Turning an Instructables apron into an Indestructible apron: Water-proof, flame resistant and easy-clean. Could be it turns a knife too!
Ever wonder why some canvas, like the stuff that a Carhart jacket is made of, is so much tougher than, say, a drop cloth? The secret is 'tincloth,' invented in some year by some guy --probably an American-- who needed something tougher than canvas or denim-- tough enough for fighting dragosaurs with a claw hammer on horseback across the Great Plains. Tincloth is that kind of tough stuff.
To demonstrate the wonder of tincloth I took a shower in my clothes and tried to set myself on fire. Allow me to explain...
Step 1: A simple recipe
Tincloth is made by coating canvas in oils that dry and harden, namely beeswax and boiled linseed oil. To demonstrate this simple process I will be coating my Instructables apron. The reason I made gallons of the tincloth mixture is that I am also coating a 20'X24' canvas tent that I sewed for winter camping. I only used about a cup and a half for the apron.
beeswax (I used toilet gasket rings for this. Done dirt cheap.)
boiled linseed oil
(Optionally you can add turpentine. I saw it referenced in a few places while I was doing my research. I opted against using it since it seemed to increase drying time.)
Melt and mix the beeswax and the linseed oil. It doesn't have to reach a certain temp, just hot enough to ensure complete combination.
Step 2: Application
Paint it on. It is really easy to see when it is properly saturated. You will know when you've put on enough. I had to coat both sides of the pocket areas to achieve penetration.
Make sure the solution is brushed on evenly, give it a quick inspection and then hang it up to dry.
The drying should take two days-ish, depending on conditions.
So how did it fare when I put it through it's paces?
Step 3: Hey, let's take a shower, Robot!
As you can see, the water beaded up immediately and stayed beaded until it evaporated. Zero penetration.
As far as the flame resistance goes I figured that if I held the blowtorch up to the tincloth while I was wearing it and kept it there until I couldn't stand it anymore that would pretty much simulate the worst possible kitchen flame. I did just that about 10 times until it raised my pink. I'm not always the smartest guy in the room, especially when I'm alone, which I frequently am.
The torch left zero marks on the tincloth and even left the Robot unscathed! This exceeded my expectations.
But the real test had to be chocolate. I quickly scoochmarooed a 5 minute mug cake with pecans and semi-sweet chocolate (ah Sarah, how do I love thy i'bles) and dumped some on the tincloth. I let it sit long enough to take some photos and eat my cake. Then I just wiped it away and it looks like it was never there. Indestructable!