You ever walk into a section of the yard and see a metal rake or shovel peeking up form the grass. Was it attached to a grey brittle wooden handle. Do you have kids too? What is the solution? Yes, we can train the kids better, but the simple truth is sometimes we have to expose our stuff to the elements. When properly conditioned, tools should be able to take some abuse form mother nature and be none the worse for wear. Here is a simple solution that might work for you to. This is the old recipe I used to make some homemade waterproofing wax. The recipe combines natural bees with 100% turpentine, and boiled linseed oil in a ratio of 2:1:1. I made a video and put together a few pictures of the process. There is really nothing to it once you get the ingredients together.
First you melt the beeswax. I used just over a pound (17oz according to the digital scale). Continuously stirring, I melted it in a coffee can over a GE hotplate.
Next I added 8 oz of Turpentine mixing well. I had this jug or turpentine and have no idea where I got it, but as many pine trees as I have around here I could make it if I needed to. My bees provide me with beeswax. All I would really need is some flax seed to get the linseed oil. So, I also added 8 oz of Boiled linseed oil. If you are using an open flame be careful as the ingredients are combustible. Improperly stored rags containing boiled linseed oil residue can result in a fire due to spontaneous combustion, so be careful how you handle the ingredients.
“Boiled” linseed oil contains agents that help reduce drying time. I think turpentine should help with that also. You should be able to use the ingredients independently to help preserve wood. I know some people just add a coating of heated beeswax to wood for waterproofing. Turpentine was used on bats to help with grip and preservation. Until modern weatherproofing agents were invented, linseed oil was used in multiple applications to preserve wood.
Once cooled, the finished product has a paste/salve consistency that allows for easy application using your hands or a rag. The waterproofing paste penetrates the wood or cloth you are treating better if heat is applied. This can be done by rubbing onto the object and if not enough friction heat, you can use a hairdryer or heat gun. It helps to do this on a warm day.
While it is a liquid, you can pour it into several smaller, portable containers such as candle tins. Keep one in your hiking or BugOutBag. You can reheat the hardened mixture if you decide to divide it up. Give some out to friends . You can see in the pic an indention. This is where I was testing after an hour to see how much the liquid had solidified.
I really think a large portion of The Survival Revolution has to be taking care of the things that we already own. In this throw away society mentality, not many people regularly maintain the items they use every day. When was the last time you heard of anyone adding a leather conditioner to their leather belts or having a pair of boots resoled. This doesn’t have to be a labored chore. While your sitting on the porch sipping a cold drink, grab the axe and rub a coat of preserver on it. If your going to be watching a TV show, you might as well be adding some saddle soap to your favorite pair of leather boots or shoes.
Try it out. If you think it needs less beeswax, then try a ratio closer to 1:1:1. If you like the “tacky” feeling on your wood handles for better grip, try increasing the turpentine and wax ration. If you don’t like it, melt it down and change the ratio. Also, wood handles should be sanded a bit before adding a preservative, especially if it is an older handle that you are rejuvenating. A light sanding followed by wiping the handle down with a warm damp rag. The warm water should raise the wood grain a bit and you can re-sand for a smooth finish. Add a few coats of your new wax.