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Durability Of Beeswax Lining On Mugs And Bottles

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Yep, another one of THESE threads. ;)

There's a wealth of info on this forum about making mugs and bottles and there's some contest as to what to use for a lining. I've made about twenty bottles so far and I'm pleased with how they work. (I've attached some pics just for showing off...) Now I'm about to start selling them in larger quantities so I wanted to pick everyones' brains for a bit.

What I've learned:

Pure beeswax lining seems pretty solid to me. Wet-forming the leather will harden it a bit, then adding the wax produces a very rigid surface. I need to do more extensive stress tests, but I did whack on one with my mallet and it was fine, and they've all survived plenty of falls because I'm a klutz. I don't notice a strong taste from the wax, but there is a bit of a waxy/leathery smell, which I actually find pretty delicious. I stress tested a couple of my bottles by carrying water and lemonade around all day and they seem fine. I also noticed that very slow leaks can develop in the seams. So you could pour water into the bottle and it would look fine at first, but after several hours would drip a little bit. So I now test all my bottles with water in them for a few hours before I'm satisfied.

What I wanna know:

I'm worried about hot days. Obviously hot liquids will melt the wax, and hot cars can easily do the same. But what about just walking around in the sun on a hot (say 95 degree Fahrenheit) day? Will it be okay if it has some water in it to keep the temperature down? If anyone has any personal experience, that's what I'm looking for!

I've heard conflicting opinions on this next part... what about substances other than water? Are sugary drinks okay? Soda? Wine? Beer? Hard liquor? Will they strip the wax or should it be just fine? I'm not super concerned about drinking a bit of the wax--it's food safe, after all--but I am worried about long-term durability.

Thanks everybody!



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Bump! I too would be interested to know more.

What I have gotten from Bee's wax is that mixing it with a thinner oil and applying it when hot will carry more of the actual wax materials into the skin. This should allow it to penetrate better thus giving you a better seal. As for heat, etc.... I have no idea.

I am looking to try the same thing with some drinking horns we are working on.

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I don't have extensive experience with waxed leather drinking vessels, but I have spent a lot of time repairing wax lined horn vesels (for the most part a completely unnecessary step in hornware construction). Wax on horn seems to hold up well to most beverages, water, beers, etc, but without fail carbonated drinks and hard liquor seem to be the death of it and I'm willing to bet they'll do the same to waxed leather.

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