Today is October 28th, 2016. One year ago today I was sitting in a hotel room in downtown Washington, D.C. preparing for a two month internship with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, when I posted my conclusions to “The Great Lube Test of 2015,” also known as #Lubegate2015. The results of the testing I performed on 18 different samples were released in groups of like products, and the FireClean vs. Canola Oil data was by far the most popular. Little did I realize that a few months later, it would cause some serious problems for me.
As was posted and shared by many blogs yesterday (including the Granite State Guns Facebook page), Judge Cacheris ruled that the case of FireClean LLC v. Tuohy and Baker is dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.
So yeah, that’s pretty much it, it’s over…
Well, it’s been a week since I posted about the FrogLube/Seal 1/Track Lube controversy. Since then another story has come out regarding FrogLube being coconut oil with an added minty scent. Since I haven’t run my own IR of coconut oil or NMR of the pair to compare them, I can’t say for sure on that one just yet. But that doesn’t matter as much to me. What matters is that I already accomplished my goal. I didn’t expect my original testing of lubricants with Vuurwapen Blog to go very far on its own. I just wanted to show people that they could do their own testing, and bring some actual science into the discussion of these “wonder lubes.” And now that people are doing their own tests, I can say I was successful. Everything else that’s happened since then is just a bonus. The main point is that I tricked people into doing science. So haha, I won.
NOTE: A few minutes after this was posted I received a message from FIREClean to my personal Facebook page. They sent a well worded and reasonable response stating that they will “wait and see what will be published or shared” regarding their products. I still have some research to do regarding the Iodine Value testing (I love that ASTM makes you pay to read what their standards are) so this post may be edited later, or followed up. We will see how this goes.
So I’m a bit late to the party, but Andrew Tuohy posted the results of the FIREClean/Crisco testing. I’m sorry I didn’t post this earlier, but I was traveling and starting an internship. Maybe it’s a good thing that I didn’t get to writing about this right away, all things considered…
Before I discuss the results, I want to make it clear that I put a lot of thought into it before I even volunteered to test these samples for Andrew. I am a firm believer in free market economics, and I love to see small businesses get going and do well. If my testing showed FIREClean to be standard canola oil, I was concerned that I would play a part in the downfall of a business. Regardless of your feelings towards any company, I don’t like to see companies fail. On the other hand, if my testing showed that FIREClean was different than canola oil, I would likely be accused of faking my data (more on that one later) or being paid off by FIREClean. In the end, I decided that no matter the outcome, I would do a fair and honest test in the name of scientific fact. That being said, on to the results.
I got an email from Andrew Tuohy today. He let me know that someone else did some testing on FIREClean and canola oil with NMR and HPLC analysis. This means that this testing has now likely become the most expensive firearms related test ever (at least as far as I know). I was told that the NMR I used cost around $3 million. The IR Spec/ATR setup was around $30-50K when new, and if the NMR and HPLC setups are anything like the equipment in my school’s labs, that probably brings the total cost of equipment used to around $4 million.
Andrew also had a chemistry joke I hadn’t heard before (which is rare for a chemistry nerd like me): How do you get out of chemistry jail? Keep reading…
Today Vuurwapen Blog posted the first round of results from the lab testing I performed last week. Now that people have had a chance to see the data, here’s my interpretation of it. Please note that while data doesn’t change, interpretations may vary based on your past education and experience (a PhD would likely interpret this data a little bit differently than an undergraduate student like myself).
Is FIREClean really just Crisco? I headed to the lab to find out. The results will be out soon, but for now here’s what I did in the lab and the background science behind the tests.
Rocking my ESS Crossbows and Noveske Rifleworks hat in the lab