Introduction: Tin Cloth Hunting Pants

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I turned some double front Carhartt pants into oil skin upland game pants.

Step 1: Get Some Pants.

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These are Carhartt double front heavy duck pants. About $50 new.

Step 2: Make Some Goop.

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- Beeswax
- Boiled linseed oil
- Hot plate
- Pan you don't mind trashing
- Cheap paint brush

Roughly equal parts wax to oil but a little heavier on the oil. Makes it spread and penetrate better. Heat it up to just past melting but be careful it will smoke easily. If it's too cool it will harden faster then you can spread it.

Step 3: Spread It On.

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Work in small sections. Get your seams well.

Step 4: Apply Heat.

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I've heard of some cats using hair dryers or torches. Have fun with that. I used this heat gun and it worked pretty slick. Hang on to the gun receipt. The first one didn't like this much work.
Work your way around your article however seems best. Apply enough heat to melt the wax so it is absorbed into the material and a little beyond so it starts to boil back up just a bit, then move on.

Step 5: Get It All.

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Don't forget the sides and crotch. I did not go all the way inside the pockets. Apply some more to areas that look streaked and reheat. The final product will come out feeling waxy and greasy (go figure), get out there and do some good bush whacking and it will work itself out. You can practice first by making the goop out of toilet bowl rings and linseed oil on an old canvas bag or sneakers.
*Side note* Any breathability your material might have had will be gone so be ready to get a little clammy, especially as they get broken in.

Now quit reading about it and go do it!

Comments

dziegler1 (author)2017-08-28

Where is a good source for bees wax? (I don't know any bees personally...)

kenlukethe2 (author)2017-01-21

Did this today and when I finished the wax wasn't very even. I threw them in the oven on 225 for about 10-15 minutes, folding them in different ways to keep even heat. When they were "done" I pulled them out with a pair of tongs and let them cool. In the end the wax looks very even and I'm pleased. As a side note, if you do this, there will be a light linseed oil smoke smell but 225 is too low of a temp to cause any real issue. Thanks for the post Nathan!

RussellC22 (author)2016-03-20

I found that turning the pants inside out and running 2 cycles in the local Laundromat with a pair of old boots melted the wax very evenly and the pounding from the boots kept the fabric from getting really stiff as it dried.

The-Only-Duke (author)2015-06-23

these are great, definitely gonna make a pair :)

discostu956 (author)2015-04-18

What's the benefit of doing this to your pants?

drosenkranz (author)discostu9562015-04-18

it makes them waterproof and fire resistant

livichris (author)drosenkranz2015-04-18

won't the oil and wax make them very flammable?

rherman1966 (author)livichris2015-06-18

I am not an expert on the materials here but this is my best explanation:

Linseed oil is a 'drying oil', meaning that it oxidises slowly over time to form a polymer-based film; it is a similar but much slower chemical reaction to combustion. This is why oil paintings are so incredibly durable and why after a few months, there is no 'oil' left in the fabric to burn. Wax only burns if it is in a vapour form. In a candle, the heat of the lit flame vaporises the wax directly below it, creating a self-feeding system. For the wax in the cloth to burn, it would have to first be heated to a tremendous level, even if it wasn't already bound up in the dried oil film. Last, the cloth itself is both largely shielded from oxidisation by the physical barrier of the heat-insulating oil and wax and has now a significant amount of mass added, requiring a larger amount of energy to be applied to raise its temperature. (In fact, the 'drying' of 'drying oil' is somewhat of a misnomer because nothing is evaporating as in a water-based binder such as acrylic; oxygen from the air is actually being added, further increasing the total mass.)

I hope this little science lesson helps to explain why oil cloth is largely inflammable and why it is especially ideal for high heat activities like the welding mentioned above.

drosenkranz (author)livichris2015-04-18

https://www.instructables.com/id/Tincloth here is an instructable where the guy puts it to the test

drosenkranz (author)drosenkranz2015-04-18

also search google there is a lot of information on tin cloth

unclelar (author)2015-04-19

This is the same thing that I use on my hatchets and axes,both the wood and the axe heads.Warm everything up a bit first so it soaks in better,apply liberally let sit for 5 or 10 min and wipe off remaining wax.I reheat it again to help it soak in a little more then reapply again if you want.Waterproofs the wood and helps stop the head from rusting.I actually got the recipe from an old gunsmith 50 years ago who told me that is was used by the military back in the day for protecting their weapons and some leather goods loke as boots and such

nathanlsmock (author)unclelar2015-04-19

I have used the linseed on my knives but not with the wax. Does it make the handles slick?

unclelar (author) nathanlsmock2015-04-20

They are no slicker than with the oil,and the wax doesn't make it sticky like some think it would.Just wipe off any excess and polish it down like you would with the oil.It really does help to preheat what ever you are doing(I put my axe heads in the oven@200 for a few minutes,to long and it is to hot to handle) I wear rubber gloves and just smear it on with my hands.

glorybe (author)unclelar2015-05-22

I have preserved large equipment that would get rained on often with common lard that I melted and applied with a paint brush. It looks sort of nasty but it works and no rust formed at all. But it is very difficult to remove after a few months. A steam cleaner might be the cheapest way to clean it up.

glorybe (author)unclelar2015-05-22

I could be wrong but back in 1916 I think the military used shark liver oil on the rifles. It was pretty wet "over there".

BitisG (author)2015-04-24

Nice write up. From my experience I would cut the linseed oil out, it leave a strong thick smell. Normally I will do half beeswax, paraffin wax, Vitamin E oil and some other type of oil. Unless you can find odorless linseed oil?

jmwells (author)2015-04-23

Seriously, iron the paper first. The heat gives it a slick finish.

jmwells (author)2015-04-19

I would recommend placing newspaper between the cloth and the iron.

nathanlsmock (author)jmwells2015-04-23

I had read of people doing that but you have to be careful the newspaper doesn't draw back out the wax you just put in. I'll have to play around as these are a little stiffer then I would like. I have an oiled vest that is very supple, but then my waxed duster can just about stand on its own! Both of which were made by Outback Trading Co.

fewtheG (author)2015-04-23

so I was about to invest in a pair of Filsons because I often have to weld in the rain. my question is do these "leak" through? not the rain but the oil/beeswax get on your under layer?

nathanlsmock (author)fewtheG2015-04-23

Depending on how thick you lay it on and melt it in you may get some during the break in period. Invest is the right word. Filson makes great stuff. But if you're not in a place to drop $200 this could be an option.

jmwells (author)2015-04-19

Way back in the old west, they would iron them to make a more slick and water resistant coating. Chaps made from oilcloth or oilskin were lighter and cooler than leather.

discostu956 (author)2015-04-18

Thanks. are they comfortable to wear, and as warm in cooler conditions? Good applications with this I think, never heard of it before but seems logical thinking of oil skin coats

They take some time to break in and can stiffen up a little in the cold. Throw a pair of flannel pants on under and they're like insulated Carhartts.

This is what I'm going for.
http://m.filson.com/products/14004?fromCat=true&fvalsProduct=mens%2Fhunting&fmetaProduct=1013%2F

discostu956 (author)discostu9562015-04-18

Sorry, was meant to be a reply to my thing below

jam1701 (author)2015-04-18

I bet that heat gun came from harbor freight lol

nathanlsmock (author)jam17012015-04-19

Menards

2choo4yoo (author)2015-04-18

Waterproofing, I think.

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