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First Time Chain Waxer Calling on Chain Waxing Gurus

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First Time Chain Waxer Calling on Chain Waxing Gurus

Old 07-21-21, 06:40 AM
  #26  
GhostRider62
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I put three chains into my tiny crockpot every time I wax. Fits fine.
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Old 07-21-21, 06:47 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
That doesn’t work so well when you’re doing multiple chains. With hot liquid wax it gets into all the pins very quickly. Any moisture on the chain quickly boils off and any residual oil dissolves in the wax.
Works fine for me. Maybe your crock pot is smaller than mine?
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Old 07-21-21, 06:55 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
Loads simpler. ... The initial cleaning was the most effort, took a few trips through the de greaser and a little scrubbing, but once I got through that, and you apply squirt, when I need to reapply, I can just wipe it down with a rag and reapply. No muss no fuss. After you do the initial cleaning a trip through some denatured alcohol is a good thing as well. Dries off very quickly.
The OP is making is more work than it needs to be. If we take it as a given that the initial cleaning is the same between waxing and your preference, waxing is still a little less hands-on work: turn on the crock, come back in about an hour to confirm that the wax gets up to temp (it'll sag if you throw in a cold chain), swish it for 10 seconds and then hang it. Later, break the links (grab both ends and pull it back and forth over a dowel a few times) before installing.
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Old 07-21-21, 10:28 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
The chain (including the quick link) was then cleaned by immersion and shaking in acetone 4 times, including an immersion overnight,
Acetone isn't sufficient to strip all the grease, as others have said you need to use a different solvent first. Since you can't get oderless mineral spirits in CA, as others have mentioned use simple green or other degreaser but do not soak overnight, do 3 agitations, rinse fully with plain water, then do the acetone baths or alcohol.
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Old 07-21-21, 11:21 AM
  #30  
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Sounds like you have it down. Throw it in the wax, hang it up, loosen up the links and install. I would not expect any re-adjustments needed when you re-wax, has not been my experience over quite a few years and bikes. With one exception.

Got caught in some rain last Sunday. The entire bike was due for a cleaning so I pulled the chain (Dura Ace) off and re-waxed it while working on the rest. Got caught up in a nice Bourbon while waiting on the crock pot but eventually got the chain re-installed. Went out for a ride a few days later and my shifting was clunky & noisy. After some fiddling with the adjuster I found a compromise setting, a little noisy but worked. The problem was resolved post ride, I had installed the chain backwards, lol.
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Old 07-21-21, 12:09 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Why are you leaving the chain in the wax for two hours?
To allow the chain, which is at ambient temperature, to reach the temperature of the melted wax (210 *F). Now that the wax has taken the shape of the crock pot, next time I will just heat both wax and chain at the same time.

Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
I don’t know about acetone, I just use mineral spirits for the initial cleaning. A little oil residue on the chain will dissolve in the hot wax so no need to have it perfectly clean.
After studying chemistry some more, I learned that acetone is too polar to work as a good solvent for bike lube, so that was quite a bit of residual oil and/or grease. I have managed to order odorless mineral spirts from an arts and crafts supply store.

Last edited by SoSmellyAir; 07-21-21 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 07-21-21, 12:37 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Can't buy a gallon of Coleman Fuel in California? Now, I understand the campfire cooking on the Pacific Crest trail.

The best way to get rid of the factory lube is to first ultrasonic it with Simple green, water. Then, one or two soaks in wide mouth plastic juice bottle filled with white gas aka naptha or Coleman fuel. I shake and then let it sit. I let it dry. I start up the crockpot. Put the chain in there for an hour or two. Getting the wax into the chain links and pins is not that easy. When I remove it, I lay it flat and "blow dry" off the excessive wax pin by pin using a heat gun on a lower setting. After 200-250 miles, I will apply Smoove or Squirt, to each roller and pin. After around 5-700 miles and if the chain is not dirty, it is removed and put directly into the molten wax. I rarely strip it again.
I have found odorless mineral spirits at an arts & craft supply store. Camp stove gas was going to be the next alternative.

Thank you everyone for all the comments. I now realize I need to wipe off the outside of the chain as I am pulling it out of the crock pot.
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Old 07-21-21, 12:42 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
Sounds like you have it down. Throw it in the wax, hang it up, loosen up the links and install. I would not expect any re-adjustments needed when you re-wax, has not been my experience over quite a few years and bikes. With one exception.

Got caught in some rain last Sunday. The entire bike was due for a cleaning so I pulled the chain (Dura Ace) off and re-waxed it while working on the rest. Got caught up in a nice Bourbon while waiting on the crock pot but eventually got the chain re-installed. Went out for a ride a few days later and my shifting was clunky & noisy. After some fiddling with the adjuster I found a compromise setting, a little noisy but worked. The problem was resolved post ride, I had installed the chain backwards, lol.
Been there, done that!
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Old 07-21-21, 12:44 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
To allow the chain, which is at ambient temperature, to reach the temperature of the melted wax (210 *F). Now that the wax has taken the shape of the crock pot, next time I will just heat both wax and chain at the same time.



After studying chemistry some more, I learned that acetone is too polar to work as a good solvent for bike lube, so that was quite a bit of residual oil and/or grease. I have managed to order odorless mineral spirts from an arts and crafts supply store.
I can't imagine why the chain would need to get to 201. The wax just needs to get to a point of liquidity where it is able to permeate the links.
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Old 07-21-21, 12:56 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
I can't imagine why the chain would need to get to 201. The wax just needs to get to a point of liquidity where it is able to permeate the links.
The wax needs to flow into the pins and bushings. How will that happen with a cold chain?
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Old 07-21-21, 01:15 PM
  #36  
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my life is a bit simple because i have only one bike so only one chain. actually, two chains: one on the bike and the other at the bottom of a frozen solid chunk of wax in my crock pot. while heating up the chain i am cleaning the one on the bike, once clean a quick chain swap, crock pot off until the next wax session, plenty of time during the cool down phase to get all that waxy goodness where it needs to be. also only use pure gulf wax, no additives.

never had shifting problems and i do not wipe down after pulling out of the hot wax. i never measure temp and i certainly get way more than one or two rides out of a waxed chain. probably on the order of 400 miles or so.

waxing is certainly more work than just adding some wet or dry lube but i don't mind it and i like the cleanliness and no more tatts. i find i really don't need to clean the chain between waxing sessions since i don't ride in crappy weather and only on solid tarmac.
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Old 07-21-21, 01:28 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
I have found odorless mineral spirits at an arts & craft supply store. Camp stove gas was going to be the next alternative.

Thank you everyone for all the comments. I now realize I need to wipe off the outside of the chain as I am pulling it out of the crock pot.
I've never wiped. If you're pullng it out hot, it's not going to be caked or anything and excess will drip.
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Old 07-21-21, 01:49 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
my life is a bit simple because i have only one bike so only one chain. actually, two chains: one on the bike and the other at the bottom of a frozen solid chunk of wax in my crock pot. while heating up the chain i am cleaning the one on the bike, once clean a quick chain swap, crock pot off until the next wax session, plenty of time during the cool down phase to get all that waxy goodness where it needs to be. also only use pure gulf wax, no additives.

never had shifting problems and i do not wipe down after pulling out of the hot wax. i never measure temp and i certainly get way more than one or two rides out of a waxed chain. probably on the order of 400 miles or so.

waxing is certainly more work than just adding some wet or dry lube but i don't mind it and i like the cleanliness and no more tatts. i find i really don't need to clean the chain between waxing sessions since i don't ride in crappy weather and only on solid tarmac.
This is exactly the Zen state I am working toward.
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Old 07-21-21, 01:55 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
The wax needs to flow into the pins and bushings. How will that happen with a cold chain?
That is what I have gleaned from various instructions too, that dipping a chain at ambient temperature into the Crock Pot cools the immediately surrounding wax which deters flow into the chain until the whole system warms again. Mojo31 210 *F is not necessary but that is already the low setting in my Crock Pot.
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Old 07-21-21, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
That is what I have gleaned from various instructions too, that dipping a chain at ambient temperature into the Crock Pot cools the immediately surrounding wax which deters flow into the chain until the whole system warms again. Mojo31 210 *F is not necessary but that is already the low setting in my Crock Pot.
Zerofriction in Australia recommended baking the chain to warm it up.

An hour is probably too long but someone said 10 seconds. I suspect the ideal is in the middle somewhere. I usually have enough to do that and hour isn't a problem.

For me, chain friction is more about chainrings and cassettes....and losing anymore of my puny power.
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Old 07-21-21, 04:02 PM
  #41  
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I don't know why, but I'm picturing a darkroom film squeegee about right for a fresh hot drippy waxed chain.
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Old 07-21-21, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
An hour is probably too long but someone said 10 seconds. I suspect the ideal is in the middle somewhere.
I said to swish it for 10 seconds after confirming that the wax is back up to temp, I didn't say that it only needs to be submerged for ten seconds.
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Old 07-21-21, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
The wax needs to flow into the pins and bushings. How will that happen with a cold chain?
It doesn't stay cold for long when it goes in the crock pot. After 10 seconds the chain is up to a high enough temperature that the wax remains liquid on the chain when it's removed. I think that's all you need. There's no magic temperature - it just needs to be above the melting point of wax (~155F).
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Old 07-21-21, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I said to swish it for 10 seconds after confirming that the wax is back up to temp, I didn't say that it only needs to be submerged for ten seconds.
I grab the link pins with a pair of needle nose pliers and swish them in the liquid was for 10 seconds or so. Both the pliers and link quickly get above the melting point temp of was.
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Old 07-21-21, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
It doesn't stay cold for long when it goes in the crock pot. After 10 seconds the chain is up to a high enough temperature that the wax remains liquid on the chain when it's removed. I think that's all you need. There's no magic temperature - it just needs to be above the melting point of wax (~155F).
Doubtful
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Old 07-21-21, 06:10 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
It doesn't stay cold for long when it goes in the crock pot. After 10 seconds the chain is up to a high enough temperature that the wax remains liquid on the chain when it's removed. I think that's all you need. There's no magic temperature - it just needs to be above the melting point of wax (~155F).
You actually want it to harden ASAP when its pulled out to trap as much as possible in the pin/roller interface. This means barely above melting temp for the wax which takes the chain longer to come up to temp and penetrate. If you chain heats quickly then your wax is probably too hot. My chains actually for a shell as soon as a drop them in the wax that then has to remelt and thats when I know its close to ready. Then a swish around a couple times to distribute the particulates(molten speed wax) then pull.
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Old 07-21-21, 06:14 PM
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redlude97 , I'm not saying you're doing it wrong, but when I do that it leaves a lot of wax on the chain that flakes off and gums up the jockey wheels.
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Old 07-21-21, 06:39 PM
  #48  
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Wednesday afternoon progress update. Saw quite a lot of black gunk on the chain, cassette, jockey wheels, rear derailleur, right chain stay, and chain rings, and almost decided right then to quit waxing. Thankfully, it turns out that this black gunk is waxy, not greasy, and quite easily brushed off with stiff brushes. Boiled the chain in water and Dawn three times to remove the residual black wax, then dragged it over a Sonicare toothbrush with Dawn, rinsed clean with water, then baked in oven at 220 *F to dry. After cooling, the chain was agitated for 10 minutes in, and then left immersed in, odorless mineral spirits but the solvent did not darken; I sure hope this means that the chain is finally clean enough for my next attempt at waxing.

The problem with immersion waxing is that wax is only needed at the pivot points, not in the spaces between the rollers at either ends of a link. How do I minimize the latter? The first time, I unplugged the Crock Pot and waited 10 minutes before I pulled the chain out. Tomorrow, I will unplug the Crock Pot and then pull out the chain right away to let more wax drip off.
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Old 07-21-21, 06:43 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
I grab the link pins with a pair of needle nose pliers and swish them in the liquid was for 10 seconds or so. Both the pliers and link quickly get above the melting point temp of was.
MSW says to go for 200°, so that's what I do. When I pull my first chain out (which heated with the cold wax) and pop in the second, cold chain, there's a definite sag in the temp of the wax. It usually takes about 10 minutes for wax to get back up to temp after popping in a cold chain. I figure that that's enough time to melt the wax in the rollers and seep in. If less time works for you, that's cool, but I'm not exactly being put out by coming back 10 minutes later.
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Old 07-21-21, 06:47 PM
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SoSmellyAir Sounds like you're not getting your chain clean enough in the first place. Maybe get a new chain and follow the MSW chain cleaning instructions. You only have to do it once per chain, then just throw it in the pot after that. After I clean the chain, I pour the OMS into a plastic bottle through a coffee filter in a funnel and use it over and over.
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