Water-proofing the anorak, part one.

Today I'm going to make some homemade water proofing for my brown canvas anorak. This will be a test run, to see if it's worth making a whole bunch or if I need to tweak the recipe.
When used on cotton fabric, this mixture will provide water resistance similar to Barbour, Australian Outback or Filson type garments. 

The mixture I will be making is:

Two parts beeswax
One part boiled linseed oil
One part turpentine

But, first things first!  I have not used our camp stove in, ooooooh.... I don't know... 9 years? I wondered if the white gas had gone bad.  Research showed that as long as it was stored in a cool, dry, sealed place that it would be fine.  After locating the entire apparatus, I checked both bottles which were nearly full. They looked and smelled fine.

Stove, fuel bottle with attachments and spare bottle.
Step two: read the directions and light the stove!  After a brief refresher, I pressurized the bottle and connected it to the stove.  Open the fuel valve and voila! FIRE!  Oh man, I had forgotten how I love the smell of camp stove exhaust!

I set the wax to melting in a small coffee tin.

The hired help - useless but cheap, interested, fluffy and cute.

A brief word about safety.  As you may notice in the following photo, both linseed oil and turpentine are flammable.  VERY FLAMMABLE. In fact, linseed oil has been known to spontaneously combust. So, if you decide to apply this mixture with a rag, be sure to hang flat for a few weeks before tossing in a pile in the corner of your shop.  The turpentine is added to our mixture in order to speed the linseed drying time, but it also is flammable.  Please use care if you decide to try this at home.

Many of you may know that linseed oil comes from flax.  But what about turpentine?  Turpentine "is a fluid obtained by the distillation of resin obtained from live trees, mainly pines."  Thanks Wiki!  Apparently there is a petro-chemical source,  but in this application I've chosen plant-based source.  Until the early 20th century, turpentine was quite common in a number of home remedies ranging from an antiseptics to chest rubs.  Did you know that Vicks Vapo-rub and Pinesol cleaner still contain turpentine?  I did detect a uniquely "Pinesol" odour to the product I used.

It's important to use boiled linseed oil for this project as regular oil will take a very long time to dry.  Drying time will be greatly reduced by using boiled oil as well as the turpentine, an added dispersant.  That said, it could still take two or three weeks for any treated material to dry properly.  I'll talk more about this after treating my anorak.

To the seven ounces of melted beeswax I added a half cup of boiled linseed oil and a half cup of turpentine and gave it a gentle stir.

After sealing all the bottles and returning the turpentine and linseed oil to my POL point,  I packed up the stove and set the mixture aside to cool.  Once cooled, it should render a malleable product, similar to margarine in texture.

Stay tuned for part two.

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