Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Re-Waterproofing an oilskin Jacket - Part 1

In the last post I mentioned that I had some beeswax coming. I needed to get this because my rain jacket has dried out and is no longer waterproof at all. To re-waterproof the jacket I made up a mixture based on this video. Below is how I went about making it, along with some changes that I will be making.

I ordered 1Kg of beeswax as the other sizes available were considerably smaller. They were also much more expensive. This is what it looked like after the packaging was removed.
It has a bit of a funny feel to it when you hold it. Sort of sticky, but it doesn't leave residue on your fingers like a softer wax would. Or the waterproofing will once we finish mixing it up.

Because the wax was wider than the pot I melted it in I needed to make it narrower. To do this I split it down the middle. In order to split it I needed to cut it. I just used a knife that came with my toolbox and was close to hand.

The block was quite firm while I was doing this so I had to score it on both sides as deep as the knife I was using could go before I could separate the 2 halves. Here you can see how thick the block was.
As you can see, not 100% consistent thickness. But plenty good enough for melting.

At this stage I put the wax into the pot I got for this and put that on my bbq grill as that is the only burner I have that is outdoors and wasn't too hot.

What I should've done is also cut the halves down across the middle so they were short enough to fit into the bucket completely. What happened is that has the blocks touched the rim of the bucket it would melt and run down the outside of the bucket. Less than ideal. So I stood there holding them upright with a screwdriver until they melted enough to be below the rim of the bucket.

Here wed can see them melted down a bit more. I didn't need to hold them any more by this point.

Nearly finished melting. It took a while, not sure exactly how long but it felt like quite a while.

This is where I took it off the heat. If you look closely you can see graduations stamped into the side of the bucket. Rather than the 1L approx. that I assumed (With no real basis.). The wax actually melted to a little over 1.5L. This wasn't a problem really as I had 1.5L of Boiled Linseed Oil, however, I only had 1L of Turpentine. I will talk about that more down the track, but I think that is significant.
Here I took the wax off the heat and started adding the Linseed Oil and Turpentine. I added the entire 1L bottle of Turpentine and probably a bit more than that of Linseed Oil. I had a half empty bottle and I bought another full one so I had plenty of that.

This is what it looked like after adding the Linseed Oil.

Then after adding the Turpentine.
As you can see there is still about 0.5L left in the top of the bucket so between that and the stuff I used there will be enough room to make some changes to the mix based on how it went onto my jacket. When I re-melt it to change the ratios I will take another picture so we can see just how much I used on the jacket.

I am going to put how it goes onto the jacket on another post. This one is getting a bit long I think.

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions please leave them below in the comments.