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Old-time plumbers nostalgia question,,,,

What is this stuff?,,,,, it is hard like glass,,,, but soft when heated.

I have heard what it "was" used for,,,, what`s your thoughts?  ;-)

No,,,, it`s not the "Blob" in a dormant state :-)


  • bill_105
    bill_105 Member Posts: 429
    Is it?

    Could it merely be rosin used a sealing wax?
  • Rosin

    Used on our cloth strap-wrenches to gain a good grip with polished chrome, brass or gold-plated trim. Showing my age(G).
  • Devan
    Devan Member Posts: 138
    Also used

    in treating wiping cloth, back in the day to wipe a lead joint. Keeps the lead from sticking to the cloth. The few times I attempted to wipe that is what I was taught.
  • Unknown
    edited October 2009

    although bill was very close,,,,,,,,,,

    JD seems to know everything,, (sorry I forgot his ULTRA),, where`s his input?
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    I guess you were teasing ...

    ... but I do not quite understand. I certainly do not know everything. I know less about heating than any of the professionals here. Would you prefer I post less?
  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,472
    Moon rocks

    Brought back by Apollo astronuats. I'll be interested to when the first McDopnalds opens it 's first franchise there. 
  • bill_105
    bill_105 Member Posts: 429
    2nd shot

    It's parrafin
  • bill_105
    bill_105 Member Posts: 429
    How about Bakelite?

    A first synthetic resin whose cousins are ABS and PVC.
  • Ok, Ok,,,,,,,

    I don`t really know,,, but I heard it was used as a cheater the old-timers could use on CI drainage piping that had the odd sand- hole.

    The rosin explanation sounds more professional,, but this stuff is hard, and heating-it-up to apply could burn many a fingers,,,,, then again, so has wiping joints!  :-)
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    My high school chemistry

    If I remember correctly, Bakelite is a phenol-formaldehyde thermosetting plastic.

    PVC is a polymer of vinyl chloride, that is, IIRC thermoplastic.

    ABS is a copolymer of styrene and acrylonitrile, also thermospastic.

    So if they are cousins of Bakelite, they are distant cousins.
  • bill_105
    bill_105 Member Posts: 429
    Leat me get this straight

    You can remember that Bakelite is some Phenothis,  Formathat, Thermo Plasti whatever and God only knows what? Your instructor must have been a close relative of the current Mr. Google.

    Used in the 78's not 45's or 33's I thought it was a toy oven to make a cake with a light bulb.
  • PaulR
    PaulR Member Posts: 25

    I'm picturing it as a hydronic sweetener for my Delta T...

    Two lumps please :)
  • Rosin

    If your lead pot was outdoors ( due to smoke and chance of lead popping) the rosin would be added to the molten lead or wiping solder to make the impurities float to the top.
  • EricAune
    EricAune Member Posts: 432

    Grandpa used it to clean molten lead, my uncle used it as a thread sealer and a dressing for his strap wrenches.  Other uncle says it worked best to fix a cracked no-hub fitting for an air test.

    I use it as a conversation piece when other plumbers come to the shop.....makes me look like I might not be as wet behind the ears?

    I would not know where to find any so I just use discarded chunks of roofers tar for my (fixable) cracked no-hub fittings and haven't used a strap wrench since I was a second year.

    I like the sweetener idea best.
    "If you don't like change, your going to like irrelevance even less"
This discussion has been closed.