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View Full Version : Marvelux or Beeswax?



unique
12-27-2007, 08:17 PM
I have used beeswax for years to flux and recently tried Marvelux. I think I am disappointed. With beeswax I always got a clean looking pot after a lot of smoke followed by a minute of flame. There was a residual smell which wasn't so bad.

When I tried Marvelux I got little smoke but a alot of black glass/crud on top and on sides of furnace. After two hours of this I went back to nature's flux. Did I do something wrong?

What has been your experience with Marvelux? Any suggestions on how to use it?

Thanks in advance...

725
12-27-2007, 08:25 PM
Same experience. Watch out. Marvulux holds water / moisture and has been the source of the most violent explosion I've experienced in my lead pot. I made the mistake of stirring it in the mix. Made me fall off the chair.

S.R.Custom
12-27-2007, 08:28 PM
All the old-timey bullet casting guides say to flux with Marvelux, but I have no idea how Marvelux got to be accepted as widely as it did. The stuff is miserable.

NVcurmudgeon
12-27-2007, 08:31 PM
Unique, you did nothing wrong. If you use Marvelux for a while, the "crud" builds up on the sides of the pot and reduces capacity. Marvelux is hygroscopic, so when I used it I always passed the spoon through the flame before picking up Marvelux. The bubbling made me nervous otherwise. Marvelux is an effective flux, and also doesn't stink up the place as much as some others. Some women complain about fumes in the garage, but there are better solutions than using Marvelux. After years of using Marvelux, I went back to candle wax and realized an immediate increase in percentage of good bullets. Now I use Pat Marlin's California Flake Flux (finely shredded wood chips), the best yet. The above is IMO, Marvelux vs. natural fluxes is a cntroversial subject here.

Swamprat1052
12-27-2007, 08:34 PM
I have used bees wax in the past with good results. A while back a I was talking to a friend and he asked me if I had any use for parafin, he had a bunch. I told him yes and he brought me 30 or so lbs of it in big blocks. I dont know what it was used for, but I have been fluxing with it and like it. I guess I'll be using parafin for a while. lol.

I havent tried Marvelux but have heard the same things said here on this thread. Life is too short to try stuff others say is no good.

Swamprat

OLPDon
12-27-2007, 09:05 PM
My vote is anything but..... Marvelux (will rust a cast iron kettle quickly).

I have used potato's, wood sticks & chips, bees wax, candle's, & old motor oil for smelting. Most of my smelting is recovered range Boolits (which has lube on it so it self fluxing. As for my casting (bottom pour) kitty litter always is floated on top of the melt.

I, like most don't understand some books advocate the use of Marvelux other then a plug for a product. Rust on Cast Iron Corn Muffens tray's is the only rust that is good.

Don

STP
12-27-2007, 09:31 PM
I shelved it after the first try. Nasty "product", period.

mainiac
12-27-2007, 09:42 PM
Ive been casting for 3-4 years now, and have used nothing but marvelux for fluxing my bottom pour. Never had any problem at all,have no trouble making nice boolits, and it seems to work as stated. They wouldnt still be selling it,if it was "no good".

randyrat
12-27-2007, 09:52 PM
Beeswax all the way....Providing you don't mind a little flame. I actually use beeswax and liquid alox. The LLA is from culled bullets that i noticed after i lubed them. So i don't intentially add LLA...My pot sits in the garage all the time and never rust.
[SIZE="6"]Thats not cheddar cheese you see

scb
12-27-2007, 10:03 PM
I can't endorse Marvelux. I've got a can around someplace. The only reason I keep it is I figured I'd use it to smelt with. Better than throwing it away.

38 Super Auto
12-27-2007, 10:14 PM
Alot of you guys like beeswax: does it have advantages over paraffin?

My experience with cheap candle wax/paraffin is very good. It reduces all the **** to a light dusting of sandlike debris. I have used sawdust and pine resin. I have to say, I like the alchemy of stirring a flaming pot of molten lead and wax. But that's me.

As far as marvelux, I don't like it's water absorbing properties. To be honest, I'd rather spend my hobby money on primers, powder, molds, and electricity to run my leadpot. :coffee:

Morgan Astorbilt
12-27-2007, 11:12 PM
After fifty years of casting, I've finally settled on good old fashioned lard, as a good, economical flux that keeps my pots from rusting. Comes in a brick like a pound of butter, in the supermarket. Armour packing company, is the brand they sell hereabouts.
Morgan

Steve in TN
12-28-2007, 01:11 AM
Hey again, Im a newbe here and not nearly as experienced most of these contributors. But anyway, I've always picked up candles at garage sales cheaper than what you buy paraffin for at a store. And it still freaks me out when it flashes up. Do you ever get use to that?

454PB
12-28-2007, 01:25 AM
I've used Marvelux for 30 years, and have yet to have a pot rust out, or any visits from the tinsel fairy. It has to be used according to the instructions with one exception......don't skim off the dross. Leave it on top as a oxygen barrier.

Three44s
12-28-2007, 01:37 AM
BIG MINUS ONE for Marvelux!!!!!!

I just use chunks of bullet lube!

I think that Pat Marlin's flux bears investigating as well.

Three 44s

HEAD0001
12-28-2007, 01:51 AM
I am by no means an expert, but I am getting alot better. When I use Marvelux my lead seems to be "cleaner". When I use lube or wax I do not skim nearly as much crud off the top of the alloy. I use straight WW, and I melt the lead twice in the cleaning process. Am I over cleaning the lead?? How can lead be too clean?? Tom.:castmine:

Shuz
12-28-2007, 11:08 AM
Folks--I've been using Marvelux for years only because I wanna do my part to keep the environment clean. I have been the "repository" for countless pounds of the stuff just to keep it outta your landfills. So....if you wanna do the right thing...send it to me and we'll all benefit! Send me a PM and I'll direct you to one of the finest and cheapest disposal facilities in the country!--Shuz

454PB
12-28-2007, 02:40 PM
I've tried that, Shuz......no takers yet.

S.R.Custom
12-28-2007, 02:47 PM
I've got about a film cannister full; it was what was given to me when I first started casting. The guy said it's not much, but'll last forever. He's right. :roll:

The first one to PM me his address can have it. I'll even buy the stamp...

Freightman
12-28-2007, 02:59 PM
I dis-like Marvelux for the above reasons, I like lard and candle wax from one of the big pillar candles I droped and dented., then I put a layer of wood shaving on top while I cast. The result is a pot that is fluxed when you add lead.

crowbeaner
12-28-2007, 05:12 PM
I started with beeswax when I first started casting. I heard about Marvelux and bought a container. I used 2 tablespoons out of it and went back to beeswax after the Marvelux crudded up my pot, dipper, and ingot mould. I still have the bleeping stuff. I'd buy several toilet rings before I used the **** again. CB.

AR10
12-28-2007, 08:23 PM
Well, my $.02 worth. I have been casting for over 30 years using beeswax
without any problems. I see a lot of you have flames doing this.
I have never had a fire. Am I doing something wrong?
I flux often and keep the gray stuff mixed in, only remove the dirty
looking ****. Use only WW.

EDK
12-29-2007, 11:11 AM
After 40 years of casting, the best stuff is whatever you have that is cheap and works.

I have used clean motor oil for years; followed by a small piece of bullet lube/beeswax/GAR flux and then occasional bit of the same as I cast. Unfortunately GAR appears to be no more than a fond memory now. They were good folks, had good lube at good prices and discounted all the LYMAN stuff I own.

I currently am using sawdust from the vacuum cleaner hooked up to the circular saw and sander at work, followed by few bits of bees wax. It works well, but I seem to have a lot of surface tension and some minor fill out problems on my 44 SLIMS group buy mould, as well as recently acquired LYMAN semi wadcutter moulds. After using Cowboy Boolit moulds exclusively for a long time, anything with a lot of grooves and/or square edges is a PITA!

Weather looks good today and I will cast and experiment with more babbitt/tin in my alloy and possible temperature adjustments.

:castmine: :redneck: :Fire:

mtgrs737
12-29-2007, 12:27 PM
I have used parafin, beeswax, wood, and marvelux but my favorite is Steric Acid. Steric Acid is a natural fatty acid from plants and animals and is a basic ingreadiant in soaps and candles. Only a small pinch is needed for the casting pot and it is cheap if you buy it in bulk from the large candle making suppliers on the internet. It does smoke and will catch fire much like parafin and I think that it leaves a more shiney melt. I don't use it for smelting as there are cheaper fluxes for that purpose like hardwood sawdust with a little oil in it. :castmine:

S.R.Custom
12-29-2007, 12:55 PM
I've got about a film cannister full; it was what was given to me when I first started casting. The guy said it's not much, but'll last forever. He's right. :roll:

The first one to PM me his address can have it. I'll even buy the stamp...

A day later and no takers. Well, I guess that's how wonderful the stuff is-- I can't even give it away. :mrgreen:

38 Super Auto
12-29-2007, 01:00 PM
And it still freaks me out when it flashes up. Do you ever get use to that?

I have never gotten used to the flameup of wax during fluxing. You can flux right after the alloy goes molten and, in my experience, you have a couple of minutes before the wax flashes.

The other thing you can do is light off the wax vapor - you'll have less smoke.

OLPDon
12-29-2007, 02:06 PM
A day later and no takers. Well, I guess that's how wonderful the stuff is-- I can't even give it away. :mrgreen:

SuperMag:

Hey the film canister is worth keeping, if its the old Alum. type very usable for other storage items that will be worth keeping.
Don

454PB
12-29-2007, 02:30 PM
I'd take it, Supermag. I just didn't figure an amount that small was worth mailing. PM sent.

S.R.Custom
12-29-2007, 03:17 PM
Dang. Some people will do anything to keep me from making my point, lol. :???:

(On its way. Lucky for you I don't waste anything. Not even Marvelux. :-D)

unique
12-30-2007, 12:41 PM
Well I see where the nozzle pin on my new RCBS furnace is now starting to rust wherever the Marvelux was crusted up. If any of you Marvelovers want to trade my nearly full 1 LBS can for equal weight of Beeswax than go ahead and PM me...otherwise it goes out with the trash tonight!

mainiac
12-31-2007, 10:36 AM
Well I see where the nozzle pin on my new RCBS furnace is now starting to rust wherever the Marvelux was crusted up. If any of you Marvelovers want to trade my nearly full 1 LBS can for equal weight of Beeswax than go ahead and PM me...otherwise it goes out with the trash tonight!

Dont know about your furnace,but my rcbs furnace is stainless steel. Never had any rust,anywhere.

unique
12-31-2007, 11:32 AM
The lining of my furnace is stainless. My Nozzle pin is not stainless. My Nozzle pin is rusting.

PatMarlin
12-31-2007, 12:58 PM
Beeswax was my favorite. Smokes and the occasional flames.

CFF smokes very little, smells fantastic, and works very well. Does not rust steel and keeps you pot real clean.

Sorry for the shameless New Years Eve plug.. :mrgreen: :drinks:

PatMarlin
12-31-2007, 12:59 PM
Well, my $.02 worth. I have been casting for over 30 years using beeswax
without any problems. I see a lot of you have flames doing this.
I have never had a fire. Am I doing something wrong?
I flux often and keep the gray stuff mixed in, only remove the dirty
looking ****. Use only WW.

I think the flames happen only when there's to much dropped in.

leftiye
12-31-2007, 01:56 PM
You get more crud off of your melt with Marvelux because it doesn't reduce, and recombine any of the oxides (your tin, and antimony) with the melt. It just coats your lead surface (and everything else) with silicates until you remove it.

EMC45
01-02-2008, 03:32 PM
I have been using Beeswax since I started casting. 2 years ago. I have read posts about people badmouthing BW for lube and flux. WHY? It works great! I used BW and Crisco for pan lubing before I got my 4500. I felt guilty everytime I saw the Brownells add for Marvelux. Should I switch? I would ask myself. Well I have about 7 lbs of BW and I won't stop using it. I use about a pea sized lump for my Prod Pot 4 from Lee. It smokes and I've only had it flare up a few times. It produces a light dust on top of the melt and after I skim it it is like a mirror.

JohnH
01-02-2008, 07:57 PM
Neither, get a peice of heavily resinous Southern Yellow Pine, (I split mine off a 2x4, it's about 5/8" thick) stir the pot once in a while and be done with all those other means of half measure. I've tried everything over the last 20 years, and nothing beats simple fatwood.