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Thread: Felix Lube - the Short Version

  1. #341
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by high standard 40 View Post
    This is to update my test results regarding the use of stearic acid in FWFL (mentioned in post #336 in this tread) to address my concerns that the acid may cause rust or corrosion in my firearms,ammunition, or loading equipment.

    It has now been 7 weeks since I first started the test using steel as a test medium. There is no sign of rust on the test sample yet. It is important to note that not only has the sample been subjected to FWFW made using stearic acid, I have also subjected it to "Pure" stearic acid for the same period of time with the same result. No rust or even any discoloration. On Sept 19th I added a polished cartridge case and a copper Hornady gascheck to the test, again with FWFL and "pure" stearic acid. To date, there is no sign of corrosion on these samples either. I plan to let this test run for at least a year and I'll update from time to time.
    Pictures of your test subjects would be interesting.

  2. #342
    Boolit Master
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    Attached are the requested photos of my stearic acid test.

    This first photo is of the mild steel bar stock which I had rough sanded and applied pure stearic acid to 7 weeks ago. The stearic acid is the white beads in the image.


    This second image is the other end of the same bar to which I smeared some FWFL made with stearic acid. You can also see one stray bead of pure stearic acid stuck to the lube.


    This third image is of a polished 223 case and a Hornady copper 44 cal gas check, each smeared with the same FWFL. This is after 6 weeks.


    This last image is of another gas check on the left as a control sample which is unexposed to either the pure acid or the FWFL. The gas check on the right is filled with pure stearic acid. This is also after 6 weeks.


    Comments or advice on test parameters are welcome.

  3. #343
    Boolit Bub
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    First time Felix Wonder Lube Cooking

    Hi there

    Cooked my first batch of Felix lube as the recipe on page one says. For pan lubing I thought making more would be good.Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is what incredients I have used.
    Heated mineral oil which started to smoke at 260F. Added castor oil and cooked it between 260 to 280F for one hour.
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    Added soap flaces
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    and tried to melt it at 280F.
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    The mixture started to foam up.
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    After cooking for a while the foaming stopped and the stuff got like a chewing gum. Used a mixer to get everything into an even consistency.
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    Adding wax from cheese.
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    Adding beeswax from a 2kg (4pounds) block. Temp droppes to 160F, melting point of the bees wax.
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    Recovered beeswax a bit more than 1pound. Heated everything up to 250F and stearing to mix well.
    Turned off heat and added lanolin at about 230F. Monitored the cooling process. Mixture seems to start freezing at about 170F.
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    The smell produced especially from melting the beeswax is not too disturbing. About 3hours spent.

    Was that done right or did I do mistakes like adding lanolin at a too high temp? Any differences how Your mixture looks like? Please comment! Thanks!
    Last edited by womblrup; 12-14-2013 at 10:50 PM.

  4. #344
    Boolit Master
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    your temps seem a little off but it looks like you done everything right.
    the cooking of the mineral oil and castor oil is the main thing here.
    the addition of the stearate is what makes the oils turn into a grease and binds everything together.
    [the umm cheese wax is just that wax b.t.w.]
    if you added the lanolin in right before the solidification of the wax you got it correct.

    if you re-melt the whole thing down a couple of times it makes the lube a bit more homogenous.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

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

  5. #345
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    Looks like a titch too much soap to me, or the oils evaporated somewhat. Babybel cheese rinds don't contain any carnauba that I'me aware of, at least not anymore. They certainly don't detract from the lube qualities, though.

    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


  6. #346
    Boolit Master
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    I know that chewing gun consistency and it shouldn't be a stage in Felix lube. Looks like too much soap to me. That looks like a whole bunch of soap flakes.

    Gear and Run, doesn't that remind you a bit of making TnT?

  7. #347
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    Yup, just like TnT. The sodium grease phase of Felix lube (castor plus mineral oils with soap dissolved) even when cooled should be about the consistency of warm cream gravy; it should still pour easily. What I'm seeing in those pics appears to be either too much soap or too much oil evaporation. I use seven ounces of wax for the "original" recipe proportions and 1/2-3/4 ounce of fresh, wet soap. Slice it thinly with a knife and "fry" the slivers until they dissolve, I find it MUCH easier to get the fresh, damp slices to dissolve than I do the dried powder.

    Also, you CAN fully melt the soap quite quickly by taking the oils up to 475F for a brief time, the soap will gel at about 450 or so as you cool it down and smoke profusely, but the MO and castor can take the heat for a short time. Just don't go over 500 or you'll have a fire. Don't do that indoors, either.

    The thing to realize is that you're making a sodium-based grease out of the oils, just like the thicker varieties still used to lubricate steam trains and babbit bearings in large factory machinery.

    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


  8. #348
    Boolit Master
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    Looking at his proportions he "assumed" 15 ml, or 1 tablespoonful, of Na stearate was also 15 g.
    Bad assumption. The soap flakes used are dry, not wet like Ivory. A tablespoonful by volume also contains a large amount of air as the soap is a fluffy material when shaved so it has large amounts of air between the "granules".

    Soap flakes also may be pure Na stearate, Ivory contains other stuff. My testing in other recipes show that the pure stearate does "equal" work with about 1/2 the weight.

    Gear, if you used 1/2 to 3/4 ounce I would be that would equate to maybe 1/4 to 1/2 ounce of dry flakes. If we factor for the none stearate stuff in Ivory I would bet about 1/4 ounce of soap flakes would be plenty.

    Call it a 3 fold over soaping?

    Womblrup, do me a favor. Try that stuff in a rifle with a load developing pressure around what a factory 30-30 load develops. Shoot 20 rounds or so and look thru the uncleaned bore the next day. Let me know if a fouling forms between 1/4 and 1/2 down the bore.

    Using too much soap isn't an issue as long as excessive fouling doesn't develop.

  9. #349
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    I am on the side of to much soap. My Felix lube made in smaller batches as set out in the formula remains a liquid. It pours easily into the glass container I use to keep it in until I need it before it cools. I add the wax from the cheese and end up with a lube with a slight reddish tinge that fades to a creamy colour after a few remelts.

    Take Care

    Bob
    Last edited by robertbank; 12-15-2013 at 02:43 PM.
    Je suis Charlie

    Growing old is hard work...The mind says "yes" but the body says, "What the hell are you thinking".

  10. #350
    Boolit Master
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    his chewing gum pics look like the GEL that I made with 3 parts mineral oil to 1 part ivory.
    I had to take the temps up to over 400-f to make it though.
    I seen he was using 3 pounds of wax for this recipe and didn't look at the other totals.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

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

  11. #351
    Boolit Master
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    Looks like 100 g of soap flakes. If that is pure sodium stearate that would be equal to almost a pound of Ivory.

    I bet it works fine. The wax level should keep the residue from forming. I wonder how dry it is and how well it goes on bullets.

  12. #352
    Boolit Bub
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    Hi gents - thanks for all that good info.

    1.) I found carnaubawax on e..y for less than I spent for the cheese. When remelting that lube for panlubing I will add some.
    2.) The 1hour cooking of the oils had been under temp monitoring. Measured temp when the babyoil started smoking 260F and did not dare to go above 280F also after the soap was added to avoid burning the chemikals. Made a note that the kritical Temp is 475F with the risk of fire at 500F. Keep a cover for the pot prepared to extinguish fire if it occures.
    3.) After adding soap to the oils foaming occurs as the moisture of the soap is cooking out. That is normal and nothing to worry about.
    4.) Add soap step by step, heat to 450F minimum to melt properly. Check for consistency and add more if too liquid or free oil is in the pot. I had no glue about the contend of useful incredience within the type of soap used and no methode to find out how much was needed. So I followed the recipe word by word. Used an elektric mixer to get everything more homogenous before adding the beeswax.
    5.) Wait longer for cooling before adding lanolin as the last step. When lanolin is in do not heat extensive also not when remelting.

    Seems that I have 4-5 times more sodium stearate in now as required ???

    Desired load is a 44special level just above MIP for accuracy in 44mag cases with Keith style boolits for use out of a RBH and a Marlin 336. For 44mag level loads I am waiting to get a GCed mold. The delivery of a .432 Lee oversized sizer die is painfully awaited from US. That is as far as I got in the moment. So it will need time until I can report about results within the 30-30 power range.

    Well - some things had happend during cooking I did not expect when I went through the recipe as on page one. Best regards from good old Germany, Rup
    Last edited by womblrup; 12-15-2013 at 02:34 PM.

  13. #353
    Boolit Master
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    How does the final lube feel? When a small bit is worked in the hand does it get crumbly at all or does it just soften into a putty like mass?

    I have doubt your lube will work. I just haven't ever seen a gum like phase other than with oil and soap in almost equal amounts starting to get to temp.

    I eagerly wait results from your shooting. I bet that stuff shoots well, it is more of a handling and potential fouling issue I would worry about. Higher wax content seems to reduce the fouling and it improves handling too.

  14. #354
    Boolit Bub
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    Hi there

    This is how the final lube looks like: Shrinked a bit during cooling. Can be cut with a spoon. Can be flattened under pressure without braking. Sticks on the spoon and in my hands. Thats why I did not like to work it in my hands. I am happy with the colour - melted two crayons in to get it.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #355
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    Well it is a lube of sorts...just not Felix Lube. Let us know how it works out for you.

    Take Care

    Bob
    Je suis Charlie

    Growing old is hard work...The mind says "yes" but the body says, "What the hell are you thinking".

  16. #356
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    Remelt it a few times with gentle heat, stirring the chunks around constantly as it slowly turns liquid. That will improve the consistency greatly.

    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


  17. #357
    Awesome thread. I plan on using this once I get everything up and going.

  18. #358
    Boolit Master
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    I made a batch according to the receipt except the soap was old and fairly dry. The only difference I found between this one one the first one I made was that the soap didn't foam up much which was kind of nice. Looks the same and acts the same as the first batch I made. I been meaning to try some of the SL68 stuff but haven't yet.

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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