Using scrap pieces of leather, I put a dab of Snow Guard is on the Left and a piece of Bee’s Wax is on the right.
Bee’s wax can be pretty expensive…Mountain Equipment Co-Op sells a 60 gram bee’s wax candle for $3.50. I bought a piece of “raw” bee’s wax from a store called Wicks & Wax, in Burnaby, B.C. for about $11.00/lbs.
Using a heat gun, I melt the Snow Guard and it soaks into the leather. Not much heat is required. I keep adding Snow Guard an allowing it to soak into the leather.
Melting the Bee’s Wax into the leather. More heat is needed to melt the wax compared to the Snow Guard. I am careful not to scorch the leather.
Both the Snow Guard and the Bee’s Wax must be molten to soak into the leather. The leather must be warm enough to keep them molten.
I turn the two pieces of leather over and view the results.
So which is better for treating your Oar Leathers? The Snow Guard is easier to apply, it needs far less heat to penetrate the leather. You can rub the Snow Guard on the leathers and leave them in a warm place or in the sun and the Snow Guard will soak into the leather.
The Bee’s Wax seems to fill the leather more fully but needs a lot more heat to melt and soak into the leather.
I have treated a new set of oars with Bee’s Wax and will try them out and see how well the Bee’s Wax performs.
The first step is to melt the wax. I use a tuna tin, my heat gun and a plant-pot heater to melt the wax.
Using a paint brush, I coat the Oar Leathers with the wax. It solidifies almost immediately. I paint on several layers.
I use my heat gun to melt the wax into the leather. Experience is showing me that many thin layers are better than a few thick ones.
I get the leather hot enough to melt the Bee’s Wax, and keep applying it until it no longer soaks into the leather.
When the leather is saturated, I move to the next oar.
When the leather is saturated, I wipe off the excess wax. The wax does not soak into the leather where the glue is.
With the Oar Leathers Bee’s Waxed, I will try them out and see if I like the “feel” while rowing.