Homemade Wonder Wads

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by JCooperfan1911, Sep 16, 2021.

  1. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    Well hello friends. Used up the last of my wads the other day so this morning punched some more.

    088-A9-A40-29-BD-42-A0-9-CEC-45-CDD741-B251.jpg

    I make these from Durofelt brand thick pure wool felt and the lube recipe is 2:1 lamb tallow and beeswax. Not only are they a fraction of the cost of store bought wonder wads, they work about 10x better in my experience. Fouling stays fluffy and creamy all day and comes out with one patch. Keeps the gun shooting accurate cylinder after cylinder, no need to even wipe while shooting. They work that good. Worth making and fun to do.

    -J.C.F.
     
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  2. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    I also make my own wads. I use the same felt but I've mostly used a 50/50 beeswax/mutton tallow mix. I also use that lube for black powder cartridges.

    However, I found an easier way to lube wads: Soak them in pure neatsfoot oil (not neatsfoot oil compound), then squeeze out the excess so they aren't dripping. Pure neatsfoot oil is a very good BP lubricant and this method doesn't require heating or melting the lube.

    If you have a drill press and get a suitably sized arch punch, you can speed up punching out the wads. I use one in my mill-drill, with a piece of scrap 2x4 underneath the felt.
     
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  3. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I make my own durofelt wads also.
    I heat crisco unsalted and beeswax, stir the wads around until saturated. Then cool them out on parchment paper.
     
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  4. whughett

    whughett Member

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    50/50 Beeswax and solid crisco. Set a 8x8 square cake pan on a hot plate, fill half full of hot lube and dip 7x7 squares of 1/8” felt in. Hold one corner of square with long nose pliers until dripping stops. Layer on paper towels until pan is empty.
    Harbor freight punch set chucked into a drill press. One can run off a years worth in short order. :)
    44 or 36 caliber.
     
  5. robhof

    robhof Member

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    I've been using a drill or even drill press to cut mine, seems faster than punching them out. I also get as close as possible to get more wads per sheet, but I'm a real cheapscate too.
     
  6. Blackpowderwarrior

    Blackpowderwarrior Member

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    Those are good looking wads brother. I'm going to have to try my hand in wad making sometime when I get a chance.
     
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  7. woodnbow
    • Contributing Member

    woodnbow Contributing Member

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    I do the same except I skip the DuroFelt and just use 4 layers of Bounty quicker picker upper! They work just as well, they’re cheap and they take less room in the chambers. I do use DuroFelt for rifle wads…
     
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  8. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Nice looking '60 also.
     
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  9. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    For rifles, I dip the wad in pure melted bee's wax, give it a shake and let it cool on a piece of wax paper. I've used them in revolvers, but have noticed that the wad does have a tendency to stick to the ball sometimes, especially if left loaded for a long time.

    In a rifle of course, the only thing it can stick to is the patch. Usually I use a normal lubed felt wad between the patched ball and pure wax wad. But I just discovered my 1861 likes to have just the pure wax wad under the bullet. My round-ball rifle prefers the wax wad plus lubed wad. The patches come out of that gun, my Jeager, re-usable, although I don't re-use them.
     
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  10. JamesSh@@ter

    [email protected]@ter Member

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    New black powder revolver shooter here. I'm using wonder wads but going to start making my own wads. I have beeswax and olive oil so will try that first. My pistol is a 44cal Pietta. I measured the chambers at .444 with a caliper, maybe not a perfect measurement but close. I read about people using the 7/16 Harbor Freight punch, that would be .4375. I see a 12mm hollow punch on Amazon for $6.99. !2mm is .472 ... question for the wad makers here, has anyone used a 12mm punch for 44 cal revolver? I could make the 7/16" punch bigger but I'm thinking about getting a 12mm punch. That would be .028 over my chamber size. Thoughts on this? Thanks
     
  11. AntiqueSledMan

    AntiqueSledMan Member

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    Hello James,

    I believe the 7/16" wad will expand some when compressed.

    AntiqueSledMan.
     
  12. hawg

    hawg Member

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    It will. I use a Harbor Freight 7/16 punch. It works for me.
     
  13. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    Make my own also, from .36 to 10 gauge. My guns are vegetarians so no tallow in my recipe. 50/50 beeswax and crisco. Works great, gluten free.
     
  14. Shooterbob

    Shooterbob Member

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    Where do you guys get the felt from?
     
  15. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    A lot of folks use and recommend Duro-Felt as a source

    The felt wads do not need to be precision cut.
    They are flexible and close in size is good enough
     
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  16. gobsauce

    gobsauce Member

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    Any recommendations on what thickness to use? I've been slowly gathering things that I need, all's I'm missing now is the felt itself.
     
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  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Elmer Keith wrote of cutting up old felt hats for wads. Not as many hat wearers, now, though.
     
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  18. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    I scored a bunch of military surplus hard felt boot insoles at a gun show 15 or so years ago.
     
  19. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I like 1/8" for just about everything, rifle, pistol, or revolver. I bought one big sheet from Durofelt a decade or so ago, and still have plenty left.

    @JCooperfan1911 uses exactly the same method that I do (although my mutton tallow/beeswax ratio is 7:1, per old civil war records) and I could not be happier with the results.
     
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  20. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    I buy Durofelt 1/8”.

    Pure wool and dense and hard. Holds lube nicely and is strong enough to scrape the fouling out of the bore with each shot. I need to get more soon as I’m out of .44 wads and only have a small amount of .36s left.
     
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  21. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    If you're punching out the wads with a hammer/punch, remember to use the end grain of a chunk of wood. It makes a big difference in cutting the felt.
     
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  22. hawg

    hawg Member

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    This. I use a piece of 4x4.
     
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  23. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    Agreed. The hammer shown is not ideal for the task. I have been using a dead blow hammer with excellent results.
     
  24. drobs

    drobs Member

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    Battery operated drill is much easier to use. A cheap cutting board works for a work surface.
    [​IMG]

    Microwave plus canning jar for heating lube.
     
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  25. gobsauce

    gobsauce Member

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    I'd imagine a polymer cutting board would be better for the longevity of the punch. I got a polymer punching board from hobby lobby for $5, and it helps a ton in leather work. I'll have to try it out and give y'all a report.
     
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