Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Waxing Traps - The Final Step in Trap Preparation

If you've decided upon Dyeing & Waxing as your process of choice for preparing your traps for the season, then waxing is the final step in that chain.

As the name implies, WAXING is dipping your traps, either in bunches or singularly into a pot of molten trap wax. There is an old wives tale that almost has the same status as "rodents go outside to die after eating anticoagulant baits" that you should FLOAT your wax on top of boiling water and then pull your traps through the molten wax...this results in an undesirable and unsatisfactory wax coating on your traps. You will save money on wax, but suffer on quality. You get what you pay for !!

Here is my simple wax setup. A 20lb. propane cylinder and a camp stove I bought at a tag sale at least 20 years ago. The pot that I keep my wax in is of the same vintage and your wax can be used from year to year, just add more trap wax as time goes on.
Notice I'm waxing my traps outside.....out of the house or building...CAUTION: The melted wax is HOT and flammable, if you happen to get your wax too HOT and it ignites you don't want it in your house. I know people who didn't heed this warning and have burned their garage down.

So you start by setting up your heat source outside. Your wax pot has a solid block of wax in it if it was previously used or if this is your first time waxing traps be sure to purchase enough trap wax to completely submerge the traps you'd like to have treated. On a low flame you melt your wax slowly, for the pot in the picture this takes approx. 2.5 - 3hrs. to fully melt the wax. YOU WANT THE WAX HOT, BUT NOT BOILING. If the wax gets too hot and starts to bubble, move it slightly off the flame until it cools down slightly.

Using a metal hook, and wearing gloves, I lower each of my previously boiled traps into the molten wax. THIS NEXT STATEMENT IS VERY IMPORTANT .... YOU LEAVE THE TRAPS IN THE WAX UNTIL THEY BECOME AS HOT AS THE WAX ITSELF. Usually 7 - 10 minutes. Then using your metal hook you lift each trap slowly out of the wax. Notice the drip rings in the wax, the wax should run off your trap like water.

Then move away from your wax pot and give the trap several good shakes to get any excess liquid wax off your trap. Hang the trap up to cool and in several minutes will be cool to the touch. The end result will be a trap with a light coating of wax that will not flake or chip off, and will give you the protection and durability you're looking for.
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