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Rod Walker




Location: NSW, Australia.
Joined: 05 Feb 2004

Posts: 212

PostPosted: Mon 24 Jul, 2006 6:04 pm    Post subject: Caring for your harness/weapons         Reply with quote

Quote:
Olive oil and beeswax ? Sounds interesting, but I don't want to highjack this thread: It might be interesting learning more about this and how you maintain your armour. Maybe you could start a topic about it ?


Hi Jean, I use to use modern sprays like CRC and WD-40 to keep my harness and weapons oiled up. The main problem with this is the smell, the horrible greasiness (sp) and the fact that it destroys the leather.

I was speaking with a friend and he mentioned that a friend of his was using an olive oil and beeswax mix. I had read about this years ago and it struck me as a far more attractive and period way of doing it.

It is so easy to make. Heat up 1 litre of olive oil, do not let it boil, just simmer. Then when it is heated add about 350 grams of beeswax, let it all melt into the olive oil, don't forget to stir all the time. Turn the heat off and let it set. That's it.

When completely cool it is a softish consistency.

I added a little bit of rose oil for a more attractive smell. You can add whatever herbs you like.

I keep mine in a small wooden box with a rag so that it soaks it all up.

It can be used on armour, weapons and leather and repels water like nothing on Earth. I love it.

I keep my armour in soft cloth bags and they tend to get coated on the inside with the mix as well.

Cheers

Rod
Jouster
www.jousting.com.au

"Come! Let us lay a lance in rest,
And tilt at windmills under a wild sky!
For who would live so petty and unblessed
That dare not tilt at something, ere he die?"
--Errantry, John Galsworthy
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 24 Jul, 2006 8:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Rod, sounds pretty good. Cool

A thin film I would guess and not a heavy glop dripping with the stuff Question How does fabric you want to stay reasonably clean react to light contact with armour coated with this ? I guess it depends on it being more like a dry waxy finish or an oily feeling finish.

Sort of the poor man's renaissance wax. ( A bit costly, the renaissance wax that is, but it is " museum quality stuff " that won't damage stuff or react with art objects i.e. change colors or chemically react etc ........ )

When those " museum " standards are not an issue regular car wax might be a good substitute to renaissance wax.

In the case of the olive oil and bees wax do you think it work even better ? I get that impression from your post.

Renaissance wax seem great if you don't have to handle the object much, but I don't know how protective it is or sticks to the surface when handled a lot. Comparatively speaking, how often does one have to rewax with the olive oil & bee's wax mix ?

Sorry for the blizzard of questions. Eek! Laughing Out Loud

If it's that good maybe someone should make and market it. ( How messy is it to make anyway ? )

Oh, SAFETY QUESTION: Any danger of spontaneous combustion with rags coated with this ? I would assume no, but had to ask. Wink Laughing Out Loud

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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
Joined: 27 Dec 2005

Posts: 309

PostPosted: Mon 24 Jul, 2006 10:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jean,

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

If it's that good maybe someone should make and market it. ( How messy is it to make anyway ? )

Oh, SAFETY QUESTION: Any danger of spontaneous combustion with rags coated with this ? I would assume no, but had to ask. Wink Laughing Out Loud


Not much real point in marketing it. It really is trivially easy to make. I use the stuff on leather and have found it's a great restorative. It seems to last longer than the commercially made lanolin-rich goop I use on really dry leather.

I make mine up by melting the beeswax in a tin can held in boiling water. You can do it directly over the stove but beeswax has a low melting point and a low flash point so I wouldn't advise it. Once the wax has all melted just add the oil and pour into a convenient container to cool. Once you're done you just toss out the tin can so there isn't even much cleanup - provided you haven't spilt it on the countertop and stove Happy

Safety-wise there shouldn't be any issue with spontaneous combustion since it isn't exothermic on drying. AFAIK linseed oil is the only thing you have to worry about that with.

--
Al.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 6:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Al Muckart wrote:
Hi Jean,

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

If it's that good maybe someone should make and market it. ( How messy is it to make anyway ? )

Oh, SAFETY QUESTION: Any danger of spontaneous combustion with rags coated with this ? I would assume no, but had to ask. Wink Laughing Out Loud


Not much real point in marketing it. It really is trivially easy to make. I use the stuff on leather and have found it's a great restorative. It seems to last longer than the commercially made lanolin-rich goop I use on really dry leather.


Thanks for the alternate way of making it: It seems a lot less messy and one could make it directly in an old can and have zero clean up to do. Wink

Just have to be sure to have " real " beeswax and not some paraffin or something else synthetic.

I would assume that there would be no need to buy an expensive olive oil ?

I'm much more tempted to try it now. Wink Cool

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 7:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What's your time worth to you? For $30 you can buy off-the-shelf, museum-standard protection for your collection and likely never run out of the stuff. Even if you wax your collection obessively, if you're following the instructions it'll be a very long time before you use up a jar of Renaissance Wax. If you figure your time is worth $15 per hour, at minimum, you can't beat RW if it takes you longer than two hours to find ingredients, prepare and store the DIY protectant. And that's assuming that what you come up with will be as stable and protective as the museum-tested stuff, which isn't likely. Seems like false economy to me, and I'm a DIY afficionado. Confused
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Gary Venable




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 7:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Where is a good place to get Renaissance Wax?
Gary
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Venable wrote:
Where is a good place to get Renaissance Wax?


MRL has sold it for years. Or you can try this. Happy

Happy

ChadA

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 7:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I got mine from MRL:
http://www.museumreplicas.com/webstore/eCat/m...e_wax.aspx
It's a cheap way to get on the MRL mailing list, if you're not already.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Rod Walker




Location: NSW, Australia.
Joined: 05 Feb 2004

Posts: 212

PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 7:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not false economy for me, we don't get Renaissance Wax here in Oz that I am aware of.
Cheers

Rod
Jouster
www.jousting.com.au

"Come! Let us lay a lance in rest,
And tilt at windmills under a wild sky!
For who would live so petty and unblessed
That dare not tilt at something, ere he die?"
--Errantry, John Galsworthy
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 8:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rod;

Here is where I got my renaissance wax: http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/index.asp?...rodID=1304

Don't know how the home made product compares to the Renaissance wax ? One thing the renaissance wax is very good for is that it has very high standards where you can safely use it on expensive and delicate originals without worrying that some unfortunate reaction might damage a work of art or change colors ( Yellow a painting for an example. )

Sean;

One thing though is that armour worn outside would / should take large amounts of wax because of large surfaces and repeated applications because of very active use. ( My economy munitions armour would be what I would use this on mostly and save the expensive stuff for the " expensive stuff ". )

I know that the Renaissance wax is very effective with a display piece that is not handled or only handled gently.
I have no idea how much handling it takes to remove the protective effect of the Renaissance wax.

The home made stuff doesn't sound like it is very time consuming to make and a large batch should last months or years?

Another factor is does the olive oil mix turn rancid after a long time or does the wax stablelise it ?

I'm just looking for +/- of each and just curious and asking questions.

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Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Tue 25 Jul, 2006 8:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 8:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

International shipping charges would certainly change the value of the RW, but it does seem to be available in Australia in some fashion.

These folks are using it:
http://amol.org.au/recollections/2/2/10.htm

They might be ordering it in large quantities direct from Picreator, though. Even so, they might be willing to sell you some. This stuff is so widely recognized as the conservation standard that I'll be shocked if it isn't commercially available in Austrialia. One .au site suggests checking with bookbinders. I'd suggest checking with auction houses/antique dealers as well. Best of all, call a local museum.

By the way, I certainly meant no offense with my earlier comments. I love to see folks doing things for themselves. But RW really isn't very expensive when you consider how long it lasts, and it was created because other waxes (including beeswax) were found to be hazardous to materials in longterm usage. DIY protectant isn't likely to harm reproduction collections, but there's always the chance....

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 9:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Rod;

Here is where I got my renaissance wax: http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/index.asp?...rodID=1304

Don't know how the home made product compares to the Renaissance wax ? One thing the renaissance wax is very good for is that it has very high standards where you can safely use it on expensive and delicate originals without worrying that some unfortunate reaction might damage a work of art or change colors ( Yellow a painting for an example. )

Sean;

One thing though is that armour worn outside would / should take large amounts of wax because of large surfaces and repeated applications because of very active use. ( My economy munitions armour would be what I would use this on mostly and save the expensive stuff for the " expensive stuff ". )

I know that the Renaissance wax is very effective with a display piece that is not handled or only handled gently.
I have no idea how much handling it takes to remove the protective effect of the Renaissance wax.

The home made stuff doesn't sound like it is very time consuming to make and a large batch should last months or years?

Another factor is does the olive oil mix turn rancid after a long time or does the wax stablelise it ?

I'm just looking for +/- of each and just curious and asking questions.


RW hardens immediately, so in theory isn't easily wiped off. Having said that, it would see lots of abuse at a harness's pivot points/overlaps. Sweat or casual handling alone probably wouldn't penetrate the wax, but I can't imagine that they'd be very good for it. The flipside is that RW was invented because other waxes were found to be destructive. Without some experimentation it's down to an educated guess. I'd still go with the RW even for arms and armour that see regular use. I'd just apply a thin layer of wax (and we're just talking about keeping a rag in the jar and using what accumulates there rather than scooping out spoonfulls of the stuff) and resigning myself to completely cleaning and rewaxing the piece at longer intervals. But if the DIY stuff works for the the hard-use items, is safe and actually saves money, I'm all for it., especially for munitions-grade items (which I'd tend to want browned or blackened anyway).

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Joe Loder




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 10:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Olive oil can combust as it dries I am sad to say. A friend of mine used it exclusively to care for his armor. His trailer burned down and the fire marshall determined that the olive oil had started his armor bag and gambeson on fire and then it went from there. He got told that any organic oil will behave exothermically as it dries. No idea what he uses to care for his armor now.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 11:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Loder wrote:
Olive oil can combust as it dries I am sad to say. A friend of mine used it exclusively to care for his armor. His trailer burned down and the fire marshall determined that the olive oil had started his armor bag and gambeson on fire and then it went from there. He got told that any organic oil will behave exothermically as it dries. No idea what he uses to care for his armor now.


Eek!

And I thought olive oil was supposed to be good for us!

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Joe Loder




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 12:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Even after hearing this news I can assure you that I'm not swearing off Pesto sauce or cooking with it Happy. I'm just not going to use it to oil my armor. I imagine that his gambeson acted like a huge candle wick or something similar.

I use gun oil at the moment but after reading this thread now I have some lower cost ideas. Thank you everyone!

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 12:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Loder wrote:
Even after hearing this news I can assure you that I'm not swearing off Pesto sauce or cooking with it Happy.


Yup. In fact, I could go up at any moment I eat so much of the stuff. Maybe I should switch to Renaissance Wax.

Next thing you know, they'll be telling us not to rub salmon and beer on our arms and armour Laughing Out Loud

By the way, speaking of the cost of Renaissance Wax, some conservators fully immerse artifacts in heated RW, then clean off the excess. That would be some serious startup expense if we're talking about large items like arms and armour, but I suppose it'd last a long time even in that usage. A tank of RW. Just think about that for a minute....

-Sean

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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
...Here is where I got my renaissance wax: http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/index.asp?...rodID=1304 ....

Jean's link to Highland Hardware is the best source that I have found for Renaissance Wax. Great price (much less expensive than MRL, for example) and very prompt service.

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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 4:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've used Ballistol now for several years and have been very satisfied with its properties. I use it on leather as well as metals with good success. It does a good job of polishing up brass and bronze too. I prefer it as an oil since it's natural and not caustic. The only downside is my wife hates the smell of it. (personally I think it's one of those nice "man" smells) It also works well as a cleaner/lubricant on firearms so it has an added versatility for me personally. I'd consider using RW on pieces that aren't going to see much handling, ie. hanging in a display over the longterm. Other than that I'm just to old-fashioned I guess. I just can't get my head around waxing my weapons like my car. Big Grin

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 5:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean;

Hmmmmmm: I've probably been using way too much of it at each application, but even then my original tin is 2/3 full after more than a year of using it.

The way you say to use it would be to take the shamy rag I use and store in the can almost as it is from just being in the tin and maybe just rubbing a tiny fresh amount on it ! In that case it should last years. Eek! Laughing Out Loud

Oh, you may have seemed a little " tense " or " intense " a couple of messages back at first reading but that's mostly just the problem with online communications. Wink On second reading I just decided to " unknot " my shorts and not read anything into it. In any case your contributions / opinions are always interesting and useful.

No problem at my end. Cool And I hope you take my humour for what it is " humour " : Good humour in fact. Wink Cool Laughing Out Loud

( Note: In French good humour " BONNE HUMEUR " actually mean being in a particularly good mood: So my joke is actually a cross languages PUN. )

Oh, the combustibility problem seems to be as it's drying( DIY) if I understood correctly: Once dry on a metal surface it " might '
be safe. I would wet and throw away any rags quickly or just use toilet paper and flush it after use. On the other hand a gambison becoming a wick sounds NOT GOOD if one walks around an open fire. YIKES Eek!

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Al Muckart




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 8:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Loder wrote:
Olive oil can combust as it dries I am sad to say. A friend of mine used it exclusively to care for his armor. His trailer burned down and the fire marshall determined that the olive oil had started his armor bag and gambeson on fire and then it went from there. He got told that any organic oil will behave exothermically as it dries. No idea what he uses to care for his armor now.


Interesting, thanks for sharing that.

I wonder if being mixed with beeswax suppresses that tendency at all. I woundn't have thought this would be a problem for a mixture spread over armour and left to dry but I never leave the rag I use lying out in the air anyway, it lives in the jar with the goo.

--
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