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Thread: Making Ben's Red

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Making Ben's Red

    Thanks to Ben and others who shared how they make it, I decided to try it today. This is the basic mix:
    50% beeswax
    30% Red, Tacky Lucas High Temp Grease
    10% Johnson's Paste Wax
    5% Dexron II or Dexron III Trans. Fluid
    5% STP Oil Treatment


    But a forum member was nice enough to describe that in other units, and using a complete Red Tacky Lucas Grease:
    24 ozs. = 3 cups - melted beeswax
    14 ozs. = 1 3/4 cups - Red N Tacky , heat it..it doesn't really melt
    4.6 ozs. = 2/3 cup - Johnsons Paste Wax - melted
    2.3 ozs. = 1/3 cup - Dexron II or III ATF
    2.3 ozs. = 1/3 cup- STP Oil Treatment

    Note, 1/3 cup = 5 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon



    So I got several low cost supplies from Wally World, and from my local auto parts store:



    I do my own electronics, so I have two hot ways to do surface mount reflow, so I tried one:



    For the Red grease, I open the end, and squeezed it out like toothpaste (tip from a forum member here):



    Then used spatula to get the other end (as much as possible):



    I am waiting for beeswax from randyrat, but before I knew of him I had ordered a small amount through Amazon, which happen to come in little pellets. Here I got about 20 oz - I will add the rest later, as I was not 100% everything would fit in my container (it did):



    The wax:

    After I had the grease there for a while (while stirring it), I added the beeswax:





    But I was never able to get enough heat, quickly enough:



    So I tried my "better" hotplate:

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    (part 2 - limit of 10x pictures per post)


    The mixture got hotter, and the beeswax started to melt a little, so I added the Johnson wax, and the two liquids (using these to measure per the instructions above):



    Although I got more heat, it was not hot enough to really melt everything:



    Since I had everything mixed, I used my propane setup on the lowest level, and keep stirring it constantly:



    That worked well, but it also worked fast!. As soon as you get the wax melted you need to kill the fire and keep stirring:



    Since I knew I had the space, I went ahead and added the rest of the beeswax. Of course, I had to restart the fire for a short while, to get enough heat to melt the new beeswax:




    After I had everything melted uniformly, with no clumps, I poured the contents on two pans:



    I put them in the freezer for 1-2 hours, and then took them to my bench to cut up:



    Since it shrinks, it is easy to get out:



    Cut it with one of my small knives:



    After cutting the two plates into triangles and strips of various sizes, I used the non-stick foil and set them aside for future use:




    I hope to try this with pan lubing pretty soon (working now on a custom kake kutter!).

    Will
    Last edited by wquiles; 02-15-2015 at 01:02 AM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    btroj's Avatar
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    Looks like it worked out quite well. When I made a batch I had trouble with the grease wanting to get everywhere. Yuck.
    It does have a unique odor when done but it works very well.
    You will learn far more at the casting, loading, and shooting bench than you ever will at a computer bench.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master ballistim's Avatar
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    Nice pictorial! Thanks for showing us how you've made it.
    “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."

    Winston S. Churchill


  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Will,

    That is the best pictorial that I've seen yet on making Ben's Red.

    Congratulations ! !


    You followed directions , took your time, kept your heat low and didn't feel compelled to change the original recipe.

    All of that contributed to your excellent results. Now enjoy the product of your labors. Ben's Red makes an excellent pan lube or it can be used in your lubri - sizer.

    Just an added thought, I put my lube pieces ( cut in similar fashion to yours ) in gallon sized freezer bags that have the zip lock feature. Keeps them dust free. You'd think that they would stick to each other, but they don't.

    Again, a job well done.

    Best,
    Ben
    Last edited by Ben; 02-20-2015 at 07:51 AM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Thank you guys, and thank you again Ben. I was wondering how to store it, so the idea with the gallon freezer bags is awesome

    In freezer bag, per Ben's recommendation:



    Will
    Last edited by wquiles; 02-15-2015 at 04:40 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    Good job. Looks great and you now have a GREAT lube! Low heat is the way to go just the way you did it, otherwise you can scorch the grease and loose the nice red color. Just ask me how i know. My first batch came out more pinkish because i tried to totally melt the grease first...not a good idea lol! Still shot great though and i learned to keep the heat lower.
    I keep mine in zip lock bags too.
    Ben's red is the best lube i've found to keep 1st shots in the group from MY rifle. Which reminds me, i've got to make some more too!!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Driver man's Avatar
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    I use Bens Red lube for pistol and rifle loads and find it very good. Unfortunatly we cant get Johnsons paste wax in New Zealand but I add carnauba wax at 1% and cook gently for 30 minutes. If you are making up a batch and cant get Johnsons paste wax I think it is the carnauba in it that does the work and suggest you use that. The result is a redish brown lube that is very easy to use. I used to get some leading in my CZ75 9mm when using LLA at 1100fps but now I add a small wipe of Bens red to the lube groove after tumbling with LLA with very good results. I ruined one batch of lube by being a bit hot in cooking ,(went dark brown) didnt try it to see how it worked but try to stick as closely to the established methods now and take my time.
    The Bird of Time has but a little way
    To fly-and Lo! the bird is on the wing

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Could the Moderators PLEASE make this a "Stickey" as this is interesting and the most informative that I've seen!!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Toymaker's Avatar
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    Great job, wquiles!! I found melting the beeswax first helped when I added the Red & Tacky. As you found, keeping the heat as low as possible is important. Doing it outside adds to domestic harmony too

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Thank you guys - just a small way to give back to the forum

    Will

  12. #12
    Will, I just finished my first batch, looks OK, not cool yet. In your pictures I saw your thermometer, did you happen to take the temperature when you thought it was finished?
    I happened to remember a little cheap digital thermometer on the shelf, so I dipped it in, 237 degrees, no smoke, nice red color. Being a curious fellow I wondered about the temp!
    Thanks, Nick

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARKANSAS PACKRAT View Post
    Will, I just finished my first batch, looks OK, not cool yet. In your pictures I saw your thermometer, did you happen to take the temperature when you thought it was finished?
    I happened to remember a little cheap digital thermometer on the shelf, so I dipped it in, 237 degrees, no smoke, nice red color. Being a curious fellow I wondered about the temp!
    Thanks, Nick
    Nick,

    Unfortunately I didn't. I just stirred continuously and watched as all was uniformly melted (same color, consistency, no lumps, etc.), and then turned off the heat, and continued stirring for another minute or so. I then quickly poured the mix into my two containers, and quickly put them in the freezer.

    Will

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Looks Like You done Good! ...Low temps....I would have to say! The way you did it it , It really smells pretty Good! Eh!
    Do it wrong & it smells like burnt tires!
    You have pasted the "Ben's Red Test! Congratulations!
    You have the "real" stuff!
    " Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation: for it is better to be alone than in bad company. " George Washington

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    Great Job!!!!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master pacomdiver's Avatar
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    great write up, gonna try my first batch in the near future

  17. #17
    Boolit Man Dakoma's Avatar
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    Those toilet flange seals are made of Bee's wax , would they work ? They are $2.35 apiece and not sure how much wax one ring is but just thought about it since I got one to replace a floor in the bathroom I got to take up the toilet and was told they were pure Bee's wax , just a thought and have no idea what Bee's wax cost it may or may not be cheaper to buy ?

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakoma View Post
    Those toilet flange seals are made of Bee's wax , would they work ? They are $2.35 apiece and not sure how much wax one ring is but just thought about it since I got one to replace a floor in the bathroom I got to take up the toilet and was told they were pure Bee's wax , just a thought and have no idea what Bee's wax cost it may or may not be cheaper to buy ?
    They haven't been made of bee's wax for a very long time. They are made of a mix of "whatever is cheapest at the moment" wax.

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub gemihur's Avatar
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    ... and would make for some nasty lubed bullets if not a new ring were used!:takinWiz:

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Toilet Bowl Ring (TBR) - - - sort of a waxy, sticky, greasy, gooey, yellowish petroleum-based "stuff" that is not beeswax! Beeswax is too expensive today. Looooooooooooong time ago they were beeswax.

    Back when I was grease mixing BPC (Before PC), I used TBR's as part of some pan lube and shooting wax brew and it worked well. Found the mix on here or lasc or somewhere. Can't remember the proportions.

    banger

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check