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Thread: SL68B, the "all around" boolit lube and how to make it

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    SL68B, the "all around" boolit lube and how to make it

    OK, here we go...this is the sales pitch
    Disclaimer: I am not selling boolit lube

    1. It works for pistol and rifle boolits, slow low pressure rounds like 38 spl WC right on up to high velocity rifle.

    2. It's been successfully tested (shooting) in the extreme heat of Texas and extreme cold of the Rockies and hasn't had any serious issues.

    3. It been successfully tested (storage) in the extreme heat of a parked car (windows up) in the summer sun and it doesn't melt or weep oil out and contaminate the powder in loaded rounds.

    4. It's soft, so whatever is left on the bullet, when it exits the barrel, flings off, so as to not make the bullet unbalanced.

    5. Accuracy-wise, It shoots clean, leaving the inside of the barrel in a state where it doesn't create cold barrel flyers.

    6. Smokiness-wise, it shoots pretty cleanly ...mostly... becuase humidity and the type of gunpowder kinda dictate part of smokiness.

    7. Messiness-wise, It shoots clean, I've tested it with revolver ammo, and after shooting a box of 50 rds, the outside (as well as the inside) of the gun just had a light haze of soot and NOT greasey like many beeswax based lubed (where the lube is 50% or more beeswax and the other portion is mosty oil or grease.)

    8. It's soft, but not tacky like a Speed green type of lube. When handling lubed bullets, obviously I try to avoid touching the lubed areas, with lubes like speed green, no matter who careful you are, I've found it to become a sticky mess, lube finger prints on everything. Now a bullet lubed with SL68B, when the lube area is touched, it feels like lotion and my fingers are is easily wiped on a rag or trousers to become clean...it doesn't become a mess. I'm kinda anal about hand/finger cleanliness, so this was important to me in a soft lube.

    9. lastly, It's flows through a lubesizer without heat, even if room temp is cold, like 55F.

    edited to add one more
    "#10 Stuff doesn't goober-up gas systems." (per Gear) see the second paragraph of post #6


    edited 9-19-2016:
    the following issue (in quote below) about Corrosion hasn't shown itself to exist with the batches I've made, it's been 18 months and no signs of any problems on my long term test samples. I'll continue inspecting the samples of this long term test and report every once in a while.

    One potential downside ...corrosion. Others have had evidence of verdigris and other corrosion with a very similar recipe, I HAVE NOT with this exact recipe (my stored bullets sized/lubed for as long as 6 months, including Minnesota humid summer as well as some loaded ammo, I pulled apart...no corrosion evidence), but recently, after hearing others having this issue, I have set up an long term experiment and will report on that in the future.

    ================================================== ======

    Preface to recipe, I have made this or similar a couple times, and I learned techniques each time. Today, I made 5 batches and honed the technique even more. I am confident I can give all the tips and tricks for any boolit caster to cook up a batch.
    See post #2 "commentary" regarding tweaking this recipe

    Ingredients:
    2 tablespoons 90-wt GL-1 gear oil
    2 tablespoons generic white petrolatum
    1 tablespoon heavy mineral oil (laxative grade from pharmacy)
    1/2 tablespoon castor bean oil (also from pharmacy)
    2 ounces fresh Ivory soap (soft, damp).

    Waxes:
    0.5 ounces 175 Micro-crystalline Wax (MW)
    0.5 ounces 185 MW
    0.5 ounces 190 MW
    0.7 ounces Bees Wax (BW)

    Instructions:
    1. Melt everything except the soap and BW.
    I cook this outside on a coleman gasoline cookstove, medium flame. while this recipe makes only about 6 ozs of lube and fills two tuna cans about 3/4 full each, I use a thick aluminum 3 quart soup pot, you will need that much capacity due to the soap foaming up.

    2. After the above has melted, then add the soap (which should have been previously sliced into slivers, I use a shop scissors) stir constantly, it will foam up, but rest assured that is why I prescribed you to use a large enough soup pot, continue with medium flame, stirring constantly, until all the foaminess is gone and the mix becomes a light clear amber liquid with no gel or clumps of soap remaining.
    Heads up, it will start smoking about now, that is correct and NOT a problem...be careful it's hot ! (this stage, the reducing of the soap, takes about 10 minutes if it's not too cold and windy).

    3. Now It should be around 460F
    I choose not to use a thermometer, it just complicates things, everything needs to be done quickly at this stage, if not, the lube will get scorched.
    A
    dd the BW now, You must have it pre-melted and ready to pour at this stage, Stir it a bit (2 or 3 seconds) and cut the heat and pour into your chilled molds* ...BUT, if the mix Gels-up when BW is added**, continue to stir with the pot over the heat, til it's a clear liquid again, it will start turning light brown, the BW is starting to scorch, I've decided a little scorching is no big deal, but the BW "needs" to be blended at the liquid stage.

    chilled molds* I use recycled tuna cans and have them sitting in a icewater bath.

    Gels-up when BW is added** This only happened when I cooked this on a cold Minnesota wintery windy day. I had no geling when I made these 5 batches today, temp was 70 today.







    It will look like this as the soap foams up.



    After the soap foam settles down some, it'll look lke Cream of wheat, but it's not hot enough yet.


    This is the clear amber color you want to see, you know all the soap is combined and turned into grease and it's at 460F. ***you want to add the beeswax quickly and cut the heat and pour into the molds...all in about 10 seconds or less.


    This is the color of all 5 batches of finished lube from today. I suspect they got a little scorched due to the fact I didn't "crash cool" the lube, as I was able to do last winter, in the snow. But I have decided a little scorch isn't a big deal, and a little color is a good thing.
    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 09-19-2016 at 11:46 AM. Reason: added #10 in sales pitch

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    Commentary

    Tweaking the recipe:
    I think using a single MW and no beeswax will make a lube nearly identical to SL68B...as that is basically what Gear's SL-68 recipe is. I guess it's all in what you are able to obtain in regards to MW.

    So, why did I tweak the original recipe ?
    After I made my first batch of soap lube (SL-68) and I liked it.
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ipe&highlight=
    BUT, I knew I had three different high melt temp MW samples (about 1 lb samples) from different sources...none of which, I may be able to get more of. Worrying a bit that when I ran out of the MW I started with and switching to one of the others may change the lube's performance, I started thinking of altering the recipe and blending equal portions of each MW into the recipe, making a 'possibly' more desirable complex wax base, and prolonging my stash. Discussions with Gear and others on that thought, also brought up beeswax...and that could add more/different benefits of wax complexity as well as stretch out my stash even more. That's the reason why.

    If you are interested is tweaking any other part of the recipe, the Quote below is from Gear in regards to the basis of the original SL-68 recipe (but after the fact that SL68B is successful) and will give you far more insight that I can personally offer.
    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    About the lube, any basic mix involving about 1/3 mixed micro-crystalline waxes, 1/3 by weight FRESH Ivory soap, and the balance Vaseline with a castor oil booster at the rate of 1-2 teaspoons per pound of lube does well. The reason for the GL-1 mineral gear oil in the original SL-68 recipe was to temper the dry, hard micro-crystalline 180F wax that I was using by itself for the entire wax portion. The white mineral oil is there to soften the whole mix, may or may not be necessary depending on the waxes used. In essence, it's only four ingredients: A wax/soap carrier plasticized by non-slick petrolatum, and a very controlled amount of high-performance lubricant. Castor oil does special things between moving hot metal surfaces that not a lot of other oils do, but too much of a good thing makes the lube super-slippery and accuracy suffers, that's why Vaseline and mineral-based, paraffinic oils (NOT napthenic or branched-chain oils like engine oil or GL-5 gear lubes) are used to plasticize the wax and oils...they soften without adding too much of a slippery element that would cause purge flyers or cold/hot barrel discrepancies.
    ================================================

    In regards to all the claims I made in the OP "sales pitch". Most are documented in this thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ipe&highlight=

    ================================================
    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 09-28-2015 at 09:18 PM. Reason: added commentaries

  3. #3
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    What was causing the corrosion w/ the other recipes? And what's different in this one that makes you think it won't be an issue?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    What was causing the corrosion w/ the other recipes? And what's different in this one that makes you think it won't be an issue?
    That is the question of the year !
    BUT, what makes me think it won't be an issue in SL68B? ...because it hasn't yet.

    edited: (others think soap)

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    the corrosion was from a different stearate.
    stearic acid was substituted for sodium stearate.
    it will do the same thing but has a tendency to retain and pull in moisture much like glycerin does.
    it also changes the ph of the lube just a titch lower.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

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    Excellent tutorial, Jon, thanks for posting that.

    A few remarks about the corrosion. Way back when I was trying to work this out the first sixty or so times, ex-member 357Maximum joined in the experimentation in HUMID Michigan. I don't recall exactly if he ever had anything corrode due to the soap lube, but his stuff got very slimy and soft due to the humidity and he brought that to our attention with no small emphasis. Having had similar concerns from the start, I had been doing corrosion testing already for some time and felt that his concerns were misplaced. Several years and continuing corrosion testing later I still feel that way, BUT, for the benefit of everyone whose been following this, I'd be doing a disservice to ignore a couple of minor things that I've observed since then. The whole SL series, at about 25% net finished weight of Ivory (around 18-20% Na stearate based on many lubes made with pure Na stearate instead of Ivory bar soap) is essentially water-soluble. You can smear it all over your hands and go wash them totally clean with plain water since the soap emulsifies the water and wax. It may be the hygroscopic nature of the lube that has caused some slight discoloration of my lubed and stored bullets and a bit of white to blue powdery stuff inside fired case necks, or it might be other things like additives in the particular gear oil I've been using for SL-68 and its variants. One thing I DO know is that I have about seventy lube samples with polished brass cases stuck in them, in an un-insulated shed, and only three have shown any real corrosion: Felix lube, Felix/Wiljen lube, and SL-68.1. Even TnT, which is about half soap and half polyolester oil, didn't even create any significant discoloration of polished brass after over two years. I'd say it's about a .5 on the ASTM copper strip corrosion scale. So is it the soap? I don't know. None of these soap-ish lubes except Felix/Wiljen lube (made with stearic acid) has had any effect whatsoever on cast iron or tool steel. I'm seeing three things that CAN have a corrosive effect on copper: Stearic acid, beeswax (YEP!), and the particular flavor of gear oil I've been using for SL-68.1. The GL-1 gear oil I'm using is a bulk industrial product that isn't API certified as such and likely contains some yellow-metal-unfriendly sulphur compounds or maybe even phosphorous as EP additives, things normally reserved for GL-5 hypoid gear lubricants. Specifying the GL-1, straight mineral oil has two reasons: A relatively non-slippery plasticizer/viscosity modifier, and something that DOES NOT have EP compounds that will react unfavorably with copper gas checks and brass cartridge cases. The NAPA stuff is probably real GL-1 spec. We have a lot to consider when choosing lube ingredients, and making sure that bad things aren't happening to our guns or ammunition while we sleep is right up there with making sure we don't poison ourselves cooking or shooting the stuff. Everyone just keep an eye out for any long-term side effects of lube or fired lube residue, as you should with ANY home-brew lube formula.

    One last thing, I'd personally like to add a #10 to the list of attributes in the OP: Stuff doesn't goober-up gas systems. Been running it in an M1A and three ARs going back almost two years. Recently I shot some old bullets lubed with Javelina Alox in one of my ARs and couldn't believe the mess. It runs really clean in automatic pistols, too, alleviating the necessity to disassemble and clean the lube gunk out of magazines on a regular basis, and also the need to keep a bottle of Windex handy for de-hazing shooting glasses and scope lenses. This ain't a sales pitch either, just an honest observation. FACT: The more beeswax you put in a lube, the higher the tendency to smoke and leave a greasy residue on things as the lube vapor condenses. This is due (I think) to the high mono- and di-ester content of beeswax, a property that also makes it extremely effective as an extreme heat/pressure lubricant. I think the small beeswax proportion of SL-68B can only be an improvement, even if it has the side effect of a teensy bit more smoke. Kudos to coming up with a clever way of sneaking in the beeswax so it doesn't scorch too badly, that was something that twarted about 40 of my SL lube attempts and made me give up more than once. SL-68.0 doesn't smoke and doesn't leave a lube star, but will leave a slight antimony haze when the velocity gets up past 2500 fps. The beeswax ought to help that a little.

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

    Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff has always been a valuable skill in all of life's activities. --Bwana


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    Gear, thanks for the well layed out details, of which, I am unable to convey

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    SL68B, the "all around" boolit lube and how to make it

    Thank you for the information. I appreciate it. I'm always looking for lubes that I can make myself if needed. But White Label makes it so easy to just buy lubes

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    Is straight carnauba wax or Johnson paste wax used for the Micro-crystalline Wax? Is the white petrolatum a Vaseline? If not where is it found or what is it? I see that it seems to be critical to use "fresh" Ivory soap and was wondering why it needs to be fresh. I thought the fresh soap had more water in it which made it foam more and that by using the older dried out stuff would eliminate the foaming some. I'm sure there is a reason and was wondering what it was.

    Just a few questions for the newer guys like me.
    Thanks! and nice write up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cs86 View Post
    Is straight carnauba wax or Johnson paste wax used for the Micro-crystalline Wax? ...snip
    No.

    "Microcrystalline waxes are a type of wax produced by de-oiling petrolatum, as part of the petroleum refining process. In contrast to the more familiar paraffin wax which contains mostly unbranched alkanes, microcrystalline wax contains a higher percentage of isoparaffinic (branched) hydrocarbons and naphthenic hydrocarbons. It is characterized by the fineness of its crystals in contrast to the larger crystal of paraffin wax."

    read more at:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcrystalline_wax



    Quote Originally Posted by cs86 View Post
    snip...
    Is the white petrolatum a Vaseline? If not where is it found or what is it?
    If you buy your "Vaseline" at the dollar store, and it isn't the Vasoline brand, the product will probably be labeled as white petrolatum
    ...it's the same stuff...but the main reason to buy the cheaper Generic, is that generally it won't have any "extras" in it, like fragrances or colors or some other random skin softening ingredient like Aloe or Vit E, that you won't want in this recipe of boolit lube.

    Quote Originally Posted by cs86 View Post
    snip...
    I see that it seems to be critical to use "fresh" Ivory soap and was wondering why it needs to be fresh. I thought the fresh soap had more water in it which made it foam more and that by using the older dried out stuff would eliminate the foaming some. I'm sure there is a reason and was wondering what it was.
    Good question, not everyone that has been in discussions of soap lubes have agreed on this. At least one former castboolit member was adamant that the soap be aged/dried out for a month or so.

    The first batch I made yesterday, was using a bar where the wrapper was opened last winter when I made my first batch of SL68B. The bar was still whole, but didn't seem dried out but it cut a lot different than I remembered. So I weighed it, it was 2.80 oz...the package said each bar weighs 3.1 oz. So, the first thing I did, was to calculate the weight of soap needed from that dry bar (accounting for water weight loss), to get the proper amount of soap into the recipe. Then when I cooked that particular batch, in comparison to subsequent batches I made with 2.0 ozs of fresh soap. I noticed that it took longer to dissolve the larger chunks of soap shavings when they were dry, as opposed to the fresh soap. I believe the water cooking off helps the dissolution of soap, or probably more correctly the reaction of making grease ...and I believe that's what Gear explained to me the first time I started the consideration making my first batch of soap lube in the summer of 2014, while at least one other member stated the opposite on that occasion.

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    All the SL-67-71 series of lubes use equal parts wax and soap BY WEIGHT. This only works out if the soap is FRESH and account for the water weight that will be cooked off. Now, if you use "bar quantity", as in a 3.1-ounce bar, use 3.1 ounces of wax PER BAR, dry or not. Same for the 4.2 ounce Ivory bar, use 4.2 ounces wax.

    Jon is right, it's a helluva lot easier to get the soap broken down to the "cream o' wheat" stage if it's not too dried out. All the foaming breaks it down and some stirring makes the whole pot full of stuff that resembles meringue rather than crushed egg shells. The dried stuff, even if powdered, takes longer to melt and will have little pinhead-sized grains haunting you all the way to the fully-molten part. Trying to get all those hard bits to melt adds time to the high-temperature portion of the cooking sequence and that is NOT a good thing.

    And White Label doesn't make anything like this, or that has the same performance range, not even close. Whether or not you need the capabilities of this lube is up to you. The performance requirements that lead eventually to the development of this lube are outlined in the first couple of posts on the Extreme Lube Quest sticky thread.

    Gear
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    Boolit Master Ola's Avatar
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    Aargh I'll never the ingredients of these lubes. Always the same problem. In this recipe it is the micro-crystalline wax.. no idea where to get some.
    Last edited by Ola; 09-29-2015 at 01:23 PM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ola View Post
    Aargh I'll never the ingredients of these lubes. Always the same problem. In this recipe it is the micro-crystalline wax.. no idea where to get some.
    I've never bought any...I've only swapped for it.
    but if I were to buy some, I'd start a GB and buy here.
    http://blendedwaxes.com/microcrystalline-wax/

    a quick google search came up with this, but they don't share any specs, but they are only a toll-free phone call away.
    http://www.candlesandsupplies.net/Mi...FZKAaQodjmANzA

    I'm sure there are other sources, all you need to do is start typing in the google search box ...or you could just continue frowning

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    Boolit Master Ola's Avatar
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    Of course I did the google thing: I tried to find it locally. Only thing I found was microcrystalline wax as E905C food additive (interestingly E905A is paraffin, E905B is Vaseline). You can eat it, but not too much: has laxative effects in high concentrations.

    That candle supply link gave me a new clue.. Thanks!

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    Heheh! You started this, Jon, see why I didn't?

    See ya.

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

    Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff has always been a valuable skill in all of life's activities. --Bwana


  16. #16
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    lolz @ " you started ..."

    aye yi yi , i mostly keep my experiments to myself for such reasons altho granted sometimes feedback would be a boon , i havent hit my nirvana yet and oft wonder if i ever will , i've lost count of the " close but no cigar " attempts , f.w.i.w. .... my goal is like many folk's ( a good lube ) but rather in a non-traditional form ( i like the harder lubes when they're good eg; hi- melt temp crayon but not crayon ) i havent gotten there yet with natural ingredients and use mostly synthetics including quite a few various MW's and as we know synthetics ...are a challenge ... maybe someday [shrugz]
    until such a time if a group buy goes forwards ( and they usually want you to buy quite a quantity [dratz] ) the blended waxes site is the best place i know to get umm small quantities of micro wax ( small meaning 10 #'s minimum and 10 #'s goes along ways when you're making small batches of lube
    )
    http://www.shopblendedwaxes.com/Microcrystalline-Wax/

    btw ? none of their listed wax has the higher melting point i'm looking for ( 200 F + )
    Je suis Charlie

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    if it was easy would it be as worthy ? or as long of lasting impression ? the hardest of lessons are the best of teachers [shrugz]
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ola View Post
    Of course I did the google thing: I tried to find it locally. Only thing I found was microcrystalline wax as E905C food additive (interestingly E905A is paraffin, E905B is Vaseline). You can eat it, but not too much: has laxative effects in high concentrations.

    That candle supply link gave me a new clue.. Thanks!
    OK, I didn't notice your location was Finland, til just now.
    I adjusted my google search and wala
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Microcryst...-/261963519033

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    Gear and Fry,
    It's what I do. I've always been a open and public person (read: hunger for attention), long before the Internet had public access. I wear my heart on my sleeve and my brain in my back pocket It's an illness , I even coined a title for it, COTUS (center of the universe syndrome).
    Luckily I'm not seriously afflicted, or I might be on 'some' of those reality shows.

  19. #19
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    JonB,
    I'm all set to make SL-68 (Beta) Shooting rifle cast exclusively: Should I go forth or Jump to your SL-68B (Have every thing I need for both)
    I have both Gear's SL-68 and Your SL-68B tutorials to fall back on!
    What would you say?
    Jim
    " 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

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWFilips View Post
    JonB,
    I'm all set to make SL-68 (Beta) Shooting rifle cast exclusively: Should I go forth or Jump to your SL-68B (Have every thing I need for both)
    I have both Gear's SL-68 and Your SL-68B tutorials to fall back on!
    What would you say?
    Jim
    Jim,
    While I, myself, am sold on using a small portion of beeswax, in place of some of the MW, when giving someone else advice on this, I would quote myself from the first part of post #2 of this thread...and then add, it's totally up to you.
    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    Tweaking the recipe:
    I think using a single MW and no beeswax will make a lube nearly identical to SL68B...as that is basically what Gear's SL-68 recipe is. I guess it's all in what you are able to obtain in regards to MW.
    ...snip

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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