This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
See also Steel.
A valuable anti-friction and preservative compound for mine cables is as follows: Seven parts soft tallow and 3 parts plumbago, mixed thoroughly; make a long, hollow box or trough, gouge out a 4 by 6 piece of scantling about 2 feet long, sawing it down lengthwise and hollowing out the box or trough enough to hold several pounds of the compound, making also a hole lengthwise of the trough for the cable to run through; then affix to rope and clamp securely, having the box or trough so fixed that it cannot play, and letting the cable pass through it while going up or down, so that it will get a thorough coating. This, it is found, will preserve a round cable very well, and can be used at least once a week. For a flat steel cable raw linseed oil can be used instead of the tallow, in about the
Proportion of 6 parts oil and 3 plumbago. If tar is used, linseed oil is to be added to keep the tar from adhering, both ingredients to be mixed while warm.
To preserve wire rope laid under ground, or under water, coat it with a mixture of mineral tar and fresh slaked lime in the proportion of 1 bushel of lime to 1 barrel of tar. The mixture is to be boiled, and the rope saturated with it while hot; sawdust is sometimes added to give the mixture body. Wire rope exposed to the weather is coated with raw linseed oil, or with a paint composed of equal parts of Spanish brown or lampblack with linseed oil.