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Waxing multiple chains - What size slow cooker do you use?

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Waxing multiple chains - What size slow cooker do you use?

Old 05-21-22, 08:27 AM
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JWK
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Waxing multiple chains - What size slow cooker do you use?

The wife and I are about to start our waxing trial. For fairly obvious reasons, we would like to do 4 chains at once when it's time to wax. For those of you who wax multiple chains, what size slow cooker would you recommend for 4 chains at once? From what I gather, you need to be able to move the chain about a little while waxing. I don't know if you can pile them on top of each other or not and do this effectively. Everything I've seen only shows waxing a single chain. Thanks for any info.
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Old 05-21-22, 09:58 AM
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I slip a 6" length of copper wire through the end of the last link and bend it so it hangs outside the cooker. I have a small cooker but only do 2 chains at a time. The trick is not to put all the chains in at the same time as it will cool the wax. I've been using one of those 10buck specials from Wally World for about 3 years now. Once the chains are in the wax and it's as hot as it's going to get, I swirl the chains using the wire while lifting them out and lowering them back in. The whole idea is to get the wax to penetrate inside the links where it does good. You don't need the wax clinging to the outside of the chains. When I'm happy with them, I lift them out and wipe them off with a rag and lay them out on clean newspaper to cool before rolling them up for later use. It's really nice the way they don't attract dirt or rub black off. Just be sure you have them thoroughly clean and dry before you attempt waxing or the wax won't adhere.
Edit-I just asked the DW what size my cooker is and she thinks it's an 8 cup. You might want larger for 4 chains. I have mine filled to the brim with wax only because the neighbors donate me scented candles and we shoot pool while the chains soak. It's all good.

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Old 05-21-22, 10:56 AM
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I use the smallest crockpot I could find. It fits only one chain at a time. It only takes a few minutes to dip the chain in, let it heat up, and swirl it around, so doing them in series rather than in parallel isn't a hardship, and it saves on wax. The initial excruciatingly slow melt is the bottleneck.



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Old 05-21-22, 11:16 AM
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When I used to wax, I used a quart size, roughly from memory. Made for plenty of depth to the wax. I started with Molten Speed wax, so I followed their directions, fastening hangers out of wire coat hangers, Molten Wax instructions. Pretty sure I could get 2-3 chains in at a time, with ample swirling after letting them sit for 5+ minutes. Then slowly withdrew them on their hangers, and left them to drain above the pot, hanging on a cabinet knob from the handle end of the hangers.

All that said, I no longer hot wax the chains, but use White Lightening Clean ride directly on the chains after initial cleaning with mineral spirits. All around less fuss for me.
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Old 05-21-22, 11:16 AM
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I, too, use the smallest CrockPot with a removable pot. I always wax my two alternating chains in one session, but they're not in the wax at the same time. I heat the wax up to temp, with one chain already in the pot, swish and remove. Then I plop the second chain in, wait for the temp to rebound, which is usually about 10 minutes, swish and remove.

Even with four chains, I wouldn't do them all in the crock at the same time. The smaller crock means less wax for appropriate submersion, it's easier to handle and store, etc. The only thing you're gaining with a larger crock is some hands-off time, which isn't a big deal, for me.
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Old 05-21-22, 09:05 PM
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2 quart with 1 pound of wax = 2, maybe 3 chains when the wax is full.

Having multiple cheap chains is a great way to do the waxing so you can just kinda assembly line a bunch (right now I have 3 for my road, 3 for MTB, and 4 for gravel), but I would not suggest melting more than 1 pound of wax because it gets contaminated as you keep using it. Usually during the peak of the year when I am riding 250-300 miles a week, I just work the process of boiling the dirty chains, wiping them down, and re-waxing into a couple hours on a Sunday once a month. This has been working well for 2 years now and like 15K miles of riding. It may sound ridiculous, but beyond the more than marginal friction and drivetrain wear savings, I am pretty convinced it saves a lot of time vs. properly cleaning and re-lubing a drivetrain with drip lubes.
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Old 05-22-22, 03:11 AM
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Just so you know. A crock pot is not needed at all. Any old pot or saucepan will do just fine. Heating wax on the stove is Much faster than waiting for a low wattage crock pot too. It no more dangerous than cooking an egg.
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Old 05-22-22, 05:31 AM
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I use a Fry Baby to wax a chain. Heats up faster than the crock pot. 1 chain at a time.
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Old 05-22-22, 05:36 AM
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The cheapest one on the shelf that day at Goodwill/Salvation Army/St. Vincent/favorite thrift store.
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Old 05-22-22, 05:37 AM
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A question. I have been waxing my chains for a while. Originally added liquid perofin lamp oil to the mix. Now it seems like I am notget good penetration into the links.
What do you add to your parafin? What proportions?
Thanks!
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Old 05-22-22, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
A question. I have been waxing my chains for a while. Originally added liquid perofin lamp oil to the mix. Now it seems like I am notget good penetration into the links.
What do you add to your parafin? What proportions?
Thanks!
I have been adding 50g of PTFE powder to 1 pound of wax (the powder comes in grams, the wax is just Gulf canning wax in 1 pound bricks). In the interest of being more environmentally friendly though, and because Silca uses it in their pre-made wax package, I am going to switch to tungsten disulfide after my PTFE is used up. You can get either on AliExpress in bulk sizes. The Silca product is very good if you don't want to do science projects and order materials from China to save $30 / batch.
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Old 05-22-22, 05:53 PM
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I use a 3qt Instant Pot, well, I have a 3 qt instant pot, so I bought an extra pot to use it with
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Old 05-22-22, 06:05 PM
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How many carrots and onions do I add for 4 chains and should I use more than 1 bottle of wine?

For waxing I would just use the cheapest one I can get usually something from a thrift shop I wouldn't use anything I would cook actual meals with. My ex-co-worker used a little burner and an old pot for his chain waxing and that did him fine for at least 20 years probably.
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Old 05-22-22, 08:27 PM
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I bought a $12 1.5 quart from Amazon. Doing multiple chains at once may save a couple of minutes but it's a bit a hassle to get them properly submerged unless you have lots of wax. No big deal either way. I just turn on the crock pot, go for a ride while the wax melts and then do four at a time, one after another. I use the Silca stuff and use boiling water the clean the chains before they get dunked.
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Old 05-25-22, 04:43 AM
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I honestly never knew this was a thing. Is it really worth it to remove a chain to wax it rather than using a more conventional lube? How long will the wax last? I can see that it would be a more thorough process that gets down into all of the moving parts, but if someone is getting 5,000 miles of good performance using more traditional lubing practices, where's the benefit?
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Old 05-25-22, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I honestly never knew this was a thing. Is it really worth it to remove a chain to wax it rather than using a more conventional lube? How long will the wax last? I can see that it would be a more thorough process that gets down into all of the moving parts, but if someone is getting 5,000 miles of good performance using more traditional lubing practices, where's the benefit?
Cleanliness and thus no oily chain tattoos.
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Old 05-25-22, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Cleanliness and thus no oily chain tattoos.
A chain properly lubricated with oil won't be dirty.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Cleanliness and thus no oily chain tattoos.
my chains have never seen oil and i still get the tattoos. i assume it is from the anodizing or what ever coating is on the new chain rings/cranks.


Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
A chain properly lubricated with oil won't be dirty.
but stuff sticks to oil like dust. so, unless you clean that off thoroughly, which is not easy, then you will have a dirty chain.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
A chain properly lubricated with oil won't be dirty.
Unless you ride your bike in the real world.
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Old 05-25-22, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Unless you ride your bike in the real world.
Oh, I do. I also just know how to properly lubricate a chain--and wipe off everything that remains.
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Old 05-25-22, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
so, unless you clean that off thoroughly, which is not easy, then you will have a dirty chain.
Wiping down a chain after oiling isn't at all difficult.
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Old 05-25-22, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Oh, I do. I also just know how to properly lubricate a chain--and wipe off everything that remains.
Uh huh. And you can grab your chain with a bare hand and you don't need to clean your chainrings or cassette either, right?
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Old 05-25-22, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Uh huh. And you can grab your chain with a bare hand and you don't need to clean your chainrings or cassette either, right?
I try to keep my drivetrain impeccably clean. If you don't follow the same regimen, I can understand why your drive train may be an oily, gooey mess. I suggest, then, that you use wax.

I might try waxing my chain someday. Seems like there are tangible benefits.
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Old 05-25-22, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
I try to keep my drivetrain impeccably clean. If you don't follow the same regimen, I can understand why your drive train may be an oily, gooey mess. I suggest, then, that you use wax.

I might try waxing my chain someday. Seems like there are tangible benefits.
I see that you didn't answer the question, which answers the question, if you know what I mean.

I ride my bike, quite a lot, for what my schedule allows. Unlike you, I *have* tried both routes, and found that one provided a nice balance of performance and low upkeep, which has allowed me to spend more time riding and less time maintaining. YMMV, but you'll never know until you actually try it and, until you actually try it, you might want to refrain from commenting on the relative virtues of either.
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Old 05-25-22, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I see that you didn't answer the question, which answers the question, if you know what I mean.

I ride my bike, quite a lot, for what my schedule allows. Unlike you, I *have* tried both routes, and found that one provided a nice balance of performance and low upkeep, which has allowed me to spend more time riding and less time maintaining. YMMV, but you'll never know until you actually try it and, until you actually try it, you might want to refrain from commenting on the relative virtues of either.
No, I think I'm perfectly qualified to answer about oil on chains. You'll notice I wasn't commenting on the virtues, or lack thereof, or wax. YMMV, but I actually get just as much enjoyment out of maintaining my bike as I do riding it.

I was riding road bikes 25 years before you even got your first one, and wrenching on them just as long.

Last edited by smd4; 05-25-22 at 01:07 PM.
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