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Thread: Does beeswax age?

  1. #1
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    Does beeswax age?

    The beeswax I am using for bullet lube is about 15 years old. I've had bricks of it since then that I intended to use for a project long before I got into black powder shooting.

    Does it age?

    I've just thinned my lube out with 2:1 crisco beeswax and it is still awfully hard, I think. Not nearly as soft as, say, "Len's Lube".

    I'm dipping some bullets in it now to try it out, but I'm thinking it needs to be softer yet.

    Steve

  2. #2
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    Beeswax varies on hardness. I have about 100lbs of it more than ever need and only 3 years old. It was given to me by a bee man. It is so hard I use 75/25 tallow and wax. As far as I know beeswax does not go bad or get harder. Rich

  3. #3
    ian45662 is offline
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    Tomorrow my wax will be one day older than it was today. So mine does age. Just toying with ya but I dont think it goes bad with age... I could be wrong

  4. #4
    jonk is offline
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    I got about 30 pounds off ebay on the cheap what, 5, 6, 7 years ago? At the time I wasn't shooting enough muzzleloader that that even entered into my equations, I was using it to make smokeless lube and as flux. Even still using it for that plus 2 years of skirmishing under my belt, more or less, I've only gone through half of one of four slabs of it.

    I have noticed the following:
    -It has developed a white patina on the outside.
    -It is slightly harder and more brittle, but still soft enough that if you hit it with a hammer it dents, it doesn't shatter. You need a hatchet to cut it.

    So I think it does change with age, as residual moisture left in it seeps out, same way that honey dries and crystallizes. But like honey, I don't think it spoils. Least, I haven't noticed any difference in how it performs in smokeless lube, what I've used it in longest.

  5. #5
    Jim Barber is offline
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    I have a friend who's in the beesness, I'll let you know what he says about aging wax. Pretty sure it's essentially ageless, but I will get the complete rundown for y'all.
    I do know this about harder vs softer wax: northern bees make softer wax, southern bees make harder wax. If you were, say, an Ecuadorean bee and you made nests out of Northerner wax, they'd be soft and gooey. I don't know what the chemical process is, but they know what they're doing. If you can get wax from South American bees, it's actually better for lube 'cause you can mix more cheap crisco or other oil in with it. Typically the harder waxes are darker, but there are exceptions. Bees spending the bulk of their time around buckwheat, for instance, will make a darker wax. Color doesn't have anything to do with "purity" or "quality." Darker (thus harder) is usually a better value for lube. According to my brother, a onetime bee expert, lube made from harder wax actually works better 'cause more of it remains to keep fouling soft, unlike the weak stuff spit out by northern bees, which (according to him) largely gets destroyed in firing.

    Bzzz Bzzz Bzzzz

    Jim B.

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    Jim Barber is offline
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    I just got confirmation on the aging of beeswax from the experts. It does not go bad. The exact quote was, "well, I mean eventually I suppose it would turn into something else. But archaeologists have found 1,000 year old beeswax and it was still just beeswax." So it's safe to buy a lifetime supply if you find a deal, and then some extra to put in your will.

    Cheers!
    Jim B.
    Grove City, OH

  7. #7
    Ron/The Old Reb Guest
    Honey dose not spoil or go bad. It may turn surgery, but if you put it the jar in boiling water it will turn back to honey. So why would the wax go bad.
    PS. I'm willing my fifteen year old block of beeswax to my grandson. That should make him happy.

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    I assumed that a chunk of wax would not go bad. I had heard of the stuff being found in Egyptian tombs and it was still in pretty good shape.

    I was just double-checking to see if maybe that would be why my Crisco/Beeswax lube wasn't working well with the Wilkinson bullets I was trying.

    I think the biggest problem is the Shuetzen powder I am using. It's just a dirtier powder than the Swiss other folks are using.

    Steve

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    Bullseye54 is offline Banned
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    I'm still using wax from when my Dad and I had bees 35-45 years ago..
    Still use it for lube, zippers and other projects.. Just keep it sealed from insects
    and rodents and it should out last us.... You have wax moths and mice that
    love the stuff...
    Joe, 15th Conn. Vol. Infantry

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    Mike Stein is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron/McGregor's View Post
    Honey dose not spoil or go bad. It may turn surgery, but if you put it the jar in boiling water it will turn back to honey. So why would the wax go bad.
    PS. I'm willing my fifteen year old block of beeswax to my grandson. That should make him happy.
    By the time he gets it, it will be williaming.

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