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#5720 - 05/28/06 06:25 PM Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... ,
45/70 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/10/01
Posts: 832
Loc: South Georgia, usA
INSTRUCTIONS FOR DIRT WEATHERPROOFING
WITH FOX HOLLOW’S ODORLESS FLAKE WAX


NOTE: 1 cup of Flake Wax = approximately 1/4 pound

Making waterproof and freezeproof trapbedding is easy as long as you follow a few simple steps. At all times clean equipment should be used to keep from contaminating the trapbedding material. Be extra careful not to drop any human sweat on the soil, wax, or equipment being used. Hint: A 4’x8’ sheet of plywood set up on blocks or saw horses to work on will save your back and make the dirt waterproofing operation much easier.

First, you will need powder dry, sifted soil. Since sand is just a small rock, it won't absorb wax, soil that is relatively free of sand works best. You will also find that soil that is relatively free of organic matter works best because humus materials absorb too much wax.
Just plain dirt free of sand and organic materials as possible works best. Collecting your dirt during a dry period will minimize the drying time.

For drying your soil, spreading it on a sheet of black plastic in a spot that receives full sun works great. A day or two is all it takes to completely dry. About dark each night, cover up the soil to protect it from dew that might collect. Uncover it each morning around sunrise.

After the dirt is dry sift it to remove any rocks,
leaves, roots, ect. You want the dirt completely
pulverized so the wax can coat each grain. The finer the dirt is pulverized, the better it will work. Now mix 3cups (3/4 pound) of flake wax with each gallon of dry, shifted and pulverized dirt. The mixture is now ready to be heated so the wax can be absorbed by the dirt to waterproof it.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

SOLAR HEATING METHOD:
Set up the plywood in the full sun and cover it with a sheet of heavy black plastic. Spread a layer of your dirt-wax mixture about two inches thick on the black plastic. Cover the dirt-wax mixture with a sheet of clear plastic and prop it up about a foot or two above the mixture and let the sun heat the mixture until the wax is absorbed by the dirt (usually around 2-4 hours). The dirt is now completely weatherproof - it won’t rust
your traps and is waterproof, freezeproof, and free of contamination. Store the dirt in plastic bags or clean garbage cans until you need it when the weather gets nasty, and the rest of the trappers are forced to quit.

OVEN HEATING METHOD:
Caution: Only use an oven that is self cleaning or the dirt will probably be saturated with food odors that will render it worthless as a trap bedding material.

First, set your oven on clean and turn it on. After the clean cycle is completed, place an uncovered pan(s) of the dirt-wax in the oven and set it on 300 degrees. It will go faster if you don’t have the dirt more than two or three inches thick. Stirring every 30 minutes or so will also speed up the heating time. When the mixture
is thoroughly heated it can be removed, cooled, and stored.

HEAT LAMP HEATING METHOD:
In a protected spot like a basement, shop, or garage, spread a sheet of heavy black plastic on your working service and then spread two inches of your dirt-wax mixture on the plastic. Now suspend a large heat lamp about 2 feet over each 4’x4’ section of dirt. (If using a 4’x8’ sheet of plywood, 2 heat lamps will be required.)

Surrounded the whole setup with plastic or
plywood to help hold in the heat and the heat the
dirt-wax mixture until you can no longer see any wax in the dirt. Stirring will speed up the process. Cool and store and use.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

WAXED DIRT WITH A CONCRETE MIXER:

Start with the basics, outlined above, i.e.: dry,
cleaned and sifted dirt, flaked wax at the ratio (1 cup of Flake Wax equals approximately 1/4 of a pound) of 3 cups (or 3/4 pound) of flake wax to one gallon of prepared dirt.

Pour the measured dirt in to the concrete mixer, and turn the mixer on. You can add wax at this point, BUT I get a better result by warming my dirt before adding the wax.

Heat the dirt as the concrete mixer turns. There are several ways to do this:

1) Use a kerosene fueled brush and fence row torch,and heat the tumbling dirt until warm;
2) Use a propane "rose bud" for heating. I have tried both the fence row torch and the rose bud. I prefer the rose bud, but either method words.
3) Dye and wax pot burner. I have not tried this
method, but I have been told by trappers I consider competent, that they use the same burner they use for dyeing and waxing traps, mounted under the mixer.

What ever way you use, stir the dirt from time-to-time to achieve uniform heating.

Once the dirt is warm -- Not Hot -- slowly add the wax, and make sure that it mixes well as it is added.

If you are getting a good mix, you can turn off the heat and let the mixture tumble. Or you can continue to heat as necessary. Don't get the mix any hotter than it would be in any of the other methods. Don't risk scorching the wax by heating it smoking hot.

When the mixure suits you, and there is no visable wax, turn off the heat, if you are still applying heat, and tumble until cool.

I occasionally stir the mixture with a small ash shovel usually used for fireplace or wood stove cleaning. I know the tumbling is making a uniform mix, but I cannot seem help myself. I think I am looking for lumps. I have never found any, but I occasionally stir anyway.

Adios,
45/70,
RKBA !!!

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#5721 - 05/28/06 06:45 PM Re: Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... ,
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 9924
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Thank you, Bill. I have already moved a copy of this to the Land Trapping Archives.

smile -- Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#5722 - 05/28/06 07:26 PM Re: Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... ,
45/70 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/10/01
Posts: 832
Loc: South Georgia, usA
Y'all are very welcome.
Bill,
RKBA !!!

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#5723 - 05/29/06 08:33 AM Re: Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... ,
Mr. Otter Offline
Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 93
Loc: South Carolina
Thanks for the information. In most cases here In the south you don't need It but there are times.

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#5724 - 05/30/06 03:43 PM Re: Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... ,
coonskinnner27 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 34
Loc: ohio
were can I find fox hollows oderless flake wax, or some other kind of oderless flake wax? can I just cut trap wax into shaveings with my knife to use for wax dirt? thank you
coonskinner

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#5725 - 05/30/06 05:36 PM Re: Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... ,
Ron Marsh Offline
Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 86
Loc: Oil City PA
Here is one more method to add to the list.

Dubble Boiler Method.

Take two metal pails that will set inside each other.
Place water in the bottem one.
Dry soil (one gal.) to be waxed in the top one. Place on heat source (Propane cooker) when the water begins to boil add flaked or beaded wax about 2 1/2 cups.

Advantage the wax does not get hot enough to scorch leaving a burnt smell. If you are not carefull enough this can happen with the oven method.

I paln to demo. this method again this year in the tailgate area.

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#5726 - 05/31/06 09:45 AM Re: Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... ,
45/70 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/10/01
Posts: 832
Loc: South Georgia, usA
Flaked wax is available at Minn. TrapLine Products. O'Gorman also carries it.

I don't have any experience in making my own flake wax. I would expect that there are trappers on this line that have that experience. Boys, it sure would be a good time to chime in, and educate us on that subject.

You will have to check with the dealers to see if it is already too hot to ship the wax. It is hot as the Hinges down here already. Flaked wax shipped in the summer can melt into one big glob.

How much do you need to make? That's something only you have the answer to. None of the rest of us know how many traps you run, the type of sets you make, what size traps you use, how much rain, snow, or run-off you get, and how much dirt you add back to your sets. All of these things form personal techniques, and will differ from one trapper to another.

One other thing about saving dry dirt, waxed or not: We have several different soil types and colors in my area, such as: red clay, yellow clay, brown is common in many of the row crop fields, and a darker shade brown around many of the beaver ponds; there is black (some black in fields, and a different black in the woods), and oh yes, I almost forgot white clay (kaolin) which is nasty stuff to try and trap in under any circumstance.

I try and collect and hold seperate, one from the other, a sufficiency of the colors that I will
most commonly encounter on my line. Sometimes I have to scientifically blend some of the dirt to get the color I want -- scientifically blend, you know, mix one handfull with another handfull.

If you are in an area with a lot of rain or melting snow with freezing tempetures returning, you might want to drive a drain hole in your trap bed, and lightly fill it with some dry grass - weeds - or woods duff. This will take water out of the trap bed. Also, do not overlook blending your set after it is completed. I most commonly blend at a scent post or blind trail set. I use dried grass from the summer's yard mowing, woods duff, or weeds and leaves briskly rubbed across an expanded metal type sifter.

While one technique, such as waxed dirt, may go a long way in keeping frozen traps operating, It Will Not Solve all the problems associated with freezing weather. You need to develope an intergrated system using different techniques, that are peculiar to your circumstances and/or set-sites.

Mr. Otter is probably correct in that waxed dirt is not needed over much of the South. I don't know his area of operation. The Smoky Mountain where I grew up, is in the South, and frequently requires waxed dirt, as does the Cumberland Plateau which will report, from time to time, the lowest tempetures in the lower-48. Then there is the Sand Mountain area of Alabama, the mountains of North Georgia, Western N.C., and Western S.C. Low, two digit readings are not rare when a northern cold front moves across West Tennessee, and, oh yea, oh yea, I have seen single digit tempetures in South Georgia.

Adios,
45/70,
RKBA !!!

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#5727 - 05/31/06 10:22 AM Re: Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... ,
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 9924
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Do you think heating the cement mixer with a heat lamp (or two or three) would work? And/or would this be less apt to scorch the dirt?

quest -- Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#5728 - 05/31/06 10:45 AM Re: Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... ,
45/70 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/10/01
Posts: 832
Loc: South Georgia, usA
Yes, I think that the heat lamps would work with a concrete mixer -- I think, but I don't know because I haven't tried it. I also think it might take longer, because of the thickness of the metal in the mixer. But as many things in our craft are, sometimes slower is better. Yes, there should be a less chance of scorching. One might try, a combination of methods: Tumbling the sand with a heat source such as a rosebud until the sand is warm enough to begin to absorb the wax. Then stop with the high heat device, and switch over to the heat lamps, being careful not to cause a great increase in the temp of the mixture.

Heating w/o a high heat source, if it works ok, might be a good way, with some practice, to be able to walk away from the process until, based on experience, it "timed-out".
Adios,
Bill,
RKBA !!!

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#5729 - 06/01/06 09:19 PM Re: Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... ,
Mr. Otter Offline
Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 93
Loc: South Carolina
You could place the heat lamp In the mixer and just heat the dirt. Then mix and heat again till you have all your dirt evenly heated.

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#5730 - 06/02/06 07:44 AM Re: Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... ,
Dktfireman Offline
Member+

Registered: 07/13/05
Posts: 338
Loc: New Hampshire
Tumbling the dirt while heating it with a rosebud torch is not a good idea. You make a huge dust cloud! eek looks like a fire and makes a huge mess. Much better to heat 1st (roll it around a few time to heat evenly, add the wax, then tumble to mix. I am going to try using melted trap wax instead of flaked wax this year. (if it ever stops raining frown )

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#5731 - 06/02/06 01:24 PM Re: Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... ,
archer01 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/25/05
Posts: 340
Loc: N.E. Penna.
Last year I ran out of my waxed dirt. In a pinch you can take a
block of wax and put it in a vice, then run a wood plane over the
top. Put a tray or piece of clean cardboard under this to collect
your shaved wax.

Last year I got in a rush. I didn't know it, but apparently I burnt, my dirt or wax, contaminating it. I didn't catch much with that
batch, and unfortunatly I had put out alot of sets before I figured out my problem. There is a fine line there. Too much heat and your dirt is no good. Not enough heat and your wax won't melt.

I will try the double boiler method. That sounds sane.......

Archer01

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#5732 - 06/02/06 04:55 PM Re: Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... ,
ThumbStateTrapper Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 84
Loc: Michigan's Thumb
As far as using flaked wax has anyone ever tried using an old cheese grater on a full block of wax? If not do you think it would work? It seems like it might but it would just be smaller flakes. Or on the other hand would it gum up the grater?

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#25348 - 10/17/17 12:17 PM Re: Waxed Dirt... , One More Time... , [Re: 45/70]
Archive Offline


Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 1116
Dated for search.

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