Parafin Wax

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Parafin Wax

Postby jacks1071 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:30 pm

Anyone tried Parafin wax on their chain?

I washed a few of my bikes yesterday and since they were clean thought I'd give it a go. I picked up some wax from a local hairdresser wholesale place.

Not sure how long it'll last but from what I read 1600kms in the dry.

The drive train is SILENT and feels so smooth. Actually wasn't that much effort once I got a little production line happening - if I can get at least a month out of it I can see some more of this happening. I can also wipe my hand on the chain and not get covered in grease and oil which is a whole new experience.

My workshop also smells lovely :-)
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by BNA » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:11 pm

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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby mitzikatzi » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:11 pm

Some comments on wax here
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby barefoot » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:01 am

jacks1071 wrote:Anyone tried Parafin wax on their chain?
...
Not sure how long it'll last but from what I read 1600kms in the dry.


Yep.

Mitzi has already linked to one of my posts about it.

I'm not sure about durability in the dry, because I live in Ballarat :roll: ... but my experience of mixed use would suggest that 1600km is very optimistic.

Still, it's a good way to clean and seal a chain.

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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby Duck! » Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:23 pm

I'd also say 1600km is extremely optimistic.

Wax lubes break down into a fine powder as the chain moves, and while most of it stays on the chain while it's dry, there is still a lot of dispersal.. Wet conditions flush the wax powder off very quickly.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby jacks1071 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:25 pm

I like the idea of mixing up a "brew" - so far I'm about 80km in. I have a tiny bit of drive train noise over about 200 watts but its still way quieter than any chain lube at this time. Definitely seems as though it is wearing off though and 1600kms is definitely not realistic. 200kms sounds realistic but that'd be disappointing although it really isn't much work now that I'm setup for it.

First ride, it felt AMAZING - so slick and almost effortless to push. Also the drive train was completely silent, that could become pretty addictive.

Can anyone tell me what the best (readily available) source of PTFE would be? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytetrafluoroethylene would be?

From what I've read thats the absolute best stuff to put into your wax. I bought the "friction facts" report and the guy there does a parafin wax brew but doesn't disclose the exact recipie however it seemed that PTFE was the key additive.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby barefoot » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:41 am

jacks1071 wrote:Can anyone tell me what the best (readily available) source of PTFE would be? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytetrafluoroethylene would be?

From what I've read thats the absolute best stuff to put into your wax. I bought the "friction facts" report and the guy there does a parafin wax brew but doesn't disclose the exact recipie however it seemed that PTFE was the key additive.


Like I said in my post - teflon-based engine treatment.

I'm firmly of the belief that PTFE (teflon) is a bad thing to put in an engine, but given that they do, it's an easy source.

I use Fowlers Vaccola canning wax, which comes from the supermarket in ~200g tubs (like a takeaway food container) for a couple of bucks. One of those blocks with about 1/3 bottle of Nulon engine treatment (~$15) does me fine.

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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby mitzikatzi » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:44 am

Any large Auto shop will sell you a bottle of "snake oil engine treatment" full of PTFE.

Beeswax plus gum turpentine is used to make wood polish. This is like soft wax it might not flake off the chain so quickly.

I have given this hot wax lubing a fair bit of thought/research and was set to give it a try. I just use Squirt wax the only down side is it is $15 to $20 a bottle the hot wax method seems a lot cheaper.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby Bob_TAS » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:51 pm

Gotta give this a try, will use the road bike I'm doing up for a mate. 1kg block cost me $29.15. Is it odorous when molten? can a crappy old saucepan cut the mustard?
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby mitzikatzi » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:49 pm

Bob_TAS wrote:Gotta give this a try, will use the road bike I'm doing up for a mate. 1kg block cost me $29.15. Is it odorous when molten? can a crappy old saucepan cut the mustard?


Some say it is safer to use a pot in a water bath to melt the wax.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby Bob_TAS » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:04 pm

mitzikatzi wrote:
Bob_TAS wrote:Gotta give this a try, will use the road bike I'm doing up for a mate. 1kg block cost me $29.15. Is it odorous when molten? can a crappy old saucepan cut the mustard?


Some say it is safer to use a pot in a water bath to melt the wax.


Good thinking, will do. I hear that paraffin has a flash point (although quite high) but this may be a safer option.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby Mark Kelly » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:11 pm

jacks1071 wrote:
Can anyone tell me what the best (readily available) source of PTFE would be? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytetrafluoroethylene would be?


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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby barefoot » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:20 pm

mitzikatzi wrote:
Bob_TAS wrote:Gotta give this a try, will use the road bike I'm doing up for a mate. 1kg block cost me $29.15. Is it odorous when molten? can a crappy old saucepan cut the mustard?


Some say it is safer to use a pot in a water bath to melt the wax.


I used a crappy old saucepan on an electric hotplate (turned down fairly low to avoid any potential splash-ignition accidents), until I got my crappy old electric wok.

I'm probably getting a little bit more teflon in my wax brew every time I scrape more non-stick coating off my non-stick wok :lol:

The electric wok (or any other temperature-controlled electric cookware) is awesome. Partly because it's easy, partly because it doesn't have to be done in the kitchen, where you run the risk of getting into trouble from Management for splashing wax all over the designer stainless splashback.

It's hard to get a dripping hot waxy chain out of your wax bath without making a bit of a mess. I used to carry my saucepan full of chain and molten wax outside before fishing the chain out. Probably not something the OHS policy condones. Now my wax mess is in my shed - nobody else's problem but mine.

I wouldn't want to heat a saucepan full of wax on a gas cooktop or camp stove. Even in a double-boiler water bath thing. In reality, it's probably no more dangerous than heating a pot of oil to deep-fry a batch of chippies [citation needed], but I get a bit nervous about putting flammable liquids near flames.

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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby jacks1071 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:20 pm

barefoot wrote:It's hard to get a dripping hot waxy chain out of your wax bath without making a bit of a mess. I used to carry my saucepan full of chain and molten wax outside before fishing the chain out. Probably not something the OHS policy condones. Now my wax mess is in my shed - nobody else's problem but mine.



Hook a piece of fencing wire through it before you drop it in :-)

I bent up a piece and set my ladder up above the croc pot so when I lifted it out, I let it hang directly above the pot so the run off ran back in there.

An old croc pot is safe as but it'll take 30-60 minutes to melt it. I saw the ones that the waxing places use on ebay for $30.

This stuff is flamable so low heat is definitely the go to keep it safe.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby jacks1071 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:26 pm

Bob_TAS wrote:Gotta give this a try, will use the road bike I'm doing up for a mate. 1kg block cost me $29.15. Is it odorous when molten? can a crappy old saucepan cut the mustard?


This is probably a bad time to tell you that I got 1kg for $15 from the hair wholesale joint.

The stuff I got smells really nice since its made for doing your feet and hands??

Old saucepan would be fine but use real low heat, it takes bugger all to melt it and I'm told this stuff is flamable if you over heat it.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby Bob_TAS » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:53 pm

jacks1071 wrote:
Bob_TAS wrote:Gotta give this a try, will use the road bike I'm doing up for a mate. 1kg block cost me $29.15. Is it odorous when molten? can a crappy old saucepan cut the mustard?


This is probably a bad time to tell you that I got 1kg for $15 from the hair wholesale joint.

The stuff I got smells really nice since its made for doing your feet and hands??

Old saucepan would be fine but use real low heat, it takes bugger all to melt it and I'm told this stuff is flamable if you over heat it.


Yeah I'd be hard pressed to find a wholesale hairdressing supplier down here, but will keep an eye out just in case.

This stuff is just a slab of almost odourless crystalline white wax, looks like something out of breaking bad :twisted:

Will grab a small, cheap, inefficient saucepan from Coles. Should be right on the lowest heat setting but will keep an eye on it.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby warthog1 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:11 pm

barefoot wrote:
I'm firmly of the belief that PTFE (teflon) is a bad thing to put in an engine, but given that they do, it's an easy source.


tim


Why is Teflon a bad thing to put in an engine?
I have heard something similar before but craft (can't remember) disease has got me again.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby trailgumby » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:18 pm

There's a thread on rotorburn somewhere I think about making your own lube from a combo of paraffin, beeswax and I can't remember the solvent.

Me, I just use Squirt lube which seems to be much the same thing. Nice clean drivetrain, quiet operation, not that water resistant but good enough. Started using it from the little sampler bottles they gave away at the Mont 24 last year, and found it was pretty good. Am now using it in preference to Purple Extreme.

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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby mitzikatzi » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:00 am

Squirt is made in SA as in South Africa.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby Nobody » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:24 am

warthog1 wrote:
barefoot wrote:
I'm firmly of the belief that PTFE (teflon) is a bad thing to put in an engine, but given that they do, it's an easy source.


tim


Why is Teflon a bad thing to put in an engine?
I have heard something similar before but craft (can't remember) disease has got me again.
I've read/heard it can gum up in the piston ring landings and make the rings less effective. I used Slick50 in about '96 and didn't have a problem with it. Sold the car in about 2000.

These days I avoid using PTFE and similar chemicals due to being potential carcinogens.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby barefoot » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:16 am

warthog1 wrote:
barefoot wrote:I'm firmly of the belief that PTFE (teflon) is a bad thing to put in an engine, but given that they do, it's an easy source.


Why is Teflon a bad thing to put in an engine?
I have heard something similar before but craft (can't remember) disease has got me again.


If it was a good idea, I reckon the big lubrication specialist companies (Shell, Mobil, Castrol, Fuchs etc.) would probably be on it, rather than leaving it to (comparative) back-yard hack organisations like Nulon and Slik50 to come up with additives. It's not like they don't load up their engine oils with functional additives already.

Teflon is difficult to stick on anything. It's sure as heck not going to stick to moving engine parts, coated with oil, under (mechanically) lukewarm conditions. At least, not to the bits you want it stuck to (the bits that slide against each other).

Rub a metal spatula against a teflon-coated frypan a few times to see how durable teflon coatings are, even if they are stuck to the metal under favourable conditions. Continuing to rub isn't going to stick the coating back on.

So you're really just putting a bunch of fine particles in your engine. Best case, they'll get caught up in your oil filter and taken out of circulation (reducing the capacity of the filter for taking other bad stuff out of the oil). Worse, they might get stuck somewhere else in the engine.

Anyway, back to chain waxing... I don't really know whether there's any benefit in actually putting PTFE itself in the mix. But something in the Nulon seems to be beneficial. It could be the solvent, for all I know. Nulon makes the wax less brittle, for starters, so it doesn't flake off. A bit of PTFE isn't going to hurt with lubrication anyway, if it manages to stay in the right place.

I used Nulon in cars for a while, years ago (late '90s). Both engines got smoky after using it. They were old and mostly shagged anyway, so maybe they would have suddenly got smoky anyway. Or maybe the oil rings got gunked up with teflon particles as Nobody suggests. These days, I'd rather spend an extra $15 on better oil from somebody who knows more about oil than I do. And more than Nulon does.

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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby im_no_pro » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:28 am

barefoot wrote: These days, I'd rather spend an extra $15 on better oil from somebody who knows more about oil than I do. And more than Nulon does.

tim


Have you tried Nulon oil (not the additives)? Pretty good IME. Have been using their products for some years now ever since I started using their coolant on my falcon (best chance of not doing a head was to use Nulon). Australian (privately) owned/made also.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby warthog1 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:30 pm

Thanks Nobody and Barefoot. :)
Makes sense. It's good to have some technically literate people on the forum :)

I have used Nulon in an engine before but will avoid it now. Got some of their G70 additive in the gearbox of my patrol. Hopefully less potential for it to stuff things in there. The synchro rings are still working anyway, which I was worried might not be the case.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby Nobody » Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:01 pm

warthog1 wrote:Got some of their G70 additive in the gearbox of my patrol. Hopefully less potential for it to stuff things in there. The synchro rings are still working anyway, which I was worried might not be the case.
G70 for gearboxes is a good thing according to a colleague who collects and builds engines for a hobby. His circle of friends are very knowledgeable in mechanical areas too. I've used it in the past and it appeared to improve things slightly.

As barefoot says, the engine PTFE does nothing at best in my colleague's opinion.
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby warthog1 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:24 pm

Nobody wrote:G70 for gearboxes is a good thing according to a colleague who collects and builds engines for a hobby. His circle of friends are very knowledgeable in mechanical areas too. I've used it in the past and it appeared to improve things slightly.

As barefoot says, the engine PTFE does nothing at best in my colleague's opinion.



No worries then, thanks mate. :)
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Re: Parafin Wax

Postby Pedaling » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:34 pm

"If it was a good idea, I reckon the big lubrication specialist companies (Shell, Mobil, Castrol, Fuchs etc.) would probably be on it, rather than leaving it to (comparative) back-yard hack organisations like Nulon and Slik50 to come up with additives." Barefoot.

I have been through Nulon where they formulate their oils, and a number of other facilities and from what I have seen, the Nulon plant in Sydney is fantastic. After a tour through their facilities, which are spotless, I only use Nulon oils in my race car and my road car.

Disclaimer; I do not work for, or I am no way associated with Nulon.
They are a small Australian company making a great product.
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