Hand Wax / Coad

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Janne Melkersson
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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#401 Post by Janne Melkersson » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:45 pm

Just want to add that Stockholm tar is just a name of a long time gone company making tar. There are many different tar and if you choose to reduce black tar you will get a pitch which will make a black tread. I am using the light yellowish tar, or the virgin tar you get from claessons in Gothenburg. If that one is used the pitch will be black but remelted and mixed with rosin and tallow the color of the tread will get a bronze nuanse

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#402 Post by homeboy » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:49 am

Hey Janne!

Glad to hear from you. Hope all is well! Thanks for the info!

Take care!
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What one man has done....another can do.

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#403 Post by Janne Melkersson » Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:24 am

Hi Jake, all is well thank you! Are you going to the hcc meeting this year? Last time was great, still laughing :)
Hope all is well with you.
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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#404 Post by fclasse » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:00 pm

Janne,

Thanks very much for the suggestions! Did they come up with an "ingredients list" as to what they used in their pitch? A lot of these pre-made waxes have petroleum products in them which is a difficulty for those of us trying to replicate historic materials =) Also, do they smell strongly of smoke and campfire? I happen to like the smell, and it adds a bit of flavor to the process.


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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#405 Post by Janne Melkersson » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:19 pm

Francis, no ingredients list. It doesn't have the smell you like probably because it is made of oak tree and not of pine tree tar. If you want the old pitch with campfire smell and the one making the bronze colored tread "so much loved by shoemakers" as I found it written on an old recipe I guess you have to make it on your own.
As described here it is a messy smelling thing and it takes time but with a yellowish tar you will get a good pitch, if you don't burn it to hot!

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#406 Post by fclasse » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:09 am

Janne, good to know, thank you! I know that Arttu is going to be sending Lance some pitch that he worked up, so maybe that will be a possibility for that lovely smelling pitch =)


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Re: Hand Wax / Coadthis weekend using Claess

#407 Post by Janne Melkersson » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:31 am

Frances
I did cook pitch this week end using Claessons "FINTJÄRA PRIMA DALBRÄND" which means, extra fine tar, golden yellowish. Since it is a clean tar it doesn't smell much camp fire, but the tread ends up with the bronze color so much liked by shoemakers :) 2 hours cooking is enough. I mix it 50/50 pitch and colofonium and add tallow if needed.

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#408 Post by fclasse » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:52 am

Janne,

Glad that it worked out for you - I cooked up a batch with the Auson kiln burned tar this weekend, and although it seemed to have the right consistency as what I've made before, it wouldn't adhere to the thread properly. I will try to add some beeswax, as I worry that tallow will make it too soft and sticky. It seems every time, it is a new experiment.

Others have reported that they have had good results boiling the tar down first like you did, and I may have to try that instead of mixing raw.


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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#409 Post by fclasse » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:53 pm

Hm, I see that I never responded back to this thread - a bit of beeswax, and the hand wax is just fine. In fact, it doesn't stick quite as badly to my fingers as my last batch, yet there was no flaking when newly used. The same stitching "lock" occurs when the threads are let alone for a moment, and a good tug is needed to separate them. I believe the ratio I used was about 1:1:0.2 for tar to rosin to beeswax.


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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#410 Post by Tedley » Thu May 21, 2015 8:18 pm

I used to post under the name Ted, but due to ignorance my membership lapsed. I tried to get reinstated, but came to a dead end; so I rejoined under the name Tedley.

First, I would like to clarify terms we are using. If you tap a pine tree like a rubber tree, the sap you collect is called resin. Distill the resin and you get turpentine, which is boiled off, condensed and collected. The solids left over after distilling are called rosin. Kiln burn pine stumps and the cooked resin is collected at the bottom of the kiln. The liquid portion is pine tar, which is analogous to turpentine, but mixed with pitch which is analogous to rosin. Therefore, the bottom of the barrel from a kiln is more solid and called pine pitch. The more liquid top portion is pine tar. Some pine tar sold today may be steam extracted such as that sold by Bickmore. Other extraction methods may be used, but pine tar and pitch from charcoal making kilns is what we are after. Pine trees from different species produce somewhat different products, having differences in the make up of their resin. The pine trees in China are of a different species than from Sweden.

By cooking off the aromatic potions of pine tar we get pine pitch. Earlier posts reported using high heat which produced black smoke and made a mess. You can reduce pine tar to pitch at 250-290 (degrees F, which I will use hensforth). This does not produce smoke. You don't need to get it actually bubbling to get the turps out. If you get black smoke, it is cooked to hot and you produce ash and clinker in the left over pitch. As pointed out, 325 is the temperature where the pitch is burned and an inferior product is produced. I use a crock pot at low temperature which falls within the ideal range. The turps boiled off may flash or burn if to high a heat is used. Use a thermometer when cooking off turps from tar to get pitch. The "Real Stuff" brand may be repackaged from 5 gal. buckets or 55gal. drums of Natrotar 588, which is half the price per gallon. They seem like the same product, but the Natrotar 588 requires a resale licence to buy, as they only sell to manufacturers.

Hemp is spun from cannabis plant fiber and linen is from flax plant fiber. In the 1930's, the cotton industry helped finance the anti-marijuana laws so the fiber was made illegal along with the drug. There is not enough drug in the fiber to get a fly high. The cotton industry wanted to suppress the hemp fiber industry and did so. The old texts referred to hemp and linen separately. The advantages of hemp over linen are well known and discussed before. After hemp became unavailable, unbleached linen sometimes was marketed as "hemp". Hemp is hemp and linen, bleached or not is linen.

I just came across a potential new source of pine pitch. The wood pellet industry using pine produces pitch as a by-product. The pellets are made under high pressure which produces heat. This cooks the pitch and it smells smoky from the heat. Samples are on their way to me now. They have no market for their pitch and it is hauled to the dump in dump truck loads. It has some wood fibers in it which can be filtered out. I will post the results and make samples available once I get my hands on it.

Lance, please get ahold of me by email. I never got the German samples back.

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#411 Post by Tedley » Thu May 21, 2015 8:24 pm

As I am now a "new" member, I cannot send messages. If admin will get ahold of me , I would like to become reinstated as Ted. My website is piperssupply.com

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#412 Post by das » Fri May 22, 2015 5:49 am

Ted,

Bagpipe reeds, hemp thread, AND shoemakers' wax are all very dear to me :thumb:

Loved your synopsis of both pitch production and hemp. I learned the hard way on the Chinese pitch Auson flogged me 10 years ago--it's all full of woody pulp fibers, doesn't smell or work right. Mr. Lee Fung(?) answered the phone at Auson, Stockholm(!) and said destructive production of turps and pitch in Sweden had ceased (commercially), and it was all Chinese stuff now, and yes different tree species.

Last winter I sent various pitch samples to a Swedish guy who's up on getting artisanal REAL pitch from the "Tar Valley", as shown in the video above. The sample he sent was "pitch black" in color, smelled right, but was too hard and not very tacky like we prefer. He sent some tar to cut it with, but it's been too cold to experiment with yet. He's having all my samples (going back 50 years) chemically analysed by a lab to determine the best formulation for shoemaking--stay tuned for more news on this.

What ingredients do you use in your "blonde" wax?

Yes, if you cultivate hemp up into 6-8' tall straight stalks for fiber production, you only get a wee tuft of leaves at the top, low in THC. You can smoke that all day long and only get a sore throat. The "fun" hemp is that which is short and bushy with THC laden flowers as it grows wild--but crap for yarn fibers.

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#413 Post by Tedley » Mon May 25, 2015 1:58 pm

Today,the only hemp yarn available is spun in China. Easten Europe is producing rope but no spun yarn. Unfortunately, the Eastern Europeans that spun some yarn several years ago scrapped their antique cast iron spinning machines and bought more compact and faster Chinese machines. The old ones could handle 10 ft. long fibers. The new ones are faster but can only handle short fibers. The long fibers are cut short or "cottonized" to work in these machines. There is some thicker hemp cords from Easten Europe being sold by Michaels craft store, but it is short fiber and very weak. The Chinese single spun hemp (about 16 lea in linen weight) has weak spots in it and not suitable for wax ends. It is spun on short fiber machines. The best hemp fiber I have seen was spun in Japan for a Kimono factory in the 1930's but was very fine, about 44 lea equivalent. You could almost cut hour hands when trying to break it. So far, the Chinese have been unresponsive to our needs for long staple yarn.

The blond wax I make for tying flies came from this forum a few pages back. It is rosin, lanolin and beeswax. I found it too soft for me, so I decreased the amount of lanolin by half and use about 20% white beeswax in it. I am not making it as a hand wax. I use water white rosin in it.

My black wax is formulated for bagpipe uses, especially for reed making. My pitch has been Auson's Navy pitch, which is made of rosin and bitumen. Lately, I have mixed in some cooked down Right Stuff pine tar and less Navy pitch. Asphalt and roofing tar from the petroleum sources are now made of a mixture of fine oils, medium oils and solids from refineries. There is sme natural bitumen from seeps under the ocean that washes ashore. It is called sea pitch and has been used for centuries. I don't use the manufactured asphalt from the petroleum industry as the fine oils can be a detrimental to thread life. I don't know why natural bitumen from tar pits are rejected. The ancients used it a lot. It was called mineral pitch. Why would reinactors reject it? Perhaps because of residual harmful oils in it? I use black bull riders rosin in my wax. It melts at a lower temperature than yellow rosin and is far more sticky. I get it from rodeo suppliers. Lately, their black bull riders rosin is lighter in color, perhaps being from a Chinese source. It is still low melting temperature and more sticky than the yellow stuff. My black wax is about 2/3 black rosin to 1/3 pitch, which is a mix of the Navy pitch and reduced pine tar. To that I add 20% beeswax by weight. I melt it altogether in a low temperature crock pot, stir well and pour off a part at a time into 100 degree F water. If the water is hotter, it sticks to your hands. I tear off suitable amounts in the water and taffy pull to get a good mix and to introduce tiny air bubbles which makes it workable. Works for me and my customers.

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#414 Post by dw » Tue May 26, 2015 5:43 am

Tedley » Mon May 25, 2015 1:58 pm wrote:Today,the only hemp yarn available is spun in China. Easten Europe is producing rope but no spun yarn. Unfortunately, the Eastern Europeans that spun some yarn several years ago scrapped their antique cast iron spinning machines and bought more compact and faster Chinese machines. The old ones could handle 10 ft. long fibers. The new ones are faster but can only handle short fibers. The long fibers are cut short or "cottonized" to work in these machines. There is some thicker hemp cords from Easten Europe being sold by Michaels craft store, but it is short fiber and very weak. The Chinese single spun hemp (about 16 lea in linen weight) has weak spots in it and not suitable for wax ends. It is spun on short fiber machines. The best hemp fiber I have seen was spun in Japan for a Kimono factory in the 1930's but was very fine, about 44 lea equivalent. You could almost cut hour hands when trying to break it. So far, the Chinese have been unresponsive to our needs for long staple yarn.
That's why, over the years (and beginning my career with linen and hemp) I've reluctantly, but with clear eyes, moved to Teklon. It is not ideal, but hemp or linen that is limited to 2" staple, max, is farther from ideal than the dacron.

IMO.
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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#415 Post by lancepryor » Tue May 26, 2015 7:17 am

Ted:

I sent you an e-mail to the address I had from a few years ago.

Everyone:

Unfortunately, I never received the package that Arttu said he sent me from Finland. I guess there is a ball of pitch sitting in some lost-mail facility somewhere, or the package somehow burst and the contents were lost.

I've e-mailed Arttu but haven't received any response since this occurred :sigh:

Still hopeful that one day we will come up with a European source for pitch. In the meantime, I've had good success cooking down the Auson's Kiln Burned pine tar that I referenced earlier in this thread. It's been good enough that I've (temporarily, at least) stopped my pursuit of other sources and types of pitch.

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#416 Post by Tedley » Wed May 27, 2015 7:19 am

I sold a pound of hand wax to a fly fisherman in Sweden a year ago to tie flies. He said he had friends who still made their own tar, but was unsure what I meant by pitch, as his English is not good. I just received an email that a friend of his was getting some pitch together for me and was sorry he took so long to answer. He also wants more wax from me as it was the best they have seen.

A year ago I contacted a man in Finland who was representing Finnish products for export. I asked him about pitch and tar. He had friends who made their own non-commercial tar and sent a photo of a 5 liter plastic bottle of black tar. He said that sending it through customs without documentation as its composition and a MSDS document could get the shipment confiscated. I did not pursue it further. That may be what happened to your sample Lance.

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#417 Post by jeoroi » Wed May 27, 2015 7:35 am

Hi All:-)

Al Saguto asked me to post as I am currently working on a large tar and pitch project. The purpose of the project is to collect tar from many different sources and production facilities, whether it is pit, kiln or different type of oven produced tar. I am currently analysing all the tar in a lab and also according to visual signs and performance. Once all the tar has been analysed and labeled according to its quality and content, pitch will be made. I am working together with tar researcher and chemists and will supply Al with samples for him to test.

One the surface this seems like a very simple and straightforward process, take tar, boil it down until it gets thick and you have pitch. Well thats far from the truth. To be able to consistently produce pitch of the same quality as in the past there is a lot to it:-) The only tar that is used in the project is tar from pine trees, as that is the source for the highest quality tar.

The process of making the pitch will be documented and it will be done in different temps, different length of time, mixed with rosin etc basically all different combinations that are possible to do. It will explain why to taffy pull and why it works, what types of tars are suitable, types of rosins to use (modified, unmodified, polymerized etc). How all the materials interact, hardness etc etc.

We have a complete setup, including different types of pots, cast iron and coppar.

The goal is to be able to determine what tar can be used to produce pitch as it was done in the old days for shoemakers wax, but also for other applications as navy pitch etc. It will answer all questions regarding type of tar and type of pitch. Once everything is done it will be possible to buy the ready product from us or to buy pitch, rosin, beeswax and tallow from us and mix according to our instructions.

I have gone as far back as the middle 1500 and read statements, descriptions etc concerning making of tar and pitch.

The biggest problem is how all these names was defined in the past, pitch means many different things, so does burgundy pitch etc. Stockholm tar, as Melkerson already mentioned here was like a brand name for tars shipped out from Stockholm, Sweden, it was like a quality stamp (most of that tar was produced in Finland) Sweden did NOT use tar from Norway for political reasons and also as we had plenty within our own borders, Finland and the Baltics etc was part of Sweden in thoses days. The name of course is still being used by retailers and producers to elevate their products to a higher level. Very few people understand what the tar production was like during this period and also why it was superior to anything else produced at the time. Today its just a name to sell more tar...

Very few, almost none of the current tar producers have analysed their tar, but they keep selling it as, high in rosin acid, low in water %, low level of pitch etc etc but when you ask them how do they know and what does it actually means, they don't know... They will use names as peasant tar, traditional tar etc but it's all BS!

Most of the time the excuse is that tar is an organic thing and it will change from batch to batch, yes its all true but... it is possible, with the right raw material and if the right production is used together with competent people to actually be very consistent from batch to batch, that's also why tars was divided into 3 grades in the past. Today even pit burners don't divide. The only ones that do it is the Norwegian producers as it is stipulated by law due to they are supplying the stave churches.

When the pit is lit, tar starts to flow at different temperatures, if all goes well, if the pit did not burn to hot or it was not drenched in rain etc it will produce a lot of high quality tar. The tar will still be in different qualities as it is collected during different stages, hence different temps. The quality is directly related temperature IF everything else is ok, e.g right raw material, set up etc.

I did receive a sample of some pitch Al bought in the 90s from England, that pitch was analysed but already from the sample it was clear that rosin was added. The analyse confirmed it. It was produced in Portugal but the source of the rosin and the tar is unknown as the company doesn't exist anymore.

Tar has been analysed at least since the beginning of 1900 and there are plenty of databases containing excellent reference material to be used to compare newly analyzed tar. There is a world of difference from oven produced tar and tars produced in a pit(dale/mila). However if the raw materials is similar and the heat is not to high, it is possible to produce a tar of similar quality.

There is also a misconception that companies like Auson, Claesson etc produce tar in Sweden (just because they are located in Sweden and export tar), well they don't, Auson buy ALL their from China, from a company called FOREVEREST. Same with Claesson, they only have one supplier from Europe that do a traditional pit tar, all the rest is from China.

The species of pine, pinus is similar to what we have in Scandinavia, we have Scots Pine and they use Chinese Red Pine that is also from pinus. Other places in Europe use different species but as long as they are high in rosin and other important ingredients it's ok. Scots pine was traditionally used for "Stockholm tar"

To us things are pretty clear already but we still have a lot of testing to do.

I will keep you posted and once the project is done (by the end of summer) I will supply a document with all our findings. Already now, the document is almost 30 pages as it covers everything you possible could want to know about tar and pitch and all the extra ingredients as rosin, tallow and wax.

/Jeorge

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#418 Post by dw » Wed May 27, 2015 8:23 am

The last half dozen (?) post in this thread have been very enlightening. And I want to thank those who have taken the time.

I do wish that Jeorge's testing were complete and the product ready to go now. But I'm glad that people are interested in this.
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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#419 Post by das » Wed May 27, 2015 2:46 pm

Jeorge,

Many thanks for taking my invitation to join us here and tell us a bit about your work on pitch and tars. Please keep us informed. A lot of valuable information has been communicated between us privately for the past year since you sent me the first sample from the "Tar Valley".

And DW, that vaunted wax I made you in 1999-2000 you liked the best ever, that was made from the product Jeorge referred to. I sent it to him as a control sample of the "perfect" pitch BTW. It was bought from White Sea & Baltic, UK, as "Stockholm Pitch" but as Jeorge discovered it originated in Portugal of all places.

"Traditional" boot and shoemaking relies on so many essential ingredients, sourced from many extractive industries that have gone. Long staple hemp, decent pitch, and a variety of leathers like the old waxed-calf. No one will ever be able to experience working with and making the same things we did 40 years ago, which in many cases were only a shadow of their former selves in Devlin and Rees' day. Even the "best" artisans working today, using the "best" leathers, are merely emulating what was commonplace in the past, and today it's the new "Luxe".

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#420 Post by lancepryor » Wed May 27, 2015 7:27 pm

Jeorg:

This is certainly very interesting; I look forward to learning of the results.

I assume you have received a sample of the pitch formerly sold by Rausch in New Orleans? If not, I have a small bit and could perhaps spare a sample for your testing.

Also, there is the company Hautaterva (http://www.hautaterva.net), which apparently is making traditional pine tar (though not pitch?) in Finland. Are they one of the Finnish companies you reference?

You mention Claesson does get some pine tar from somewhere in Europe. Is there a specific product that one can order from Claesson to get the European product?

Further, any additional insights you might provide into the constituent parts of pitch would be of interest, as would comments on how pitch was traditionally made (e.g. was the turpentine distilled from the pine tar, leaving pitch, or was it separated some other way, or was the pitch a product somehow separate from the pine tar itself?).

When Auson mentions that some of their pine tar products (e.g. the kiln burned pine tar) is 'low in pitch,' what exactly do they mean. Is the pine tar from a portion of the production that somehow has less resin, etc. in it, or is their comment just a red herring?

Thanks for your help on all of this.

Lance

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#421 Post by jeoroi » Thu May 28, 2015 2:19 am

Thanks Al and DW:-)

Hi Lance, yes a few of the Finnish producers are included and yes I have a sample from Rausch.

I think the best is if you all are a bit patience and once the project is done I will publish my findings. Its written in plain English so you dont need to be a chemist to understand it:-) I am pretty busy right now and answering specific questions regarding the process is a bit redundant and shattered as it will be explained later, fully and in its right context.

There is currently no small scale production of pure pine pitch, only individuals as yourself, that are producing for their own needs and even they are pretty unsure what the right property of pitch should be but that doesn't mean that the pitch produced is bad, it just means they have no understanding of why they get it right and hence it will be hard to replicate different batches.

For you guys that plan to make your own pitch from tar, dont use uncooked tar e.g, the tar MUST be cooked in, as a lot of stuff needs to be removed from the tar and the tar itself needs to change and that is done in the cooking.

So please be patience until I am done and I will explain how and why it works.

/Jeorge

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#422 Post by lancepryor » Thu May 28, 2015 3:35 am

Jeorge:

I understand your point of view. Good luck with your work, which I look forward to reading when it is ready for publication.

Lance

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#423 Post by jeoroi » Thu May 28, 2015 4:09 am

Thanks Lance:-)

Yes, I think it will be better for everybody to just wait a bit as it will answer all the questions they might have about tar and pitch. We can always discuss aspects of my findings after I publish.

It's like cooking, you need the proper raw materials and cooking instructions or everything is a hit and miss. In this case the raw material is very, very scarce and the cooking instructions confusing. It's been mentioned here that cooking pitch is messy, yes it is. I built a special pitch house for the purpose, probably the first new one in 100 years:-)

If everything works out as intended then people don't have to go through all the mess and confusion making pitch or shoemakers wax, they can just get the right product from us. I however should warn you all, it will not be cheap. Proper tar is very expensive and by reducing it down to pitch will almost double that cost and then add all the other ingredients and the work involved + the investment to get there.

Like Al said, it's so rare and it should almost be viewed as an investment and due to its nature there will be limited quantities for sale, maybe even for a limited time. However the cost per shoe is almost nothing so in that sense its well worth having the proper product and stack up on it. We are also shoemakers and saddle makers and have other uses for the product so we will keep a large supply for internal future needs.

It should also be clear that what we are doing is a historical product and even though it may be possible to use modern materials or substandard materials to get similar waxes it will not be something we will persue. We are only interested in an accurate historical product. That said, there is so many different recipes in making shoemakers wax and we will test the most popular ones and determine the effect of each ingredient and what they add to the final product.

What specific ingredients our product will have will be determined once all tests are done. It needs to meet or exceed Al Sagutos definition of a shoemaker's wax and fit into its historical context.

Al Saguto will help out with some of the practical tests as he have the greatest experience in historical shoemakers wax.

I also want you all to understand that we are not really creating a product, our interest is to rediscover how it was made and by selling some of it, it will help recover some of the money spent on this very large project.

/Jeorge

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#424 Post by lancepryor » Thu May 28, 2015 5:26 am

Jeorge:

Great to hear that a good hand wax will be available off the shelf. I should imagine something like a 4 ounce ball will be enough to last most people a long time.

Do you have any of the hand wax that DW used to rave about (I think it was from Germany)? It would be interesting to know what was in that -- I recall some uncertainty between DW and Al about whether it contained some petroleum products. If its performance could be replicated in a traditional, natural product, that would be awesome.

Also, will your paper discuss how you did the research into the constituent parts of the pitch, i.e. did you use gas chromatography or some other technology? Would love to learn more about the process, once your work is done.

Once this project is completed, we just need you to find a great source for long-staple (8 - 10 feet!) hemp thread....

.... then maybe a recipe for Russian Reindeer hides....

.... and then ????? !

Lance

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Re: Hand Wax / Coad

#425 Post by dw » Thu May 28, 2015 5:53 am

lancepryor » Thu May 28, 2015 5:26 am wrote:Jeorge:

Do you have any of the hand wax that DW used to rave about (I think it was from Germany)? It would be interesting to know what was in that -- I recall some uncertainty between DW and Al about whether it contained some petroleum products. If its performance could be replicated in a traditional, natural product, that would be awesome.
It was called Vesta Pech and it came in black and white (summer and winter). I still have some of that left. I still think it is one of the best commercially made handwaxes I've ever run across. I use it sparingly and mix it with my own recipe because it seems to adhere to the Teklon well.

Vesta Pech was produced in East Germany and when the Wall fell the company went out of business simply because it could not compete without government subsidies...AFAIK.

Al always said he could smell petroleum in it (asphaltum?) but I never could. That said, Al has always been into this the way a computer nerd is into the code...I'm just a user, so even I don't put too much stock in my nose in that regard. If it has petroleum in it, however, it might be wise not to use it on organic fibers...although my teacher made his own handwax with roofing tar for many many years and never reported any problems. But with the Teklon, no worries.

Regarding the Rausch...it too came in different grades of hardness or softness. I still have about 5+lbs. of it. Every time I chunk a bit out, it slowly "melts" back to level.

I also have about 10 pounds of black (translucent, smokey grey, really) rosin.

I don't know at this point what I was thinking when I was first beginning...I doubt I was foreseeing the currant state of affairs...but I bought in large quantities--Maybe fifty pounds of pegs. 100+ balls of #10 linen yarn, 25 pounds of rosin, 25 pounds of pitch, fifty+ "cubes of Vesta Pech, 100 pounds of shanks. 40 some years later I'm still working on these original supplies although they're getting thin on the ground now.

But it's a lesson for new makers.
DWFII--HCC Member
Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.

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