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Thread: Home made case lubes......

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    Question Home made case lubes......

    There's been a home made spray case lube formula around for some time now, being a 1 to 4 lanoline/alcohol mix. Like any reloading "tightwad" I'd like to try it and avoid putting out money for a commercial spray, but I have one concern:

    After the alcohol evaporates, leaving the lanolin for resizing...how do you remove it, or is it even necessary? If I recall, the Hornady spray lube makes no mention of having to remove it's product after the resizing process, but the LAST thing I want is any sort of lubricant on loaded ammunition. A greasy case...no matter how slight...increases bolt thrust, something I don't want. Anyone care to share their experience? Thanks!
    Last edited by 3006guns; 01-27-2009 at 09:42 AM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Smile

    Here are 2 options, but they're not home brews:
    1) Wire pulling lube (quart container): Water soluble & available @ your favorite "big box" hardware store + reasonably priced. Works well for FL and partial FL resizing if chamber pressure is not excessive. Not good for major case [re-]forming.

    2) STP (quart container): Widely available & inexpensive. Very tenacious, which is both good (stays where it belongs) and bad (need to wipe it off, possibly with a solvent). Will last forever.

    These two are so inexpensive, long-lasting and easily obtained that I'd forego making my own case lube. However, I understand the challenge of it (coming from one who reforms '06 and .270Win. brass to 6.5 x 55mm).

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Thumbs up Thank you!

    Thanks Maven......the attraction of an easy to apply spray was the only reason I looked at this in the first place. However, since we regularly use wire pulling lube at my job AND it comes in one gallon buckets..................

    I have a brand new RCBS lube pad in the cabinet........think I'll see if the wire lube will rub into it.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have used Imperial Case Sizing Wax for several years. I don't do a lot of advanced case forming, but have used it to make .308 Win from .30-06 and .270, 7.7 Japanese from .270, .280 and .30-06 and 8mm Mauser from .30-06. You need only a ridiculously small amount on the thumb and forefinger, and the case neck brush needs very little freshening up as well.

    For cost, small amount needed and easy clean up (I use rubbing alcohol) I know of nothing that approaches it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    Regarding Imperial wax.....I have the original hand out sample given to me at a gun show years ago when it was still a new product. It's been in my reloading drawer for a lot of years and I'm just now getting to the point of having to order another container. Talk about your money's worth! When I have a really tough resize out comes the Imperial, but for most jobs standard lubes work nicely.

    The idea of a spray is appealing just from the standpoint of speed and economy, since I have very few carbide dies. In fact, the cable pulling compound I'm thinking of is water soluable, so it might be possible to mix with water in a spray bottle. The question is whether it would be degraded by thinning or not. I've used the Hornady spray but had an ordinary 30-06 chatter a bit during resizing, plus the stuff is $8.95 a can here.....ouch.

    My original question was whether to wash the lanolin off before the rest of the loading steps, which seems reasonable.......but man, have you ever tried to wash that stuff off? It repels water and not being petrolem based, ordinary solvents don't work either. Alcohol might.......hadn't thought of that.

    I guess the correct way would be to mix a batch of both and see which one performs the best AND see how easily it can be cleaned off.
    Last edited by 3006guns; 01-27-2009 at 12:46 PM. Reason: comment

  6. #6
    Boolit Master cheese1566's Avatar
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    Do you use regular lanolin (anhydrous lanolin) that you find at a pharmacy for baby products and ointments? The yellow lanolin that has the consistency of vasoline? I once heard that it had to be the oil type liquid lanolin.

    My girlfriend buys the anhydrous lanolin (not the oil) in bulk and packages it in small quantities for cloth diaper supplies and other stuff.

    If it is the same, I may try it out myself...

  7. #7
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    Mix the lanolin with another oil on the stove as in making boolit lube for about 50-50 in volume. That should allowing sizing about anything, and if not, increase the percentage of lanolin. When mixed, normal solvents can do a good clean job. If not in a hurry to clean cases, size them and then degrease them in paint thinner. Use smell to determine that all solvent is gone before priming and loading. The advantage of this method is that some very hard "wax" is still on the cases for protection if the solvent is not brand new. ... felix
    felix

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I like Hornady One Shot, but as mentioned, it's expensive. But I like it and have no issues with it. Just wipe the outside of the case after sizing and move on.

    I've used wire pull, inexpensive, and it works.

    Maybe BeeMan will weigh in here. A while back he recommended IsoHeet and anhydrous lanolin. I do not remember the quantities. What you will wind up with is something like Midway spray lube in the pump sprayer. It works well also. I often use the Midway lube on a patch if I'm just doing a few cases for testing, and it works superbly. Or if neck sizing with other than a collet NS die, a wet qtip inside each case mouth reduces drag and stretching.

    If we can get BeeMan to post the recipe here, I'll make some and try it, as I specifically bought an IsoHeet for this and never used it. The anhydrous lanolin is always on hand for making FWFL.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    And once again I have to mention boot waterproofing.....

    The stuff I'm using is called "Smiling Mink", and I assume it's mink oil. It's probably a form of lanolin, and works as well as Imperial Sizing lube at about 1/5 the cost. I've used it to form cases, and for swaging bullets, it smells good, wipes off easily with a paper towel, and actually cleans the brass. I apply it with my fingers, but you could put it on a lube pad if desired.
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  10. #10
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    The formula I use: 1 cup 99% isopropyl Alcohol obtained from a hospitol supply or your drugest can order it.
    1 1/2 TBS any grade Anhydrous lanolin.
    Melt the lanolin and heat the alcohol in a microwave or on electric stove(NO OPEN FLAMES)
    mix the two, va la, Dillon case lube on the cheep!!

    To remove the lanolin I have a dedicated bowl for my frankford arnsonal case cleaner. I use the worn out walnut hulls from other case cleaning with a little mineral spirits mixed in, run the lubed cases about 20 min. the lube is gone.

    On a side note, if you use the industrial grade Anhydrous Lanolin, it is not refined as will as the medical grade (but costs a lot less) when mixed with the alcohol there is a white powdery looking substance that will settle out, it is harmless, so I just leave it in the mix.

    I've been using this case lube for 6-7 years now, I like it real well.
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  11. #11
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    I have Alemite CD-2 (same as STP) in a squeeze bottle. Squeeze a little blob in the rock-polisher can, put the rifle brass in, tumble for 30 minutes, and ready to go. After sizing, into the tumbler to remove the lube. Bought the can of CD-2 about 30+ years ago, and still have about a half bottle left, since it doesn't take much...
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Some darn good ideas here!

    About the lanolin.....the recipe I saw specifically said PURE lanolin, not anhydrous. The pure material is evidently like oil with no waxes in it so you don't have to worry about undisolved solids.

    Alemite CD-2?? I had no idea it was still around. 'Course I haven't bought any since about 1966............

    Think I'll try the cable compound idea first....mostly because I can grab some this afternoon.

  13. #13
    PAPERPATCH MASTER


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    removing case lubes

    Reminds me of a feller that was starting loading. He called me one day to ask advice. He asked how long the stickiness would last after loading the `06 brass? The stickiness was RCBS lube pad lube that he rolled the brass over almost 2 mo. before. If that wasn`t bad enough he then tried tumbling them in corncob. I traded him brass for his wooly looking cases. A little advice from a seasoned loader can save time and "face" when starting loading. Robert

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcast416taylor View Post
    Reminds me of a feller that was starting loading. He called me one day to ask advice. He asked how long the stickiness would last after loading the `06 brass? The stickiness was RCBS lube pad lube that he rolled the brass over almost 2 mo. before. If that wasn`t bad enough he then tried tumbling them in corncob. I traded him brass for his wooly looking cases. A little advice from a seasoned loader can save time and "face" when starting loading. Robert
    Wooly looking cases; you gotta love that.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Geeze, the last time I bought case lube was??? well the tub is marked $1.27. As long as lube lasts I never tried to find a substitute. I bet it doesn't cost 1 /20 of a cent to lube a case.

  16. #16
    I'm A Honcho!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calamity Jake View Post
    The formula I use: 1 cup 99% isopropyl Alcohol obtained from a hospitol supply or your drugest can order it.
    1 1/2 TBS any grade Anhydrous lanolin.
    Melt the lanolin and heat the alcohol in a microwave or on electric stove(NO OPEN FLAMES)
    mix the two, va la, Dillon case lube on the cheep!!
    I'm not sure there is not a relay or something like that inside a microwave that could flash a spark and blow you to kingdom come if you are heating volatiles like alcohol in there. I was heating some dry gas many years ago and got an alarming "thump" out of the microwave and it knocked over my plastic container I was heating it in.

    The Hornady case slick costs quite a bit for a spray can, but how many thousand cases can you do if you just spray the cases lightly and shake in a paper bag ??

    I agree on the Imperial wax, I have always wondered if it was just anhydrous lanolin.

    Bill
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master DanM's Avatar
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    I finally ordered some anhydrous lanolin from local cvs drugstore. Large container was $14. Probably a lifetime supply. Tried to disolve some in pure denatured alcohol for a spray lube, but after 2 days it was still a lump in the jar. Did not think to try heat. If you have to heat it to dissolve, won't it seperate out when cooled? Works great with finger application, but you do have to clean it off....
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master compass will's Avatar
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    I use Imperial sizing wax. I just looked it up at midway, $6.49. At the rate I am going I bet this is 10 years supply. Use a real small amount. I mean just a coating on your fingers to put a small film on the case. When I first started I put on too much and put a wrinkle in a 45-70 case, but I learned, Just enough to put a haze on the case. Then it wipes off with a wrag.
    For $6.50 it's not worth the time to make your own.

    But I bet it's the same as sno-seal. I think I read here of people using that.

  19. #19
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    Alemite CD-2, Man I just took a trip back in time. Everyone had long hair and was saying stuff like use this it will help your ET's
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    "About the lanolin.....the recipe I saw specifically said PURE lanolin, not anhydrous. The pure material is evidently like oil with no waxes in it so you don't have to worry about undisolved solids."

    Anhydrous means "Water Free"

    Pure lanolin is not an oil, it is a solid with the viscosity of wheel bearing grease.

    There is a company mixing something with the lanolin to make it liquid and selling it as pure.



    "Tried to disolve some in pure denatured alcohol for a spray lube, but after 2 days it was still a lump in the jar. Did not think to try heat. If you have to heat it to dissolve, won't it seperate out when cooled?"


    Yes you need to melt the lanolin and use 99% isopropyl Alcohol not denatured.

    I have not had a problem with the lanolin seperating from the alcohol.

    "but you do have to clean it off...."

    It is advisable to clean it off to stop bolt thrust, unless you are fire forming cases then it might be a good idea to leave it on.
    Calamity Jake

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