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Thread: Felix Lube - the Short Version

  1. #21
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    And, is liquid paraffin a "mineral oil" suitable for lubemaking? ... Yes, it's the same for the most part. Just a different layer in the distillation towers.

    So far I've done fine with ATF, but would Baby Oil be better? ... No, unless a better smell is justified. However, ATF has some synthetic slickies that you won't get with just plain ol' mineral oil, paraffin, etc. Is it better? Maybe, just depends on application.

  2. #22
    On Heaven's Range

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    Incidentally on this lube topic, I found a comment a short while back about using commercial animal lard in bullet lubes. The comment was a warning about the salt or sodium content in at least some commercial lards, and the potential for damage in rifle barrels from this salt.

    I took a quick peek at several brands in our local Albertson's store, and found none with any salt whatever on the table of ingredients. Therefore, it seems that if we just stay aware of the possibility and CHECK the label before buying, we should be OK.

    This was interesting to me, since i expect to be making some blackpowder-type lube in the near future for my .45-70 Sharps. Any super recipes to recommend out there? Maybe I should start a new thread on the subject.
    Regards from BruceB in Nevada

    "The .30'06 is never a mistake." - Colonel Townsend Whelen

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    Interesting post, BruceB.
    I've been thinking of a way to remove the salts in lard:

    Salt is water soluble but lard is not. I wonder if it would work to cook lard in a pot of water to free the salt. Pour out the water afterwards and let the lard solidify. Many cookings might be necessary before all the salts have been removed?

    Another thought, can the salts be measured with an ohmmeter? Either solid or liquid lard. If there is salt in the lard, then maybe this can be measured. If so, then you can probably determine when all salts have been removed.

    I'm not into BP as of yet, but I'm looking for a frontstuffer, we have a fairly active BP section in our gun club. (BP pistols, but several are interested in long guns).


  4. #24
    Boolit Master

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    Bruce, I specifically remember the discussion about coloring lubes -- seems like it was on the old Shooters board. I also remember hanging around the cosmetics isle at the local WallyWorld reading lipstick labels and all the young girls in town cruising by giggling..., more than likely wondering who that old fat guy was getting face paint -- prolly some closet drag queen.

    Anyway, after all the info Felix gave us on all the stuff that could/would harm barrels, and finding most of it listed in the ingredients, I opted for FWFL sans hues. Just as well, as I am shooting well anyway. Besides, my favorite color is translucent. Maybe Felix will weigh in again on this one and tell us about crayons, too, as I remember that there might be a problem with some of the colors. sundog

  5. #25
    Boolit Master

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    NW Ohio, almost as N and W as you can be :-)
    I would think a stop by the butcher (there is at least ONE good one in every county in oHIo) would net quite a bit of au natural lard. usually when we had a hod butchered a pail of lard was part of the package, most people do not use it for anything.

    I used to score oxtails all the time from guys I worked with "what the heck did they give me THAT for ? " I just told them we fed them to the dawg...not that they make a delicous soup. My wife was raised on a farm and even SHE thinks it's weird to make soup from them, I guess there are both types of people....those that buy store bought meat and those that raise it and have so much they won't eat oxtails.

    Both ends WHAT a player

  6. #26
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    BY Pigeonroost Slim (PRS)

    NOTE: Try Emmet's lube first because it might be easier. ... felix

    78136: felix; a ponder about BP lube 02/26/03-9:14 AM Posted
    by: prs

    Hey Ho felix!

    As you likely recall, I have put together a BP lube and
    relied upon your good advice and e-assistance. In spite of
    that; it turned out remarkably well. It works so well that I
    hate to make changes; but I just have to 'speriment.

    As with felix lube, my lube calls for the oils to be brought
    to a heat level of "beginning to smoke". I believe this is
    done to allow the soap to be incorporated more easily. Is
    that correct? Is there any other reason to use that much
    heat. The basic bar soap type that I use is quite hard, but
    melts easily on its own. It is a product meant to be hand
    milled and liquefied and blended with other ingredients to
    make a final finished bar soap. I was hoping to be able to
    just blend it in with the oils well warmed.




    78137: felix; a ponder about BP lube 02/26/03-9:54 AM
    Posted by: felix

    PRS, no need to use heat if you don't have to. If you are
    using castor oil, and any kind of petro oil (mineral, not
    veggie, not animal) then you have to heat the castor oil
    mixed in with the mineral component. Mineral oils are the
    culprit, plus those veggie or animal oils that are quite
    similar in composition to mineral oils. The final leak test
    over time is the only cheap way to decipher if castor oil
    will stay put without being heated (polymerized). Please
    allow me to have your current recipe, if not the board.
    fmr72901atjunodotcom. ... felix


    78231: felix; a ponder about BP lube 02/27/03-2:42 PM
    Posted by: prs

    felix and the camp: What follows is a too windy explanation
    of my lube. The stuff works great. It is particularly good
    for action shooting with black powder because it keeps the
    fouling soft longer than other BP lubes I have tried; which
    is most of them. I have no idea if it is good for long range
    buff rifles and such as I am not into that; yet! I am
    working on tow new variants of this which hopefully will
    give me a less expensive product that is just as good. I
    will also lengthen the cooking time as I have found that it
    tends to cure more when re-heated and cooled several times
    as I re-fill my Lyman #450 with liquidated lube. Also, this
    stuff is pretty resistant to melting anyway, yet remains
    fairly soft even in cold weather; thus the cap'nball folks
    like it too to place over their loaded cylinders. Smells
    like candy, initially tastes like candy; but then ya get
    that soap taste.. bleach!!!!!

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>

    Lube recipes, especially personal ones are subject to change
    without notice – or with the maker’s whim. Some folks swear
    by all natural food grade ingredients and shun petrol
    chemicals. The old timers had things we can not get (or are
    not supposed to get) just as we enjoy access to things
    beyond their imaginations. Some good folks state their
    satisfaction using lubes designed for smokeless powder
    loads, even lubes containing allox such as the NRA formula
    commercial bullet lubes. Others have contrary reports to
    offer with such modern lubes in loadings with real black
    powder. I am not certain that any of this topic has
    application for those good folks who choose or must use
    substitute black powders. I am also not going to lend my
    support to any argument that only natural products or non-
    petroleum based products are acceptable for black powder. I
    have not personally used petrolatum (Vaseline brand
    petroleum jelly) or paraffin wax, nor various silicones in
    my BP lubes, but I have no doubt that some folks have done
    so with success. I have tried many of the "natural"
    ingredients, but certainly not all. This lube’s development
    was and is an act of evolution; an ongoing process, and not
    of an act of Divine intervention.

    I shall share with you one of my renditions of a lube of
    mostly natural things, at least natural in so far as
    commercially processed goods can be. I currently use this
    product in my bullet sizer/lubricator to fill the grooves of
    home cast lead alloy bullets. The finished lube should be
    just stiff enough to handle without mess, but soft enough to
    perform admirably with black powder. This product should be
    melt resistant enough to allow exposure to normal human
    tolerable heat without seeping out of the groove(s) and into
    the powder charge.

    To keep things as simple as possible, lets make a batch size
    of 100 fluid ounces. Don't worry about weight. Ingredients
    that are not readily liquefied will be specified in common
    volume measurements. A four quart stainless steel sauce pan
    is a wonderful "caldron" for our sorcery. An adjustable heat
    source such as an electric or gas range is very nice. Baking
    mitts or pot holders are recommended. Cautious use of a
    microwave oven can be an advantage, but great care must be
    taken to avoid fire with flammable ingredients such as
    beeswax. A double boiler is a great safety enhancer!

    My basic formula, PRS Lube, is adapted from one I learned as
    Emmert’s Formula. With Emmert’s, one takes a ratio of
    50:40:10 where the first numeral represents beeswax, the
    second shortening, the latter oil. I was taught to reverse
    the portions of beeswax to shortening for cold season
    shooting, if desired. This is an excellent lube when made
    with pure beeswax, Crisco, and peanut oil. It tends to
    separate over time. It can go rancid. Emmert’s may leave
    something to be desired in fouling softening when it comes
    to prolonged rapid fire use with black powder cartridge
    arms. Some folks report an objectionable slime deposit in
    their guns which they associate with the Crisco type

    PRS lube is similarly based upon the ratio of 35:35:10:10:10
    plus three "adjuncts" to finish. Since we are shooting for a
    100 fl oz batch, consider the ratio proportions to be fluid
    ounces. The proportions, in order stated are beeswax,
    Crisco, glycerin soap base, anhydrous lanolin and vegetable
    oil mix. The adjuncts are 25 drops of oil of peppermint, two
    tablespoons of stearic acid granules, and 0 to ?5 soap
    making dye chips. The soap dye is a non-functional addition
    and color of dye is up to the maker; I use bright yellow. I
    do not know what the carrier ingredient of those die chips
    is; hopefully nothing which will detract from our lube’s
    performance. I have noticed no derogatory effects.

    I hear your gasp! "Keep it simple?", you question as you
    ponder that onerous list of ingredients in the long "ratio"
    listing. Such is life. Beeswax is the carrier and binding
    agent. I believe it has some lubricant quality in its own
    right; although I have noticed some folks disputing that.
    Beeswax certainly helps soften black powder fouling when
    consumed in or exposed to the combustion. The best bulk
    beeswax is sold by beekeepers as "cappings grade" wax. The
    Crisco blends with and softens the wax. Its a good
    lubricant, but more than that it gives additional moisture
    to the mix when exposed to or consumed by the closed
    combustion of our black powder. As mentioned above some
    folks report Crisco to have left a scum fouling in their
    barrels, but I have not noticed such. The lanolin is an
    extraordinary lube. It has abundant moisture to offer when
    combusted in our irons. Its cost may far exceed that of
    Crisco or otherwise we might do well to substitute even more
    lanolin in place of the Crisco. Glycerin bar soap base is a
    product available to those adventurous souls who wish to
    easily make their own milled specialty bath soaps. It is a
    very pure and pretty product; amber, translucent, and quite
    hard. Its a rather harsh soap when pure and may have enough
    active lye potential to convert some added oils and fats
    into soap. The soap base gives our concoction body and keeps
    our ingredients in emulsion; perhaps even converting the mix
    partially into a soap as we stir the caldron. Perhaps the
    use of soap in my lube explains why I have not noticed the
    reported sludge some folks have attributed to the Crisco.
    "Now", you ask, "what is this vegetable oil mix?" My oil mix
    is equal portions of olive oil, peanut oil, and castor bean
    oil. Olive oil has been with me all along, maybe I could
    drop it, but I have not. Peanut oil hopefully lends its
    great heat tolerance to our brew. Castor oil has that
    mysterious odor and may help stiffen or modify, through
    polymerization, the final product through the soap making

    Now for the adjuncts. The stearic acid granules are not
    intended to make our mix "acid" in an attempt to counter the
    alkaline nature of the fouling of black powder; although any
    such help could be appreciated. This common soap making and
    candle making ingredient should help further bind our
    ingredients into a stable more firm soap-like blend and help
    with preservation. The peppermint oil? I initially used
    expensive essential oil for its great smell and clean feel
    in the lube, but then noticed that it gave the lube a sticky
    nature that I liked; it really clings to the grooves. This
    peppermint oil may also lend some preservation qualities to
    our product since it is an anti fungal and anti bacterial.
    The soap dye chips are pretty much self explanatory. They
    make the product pretty, but are unnecessary in a functional
    sense. I go sparingly with bright yellow chips. If you have
    a local candle supply and soap making store, they will have
    all of this except the cooking oils, shortening, and maybe
    the peppermint oil which you can get at the grocery or drug
    store. Get the beeswax from your local beekeepers, the honey
    they have should be quite a treat too. An online source such
    as can also provide all the ingredients.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    78377: felix; a ponder about BP lube 03/01/03-3:19 PM
    Posted by: white owl

    Prs - thank you for providing us with this recipe. I plan on
    making up a batch to try for blackpowder cartridge rifle
    shooting, but first need to ask one thing - Do you know how
    well this lube works for pan lubing?

    From the ingredients list it seems to me like it should be
    OK for pan lubing. However, I know there are some lubes
    that, once you make them up, they work fine in a lubrisizer,
    but if you try to remelt it (as you need to do if pan
    lubing), they are difficult to remelt.


    78526: A new BP lube is born; PRS- El Tigre 03/03/03-12:45
    PM Posted by: prs

    I kept to felix's usual good advice and got my oils smokey
    hot for "polymerization". I also incorperated another
    ingredient which supplies long branched hydrogen molecules
    to disperse and bind oils and waxes (Zybor 103), sold for
    use by candle makers. I modified my original PRS recipe to
    incorperate abundant essential oil of sweet orange and I
    threw in a bit of orange candle dye. I also used the Soy-
    Based Econo wax instead of beeswax (but am gonna do a
    beeswax batch too). A 100 fluid ounce batch is ready to use
    now. It looks and smells great! If it's worth a hoot, I will
    report back. Sure is pretty!

    Last edited by felix; 04-15-2005 at 09:00 PM.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    Database Is Now Broken.....

    We Need A Mainframe???? Any Got One For Use?
    Last edited by felix; 04-15-2005 at 09:15 PM.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master Scrounger's Avatar
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    Area 51

    Coloring Felix Lube

    Wouldn't colored crayons color the lube. Of course it would be stiffer, too. What about food coloring or Easter egg dye?

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    In the hills south of the Kaw river, Kansas
    Made my first batch of FWFL the first part of this week. Turned out great. I used about 2t of Johnson's past wax for the carnuba wax. Followed the above recipe other wise.

    Thanks to Felix, Sundog, Waksupi, and everyone for the recipe and tips on how to make FWFL.

    Now I've got to get some holes punched and see how it works.

    Mmmm Mmmm... Ox tail stew. I see them in the super markets once in a while, Wildbird, they are pretty proud of them here.

    Last edited by tall grass; 04-15-2005 at 06:24 PM.
    ...Praise Him all creatures here below...

  11. #31
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    Lets stir off a batch:
    In the SS 4 quart pot heat the 10 fl ounces of blended
    vegetable oils to the point of "just beginning to smoke".

    Add the 10 fl ounces bar soap base ( I liquefy mine in a
    Pyrex cup in the microwave first - at your own risk there).

    Add 2 level tablespoons of the steric acid granules, stir
    until dissolved.

    Add 35 fl oz Crisco (again, I pre-liquefy in microwave).
    Cook for 20 minutes at a moderate heat level. Stir

    Reduce heat to "low" because the remaining ingredients are
    more fragile. Add 35 fl oz beeswax and 10 fl oz lanolin (I
    pre liquefy in microwave with great care – beeswax is highly
    flammable!) Cook at low heat for 5 minutes, stirring gently
    and constantly.

    Cut heat and add soap color dye chips, if desired. Stir
    until dissolved/

    Let cool until a skim of hardened lube just begins to form.
    Add 25 drops peppermint oil and stir to blend.

    Pour into your desired molds, containers, or straight into
    the lube sizer. Hollow sticks are EZ to cast too. 8 ounce
    jelly jars are handy to use because the microwave oven can
    be used (at your risk) to liquidate just enough to refill
    your lube-sizer with this liquid gold. Keep in mind,
    liquefying of solid ingredients in microwave oven may be a
    fire hazard. If in doubt, go by dry volume measure and cast
    into hollow sticks for your sizer.

    This has been an excellent lube for me. Its clean to handle,
    it stays put in the lube grooves of bullets. Its fairly
    soft, yet does not melt easily. When used with appropriate
    bullets for black powder, the fouling stays soft and
    cleaning is easy with plain soapy water or other traditional
    black powder cleaning agents Enjoy your shooting of real
    black powder and be safe!

    Pigeonroost Slim: A man's word is his bond.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    NO, NO, NO .... WATER SOLUBLE dyes do not work! Use candle dyes, and the blue colors work best, reds second. I tried several greens and none were strong enough to work through the existing colors of the lube ingredients. Be careful of all of them, because adding too much has caused a coagulation problem thereafter upon cooling. Therefore, blue color can use the least amount, and will guarantee a blue color of some sort. ... felix

  13. #33
    Boolit Master at Heavens Range

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    BPCR lube

    Try my "Junior Lube" for BPCR.

    It's easy to make. Bunches of guys make it and swear by it. I use it in two BPCR 45-70s with great success.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master ammohead's Avatar
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    Adding the wax from makers mark whiskey will color the wax a nice reddish brown. Or at least that is what it looks like to me, I'm mostly colorblind. You get the added benefit of finishing the rest of the bottle. Then you won't care what color it is.

    I also add powdered motor mica to my lube but be sure to stir it as it stiffens to gravy consistency or it will settle.


  15. #35
    Boolit Bub Leadlum's Avatar
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    I tried adding some blue candle coloring wax, and it came out ugly green sort of? I went back to just not adding any color.
    But I did buy some vanilla candle scent oil, and added it. I like the smell of it. Don`t seem to hurt anything?
    I do have a question to Felix. Do I really have to stir for an 1/2 an hour?

  16. #36
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    I do have a question to Felix. Do I really have to stir for an 1/2 an hour?

    No, you don't, unless the heat is up there. Instead, in your situation, turn the heat down even further, like to 120F, and let go for an hour or two, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Try this for a one pound batch or so, and then do the lube leakage test on the window sill. If no leakage, then you are good to go. You have polymerized the castor oil enough so it won't leak out. If it leaks, then remelt and go for an another hour at 120F. Everybody, keep this in mind: if you are not going to add castor oil, then the heating process over time will provide absolutely NO benefit. It's the castor oil that leaks, and nothing else. ... felix

  17. #37
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    Try adding some shoe polish of the color or choice. Make sure it is a KIWI or some other brand that is not a polymer. Go by smell. If it smells like petro and not some kind of candy, then use it at the tail end of the mixing process with low heat, like when adding lanolin. Heat will destroy some colors, and that is probably why some colors just won't come out right. ... felix

  18. #38
    Boolit Bub Leadlum's Avatar
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    Felix; thanks for the reply. But I think, maybe you misunderstood me. I do use mineral oil. I just add a little of the candle scent for smell. Do I still stir for a Half an hour? Does it really take that long to mix well?

  19. #39
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    If you are not adding castor oil, then you don't have to cook the castor oil with the petro oil(s). Cooking is for poly-ing the castor oil only, and ONLY when a petro oil is present, OR will be in the future when fine tuning the mix for an app. Keep in mind that paraffin, baby oil, ATF comes from petro oil.

    A good technique is to mix castor oil and a petro oil at 50/50. Cook that, and store that in a bottle for perpetual mixing use. Now you don't have to cook the lube except just enough to mix all the ingredients for a particular batch of lube. ... felix
    Last edited by felix; 04-23-2005 at 10:06 PM.

  20. #40
    Someone is apparently a regular seller of beeswax on eBay, this being the current version:

    1 Pound Natural Beeswax 16-1 oz pieces (Item number: 8190685270)

    Baby oil is apparently the right stuff for refilling a liquid damped marine compass. I don't know whether you would have to flush out the last traces of the toluene which is also often used. Alcohol is too liable to attack paint etc. Most of you probably don't need to know this, but those who do, would need it a lot.

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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