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Thread: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

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    Default Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    What is the solvent that Wendwax sells?
    Or to put it another way- What is the best solvent to soften or remove chain wax?
    My chemistry is weak-

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Chain wax sucks. Remove it by cleaning it with biodiesel (cheap, non-toxic, biodegradable, effective AF) and throw your wax-based lube away.

    Scratch that, get rid of your wax-based lube first. Start a camp fire with it. Give it someone you don't like.

    And then buy some NFS and be done with your lube woes. Unless you really like messing with your chain and need to occupy some time.

    TH
    Last edited by thollandpe; 12-09-2018 at 09:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Much like the Lionel power pedal thread- I was not asking what lube I should use. I was asking what solvent softens or melts wax.
    My plan is to use a full on wax like Wendwax or Molten Speed Wax.

    I have plenty of time to spend prepping chains.

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Quote Originally Posted by boots2000 View Post
    What is the solvent that Wendwax sells?
    Or to put it another way- What is the best solvent to soften or remove chain wax?
    My chemistry is weak-
    My personal hatred for noxious solvents is deep so I won't tell you to use Toluene or Xylene to dissolve the wax, that would be murderous don't do it.

    You can use a warm bottle of good old vegetable oil and that will do a swell job and nobody dies. Use hot water and Dawn dish soap after the veg. oil to finish the job. Go hug a tree, I do hug trees that is. No kidding, this might do the deed...try it.

    If that does not do it than consider using denatured alcohol which will work. Wear rubber gloves not latex.

    Toddski is right he is always right. BioDiesel will strip it however that will leave behind yet more cr@p to clean off your chain and long haul truckers will hit on you.

    Good?
    Last edited by Too Tall; 12-09-2018 at 10:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Esatto!

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Ethanol is generally a poor solvent for wax, it (the ethanol) is too polar: its Hansen parameters* are 18.8, 8.8, 19.4 as straight ethanol and 18.7, 9.1, 20.3 as the azeotropic mixture with water (aka "denatured alcohol"). Paraffin waxes will be around 16 - 18, 0, 0,

    Assuming the wax is a hydrocarbon wax, it will have Hansen parameters around 16 - 18, 0 - 2, 0 if it is of biological origin it will be around 16-18, 2-4, 0.

    In both cases the best solvents will also be hydrocarbons. First port of call is ordinary kerosene which is around 16.5, 0, 0.

    The Hansen parameters above are stated in the usual order of dispersion, polarity, hydrogen bonding.
    Mark Kelly

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    Remove it by cleaning it with biodiesel (cheap, non-toxic, biodegradable, effective AF)...
    Quote Originally Posted by boots2000 View Post
    I was asking what solvent softens or melts wax.
    Biodiesel is a great substitute for regular diesel, it's an even better solvent with no nasty fumes or toxic compounds. Kerosene will certainly act more quickly on wax, but then you have the fumes and toxics to deal with.

    No charge for the editorial content, it's free with the price of admission here.

    Good luck with you wax project, please report back.

    TH

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kelly View Post
    Ethanol is generally a poor solvent for wax, it (the ethanol) is too polar: its Hansen parameters* are 18.8, 8.8, 19.4 as straight ethanol and 18.7, 9.1, 20.3 as the azeotropic mixture with water (aka "denatured alcohol"). Paraffin waxes will be around 16 - 18, 0, 0,

    Assuming the wax is a hydrocarbon wax, it will have Hansen parameters around 16 - 18, 0 - 2, 0 if it is of biological origin it will be around 16-18, 2-4, 0.

    In both cases the best solvents will also be hydrocarbons. First port of call is ordinary kerosene which is around 16.5, 0, 0.

    The Hansen parameters above are stated in the usual order of dispersion, polarity, hydrogen bonding.
    It's Monday and I already feel way much more smarter.
    elysian
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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    it's an even better solvent
    Forgive me, but this sort of statement gets my goat, it feeds the myth of the universal solvent.

    Solvents aren't better or worse in any absolute sense, they are more or less applicable to a given solvation problem: water is a better solvent than octane if you are dissolving sugar, it's the other way around if you are dissolving, say, wax. This is because "like dissolves like": things dissolve other things that are chemically similar to themselves. So how do you work out if two things are similar?

    The numbers I used above are to me the best introduction. Hansen is a Danish chemist, for his PhD he worked out a rule that describes most of the info required to match a solvent to a solute. It has three components which are dispersion, polarity and hydrogen bonding.

    Dispersion basically describes how well the substance sticks to itself. This has an important effect on the solvent wetting the solute surface and also explains why many "solvents" are volatile.

    Polarity refers to the arrangement of charge in the solvent molecule: if it is perfectly even (eg octane with its even distribuition of hydrogen and no atoms trying to steal electrons) the molecule is non-polar, if it is uneven (water with two hydrogens unevenly arranged around a strongly electron hungry oxygen) the molecule is polar.

    Hydrogen bonding is harder to explain, read the Wikipedia page, but it affects the way the molecules attract each other.

    If you map the three numbers onto a three axis graph*, the distribution describes "likeness" as needed above: if two things are close together on the graph one will dissolve the other, if they are far away they won't.

    Typically biodiesel is composed of medium chain esters such as ethyl oleate where ordinary diesel is medium chain hydrocarbons. As such biodiesel is more polar than standard diesel. If you map biodiesel, standard diesel, paraffin wax and beeswax, the standard diesel and paraffin wax will be close together, as will the biodiesel and beeswax, but there will be a gap betwen these two pairings. Biodiesel is thus not as good a solvent for paraffin wax as standard diesel but it is better for beeswax.




    *There'a a bit of complication here in that dispersion matters more than the other two so the axes need to be scaled.
    Mark Kelly

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Mark, I meant that biodiesel is an even better solvent than petrodiesel, effectiveness and ease of use. For the things that diesel is really good at dissolving (grease, No. 6 fuel oil, some gummy adhesives), biodiesel has worked better for me. And doesn't carry all the aromatic baggage, which I assume are short-chain hydrocarbons? I personally would not want to use kerosene at home, indoors, to clean a chain.

    Biodiesel also softens things you may not want to dissolve, like rubber seals and hoses. Is that also explainable by the Hansen number? I re-read your original post and it's not immediately apparent to me, as you were referring to ethanol.

    Todd
    Last edited by thollandpe; 12-10-2018 at 06:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Yes, sorry for getting cranky but this is a subject that is badly taught even at university.

    Yes, Hansen explains things like softening rubber: most rubbers are mildly polar so biodiesel is a better solvent for them. Their molecular weights are too high for complete solvation* so the solvent dissolves into the rubber which swells and softens. This is one of the big uses of Hansen's work, predicting what will cause things like paint to swell up and fall off.

    Since standard diesel os a distillate from oil, it carries small quantities of lower MW hydrocarbons and other things. Some of these are aromatic in the chemist's sense (containing a benzene ring), some of them in the lay sense (smells) and some are both.

    * Dissolution is actually hard to explain as it's partially an entropic problem: the solute gains entropy due to the increased disorder when it enters the solution. This is why things like polythene are effectively insoluble in anything: the molecules are very large and so randomly bound together that they don't gain enough entropy to separate. Rubber molecules are also very large and randomly coiled so a similar argument would apply.
    Mark Kelly

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    lyrebirdcycles.com

    The world is analogue, digital is a facsimile therof.

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    You guys are too smart for me. I just Googled it and based on the process, I’ll stick with the chain link love potion that is brewed by the Tall one.

    MSPEEDWAX - How To Clean Your Bicycle Chain Before Hot Waxing
    rw saunders
    hey, how lucky can one man get.

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Wax is a terrible chain lube. I tried it once years ago and quickly abandoned the idea. I took it off with mineral spirits, which smell bad but were effective.

    NFS beats any other chain lube I have ever used.

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Quote Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
    Wax is a terrible chain lube. I tried it once years ago and quickly abandoned the idea. I took it off with mineral spirits, which smell bad but were effective.

    NFS beats any other chain lube I have ever used.
    Can you qualify "terrible" please.
    elysian
    Tom Tolhurst

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Donít mind me. Just over here, having a beer, and listening to the ticking sounds.

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    One thing I've learned after years doing this bit is that chainlube is seasonal, situational and personal....all at the same time.

    How's the weather over there?

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Quote Originally Posted by false_aesthetic View Post
    Can you qualify "terrible" please.
    Flakes off, makes the chain stiff and doesn't really lubricate the chain. Basically, it works like shit. But of course feel free to use whatever you want.

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    get rid of your wax-based lube first. Start a camp fire with it.
    Whoa, that is brilliant!

    Reminds me of that time 25 years ago, when I'd moved back to Boston to attend grad school but hadn't yet found an apartment, and wound up crashing on the couch of a friend who rented an enormous house that was too huge to heat economically, so he just kept a raging fire going in the family room fireplace 24/7. We discovered that the best kindling on earth -- from a pyro-gratification stance if nothing else -- was the wax-infused cardboard they make milk containers out of.

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Quote Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
    Flakes off, makes the chain stiff and doesn't really lubricate the chain. Basically, it works like shit. But of course feel free to use whatever you want.
    I have 2.5 bottles of NFS so it'll be a while until I try a waxed chain. My question comes from all the hype and "articles" written about it over the past few years.
    elysian
    Tom Tolhurst

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    Default Re: Wax/Lube/Solvent question for Too Tall

    Quote Originally Posted by false_aesthetic View Post
    I have 2.5 bottles of NFS so it'll be a while until I try a waxed chain. My question comes from all the hype and "articles" written about it over the past few years.
    We all know hype doesn't beat personal experience. I tried it once and concluded that waxing your chain is as effective as mixing astroglide with capsicum.

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