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 Post subject: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2024 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:05 pm
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Location: MA
Saw a video on YouTube where someone found a Civil War ordnance. After making sure it was safe the person then submerged the item in molten wax. Apparently, this removes all water and protects the metal. Does anyone have experience with this because every railroad organization is always fighting rust.


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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2024 6:17 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
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Location: Strasburg, PA
I have never heard of that technique, but considering the size of railroad equipment parts, I'm not sure about the practicality of such a system.

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PRR dipping a locomotive in a lye vat prior to shopping. Snagged from Google


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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2024 6:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:05 pm
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That's a blacksmithing thing. Cleaned, warmed item rubbed with a stick of beeswax as a finish coating. The heat evaporates the moisture and the wax seals it out. Used on plain steel/iron, not painted surfaces.

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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2024 9:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
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Almost anything will work if the item is indoors and climate controlled. Outdoors, clean as much of the dirt and rust off as you can, short term you can spray or wipe oil, long term spray a good coat of rust stopping paint of some kind.


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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2024 11:40 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:57 pm
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While not hot wax, this reminds me of Cosmoline (R) which was used during WWII to coat iron and steel parts and equipment which were being stored and shipped. I Googled it, and it is still being made, and in several different versions.

https://www.cosmolinedirect.com/mil-spe ... c-class-3/

Geoff Quadland


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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2024 12:28 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:26 pm
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Where I use to work, the tool room would dip the tools in hot wax after grinding them. That also protected the sharp edges from damage. They would plug in what looked like a crock pot to melt the wax.

Tom Hamilton


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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2024 8:21 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2022 8:56 am
Posts: 62
Yep, as mentioned previously, beeswax was a traditional blacksmith/armorer rust inhibitor that goes way back in time. Beeswax, tallow, pitch, tar, various "natural oils" (from rendered animal fats or plant seeds, etc) all got used, and to this day some people swear by them.

Linseed oil in paint formulations was long a standard protector of metal and wood, but it also gets used "straight" on ferrous items as well as wood. At one time - I have no idea what they do today - some automakers and their vendors dipped or sprayed a linseed oil-based mixture on steel components, racked them and then wheeled the racks into large ovens. It worked pretty good on a short term basis, keeping things from flash rusting on a shelf or in a bin; it worked even better if the metal first received a phosphate treatment before the linseed oil application.

(IIRC, linseed oil was what torsion bars on Mopar muscle cars were coated with. It kept them looking reasonable...at least until the vehicle was driven off the dealer's lot and into the cold, damp, cruel world.)


Last edited by Gham55* on Mon Feb 05, 2024 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2024 9:06 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Anyone who has encountered the British equivalent of automobiles should be familiar with Waxoyl and its typical use. That is a 'large enough scale' to be useful for many railroad-preservation needs, particularly including sealing inside channels or sills after phosphate conversion. I would think the approach would be useful for those areas prone to chronic wetness and rot, like the bottoms of side plating in heavyweight steel cars.

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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2024 11:40 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 6:10 pm
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I find this interesting. I have an old coupling pin that is so rusty that when I used electrolysis to clean it the wrought iron grain became sharp ridges. I had thought about coating it in wax to preserve it and soften the rough texture. Now I think that I will do that. M. Nix

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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2024 5:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
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Location: Pacific, MO
Stationary Engineer wrote:
Where I use to work, the tool room would dip the tools in hot wax after grinding them. That also protected the sharp edges from damage. They would plug in what looked like a crock pot to melt the wax.

Tom Hamilton


We used this in the cutter grinding dept also. It is more of a plastic dip that stays strong on cutter edges, etc until peeled off.
I used to order it and for the life of me can't remember the product name. I've been retired 20 years and don't remember a lot of things.


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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2024 7:39 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2022 8:56 am
Posts: 62
Frisco1522 wrote:
Stationary Engineer wrote:
Where I use to work, the tool room would dip the tools in hot wax after grinding them. That also protected the sharp edges from damage. They would plug in what looked like a crock pot to melt the wax.

Tom Hamilton


We used this in the cutter grinding dept also. It is more of a plastic dip that stays strong on cutter edges, etc until peeled off.
I used to order it and for the life of me can't remember the product name. I've been retired 20 years and don't remember a lot of things.


Would it have been Plasti-Dip? The tool and die place next door to my last employer used to use it, though it was as an edge protector rather than a rust preventative. They used to buy Starrett M1 by the gallon for short-term or controlled environment corrosion prevention, but used the tar-like Astro-Kote (Astro-Kote "R" maybe?) for stuff that got stored in the back 40.


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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2024 1:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:15 am
Posts: 42
We used to have an old Ford cargo van, the insides of the doors, fenders and other places were coated with a yellow wax I thought must be bee's wax. It stayed kinda tacky, got covered with road dust pretty fast, and would scrape off easily with your finger nails. I thought it must have been an optional anti-rust spray applied by the dealer, or a factory option.


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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 12:35 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:26 pm
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The last time I had a new truck undercoated, in 2007, they used a waxy sealant instead of tar. Probably for environmental reasons. I don't think they undercoat vehicles anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 9:22 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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I don't think the hot-melt wax would have been Plasti-Dip. That's a solvent-based material, billed as 'liquid electrical tape'.

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 Post subject: Re: Hot wax dip to prevent rust?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 10:19 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2022 8:56 am
Posts: 62
Overmod wrote:
I don't think the hot-melt wax would have been Plasti-Dip. That's a solvent-based material, billed as 'liquid electrical tape'.


Plasti-Dip is definitely not a wax or oil, that's for sure. It is actually a lot like the plastisol screenprinting "ink" of the old days when imprinted sportswear was not a fashion item* and was imprinted in one color with the school name and a shield or oval having a maked-off number; the stuff was very rubber-like and good applications that hadn't been thinned too much lasted a long time. It required a specific amount of time at a certain temperature to cure, whereas the hardware store Plasti-Dip does not.


*At one time in the midwest, the classic junior high/high school gym short was the "Dodger" cotton twill short with "Dodgecote" printing; Dodgecote was just a screenprinted plastisol formulation that varied in thickness with the person squeegee-ing the stuff through the screen. The shorts were utilitarian but durable. When they were still made in Iowa of US materials, they were almost indestructable.


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