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Immersive waxing / it should be more popular

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Immersive waxing / it should be more popular

Old 03-16-24, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TMonk
just gonna chime in here and comment again that there is a "middle way" when it comes to waxing - but one has to be OK with a little bit of grit on their bike and in the crock pot. doesn't bother me and I still don't hesitate to handle my drivetrain with bare hands. my methods involve zero inter-wax treatment, just the initial de-greasing of the factory wax. skimming through the thread, it seems like that's not even necessary either, which has me intrigued.
I used the Silca pre wax degreaser on the last two chains I bought, soaked for 10 minutes then into the wax. It seems to have worked well.

I donít do any treating between waxes, just throw them back into the crock pot and away I go.

I have only had one instance of wax not holding up well on a ride and that was 4 hours in the rain during a gravel race. At the finish, the chain was completely stripped.
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Old 03-16-24, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
..
As to wanting the wax to stay clean. It depends on the conditions one rides in. But I don't get why one would use a sacrificial cleaning wax when boiling water does the same thing but is a lot more care free. I prefer not to contaminate my main wax with salt so I boil my chains before I wax them.
..
Dont get it? it said so in the post you replied to. I wouldn't clean the chain before waxing in the first place, unless it was very filthy and Id do it in molten wax if I had to do it. Why? it said so too. To not get it wet and having to dry it before waxing or have it boil off in the wax. Mind you, no one is twisting your arm, just sharing what I perceive as a much easier approach. Jump to 6min 17 sec in the video to see.

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Old 03-16-24, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
A friend asked a question yesterday that I hadnít considered. Is it possible, in direct sunlight, for the wax to get hot enough to soften?
UK has sunlight?

But seriously, no. Melting point of paraffin starts at 50 *C at the low end, and I would not ride at temperatures anywhere near that.
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Old 03-16-24, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan
Dont get it? it said so in the post you replied to. I wouldn't clean the chain before waxing in the first place, unless it was very filthy and Id do it in molten wax if I had to do it. Why? it said so too. To not get it wet and having to dry it before waxing or have it boil off in the wax. Mind you, no one is twisting your arm, just sharing what I perceive as a much easier approach. Jump to 6min 17 sec in the video to see.

https://youtu.be/X-THvBCW1EU?t=377
I just wonder what's the problem with having water in the wax is. It'll pool at the bottom and can be drained after the puck hardens. Or not. Makes no real difference.

I'd be loathe to watch over two wax pots when I can just leave one water pot on full blast. Water also clears road salt better than molten wax.
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Old 03-16-24, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
I just wonder what's the problem with having water in the wax is. It'll pool at the bottom and can be drained after the puck hardens. Or not. Makes no real difference.
A little water in the wax itself is no problem. A little water trapped within the chain before waxing deters wax adhesion and causes rust.

Originally Posted by elcruxio
II'd be loathe to watch over two wax pots when I can just leave one water pot on full blast.
Why are you watching it at all? Why not use a $10 Crock Pot that does not have to be watched at all? And even if you cannot use a Crock Pot (or other slow cooker), how is watching two wax pots more difficult than watching a single wax pot?

Originally Posted by elcruxio
Water also clears road salt better than molten wax.
Water does dissolve salt better than paraffin. But if you remove the residual wax on the chain with odorless mineral spirits, any salt that had been on the surface of the wax would come off too.
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Old 03-16-24, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
A little water in the wax itself is no problem. A little water trapped within the chain before waxing deters wax adhesion and causes rust.

Why are you watching it at all? Why not use a $10 Crock Pot that does not have to be watched at all? And even if you cannot use a Crock Pot (or other slow cooker), how is watching two wax pots more difficult than watching a single wax pot?

Water does dissolve salt better than paraffin. But if you remove the residual wax on the chain with odorless mineral spirits, any salt that had been on the surface of the wax would come off too.
Not that I would care to do it in the first place, but the easiest/fastest way to dry a chain without compressed air is to dunk it in ethanol. It will mix with and dilute the water to insignificance and itself quickly evaporate. Waxing a wet chain seem contrary to the claim a chain must be down to bare metal before waxing. - Which is it ?
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Old 03-16-24, 01:20 PM
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I think at 70-80C the molten wax will evaporate any remaining water pretty quickly.

Have to say, Iím a mere 150km into this game and Iím absolutely sold. Chain was the cleanest part of the bike after todayís ride which was mostly dry but took us on a few wet roads.
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Old 03-16-24, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
A little water in the wax itself is no problem. A little water trapped within the chain before waxing deters wax adhesion and causes rust.
A short dip in water doesn't cause any significant amount of rust. Water on the chain also doesn't deter wax adhesion as any water clinging to the chain will be replaced by wax as soon as the chain is dropped in. Any water inside the chain will flow out and down to the bottom of the wax container.


Why are you watching it at all? Why not use a $10 Crock Pot that does not have to be watched at all? And even if you cannot use a Crock Pot (or other slow cooker), how is watching two wax pots more difficult than watching a single wax pot?
Wax has low thermal capacity and it heats up really quickly. Having two wax containers on the heat can easily cause one of them to overheat. I wouldn't want to deep fry with two containers simultaneously either.

The reason I don't use a crock pot is that my wax has a melting point of over 90 degrees celsius. A crock pot won't keep the surface molten especially since my garage isn't heated.


Water does dissolve salt better than paraffin. But if you remove the residual wax on the chain with odorless mineral spirits, any salt that had been on the surface of the wax would come off too.
I'm unsure whether OMS will remove grown salt crystals.

​​​​​​​I also don't like using solvents if I can help it.
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Old 03-16-24, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
I think at 70-80C the molten wax will evaporate any remaining water pretty quickly.

Have to say, Iím a mere 150km into this game and Iím absolutely sold. Chain was the cleanest part of the bike after todayís ride which was mostly dry but took us on a few wet roads.
it actually won't. The wax needs to be 100+ celsius in order for the water to evaporate.

However any water on a chain will quite readily flow off the chain and to the bottom of the pot below the wax, where it'll remain until you remove the puck and pour out the water.
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Old 03-16-24, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
it actually won't. The wax needs to be 100+ celsius in order for the water to evaporate.
Water can evaporate at temperatures well below 100įC.
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Old 03-16-24, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
it actually won't. The wax needs to be 100+ celsius in order for the water to evaporate.

However any water on a chain will quite readily flow off the chain and to the bottom of the pot below the wax, where it'll remain until you remove the puck and pour out the water.
Really? Imagine wet clothes never drying on the laundry line after washing .. ;-)

Maybe trolls have no clothes to wash? haha!
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Old 03-16-24, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan
Dont get it? it said so in the post you replied to. I wouldn't clean the chain before waxing in the first place, unless it was very filthy and Id do it in molten wax if I had to do it. Why? it said so too. To not get it wet and having to dry it before waxing or have it boil off in the wax. Mind you, no one is twisting your arm, just sharing what I perceive as a much easier approach. Jump to 6min 17 sec in the video to see.

https://youtu.be/X-THvBCW1EU?t=377
Thanks for posting this video. I was hoping to find a video link but that's a lot of pages to go through. Just lucky timing on my part, I guess.

I think I'm going to give this a try. Living in the desert, my main concerns are sand and grit more than rust and oils. One thing I never really liked about cleaning and lubing my chains before is I always felt the lubrication made for a opportune place for grit and sand to adhere. This looks like it has immense benefits in my climate. Going to give it a try!
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Old 03-16-24, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
A short dip in water doesn't cause any significant amount of rust.
That is not my experience. I had a Shimano 105 (CN-HG600) which I rinsed out with boiling water, then blow dry with an air compressor. There were little spots with surface rust by the time I was done with the blow drying (in a matter of minutes).

Originally Posted by elcruxio
Water on the chain also doesn't deter wax adhesion as any water clinging to the chain will be replaced by wax as soon as the chain is dropped in. Any water inside the chain will flow out and down to the bottom of the wax container.
I don't think so. Water is a polar molecule, which would tend to adhere to metal more than a non-polar molecule like OMS or wax. Thus, a slight amount of water would remain within the chain.

Originally Posted by elcruxio
Wax has low thermal capacity and it heats up really quickly. Having two wax containers on the heat can easily cause one of them to overheat. I wouldn't want to deep fry with two containers simultaneously either.
I understand about low thermal capacity and flammability of wax. I was just not sure that there is much difference between watching one pot vs. two pots of the same material.

Originally Posted by elcruxio
The reason I don't use a crock pot is that my wax has a melting point of over 90 degrees celsius. A crock pot won't keep the surface molten especially since my garage isn't heated.
As I noted above (in post #1240), a Crock Pot (the actual brand, not the genericized term that some people use to refer to all slow cookers) would maintain a temperature of 98 *C.

Originally Posted by elcruxio
I'm unsure whether OMS will remove grown salt crystals.
As noted above, salt does not dissolve in OMS. But if one has waxed a chain properly to begin with, any road salt would be on the surface of the wax, such that the salt would also come off when you use OMS to remove the wax.

Originally Posted by elcruxio
However any water on a chain will quite readily flow off the chain and to the bottom of the pot below the wax, where it'll remain until you remove the puck and pour out the water.
Some slight amount of water would remain within the chain because water is polar while wax and OMS are not.

Originally Posted by tomato coupe
Water can evaporate at temperatures well below 100įC.
Yes, when the water is on the surface. But in paraffin, much of the heavier water would sink below the wax.

Last edited by SoSmellyAir; 03-16-24 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 03-16-24, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen
Thanks for posting this video. I was hoping to find a video link but that's a lot of pages to go through. Just lucky timing on my part, I guess.

I think I'm going to give this a try. Living in the desert, my main concerns are sand and grit more than rust and oils. One thing I never really liked about cleaning and lubing my chains before is I always felt the lubrication made for a opportune place for grit and sand to adhere. This looks like it has immense benefits in my climate. Going to give it a try!
Hey Jen

Dont do what he is doing. It was a an example Not to follow (IMO) ! haha :-)

Lots of other videos to watch. Apparently I'm on the fringe of waxing for not bothering to prep or clean chains before hot waxing If you care what I have to contribute go back and read my previous posts or do what ever feels right to you.
GP lama, on YT, did a wax video recently that made a lot os sense. - I dont care for "high end" wax products tho.

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Old 03-16-24, 03:28 PM
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Oh, OK. Can you link to your posts? I'm seeing 51 pages on my end. That's a lot of scrolling! And what was it about that video you oppose? It sounded pretty reasonable to me. I was going to give it a try. Will watch your posted video next.

Thanks.
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Old 03-16-24, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
That is not my experience. I had a Shimano 105 (CN-HG600) which I rinsed out with boiling water, then blow dry with an air compressor. There were little spots with surface rust by the time I was done with the blow drying (in a matter of minutes).
This seems surprising with no salt present? They definitely werenít there before?
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Old 03-16-24, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
This seems surprising with no salt present? They definitely werenít there before?
Not sure about salt. California has hard water, so relatively high mineral content. This was a chain that had previously been degreased with a degreaser, and thereafter lubricated with Boeshield T-9, and I did not see any rust then. However, after the next round of degreaser and boiling water (to prepare for first wax attempt) there were a few minute spots of surface rust. So the waxing was put on hold, and the chain redone with Boeshield T-9. No long after there was a broken link and the chain was retired before it even hit the first wear measurement.
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Old 03-17-24, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
Water can evaporate at temperatures well below 100įC.
When exposed to atmosphere yes. However when under a layer of molten wax, the vapor pressure of water can overcome the hydrostatic pressure of wax only after temperature gets high enough or in most cases, over 100C.

Originally Posted by Racing Dan
Really? Imagine wet clothes never drying on the laundry line after washing .. ;-)

Maybe trolls have no clothes to wash? haha!
You should maybe read a book sometime. Or try to learn something new. By being so sure about something you clearly know nothing about paints you as a fool. As mentioned above, water doesn't have enough vapor pressure to push through molten wax until temperatures go over 100C.
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Old 03-17-24, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
This seems surprising with no salt present? They definitely werenít there before?
I've had low-alloy steels rust in seconds. Cleaned a new carbon steel pan of wax before heat-bluing, it started to get a thin film of rust within seconds out of the wash water.

Having some alloying elements, like even a little chrome, will make it rust slower. A lot of chrome, like over 13%, and it's "stainless" steel, very corrosion resistant. Typical files don't rust instantly, due to the alloying elements added, not for corrosion resistance, but to increase hardness without becoming too brittle, as you get if all hardness comes from addition of carbon.
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Old 03-17-24, 02:54 AM
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Wow. Didnít know the chemical process was that quick.

also - the lack of exposure to air ref evaporation makes sense. I seem to have got away with my first boiling water experiment (canít see inside the rollers of course but the chain looks pristine), might get hold of something hydrocarbon for next time.
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Old 03-17-24, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
Wow. Didnít know the chemical process was that quick.

also - the lack of exposure to air ref evaporation makes sense. I seem to have got away with my first boiling water experiment (canít see inside the rollers of course but the chain looks pristine), might get hold of something hydrocarbon for next time.
Oh, you're telling me! I had a heck of a time keeping a film of rust off that pan before I could heat-blue it. Thin rust, removed with phosphoric acid cleaner, rinse, instantly rusted again.

Also, water can have some air in solution, which is how fish breath, they need water with air content. Boiling it takes it out of solution, at least according to my dad, who insisted on boiling water for his tea, he said it prevented foam on the surface, for that reason.

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Old 03-17-24, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
That is not my experience. I had a Shimano 105 (CN-HG600) which I rinsed out with boiling water, then blow dry with an air compressor. There were little spots with surface rust by the time I was done with the blow drying (in a matter of minutes).
That's strange indeed. In my experience Shimano chains have been fairly resistant to rusting, however not as resistant as KMC. The difference between the rust on my shimano chains and the Connex quick link is pretty stark when I take the chain off a bike after 200km in a wet road salty environment. The connex quick links really don't like water or salt. Good thing they're made of such thick stuff.

I don't think so. Water is a polar molecule, which would tend to adhere to metal more than a non-polar molecule like OMS or wax. Thus, a slight amount of water would remain within the chain.
That would likely be the theory level explanation. However I've tested this in multiple situations and I've had to conclude that once you get the wax to touch metal, there is no amount of water that will wash it away. It's the same sort of problem as with oils and grease. You can't wash them off without a detergent of some sort once they get stuck on a surface. However wax would seem to be even more resilient than any oil I've ever tried.
I tried cleaning a smaller waxing pot with boiling water, but after I was done there was still a thin wax surface on the pot, even at the bottom.
I tried leaving water at the bottom of a container whilst the wax solidified. After everything had cooled down, there was still a wax coating between the metal and water.

If the wax is 100C+ when wet chains are added, the chains will begin to bubble with the boiling water inside them. However with little agitation (or just by lifting a chain out from the wax and letting it sink in again) the bubbles stop coming from inside the chain and the originating point shifts to the bottom of the pot, which tells me that the water has flowed out from inside the chain and to he bottom of the container.

So it would seem that once wax is able to creep in to a surface previously occupied by water, that area is then permanently taken by wax. And wax being hydrophobic, water just slips away to a point of least resistance, ie. down.
Another thing that will have an effect is the sheer mass of wax vs. water. There is considerable wax flow and hydrostatic pressure vs. what the remaining water has to offer in opposition. So the water droplets can just be swept away after the chain is dropped in or lifted out or agitated in the wax.
There don't seem to be pooling points inside a chain where water could conceivably hide especially if the chain is agitated whilst in the wax. However I think the agitation isn't even necessary.

I understand about low thermal capacity and flammability of wax. I was just not sure that there is much difference between watching one pot vs. two pots of the same material.
It's mainly about monitoring two temperatures instead of one and managing heat settings for two pots instead of one. My induction plate even on it's lowest setting can heat a kilo of wax to a surprisingly high temperatures if I'm not careful with it.

As I noted above (in post #1240), a Crock Pot (the actual brand, not the genericized term that some people use to refer to all slow cookers) would maintain a temperature of 98 *C.
That's true but my experience has been that once the lid is removed, the wax surface solidifies and any chains added in take a very long time to warm enough to shed off the layer of wax that forms when they're first put in. Even when the chains are boiled seconds prior.
Perhaps it'll be different in the summer, but this has been a fairly cool winter and my crock pot can't keep up against -10 celsius with wax that has such a high melting point.

As noted above, salt does not dissolve in OMS. But if one has waxed a chain properly to begin with, any road salt would be on the surface of the wax, such that the salt would also come off when you use OMS to remove the wax.
While wax is really difficult to remove from metal, mechanical abrasion will do it. After 200km in a wet road salty environment a lot of the wax on the outside of the chain has been worn off leaving metal exposed to the elements. This of course leads to rust (which I don't really care about on the outside of the chain) and salt adhering to the metal. Considering what chlorine atoms do when they get their corrosive hands on steel, I've found it best to try to wash away most of it with water, since salt can actually dissolve in it.

Some slight amount of water would remain within the chain because water is polar while wax and OMS are not.
While writing this comment I did a bit more digging and it's a lot more complicated that just polar vs non polar. Surface tension is one thing that has a major role in which substance eventually sticks to the metal and paraffin wax at 100C has only around half of the surface tension of water.

There are oil/water separators which rely on the fact that oil will stick to metal more readily than water. Wax isn't oil but molten wax has similar characteristics and will behave in a similar fashion.
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Old 03-17-24, 08:03 AM
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Boiling water is going to raise the temperature of the steel to where it rusts much faster than room temperature. Of course you would get rust spots doing that. Most chemical reactions go much faster with heat.
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Old 03-17-24, 09:03 AM
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On a bike where I use teflon lubes and clean the chain with simple green and water, I finish with an aerosol chain cleaner to drive out the water quickly.

My plan for re-wax of a super messy chain would be similaróif I need to use boiling water to clear out the old gunk, the chain will be off the bike anyway and I can follow with denatured alcohol.
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Old 03-17-24, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by McFlyRides
On a bike where I use teflon lubes and clean the chain with simple green and water, I finish with an aerosol chain cleaner to drive out the water quickly.

My plan for re-wax of a super messy chain would be similaróif I need to use boiling water to clear out the old gunk, the chain will be off the bike anyway and I can follow with denatured alcohol.
Why would a waxed chain ever be messy?

Boiling water rusts steel.
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