the used solvent nearly endlessly, if you let the grit sink for a day and pour it.) Removing and replacing a chain containing a chain link takes only seconds.

I feel commercial "chain-cleaning-devices-with-rotating-brushes" simply do not contain enough solvent to do a perfect job. Besides, I suspect these machines to bring the grit deeper inside the links.

Blow out any solvent residue with compressed air or let it dry perfectly on a paper towel. It should indeed be dry as a bone before applying the new wax. Any left solvent will interfere with the new wax mix.

You can tell if the chain is "dry & clean" if it produces a fine clear sound, like little christmas bells (!), whilest shaking it. One should not hear nor feel any "crispy" grit when moving the links.

My paraffin-oil mix has the best of both worlds. It feels "dry", does not attrackt grit. (Pure oil is a notorious grit magnet)
The melted mix penetrates easily in the links. Once "hardened" it stays longer than pure paraffin, since it is less brittle. So it won't scatter from a running chain so fast.

Last edited by Berre; 12-15-07 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 12-15-07, 06:38 PM   #23
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It is sold in DIY-shops and car shops.
Used for "dry-greasing" cylinder locks, car locks in winter (to avoid freezing without getting the key sticky).
I've been thinking about using some of that on my next chain. Right now I'm doing the melted paraffin thing, but if I get a rust proof chain then why even bother with the wax? I figure nothing is cleaner than a bare chain...but to prevent binding a little graphite powder worked into the bushings should do the trick.

Either that or some of this stuff (people like to use it for pianos):
http://www.spurlocktools.com/id39.htm
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Old 12-15-07, 06:52 PM   #24
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I have to remove the chain anyway if I want to clean it thourougly. Cleaning works best if you shake the chain in a plastic bottle half filled with a petroleum based solvent. Repeat the rinsing with clean solvent in a clean bottle. I use three plastic Minute Maid bottles subsequently. (You can recycle the used solvent nearly endlessly, if you let the grit sink for a day and pour it.) Removing and replacing a chain containing a chain link takes only seconds.
You have to remove the chain anyway if you want to clean it thoroughly, but the reason to clean it thoroughly is to apply the wax. Once you applied the wax, you'll have to remove the chain next time, to reapply it. We're going in circles. As I said, that's too much work for me. If it works for you, great, but there's no way you can argue that I can be bothered to do all that just to keep my chain from picking up dirt. Maybe that's the singlespeed mentality coming out, or maybe the fact that I work and study so I just don't have the time, period.

There's something to be said about weakening the structural integrity of the chain, too, but that's marginal.
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Old 12-16-07, 10:45 AM   #25
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I used a method known in italian language as "bagnomaria" - sorry, don't know the english word for that - which is basically putting a smaller pot with the wax, in a larger pot with boiling water. This prevents the smaller pot to ever ecceed 100C.
In French it's a bain-maire and that's the term often used by professional cooks. In English (or at least the Amurkin dialect) we call it a "double boiler".
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