Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)
  • Wax chain slow cooker – too slow..?
  • Ogg
    Full Member

    Slow cooker went on at 9.45, an hour and twenty minutes later the wax is only up to 72℃… cooker is set to
    ‘high’ what ever that means (rather than low or auto)

    Is this normal or do I need a better/faster cooker?

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    Doesn’t sound great. Any reason you didn’t go for a cheap deep fat fryer? Not only are they not slow they have a handy cage thing for putting stuff in and taking it out.

    J-R
    Full Member

    Any reason you didn’t go for a cheap deep fat fryer?

    This

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    If you want it to heat faster you could try:

    A- making sure you have got the lid on (I’m sure you already have).
    B- Put less wax in (just enough for the required task.

    You’ve got a fixed heat source pumping out a few hundred watts, all you can do is give it a smaller volume of material to heat and try to minimise losses by trapping as much already warmed air with a lid as possible.

    Mini-DFFs are popular because they have a smaller volume and a higher wattage heating element typically.

    Ogg
    Full Member

    Any reason you didn’t go for a cheap deep fat fryer?

    Pretty much every guide on the web says “slow cooker/crockpot” so I assumed someone knew what they were talking about 😉

    tetrode
    Free Member

    I set my slow cooker on low and leave it for an hour and a half and it works a treat. I wouldn’t put it on high because that has the chance of heating the wax up too much and giving off bad fumes and ruining it.

    finbar
    Free Member

    I’ve prematurely ruined a few batches of putoline by heating it too high…

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    Any reason you didn’t go for a cheap deep fat fryer?

    Current consensus seems to be that the waxes degrade at high temps. and even on low temps DFF’s overheat the bottom of the pan whilst they’re still melting the solid wax above.

    Whereas a slow cooker, although it doesn’t have a thermostat usually will struggle to heat it up quickly enough for that to be an issue.

    I’m starting to think putoline on the trangia actually was the optimum solution.

    Is this normal or do I need a better/faster cooker?

    IIRC putoline recommend about 80C.

    TBH even in the DFF I tend to switch it on and leave it for ages while I do other things. You could probably speed it up a bit by pre-heating the pot part in the oven?

    I wonder how long it’ll be until someone comes up with a (probably very expensive) chain waxing pot. Something the size of a 1-person croc-pot but with a decent heating element and thermostat.

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    If you want it to heat faster you could try:

    A- making sure you have got the lid on (I’m sure you already have).
    B- Put less wax in (just enough for the required task.

    C. raise the ambient temperature. Don’t try to do this in a chilly shed, you need to be in the warm kitchen filling the house with that sulphurous aroma

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    I’m starting to think putoline on the trangia actually was the optimum solution.

    I don’t know the answer to this but doesn’t a little meths burner right under the tin create worse spot heat? Or is it high enough not to be the case?

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Mine seemed slow but even on low setting it gets there eventually. As far as I’m concerned the lowest possible temperature to get the wax molten is perfect, I don’t think there’s anything to be gained by raising the temp any further and I’ve definitely ruined my Putoline in the early days by thinking hotter was better.

    Ogg
    Full Member

    finally cooked – so 1:50 to get up to 105℃ – I’ve used this cooker several times before but never noticed how slow it was – but I’m in a rush today… 🙂

    I’d assumed all DFFs would over heat the wax – looks like most only control down to 130℃

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    I don’t know the answer to this but doesn’t a little meths burner right under the tin create worse spot heat? Or is it high enough not to be the case?

    It sat on top of the frying pan holder. Also Trangia burners aren’t like the modern meths burners, a lot of the heat comes from the pool in the middle rather than the jets so it’s a big diffuse flame the heat is a lot more spread out than other stoves.

    My DFF’d putoline is definitely degraded somehow, although the recent batch I bought seemed a lot softer (it’s like a heavy lard) than the original stuff I bought 20 years ago which would flake off the chain. Maybe a bad batch, or maybe they’ve changed the recipe (I don’t think it’s as stinky as it was either).

    Maybe I’ll toss it and try GLF, or maybe just some candle wax with graphite/WS2/PTFE.

    I’d assumed all DFFs would over heat the wax – looks like most only control down to 130℃

    The Lidl ones were sold as suitable for fondue IIRC (not cheese fondue) which which meant they had settings down to ~75C, but it doesn’t work when melting a solid block as until it’s melted completely there’s a hot spot on the bottom of the pan.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Is this normal or do I need a better/faster cooker?

    Na, it’s normal, clue is in the name. I don’t think you need to heat the wax to much above 80˚C or so – when you get it hot, it apparently starts breaking it down, so it doesn’t work as well. Mine takes around 1 hour 20 minutes to go from cold to around 75-80˚C. I just leave the chain on top of the wax so it submerges once it melts, once it’s up to temperature, some swishing, turn off cooker, hang chain up to cool.

    It’s only ‘too slow’ if you somehow feel you need to sit there watching it melt would be my take. If you run two chains, you can always have a fresh one ready to go, thus avoiding the ‘I need to wax my chain in 20 minutes’ experience. Your other option is to use a drip-on, wax-compatible top-up lube.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    I wonder how long it’ll be until someone comes up with a (probably very expensive) chain waxing pot. Something the size of a 1-person croc-pot but with a decent heating element and thermostat.

    I think Silca already has… or at least I saw someone using a Silca-logoed ultrasonic cleaner and wax melting thing on YouTube the other week.

    Edit: maybe it’s just a Silca in-house thing though.

    jeffl
    Full Member

    I use a DFF as I got on board before slow cookers were the recommended approach. I did notice when doing it a few weeks back that the wax took longer to melt than usual. This was in the garage so just put it down to lower ambient temperature compared to summer.

    fazzini
    Full Member

    I’ve prematurely ruined a few batches of putoline by heating it too high…

    Might explain why I don’t seem to get the great results with Putoline other folks seem to rave about 🙁

    I don’t get anywhere near the miles/time intervals between waxing that people have stated on here. 🤔

    Back to the drawing board as I’ve obviously had my DFF up way too high.

    finbar
    Free Member

    @fazzini Putoline goes stickier and claggier once you’ve overheated it. When fresh/right it should leave your chain looking lovely and clean after application.

    Easy to get into a cycle of thinking “my chain has a really thick coating on, I need to heat the wax up hotter next time.” Wrong – if that’s happening you’ve already overcooked it.

    fazzini
    Full Member

    Cheers @finbar – just to check do you mean ‘lovely and clean’ as it comes out of the DFF, so while still hot, or after its cooled hanging up?

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    With my first batch it held quite a thick layer of black wax on the chain which would either flake off or accumulate on the jockey wheels for a few rides. Once it was cleaned off it stayed clean as mud/water didn’t stick to it so you didn’t get that accumulation of gunk on the cassette/chainring.

    The 2nd batch was claggy from the get go, even in the tin before melting it and decanting to the fryer it was soft so I wonder if there was an issue.

    Did 3 damp days at Afan before sounding a bit dry though, so not “bad” but nowhere near as good as the first batch was initially.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    Tempted to give this a go, £8 and definitely won’t smell of sulphur!

    finbar
    Free Member

    @fazzini after the chain comes out the wax bath, it should be a mostly translucent film – with the black tinge just noticeable at the bottom of the links where the wax pools a bit as it dries. That’s what I aim for at least, and get with fresh putoline and a properly clean chain to start with.

    When I’ve overcooked the putoline, pulling a chain out the bath its coating is noticeably black.

    paulwf
    Full Member

    I have overcooked my putoline then 🙁

    Did you continue using it or ditch it?

    It seems to work, but is more claggy than I expected

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Might explain why I don’t seem to get the great results with Putoline other folks seem to rave about

    Sadly it does seem a bit fickle, I’ve had varying degrees of success, the Shimano chain on my road bike seems capable of hundreds of kilometres on one application, the chain on the CX bike can also go a good few very muddy rides (think it’s a YBN) but then the fancier gold coated YBN on my gravel bike barely managed 100km before dry and squeaking!

    So my very unscientific conclusion is that untreated/uncoated Shimano chains are best for Putoline 👍

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Did you continue using it or ditch it?

    I’m virtually certain I’ve overcooked mine, I think it just means the drivetrain ends up dirtier, my Putoline drivetrains are no cleaner than using a wet lube (although I was always quite sparing with the wet lube so drivetrains were never shockingly claggy with it) but it’s still better performing e.g. longer lasting.

    Also the Putoline seems to be the only thing holding the drivetrain together on my CX bike, am sure the chain has long since exceeded 1% wear 😂

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Is this normal or do I need a better/faster cooker?

    My £15 Amazon slow cooker takes 2 hours to get to 110C which the temp the wax I’m using is supposed to be heated  to..

    I just put it on and set the timer on the cooker for 1:45, forget about it completely and then come back and start monitoring it with a temp probe.

    J-R
    Full Member

    I just put it on and set the timer on the cooker for 1:45, forget about it completely and then come back and start monitoring it with a temp probe

    If this is the kind of effort I’d have to use for waxing my chain I’d go back to wash, dry, and lube every ride.

    But in practice I’ve been using Putoline in a cheap Argos DFF for 3 years cooking at about 90–130C. No doubt some here would see that as “overcooked” but it is still coating the chain well, it still lasts well between re waxings and it still makes the chain last a long time compared to wet lubes. So I’m happy with that process, whatever the current internet rabbit holes may say.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    Out of interest DFF folk,

    Do your DFF’s have the element under the pan, or submerged in it?

    Mines under the pan and I think that’s what causes the overheating as the wax sits as a solid lump stuck above it, I guess a kettle type element might or might not work better?

    So I’m happy with that process, whatever the current internet rabbit holes may say.

    This has generally been my philosophy, hot waxing in any form is a significantly improvement on any sort of drip lube, specifics within it are just nuances.

    But I would like to go back to the 500km intervals, 3-4 rides starts to feel like a faff again.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    I was in ASDA earlier tonight, guess what I found:

    IMG_20240209_214129330

    IMG_20240209_214138869

    Being a cheapskate I went for the £10 slow cooker (plus I know there’s cheaper DFFs at argos currently). It’s now sat in the garage, warranty no doubt voided, with the pot ~1/3rd full of putoline, not tried it yet but 1.8L seemed more sensible than a full sized one.

    snax
    Full Member

    Is there a handy 101 starter guide anywhere for waxing my chains? Kit list, etc?

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    Is there a handy 101 starter guide anywhere for waxing my chains? Kit list, etc?

    My go to would be Zero Friction Cycling. It’s all testing based. Adam can make some long videos but all the information is “no BS”.

    It doesn’t have to be hard, or it can be as hard/involved as you want to make it.

    Basics are buy some wax and a slow cooker/crock pot. Clean all wax/grease/oil from the chain. Best to finish with something that will flash off like acetone or IPA. Melt wax if choice, drop in clean dry chain, slosh it about until there’s no more bubbles (air that was trapped in the chain) and the chain is the same temp as the wax. Hang to dry,  run chain over a bar or rod to free up links, refit. Ten minutes or so on the first ride might feel a bit stiff but will ease. If the chain gets mucky, hot water is the best way to clean it. Otherwise, when it needs it, quick rinse, let it dry and back in the pot.

    nearabighill
    Full Member

    Been using an Argos dff for a couple of years now, it has a temp. control dial that goes down to 70 deg. Filled with Putoline but the cleaning is a  faff, especially to remove the initial factory treatment. Reading this thread seems I have probably overheated or contaminated the Puto with chains now coming out with a quite heavy black film. Tried some of the new chains straight into the Putoline without cleaning (seems that some on the original Puotline Mega thread said this wasn’t an issue). Just using the dff basket so getting the wax off not brilliant, need to set up a better hanging set up?

    But this Silca set up and their wax system has caught my eye??

    https://silca.cc/collections/chain-lube-wax/products/chain-waxing-system-1

    I see they also now have a new product for cleaning new chains by just popping a block in with the wax on the first treatment (works out at £4 per new chain).

    https://silca.cc/collections/chain-lube-wax/products/strip-chip

    Maybe I will just buy some of their wax and a pack of the strip chip and use them in my (cleaned out) DFF?? Silca products also claim to be environment friendly – but advise ‘don’t drink 😉

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    Tried some of the new chains straight into the Putoline without cleaning

    When you say straight into the Plutoline, do you mean without allowing the chain itself to heat up to the same temperature as the Plutoline?

    If so I would imagine that would cause the plutoline to resolidify when it comes in contact with the cold chain.

    I normally leave the chain in the slow cooker as it heats up and then take it out once the plutoline is all liquid.  Any chains I put in after that I leave in for at least a few minutes so the chain has time to heat up.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Is there a handy 101 starter guide anywhere for waxing my chains? Kit list, etc?

    BUy tin of putoline

    Follow instructions on the side of the tin.  Thats all I do

    nearabighill
    Full Member

    When you say straight into the Plutoline, do you mean without allowing the chain itself to heat up to the same temperature as the Plutoline?

    If so I would imagine that would cause the plutoline to resolidify when it comes in contact with the cold chain.

    I normally leave the chain in the slow cooker as it heats up and then take it out once the plutoline is all liquid. Any chains I put in after that I leave in for at least a few minutes so the chain has time to heat up.

    Sit the chains in the basket on top of the wax while it is melting. Basket slips into wax as it goes molten. Leave for 5 minutes, shake, leave for 10 minutes, shake, lift basket out and prop over wax to drain.

    nearabighill
    Full Member

    Good video and instructions on the Molten Speedwax web site:

    https://inaspin.co.uk/pages/waxing-your-chain

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    What Onzadog said,

    Although I’d add that ~300g of steel chain takes a surprising amount of time to warm up to the same temp as the wax. Give it 10-15min, it seems to help the wax migrate into the links better. Or put the chain in first with the cold wax so it all warms up together.

    As for cleaning before waxing, I should have been better at this, white spirit does the best job of stripping old grease, oil or wax off the chain. Then a 2nd jam jar of acetone would be best for getting off the oily white spirit residue.

    Cleaning after waxing, I just hose the bike off and if necessary chip any wax off the jockey wheels and chainring with a small screwdriver.

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