In part using a propane torch, I added a layer of beeswax to make dually sure that my new workboots (already advertised as waterproof) would keep the water out.

Working in a butcher shop, your boots are always wet. This wreaks havoc on leather boots - they never get a chance to dry out and the leather rots. Plus you pick up all kinds of...foreign materials... that probably don't help anything.

I've added some pics of my old boots, there are big holes where the leather meets the sole. The sole itself and where the boot is covered by my pantleg look nearly new, but the toe and seam are shot.

For those of you who are going to say "if you buy expensive boots they'll last longer," well, my colleague got $250 made in America name-brand boots, and the seams blew out in 6 months (in the same places as mine), he returned them, had the same thing happen a second time. More butchers in my shop wear these Sears brand boots than anything else.

Two years ago when they were new I used liberal amounts of silicone sealer on the now old boots. The efficacy of that is debatable, so this time I thought I'd try beeswax and see if the life of the boot is extended. Plus, if I get stranded on a boat in the middle of the ocean and end up gnawing on my boots, they'll taste faintly of honey.

Step 1: Melt the Beeswax

Not wanting to scald the wax I made a double boiler with an appropriately sized and pan and metal mixing bowl.

I got the beeswax a long time ago at the hardware store, it's a hunk about the size and shape of a hockey puck. You can see it's picked up a lot of crap on the outside over the years, but when the wax melts in the double boiler the impurities settle to the bottom. Moreover, I'd imagine impurities are inconsequential in this application. I'm not exactly waterproofing a NASA spacesuit.

I used a knife to cut some off and drop it in the pan to melt.

<p>Please join me in pledging to not wear fur or leather. You do not know whose skin you are wearing. </p>
Why not take it one step further and pledge not to use bees wax?
<p>Actually, using beeswax supports bees! The relationship between beekeepers and beehives is a symbiotic one (assuming the beekeeper is competent). A strong, well cared-for hive produces excess honey, beeswax, and even collects excess pollen. Considering that bees are critical to our nation's food production, consumption of bee products is especially ethical under capitalism.</p>
<p>PETA.</p><p>People Eating Tasting Animals.</p><p>I have incisors. Those are not evolutionary leftovers from eating just plants alone.</p>
<p>Ha Ha Ha, did U &quot;A.S.U.M.E.&quot; never said anything about Peta, just asking people to be kind, considerate, compassionate &amp; not support the brutality, cruelty &amp; inhumane commercial fur &amp; leather industries. Glad that you are taking care of those old boots, no need to purchase any new ones!</p>
<p>&quot;I'm not with PETA, I just pretend to be.&quot; :\</p><p>PS: &quot;a-s-s-u-m-e&quot;.</p>
<p>Please, join me in a barbeque. I do know what kind of flesh I am eating. Get a life.</p>
Hope you are serving grilled veggies at your BBQ! I have a life, now I would like the animals to have a life too.
<p>So, you. Live. In. A. Manor?? My new. Apple keyboard. Appears to be adding random punctuation. Sweet.. If it weren''t for the leather. And meat.. The animals Would never have. Existed.. Everyone dies.. Is it better. To have never. Been??</p>
<p>Excuse me, but I cannot follow your train of thought here. NO need to try to be a philosopher with: &quot;which came first? the chicken or the egg?&quot; Be kind, be compassionate, be on the side of humane animal husbandry, be an advocate for animal wildlife conservation &amp; protection of our ecosystem, be someone who protects all animals from cruelty &amp; abuse. Yes, it is true we are all in the process of dying from the moment we are born. What will be our legacy? Gandi said that we can judge a society by the way it treats the animals.</p>
<p>Nice idea! I will try. Thank you.</p>
<p>to melt the wax , you can try with a <strong>hair dryer</strong> ! </p><p>less dangerous :)</p>
<p>Nice! My father, in the 1950's, would seal the stitched leather seams of our ski boots every years with melted bees wax! I, too, have used &quot;Sno-Seal&quot; and other silicone based leather treatments of boots, snow boots, cross-country boots, etc. But as a beekeeper, I like your idea of using natural produts! Checkout your local beekeepers for beeswax. Some might not even charge for their wax.</p>
<p>Look into &quot;Snow Seal&quot;. It's bees wax and some oil, pre-mixed. Works very well.</p>
<p>When I worked and was buying work boots, I used to buy Snow Seal. It was applied as a soft paste and heated with a hair dryer to make it soak in. Al it was is bees wax. It worked great. I went one step further and tried it on some moccasins that didn't have a sole on them, just leather bottomed. It worked great on them unless you stepped in a deep puddle. I used them for hunting. I would always put my boots and shoes in an oven at around 200 or 250 degrees to get them heated through and through. Good &quot;able though.</p>
<p>We use Snow Seal too. It's more than just bees wax. Don't know what oil is in it, but it's a mix of bees wax and some oil. But we usually put the boots in the oven, at the lowest setting (somewhere around 110F). I clean the boots thoroughly first with saddle soap, let them dry for a week or more, then apply the Snow Seal. &quot;Apply the Snow Seal&quot; means put the boots in the oven until they're warmed up, then take them out, one at a time, quickly apply Snow Seal to about 1/3 of the boot, stick the boot back into the oven to warm back up, and move on to the next boot. I usually do two pairs at at time this way, so after 12 rounds of this, I've applied the Snow Seal everywhere on the two pairs of boots. </p><p>I do this once a year, usually for our heavy backpacking boots and the work boots we use at the farm. We do a lot of slogging through snow and muck in the winter, and our usually last a couple of years this way. The backpacking boots are going on 20 years now, but we only use them for backpacking trips every other year. But cleaning and mink oiling or Snow Sealing really help the boots last. It's always the soles or rands that fail first on our boots - the leather is usually still good at the end.</p>
<p>melt 1 part beeswax to 3 parts oil - neetsfoot, castor, olive even and you have a shoe polish you can wipe on as needed</p>
<p>Branded stuff used to mean something. Now it's just a way for cheapskate manufacturers to make a bigger profit while Vietnamese and the like get paid a dollar a day. Note how &quot;made in UK/USA&quot; quietly becomes &quot;designed in UK/USA&quot;</p><p>&quot;Dubbin&quot;, &quot;Neatsfoot&quot; &quot;Graingers&quot; are all tried and tested.</p><p>I've used WD40, Thompson WaterSeal to varying degrees.</p><p>Getting the leather hot is the secret - rubbing stuff on the surface doesn't work unless you use a solvent to carry the wax in.</p>
<p>Why not use castor oil instead? Try pure castor oil or (better) 80% of castor oil + 10% of linseed oil and 10% of bees wax.</p>
<p>Nice!! I do the same with a beeswax crayon (pronounced &quot;candle&quot;) and a heat gun. :D</p>
<p>Pro tip: Buy some oil-based polyurethane sealant (such as Stampede) and put a bead of it where the leather ends and sole begins, and everywhere else you find a seam. This doesn't last forever but it's just a matter of firing up the caulk gun hanging on the wall, takes 3 min. Put the caulk on before you use wax or anything else on your boots so the caulk has something to stick to.</p>
<p>That looks great! Thanks for sharing. How long does the treatmet last on average?</p><p>Have a great day! :-)</p>
Nice job!
<p>Rubber work boots. They will solve this problem.</p><p>No matter what you do, if the shoes don't dry, they will not keep together.</p>
<p>So did it work? :) I was thinking on doing the same on my hiking boots</p>
<p>How are you boots and their waterproofing holding up?</p>
<p>Yes, this will waterproof your boots. For now.</p><p>However, you have just traded one short term kind of damage (wetness/rotting), for another (over-dryness and cracking). As you are well aware leather is durable, but really only up to a certain point. It is a skin and needs to be treated as such. Leather needs to be allowed to dry thoroughly, AND re-conditioned (not everyday, monthlyish) to maintain it's own natural moistness/oils. Failure to condition leather will accelerate the aging process, and create cracks/blowouts similar to those from rot.</p><p> Such an intense wax treatment on shoes COULD prevent you from properly applying conditioner. However, given how intense your work environment is, it will probably wear off after a month or so. I would recommend giving your boots a thorough cleaning/reconditioning around that time. Also, look in to products like: <a href="https://www.obenaufs.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=20" rel="nofollow">https://www.obenaufs.com/index.php?route=product/c...</a></p><p>which is a well regarded rugged water-proofer, that has less chance to permanently damage your leather.</p><p>The thing I think would actually help you the most would be having 2 pairs of boots. This would let the first pair COMPLETELY dry out while wearing the second pair. Switching like this each day would at least triple the life of your boots.</p><p>Primary source: <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/goodyearwelt/comments/1ubpyl/introductory_leather_care_guide/" rel="nofollow">http://www.reddit.com/r/goodyearwelt/comments/1ubp...</a></p>
<p>You know that's one of the techniques for making leather armour right?<br><br>The heat will harden the leather and the beeswax soaks into the pores while it is melted and then hardens inside the fabric of the leather. For an even harder finish you could add Carnuba Wax, and a softer compound more like normal shoe polish can be made by adding olive oil.<br><br>As a butcher, you probably know how to make good quality tallow too, that would do the job but it needs to be free from nasties like salt and enzymes, because that's what kills the leather as you have found.<br><br></p>

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