Put 20 pounds of pure caustic potash into an iron or earthen vessel with 2 gallons of water. The potash will dissolve very quickly by heating the water. Heat 9½ gallons of oil to about 140 degrees F.. which is most easily done by bringing a small portion of the oil to the boiling point and adding this to the remainder. Pour the caustic potash lye into the oil in a small stream, stirring steadily with a wooden paddle until the oil and lye appear well combined and smooth, which will take only a few minutes. Put the mixture in a warm place, covering the vessel well with blankets or woolen rugs to keep the heat caused by the mixture combining and turning into soap. This wrapping is very important, the object being to keep the temperature uni-from until saponification is completed. The mixing may be done in a wooden vessel, half an oil barrel answering very well. After three or four days the soap is formed and may be used, though it is better, in order to insure perfect saponification of all the oil, to stir it up well again and leave standing, still well covered, for a few days longer. In this way the finest possible soap for lubricating purposes is made. It is a real potash soap made pure for use, not made cheap for sale by the addition of water and impurities, and, moreover, cannot be excelled for cleaning or washing purposes, especially for washing flannels, and will never cause sore hands.
Use a first-class pale seal oil for soft soap for wire drawing, though a good, refined cotton-seed oil may be used for general purposes. It is absolutely necessary that the caustic potash be unadulterated, for the principle of this cold process of making soap depends on the use of strong, pure lye of caustic potash.
The best way of making the suds with this soap is as follows: Put 6 pounds of the soap into a vessel with 2 gallons of hot steam water, heat to thoroughly dissolve the soap, stirring well, then add 6 more gallons of water and lastly 3 gallons of oil, which should be thoroughly stirred into the soap and water, so that on standing over-night the oil will not separate. This will be found to give very good results.
The cost of this soap depends on the quality of the oil and whether wholesale or retail prices are paid. Even at the latter it will not exceed 7 cents per pound. With cotton-seed oil and wholesale prices it can be made for about 5 cents a pound.
Milwaukee, Wis. A. F. Bierbach.
The following mixture has given very good results as a lubricant on drawing dies when drawing sheet metal: Boil together until thoroughly mixed, 1 pound of white lead, 1 quart of fish oil, 1 pint of water, and 3 ounces of black lead. Apply to the sheet metal with a brush before it enters the dies. Jos. M. Stabel.
Rochester, N. Y.
The best thing in my opinion to use for drilling copper, especially with small drills, is a piece of tallow. I have noticed a great number of receipts given, but I find that this simple means answers the purpose equally well or better than anything else. Marquette, Mich. Geo. W. Smith.
As a lubricant for honing out dies or other work with an oilstone, kerosene oil gives the best results as it not only enables the stone to take hold, but keeps it clean and prevents it from filling up.
C. P. Emerson.