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Linseed oil/beeswax/pine tar special sauce... I put this stuff on everything...

Steve(Can)

Well-known member
This is a wood, metal, leather polish, waterproofer and preserver based on an old time pioneer recipe. Its fairly simple and cheap to make and use, I use it on most everything.

The ingredients and proportions are pretty simple.

• 1 part beeswax
• a good gollup of pine tar
• 3 parts linseed oil
• 1 part mineral spirits

The proportions are pretty forgiving and footloose and fancy free... You can mix the wax, linseed oil and mineral spirits at a 1:1:1 or a 1:2:1 ratio, even stretch it out to a a 1:3:1 ratio, and the mixture will be stiffer or runnier, give more of a hand rubbed oil effect or a waterproofing effect. The ratio above is what I generally aim for though I will add more mineral spirits for brushing into canvas.

• Beeswax seems to work best, but you can get away with paraffin or even wax toilet rings. The paraffin tends to be brittle so you might want to add more mineral spirits; the wax in toilet rings is sticky, so with that cut down on the spirit or don't use any at all.

• Pine tar is a natural disinfectant and gives protection against mold and mildew... also adds a darkening colour and gives a nice smell.

• Linseed oil is a drying oil, which means it dries to a tough polymer coating. There are other drying oils, teak and walnut, but linseed is a lot cheaper. Raw linseed works but can take a long time to dry. Boiled linseed dries pretty quick because it has cobalt or other metal driers added. Food grade linseed is also available. The boiled linseed oil you get at the hardware store is definitely NOT food grade. Linseed oil has been used for centuries for it's drying and waterproofing... in the olden days the big canvas sails on sailing ships were coated in linseed oil and the sailors made rain coats out of them whenever the sails were replace. Linseed tends to turn canvas yellow, which is why when they started making raincoats out of rubberized material, they coloured it yellow so it would look like the old raincoats the sailors wore.

• The amount of mineral spirits affects the consistancy, from a mayonaise to a peanut butter to a soft lard, The above mixture gives a soft lard that seems to melt and sink in nicely when it's brushed or rubbed on. You can use turpentine or paint thinner, but the mineral spirits is the most refined and has a bit less smell. You can skip the mineral spirits altogether and the beeswax, linseed and pinetar will make a useable paste wax.


ss2.jpg


You'll need a set up something like this... a portable stove or hot plate, or if you are braver than I am, your wife's kitchen. Nobody should be brave enough to use your wife's pots. If you don't have an old junker in your workshop, best go to the junk store or a yard sale and pick one up for a couple bucks. I use an old pot to boil the water and a coffee tin to melt the wax in.

Important, you want a container in boiling water to melt the wax, especially paraffin which can explode. Take your time, even at low heat, it doesn't take too long to melt the wax into a liquid.

ss1.jpg


Once you melt the wax completely, shut off the stove, but keep your coffee tin in the boiling water to keep the mixture hot.
Spoon in a gollup of pine tar and stir it into the hot wax.
Carefully pour in your linseed oil and mix it in good.
Finally pour in the mineral spirits and mix it again.

The hot water should keep this all warm enough to still be a liquid.

Have a bunch of clean jars ready, the small wide mouth mason jars work good. Fill up the jars with the mixture, let it cool and put on lids. This stuff will store in a cupboard for a year or two with no problem.

ss3.jpg


I made this batch a year ago last Christmas and gave bottles to friends as a gift. I gotta couple bottles left and It's still looking good.

Like I said, I use it for everything... it can be applied with a stiff bristle brush or just taking a glob on a rag and wiping on.... as a wood polish that give the effect of a hand rubbed oil. Just wipe it on, let it soak in and dry, give it another coat if you want, let it dry and then polish with a rag.

ss4.jpg


Linseed alone is not the best waterproofer, but with the beeswax in the mix it really does a nice job with outdoor stuff... my favorite paddle...
ss6.jpg


This paddle was a gift from my wife the first year we were married... so I suppose it's almost an antique. It's one piece carved from ash, a fairly white wood when it is sawn, so that colour is the patina of a lot of years in the sun and the water. I give it a coat in the spring and one again in the fall before hanging it up for the winter. It soaks right in and gives a nice tough protective finish. No sanding ever needed like you'd have to with varnish. And the water beads right off it.
ss7.jpg


Around the workshop... a little box for the sharpening stone. Made this out of the old fence board and finished it with the special sauce. The really neat thing about this concoction, when it dries it makes stuff look and feel like it has been around a hundred years. You know that feeling, an old handle when you feel it, worn smooth with a tough coating on it from years of sweat and oil from someone's hands. Often times, before I put on the special sause, I will add a wash of thin oil paint, the burnt umbers and siennas to stain the wood like you'd do with Danish Oil. I'm going for the colour you find on the stocks of old winchester 1894's, most of you would know what I mean. This is not to try to fool someone that this stuff is antique... it's just art in a way I suppose. The way I like my stuff to look.

ss5.jpg


This stuff works on most anything you use in the outdoors. Protects the cork from drying out on fishing rods, a thin wipe on reels... for you northern guys, rubbing it on the eyelets of the rod will keep them from freezing up in the colder months. A little fly box I made up, with a leather hinge and closure... all coated and protected with this stuff.
ss10.jpg


On cloth... this is what the old timers used to waterproof work clothing... they called it tincloth... the linseed and beeswax made canvas tough and water-proof. I've done canvas back packs, and these... a canvas reel case I sewed up one time, and to waterproof my favorite fishing hat. Before when it got wet, it would soak through and the brim would sag down looking pretty sad after an extended rain. Now it keeps it shape through the worst of downpours and the water beads off it like a so'wester newfie fisherman's hat. I can even fill it with water to douse a campfire.
ss8.jpg


As well as wood and canvas and leather, this stuff works great as a rust protector on metal... a good example... this old belt axe I found metal detecting. It was a ball of rust when I dug it, but electolisized it and cleaned it up, carved a 1' handle for it to double as a measuring stick, the sheath made from a chunk of old boot. The metal, the wood, the leather, all protected with the special sauce and looking and feeling in your hand like it was handed down from great grandpa.

ss9.jpg


ooops... run out of space...
 

Steve(Can)

Well-known member
Joanna and I like to go out antiquing... I like old tools and fishing rods and she always picks up this or that... this is a cast iron rabbit... on this there wasn't a lot of rust so to preserve the patina, I just gave it a gentle cleaning and rubbed the special sauce right on.... as mentioned, this easy wipe on treatment gives the feel that the thing has been rubbed smooth handling and got the oil of 100 years embeded into it. A very natural looking and feeling preservative that makes this old stuff glow of value...

Easy to wipe a thin coat on the metal of any old tools, saws, wrenches, vices... protects them from rusting, preserves their natural patina, makes them look like a million bucks. Also good for restoring old furnure... does a nice job believe it or not, right over scratched and marred old varnish....quick and easy without sanding.

In the pic, a hand carved cherry wood pipe... I made up a bunch of these through the winter.... I DID NOT use the special sauce on these... just gave them all a final buffing and polish with wax.

ss11.jpg


A paintbox I made up a while ago, for painting on location outdoors, nice size that fits into a back pack and throws into the canoe... no hinges, just pivots on two screws. Inside and outside, coated in the special sauce... for waterproofing the outside... to make it easier to scrape off the dried paint inside. For the inside, I used a heat gun to really sink the wax and linseed oil into the wood, then built up several coats to make it easier to scrape the inside clean.
ss12.jpg

ss13.jpg


****
 

Missouri--Ma Betty

Well-known member
This is a wood, metal, leather polish, waterproofer and preserver based on an old time pioneer recipe. Its fairly simple and cheap to make and use, I use it on most everything.

The ingredients and proportions are pretty simple.

• 1 part beeswax
• a good gollup of pine tar
• 3 parts linseed oil
• 1 part mineral spirits

The proportions are pretty forgiving and footloose and fancy free... You can mix the wax, linseed oil and mineral spirits at a 1:1:1 or a 1:2:1 ratio, even stretch it out to a a 1:3:1 ratio, and the mixture will be stiffer or runnier, give more of a hand rubbed oil effect or a waterproofing effect. The ratio above is what I generally aim for though I will add more mineral spirits for brushing into canvas.

• Beeswax seems to work best, but you can get away with paraffin or even wax toilet rings. The paraffin tends to be brittle so you might want to add more mineral spirits; the wax in toilet rings is sticky, so with that cut down on the spirit or don't use any at all.

• Pine tar is a natural disinfectant and gives protection against mold and mildew... also adds a darkening colour and gives a nice smell.

• Linseed oil is a drying oil, which means it dries to a tough polymer coating. There are other drying oils, teak and walnut, but linseed is a lot cheaper. Raw linseed works but can take a long time to dry. Boiled linseed dries pretty quick because it has cobalt or other metal driers added. Food grade linseed is also available. The boiled linseed oil you get at the hardware store is definitely NOT food grade. Linseed oil has been used for centuries for it's drying and waterproofing... in the olden days the big canvas sails on sailing ships were coated in linseed oil and the sailors made rain coats out of them whenever the sails were replace. Linseed tends to turn canvas yellow, which is why when they started making raincoats out of rubberized material, they coloured it yellow so it would look like the old raincoats the sailors wore.

• The amount of mineral spirits affects the consistancy, from a mayonaise to a peanut butter to a soft lard, The above mixture gives a soft lard that seems to melt and sink in nicely when it's brushed or rubbed on. You can use turpentine or paint thinner, but the mineral spirits is the most refined and has a bit less smell. You can skip the mineral spirits altogether and the beeswax, linseed and pinetar will make a useable paste wax.


View attachment 2501

You'll need a set up something like this... a portable stove or hot plate, or if you are braver than I am, your wife's kitchen. Nobody should be brave enough to use your wife's pots. If you don't have an old junker in your workshop, best go to the junk store or a yard sale and pick one up for a couple bucks. I use an old pot to boil the water and a coffee tin to melt the wax in.

Important, you want a container in boiling water to melt the wax, especially paraffin which can explode. Take your time, even at low heat, it doesn't take too long to melt the wax into a liquid.

View attachment 2500

Once you melt the wax completely, shut off the stove, but keep your coffee tin in the boiling water to keep the mixture hot.
Spoon in a gollup of pine tar and stir it into the hot wax.
Carefully pour in your linseed oil and mix it in good.
Finally pour in the mineral spirits and mix it again.

The hot water should keep this all warm enough to still be a liquid.

Have a bunch of clean jars ready, the small wide mouth mason jars work good. Fill up the jars with the mixture, let it cool and put on lids. This stuff will store in a cupboard for a year or two with no problem.

View attachment 2502

I made this batch a year ago last Christmas and gave bottles to friends as a gift. I gotta couple bottles left and It's still looking good.

Like I said, I use it for everything... it can be applied with a stiff bristle brush or just taking a glob on a rag and wiping on.... as a wood polish that give the effect of a hand rubbed oil. Just wipe it on, let it soak in and dry, give it another coat if you want, let it dry and then polish with a rag.

View attachment 2503

Linseed alone is not the best waterproofer, but with the beeswax in the mix it really does a nice job with outdoor stuff... my favorite paddle...
View attachment 2505

This paddle was a gift from my wife the first year we were married... so I suppose it's almost an antique. It's one piece carved from ash, a fairly white wood when it is sawn, so that colour is the patina of a lot of years in the sun and the water. I give it a coat in the spring and one again in the fall before hanging it up for the winter. It soaks right in and gives a nice tough protective finish. No sanding ever needed like you'd have to with varnish. And the water beads right off it.
View attachment 2506

Around the workshop... a little box for the sharpening stone. Made this out of the old fence board and finished it with the special sauce. The really neat thing about this concoction, when it dries it makes stuff look and feel like it has been around a hundred years. You know that feeling, an old handle when you feel it, worn smooth with a tough coating on it from years of sweat and oil from someone's hands. Often times, before I put on the special sause, I will add a wash of thin oil paint, the burnt umbers and siennas to stain the wood like you'd do with Danish Oil. I'm going for the colour you find on the stocks of old winchester 1894's, most of you would know what I mean. This is not to try to fool someone that this stuff is antique... it's just art in a way I suppose. The way I like my stuff to look.

View attachment 2504

This stuff works on most anything you use in the outdoors. Protects the cork from drying out on fishing rods, a thin wipe on reels... for you northern guys, rubbing it on the eyelets of the rod will keep them from freezing up in the colder months. A little fly box I made up, with a leather hinge and closure... all coated and protected with this stuff.
View attachment 2509

On cloth... this is what the old timers used to waterproof work clothing... they called it tincloth... the linseed and beeswax made canvas tough and water-proof. I've done canvas back packs, and these... a canvas reel case I sewed up one time, and to waterproof my favorite fishing hat. Before when it got wet, it would soak through and the brim would sag down looking pretty sad after an extended rain. Now it keeps it shape through the worst of downpours and the water beads off it like a so'wester newfie fisherman's hat. I can even fill it with water to douse a campfire.
View attachment 2507

As well as wood and canvas and leather, this stuff works great as a rust protector on metal... a good example... this old belt axe I found metal detecting. It was a ball of rust when I dug it, but electolisized it and cleaned it up, carved a 1' handle for it to double as a measuring stick, the sheath made from a chunk of old boot. The metal, the wood, the leather, all protected with the special sauce and looking and feeling in your hand like it was handed down from great grandpa.

View attachment 2508

ooops... run out of space...
WOW! You are a talented & busy man! Nice work! Ma Betty
 

hawgdawg

Well-known member
Thanks for that recipe Steve. ,, I remember grandpa had a jar of something like that on the shelf in the tool shed ,, never really asked what it was ,, but I'm guessing now , it was pretty close to your recipe here. And I'll be trying to make a batch of that soon , cause I've got some stuff laying around that needs a good coat of something. And just for some that may not know , the food grade Linseed oil is good for coating those old wooden salad bowls , and other wooden utensils.
And another old timers wood treatment mixture ,, for wood fences , posts , wooden trailer beds , take some used motor oil , and make a 50/50 mix with diesel fuel and use one of those pump sprayers , or paint it on with a brush , and it'll have the water beading of of it like it's just been waxed. I spray my trailer beds with it , give it about a week, then spray it again ,,, then once a year , and you won't have to worry about replacing them deck boards for quite a while.
And 1 more thing Steve ,,, how doggone heavy is that shed door ??? I counted 6 hinges ,, and not sure I was seeing the whole door. You shouldn't have to worry about that door sagging on ya.
Thanks for the recipe.
 

Steve(Can)

Well-known member
Hawgdawg, the oil and diesel has to be one of the best wood preserves ever. My grandfather used it around the farm like you say, on fence posts and on the beds of trailers and wagons. Back in the day, when I was snooping around his daughters, my father-in-law put me to work helping him paint his barn with motor oil. The wood was black, but him being an old german said the carbon in the motor oil was an essential part of the preservation of the wood. The siding of that old barn has weathered so nice in all that time turning a nice dark pearly grey.

That door on the shed is extra wide and a double dutch door, so I can open the top separate for ventilation. Ya think I might have over done the hinges? :ROFLMAO:
Wanna see my shed? Started out as a rabbit hutch for my son and sorta got expanded on.
 

Micheal_R

Moderator
Staff member
Hawgdawg, the oil and diesel has to be one of the best wood preserves ever. My grandfather used it around the farm like you say, on fence posts and on the beds of trailers and wagons. Back in the day, when I was snooping around his daughters, my father-in-law put me to work helping him paint his barn with motor oil. The wood was black, but him being an old german said the carbon in the motor oil was an essential part of the preservation of the wood. The siding of that old barn has weathered so nice in all that time turning a nice dark pearly grey.

That door on the shed is extra wide and a double dutch door, so I can open the top separate for ventilation. Ya think I might have over done the hinges? :ROFLMAO:
Wanna see my shed? Started out as a rabbit hutch for my son and sorta got expanded on.
We still use Diesel/used motor oil Steve.. we paint it on the fencing .. the horses hate the taste and do not chew.. between this and pine tar,

the fences stay in pretty good condition

Fair winds

Micheal
 

Steve(Can)

Well-known member
Thanks all, love this stuff, even thought one time of making up tins with labels and selling it online as "Rod, Reel & Paddle Polish" or something like that.

As mentioned, linseed oil has been used for centuries, when it dries it becomes tough, and flexible... turned out to be our first clue to making plastic. At one time, it was mixed with cork powder or saw dust and pressed to make linoleum. Even before that, in the early days of log and sod homes with dirt floors, they'd pour linseed oil on the dirt and let it harden to make a floor that could be swept. Pretty amazing stuff. With the beeswax and pine tar, kinda cool using an old traditional recipe with tried and true natural ingredients. That it still works for everything it does better than any of the synthetic stuff on the market, hey, just goes to show. :shrug:

Never had any problem making this stuff, kinda fun making up a batch. Enough beeswax for a quart of linseed will make up a bunch of jars and do you a long time. For safety sake, read about the precautions for melting wax for candles and such, and don't use it for anything like cutting boards or spoons unless you use only food grade linseed and beeswax and NO mineral spirits.

Another consideration is to be careful with rags soaked in linseed oil and to dispose them rags safely..... As the linseed oil dries, it can heat up and rags can spontaneously combust and burst into flame. Not good.
 

Confetrit

Well-known member
Steve, I was detecting some years ago and we were relic hunting on top of this hill where a lot of relics had previously been found. We stepped into a patch of pine trees and Bam. We started finding quite a few Spencer Carbine bullets used by the Cavalry. I got a slamming hit and wound up digging a hole about 3.5 feet in circumference and about 1 foot in depth. Out of this hole I dug a number of these carbine bullets and the shell casings as if a Cavalryman was standing right there and firing away. Unfortunately I didn't find a whole intact bullet, but on one lead bullet there was paper still attached to the bullet. I took this bullet to a Relic shop and the owner told me that this was the original cartridge paper still attached to the bullet. I asked how in the world the paper could have survived after being buried so long. The paper was treated with bees wax. I had never thought of that. This I believe is the only such bullet I have in my collection. I displayed the bullet in my case with just a small piece of the paper pulled away so you can see how the cartridge paper was still attached around the bullet. Bees was is amazing stuff.
 

Missouri--Ma Betty

Well-known member
Steve, I was detecting some years ago and we were relic hunting on top of this hill where a lot of relics had previously been found. We stepped into a patch of pine trees and Bam. We started finding quite a few Spencer Carbine bullets used by the Cavalry. I got a slamming hit and wound up digging a hole about 3.5 feet in circumference and about 1 foot in depth. Out of this hole I dug a number of these carbine bullets and the shell casings as if a Cavalryman was standing right there and firing away. Unfortunately I didn't find a whole intact bullet, but on one lead bullet there was paper still attached to the bullet. I took this bullet to a Relic shop and the owner told me that this was the original cartridge paper still attached to the bullet. I asked how in the world the paper could have survived after being buried so long. The paper was treated with bees wax. I had never thought of that. This I believe is the only such bullet I have in my collection. I displayed the bullet in my case with just a small piece of the paper pulled away so you can see how the cartridge paper was still attached around the bullet. Bees was is amazing stuff.
Hi Confetrit, Mom & I used flat irons & etc for ironing our line dried clothes--No electric dryers back then which we couldn't have afforded anyway & didn't have electricity until Rural Electric came through the farms in the early 1950's! We used starch on cotton clothes & it would build up on the bottoms of the irons & make them sticky & difficult for ironing smoothly; SO GUESS what, we used BEES WAX & cleaned off the irons with it for easier ironing! My grandpa kept bees on our farm! The HONEY was yum, yum because money was scarce--we didn't b uy much candies & sweets Honey & Maple Syrup replaced sweets by tapping Maple trees & boiling down the sap & steeling honey from the Bee Hives! Ma Betty
 

Confetrit

Well-known member
I can remember where you are coming from Ma. We had electricity when I was a kid, but our clothes drier was two clothes lines. I can still Remember how fresh all the sheets and clothes smelled after being laundered and hung out to dry. More so than clothes drier today. Bees wax and honey are two things widely used. Couldn't have them without those Honey bees.
 
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