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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, 06:52 PM
  #51  
SoSmellyAir
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
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.
That was definitely the case the first time when I only used acetone, which, as redlude97 pointed out and I now realized, is not good enough a solvent for any residual factory grease and/or Rock N Roll lube previously used. That is why I had to clean the chain again today.
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Old 07-21-21, 09:23 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
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.
I heat the wax in a crock pot on high. I've never measured the temperature but it seems to heat the chain up quickly. I have a fair amount of wax in a heavy pot so don't think one chain lowers the temp much.
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Old 07-21-21, 09:27 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
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.
Wear a heavy glove and wipe it off with a heavy paper shop towel as you pull it out. As you've recognized you don't need a ton of was on the outside of the chain.
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Old 07-21-21, 09:31 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
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.
I've also had good success with Rock N Roll gold which is a very thin lube that you wipe off completely. I don't like a bunch of extra wax on the chain that ends up flaking off. My process is fast and painless and I don't mind changing chains a little more frequently.
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Old 07-21-21, 09:55 PM
  #55  
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Regarding some of the quirks of hot-waxing chains (there are previous threads on these details):
  • I mostly use plain Gulf Wax. I've tried additives including paraffin oil but it tends to ... not "smoke," but produces an unpleasant scorched odor. That includes adding leftover scented candle wax, which I thought might improve flow into the friction bearing areas. Surprisingly, it tended to scorch more easily in the crock pot. And I couldn't tell any difference when riding.
  • I usually leave it soaking in hot wax overnight. I'll stir the chain around a bit once or twice, just gently hooking a link with a chopstick, whatever, and stirring it while avoiding splashing.
  • I hang the chain after removing from the crock pot, hanging it loosely looped over the pot to let the excess hot wax drip into the pot. Before dipping in the pot, attach some heavy duty paper clips, bulldog clips, wire, whatever you have, to make it easier to hang the chain after dipping.
  • After cooling some wax may flake off the chain. I just ride immediately and let it flake off outdoors. Additives such as scented candle wax or paraffin oil will soften the Gulf Wax just enough to reduce flaking. But I'm not sure it improves the performance.

Some folks add PTFE, molybdenum disulfide, etc. I have some powdered PTFE but haven't tried that yet. I'm planning to use the PTFE in a homebrewed "dry" lube using naphtha -- basically just homebrewing a form of RnR Absolute Dry.

BTW, Dri-Slide is basically like Rock 'n' Roll Absolute Dry... but with moly instead of PTFE, and some other flammable or combustible solvent carrier (usually listed as mineral spirits or naphtha, but that's a very generic term for various similar solvents). I used Dri-Slide for years with airguns because the solvent/carrier evaporated, making it safer for spring piston airguns, which can cause dieseling in the compression chamber, just like any diesel engine. It's possible that even Absolute Dry would work with spring piston airguns for the same reason, substituting PTFE for messy, sooty moly. I haven't tried Dri-Slide on bike chains, mostly because moly stains are hard to get out of fabrics.

Chain waxing isn't a big deal after you establish a routine. The hard part if degreasing the new chain. That's a real PITA and probably the most significant factor hindering more people from waxing, or claiming it doesn't work (because they didn't degrease the chain, so the wax did nothing but completely fall off the chain).

The Oz dude on YouTube has extensive videos on chain waxing. Most of it is good, based on previous research by Friction Facts and others. My only beef with Oz dude is his rather casual use of gasoline as a solvent in an indoor workshop around electrical outlets and other equipment. That kinda thing makes my spidey-sense tingle. I'm a former OSHA safety inspector, and have investigated fatalities and horrific burn injuries caused by carelessness around gasoline and even diesel fuel. And a family friend died of burns back in the 1960s from tossing gas on a brush fire that wasn't burning fast enough to suit him.

Usually what happens is the vapor pressure surrounds us with flammable vapor near ground level. Even if we think we've set the gas can at a safe distance... nope. Safe distance is much farther away than we'd realize. The vapor ignites, surrounding us. We panic and jump or run, knocking over the gas container -- assuming we weren't stupid enough to actually be holding a coffee can full of gas and slosh it over ourselves in a panic. Boom. We're toast.

Last edited by canklecat; 07-21-21 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 07-21-21, 10:04 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I usually leave it soaking in hot wax overnight. I'll stir the chain around a bit once or twice, just gently hooking a link with a chopstick, whatever, and stirring it while avoiding splashing.
That seems like a long time!

Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
After cooling some wax may flake off the chain. I just ride immediately and let it flake off outdoors.
Do the wax flakes stick on your bike or fall off during the ride?

Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
The hard part if degreasing the new chain. That's a real PITA and probably the most significant factor hindering more people from waxing ...
Yeah, that has been my experience so far.

Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
The Oz dude on YouTube has extensive videos on chain waxing. Most of it is good, based on previous research by Friction Facts and others. My only beef with Oz dude is his rather casual use of gasoline as a solvent in an indoor workshop around electrical outlets and other equipment. That kinda thing makes my spidey-sense tingle. I'm a former OSHA safety inspector, and have investigated fatalities and horrific burn injuries caused by carelessness around gasoline and even diesel fuel. And a family friend died of burns back in the 1960s from tossing gas on a brush fire that wasn't burning fast enough to suit him.

Usually what happens is the vapor pressure surrounds us with flammable vapor near ground level. Even if we think we've set the gas can at a safe distance... nope. Safe distance is much farther away than we'd realize. The vapor ignites, surrounding us. We panic and jump or run, knocking over the gas container -- assuming we weren't stupid enough to actually be holding a coffee can full of gas and slosh it over ourselves in a panic. Boom. We're toast.
Yep, that is why I was really reluctant to use gasoline, or even camping stove fuel, even though other volatile organic solvents are so hard to come by in the South Coast Air Quality Management District, i.e., southern California.
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Old 07-21-21, 10:11 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
I've also had good success with Rock N Roll gold which is a very thin lube that you wipe off completely. I don't like a bunch of extra wax on the chain that ends up flaking off. My process is fast and painless and I don't mind changing chains a little more frequently.
I got into waxing to get a clean drive train because I like to tinker with my bike. I ride < 3,000 miles a year so the additional longevity of the chain is not a huge benefit. I have had decent experience with Rock N Roll Extreme and Boeshield T-9, other than the black greasy paste aspect, so if the waxed chain shifting issues persist, I will probably switch to Rock N Roll Gold.
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Old 07-21-21, 11:03 PM
  #58  
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While everyone has their own method here is Josh from silca's technique. Notice he turns off his wax as well and mentions pulling the chain when it's just above the melting temperature

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Old 07-22-21, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
While everyone has their own method here is Josh from silca's technique. Notice he turns off his wax as well and mentions pulling the chain when it's just above the melting temperature

https://youtu.be/m3uSbNjI53Y
Josh does that to keep more wax on the chain, whereas there was too much wax on the chain in my first attempt.
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Old 07-22-21, 07:51 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
While everyone has their own method here is Josh from silca's technique. Notice he turns off his wax as well and mentions pulling the chain when it's just above the melting temperature
Id recommend Joshs method too if I was selling wax
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Old 07-22-21, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Id recommend Joshs method too if I was selling wax
Since a bag of wax lasts like 50 chains, I'm not going to lose sleep over it. If I can go an extra week or two without needing to swap chains that more than makes up for the little bit of time to wax using this method.
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Old 07-23-21, 03:10 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Since a bag of wax lasts like 50 chains, I'm not going to lose sleep over it. If I can go an extra week or two without needing to swap chains that more than makes up for the little bit of time to wax using this method.
Not the Silca wax that Josh was demonstrating! $40 for half kilogram (i.e., 1.1 pound) bag.

Friday afternoon update: Chain soaked in OMS for 2 days, and after a few rounds of vigorous shaking, the OMS is now gray. Chain then hung for 2 hours to dry, and has just been immersed in hot Gulf paraffin wax again. Hopefully it works out this time.
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Old 07-23-21, 07:11 PM
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has any tried an instant pot versus a crock pot for your waxing? then you can has a dedicated stainless pot for the job... Just thought of that while I was making the dog food
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Old 07-23-21, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
has any tried an instant pot versus a crock pot for your waxing? then you can has a dedicated stainless pot for the job... Just thought of that while I was making the dog food
In the YouTube link in redlude97 's post above, Josh from Silca recommends an Instant Pot over a Crock Pot, mostly for the much faster heating time. My wife has one which she rarely uses, but it is 6 quarts, and probably too shallow if filled only with a pound of wax. No biggie if you are using Gulf paraffin wax, but much more expensive if you are using Silca's $$$ wax.
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Old 07-23-21, 11:44 PM
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Friday evening update: Finally, partial success!?

Crock Pot on low for about 3 hours to melt wax, then chain was immersed and swished a few times for half an hour. Then Crock Pot off and chain was immediately removed and hung to dry. Ran waxed chain over floor jack bar twice to break off excess wax. Installed chain and had shifting issues again, but resolved by adjusting only cable tension adjustment barrel of rear derailleur. Indexing process shed more wax. Then off to test ride, but had to pull over about a mile from home to turn cable barrel another quarter turn because chain was not dropping onto next smaller cog. 25 mile test ride, same route as 3 days ago + 2 biggest climbs in my area, with no more shifting issues. After ride, noticed only light grey wax debris on drive chain, so at least the highly refined OMS from the arts supply store worked. Will have to see how many miles the wax last.

Last edited by SoSmellyAir; 07-23-21 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 07-24-21, 06:03 AM
  #66  
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I use a Fry Baby to wax my chain. It heats up quickly and a good size. It takes about 1 1/2 boxes of Gulf Wax.
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Old 07-24-21, 06:26 AM
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When you take the waxed chain out of the crockpot is when it is easiest to remove the excess wax. Otherwise, the wax will harden on the outer plates and will flake off making a mess all over the place. The frictional losses are not on the outer plates, the losses are in the pins, bushing, roller and inner plate where they all interface.
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Old 07-25-21, 10:11 PM
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Ok, so this thread has peaked my interest in trying the wax versus the Squirt I have been using. Question, when the wax cools in your crock pot, do you store in in the crock, or do you remove it and put it bag and in a cool place like a fridge? I live in Florida and obviously I can't leave the crock with wax in my garage, so what do you do.
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Old 07-25-21, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
Ok, so this thread has peaked my interest in trying the wax versus the Squirt I have been using. Question, when the wax cools in your crock pot, do you store in in the crock, or do you remove it and put it bag and in a cool place like a fridge? I live in Florida and obviously I can't leave the crock with wax in my garage, so what do you do.
I li e in Nevada and the Temps are more than in FL. I have two chains, one on bike, one in the crock in frozen wax. I keep the crock in the garage. 100+ in there during summer. No issues.

Waxing a chain does not need to be complicated.
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Old 07-25-21, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
I li e in Nevada and the Temps are more than in FL. I have two chains, one on bike, one in the crock in frozen wax. I keep the crock in the garage. 100+ in there during summer. No issues.

Waxing a chain does not need to be complicated.
Thanks...I know the wax has a higher melt point, but just wanted to make sure.
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Old 07-26-21, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
When you take the waxed chain out of the crockpot is when it is easiest to remove the excess wax. Otherwise, the wax will harden on the outer plates and will flake off making a mess all over the place. The frictional losses are not on the outer plates, the losses are in the pins, bushing, roller and inner plate where they all interface.
I was too concerned about removing too much wax the first two times I did it, but next time I will at least wipe off the outer link plates.
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Old 07-26-21, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
Ok, so this thread has peaked my interest in trying the wax versus the Squirt I have been using. Question, when the wax cools in your crock pot, do you store in in the crock, or do you remove it and put it bag and in a cool place like a fridge? I live in Florida and obviously I can't leave the crock with wax in my garage, so what do you do.
Refined paraffin wax has a melting point of at least 115 *F, and even then it takes time to melt, so you are fine leaving the wax in a Crock Pot in the garage for now, until global warming gets worse.
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Old 07-26-21, 06:12 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
Ok, so this thread has peaked my interest in trying the wax versus the Squirt I have been using. .
IKR. The process sounds so simple that's it a no brainer.
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Old 07-26-21, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
I was too concerned about removing too much wax the first two times I did it, but next time I will at least wipe off the outer link plates.
It is the wax on the innards that matter most. That is where the wear is. When those bits wear and "stretch".....your cassette and chainrings become the target. I have cassettes with many tens of thousands of miles on them. I never have flaking wax when installing a newly waxed chain because I do not let it dry on the outside plates.
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Old 07-26-21, 01:38 PM
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SoSmellyAir-

First rule is to make sure that your clean chain has no petroleum products left on it.

I've used Molten Speed Wax for the last three years and have had good luck with their cleaning and waxing instructions. Go to their site for full detail. They recommend the use of both Mineral Sprits and denatured alcohol.

I get about 200-250 miles out of a freshly waxed chain. I have 2 chains for each bike so I can do fewer crock pot sessions and get more chains waxed in each session. I don't wipe the chains down after waxing...I just shake them a bit and let them hang to dry. I run them back and forth over some 3/4" PVC pipe to get the chain outer plates to pivot then put each one in a ziplock bag until it's time to put them on a bike.

MSW advises (and my experience confirms) that you should not make any derailleur adjustments until the freshly waxed chain has at least 20 minutes of riding time on it.

I measure chain stretch periodically and I'm very pleased with the chain service life I'm experiencing with my waxed chains.I also think the small bit of wax flake residue on the chainring and cassette teeth might help a little bit extra in avoiding wear on those parts.

I might try using Slica's drip on wax lube for long bike trips when I'm too far away from a crock pot when the chain needs lube.
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