Posted by Cody Durivage
For years we looked for one single substance which could be used to treat the steel of our knives, the handle of our knives, and the leather sheaths all equally.  After a lot of experimenting with different substances, we finally found the ideal solution.  Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP is a natural beeswax/propolis blend.  Not only can it be used on the knife blade, the knife handle, and the leather sheath, but it works better in each of those categories than anything else we know of.  Coat your saws, axes, and other tools for ideal protection.
What is Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP?
Obenauf’s is a beeswax/propolis blend which was intended for leather protection in extreme conditions.  This was designed for wildland firefighters to apply to their boots, which were getting destroyed by the rugged use and the lye in the ash.
Beeswax is weather-resistant and prevents things from getting wet or drying out.  Propolis is an antibacterial resin from trees that resists bacteria and mold. It is a barrier against body acids, salt, and caustic chemicals. Combining propolis with beeswax allows it to repel water more effectively and adds versatility.

Applying
To apply LP, simply get some on your hands and rub it in.  Of course make sure you have clean hands, and have cleaned off whatever you are applying it to.  The friction from applying it with your hands creates some heat, allowing it apply deeper.  Want a deeper initial penetration?  Lightly heat it up with a hair-dryer or put it at safe-distance near a campfire; just warm it up, a lot of heat is not necessary to liquify LP.
We offer Obenauf's in 4 oz (left) and 8 oz (right)

 
For Leather
Obenauf’s “Heavy Duty Leather Protectant” is one of the most popular substances in the world for use on leather boots, belts, pouches, saddles, slings, motorcycle bags, gun holsters, knife sheaths, etc.  Three natural oils are suspended in the beeswax and propolis, which gradually seep out into the leather even after the initial application. If exposed to heat or flexing, the oils are only released faster, allowing the leather to get oiled when and where it needs it most, instead of getting parched and cracked. This time release lubrication keeps the inner fibers healthy while the surface is weatherproofed and reinforced against scuffing and abrasion.
Like any healthy substance for leather, Heavy-Duty LP can darken leather, especially more porous leather.  Obenauf’s does not seem to darken the leather that we use for our sheaths, belts and pouches (unless you were to entirely saturate it via hot-waxing).
We recommend using Heavy-Duty LP on all of our leather products
 
For Wood
Heavy-Duty LP provides an excellent protective finish for wood, bone, horn, and antler, and even helps seal any seams of a synthetic knife handle.  The antibacterial, antifungal propolis resists rotting, while the beeswax seals it and protects it from the elements (getting wet or drying out).
LP puts a nice grippy, durable finish on axe handles and other tools.  Bring some with you to seal spoons and other bushcraft tools you make in the woods.
We recommend using Heavy-Duty LP on knife handles and bucksaw handles
 
For Metal
The reason why we like Heavy-Duty LP for steel, brass, copper, and all other metals, is that it is the only substance we found that covers all of these bases;
  • Resists Rust.  Beeswax blends are excellent at repelling moisture on anything, including steel.
  • Durable and Thorough.  A waxy paste is ideal because it doesn’t bead up like oil, which leaves parts of the steel exposed.  Wax applies evenly and is more durable, so it won’t wipe away so easily in use.  A couple days after applying it to some metal it will become even more tacky and durable.
  • Food Safe.  There are no harmful chemicals so it is fine for food prep.
  • Antibacterial.  If you forget to wipe a knife blade off thoroughly after skinning a deer, preparing food, or filleting a fish, the antibacterial properties of the propolis will help prevent the bacteria from running rampant.  This is why it helps to also put LP on the interior of your sheath.
We recommend using Heavy-Duty LP on your knife blades, axe heads, saw blades, and other tools for preventing rust
 
Other Uses
LP is a good substance to bring with you on a trip.  Some other uses for Heavy-Duty LP include:
  • Starting Fires.  Mush some into a cotton ball or tinder, and the beeswax let’s it burn like a candle.  You get a nice long burn time with HDLP soaked tinder.  For this reason, it’s not a bad idea to carry the wax in cotton ball form.  I dropped petroleum jelly cotton balls in favor for it.
  • Bow-Drill.  You can put some in the divot of the hand-hold part of a bow-drill for lubrication.
  • Dry Skin.  Works very effectively as a moisturizer.
  • Chapped Lips.  There is no need to bring lip balm when you have Obenauf’s.
  • Foot Care.  Beeswax and propolis allow your feet to breathe while protecting them from drying out, with anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Blister Prevention.  Apply a bit of this on a hot-spot and it will help resist the formation of a blister.
  • Beard & Moustache Wax.  Groom your facial hair if you happen to be a sophisticated woodsman.
A cotton ball soaked with Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP makes great fire starting tinder

Comments

  • Posted On August 11, 2016 by Jeff Tuttle

    I can say without a doubt that this is the best stuff in the world period! Reason I say this is because I found out about its many uses many years ago. Literally this is the end all do all protectant and preservative, antimicrobial. Used this stuff on an Alaskan hunting trip for everything. Gun, knife, boots, hands, feet, pretty much everything that was going to be exposed to the elements.

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