Author Topic: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes  (Read 5700 times)

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Offline ear3

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Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« on: June 05, 2016, 03:25 PM »
Current issue of Fine Woodworking has a test of finishing waxes.  Two surprises for me.  First is the author's selection of Renaissance Wax as the best of the lot (he tried at least a dozen).  That's what I use when I do a wax finish -- but I came to it not after extensive testing, but based upon a recommendation when I was looking for one -- so I'm "pleasantly" surprised that I am using a top product.  Second surprise was how highly rated Johnson Paste Wax was, despite being a mass market product available at any Home Depot.  I use the Johnson for coating my stationary cast iron tools, but have never tried it on wood.
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Offline rst

  • Posts: 1969
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2016, 08:50 PM »
My first job out of high school in 1971  [blink], was in a custom kitchen factory...Wood Mode.  The final polish on every thing was Johnson's and I've been using it all these years. 

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2197
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2016, 01:15 PM »
Ditto on the Article and the authors conclusions .
It was also REALLY helpful to have someone else try out all those waxes that I've seen advertised but never bought and tried for myself... [embarassed]
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline blaszcsj

  • Posts: 369
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Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2016, 11:46 PM »
I just bought a subscription to the magazine thanks to you @Edward A Reno III

Great article and I liked the sharpening box from the previous issue.
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Offline jobsworth

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Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2016, 04:30 AM »
I've been using antiqwax (sp) lately. Before that Briwax, both ar pretty good.

I like the way it goes on a polishes very nice.

You know That festool makes a pad for buffing out wax? I apply it by hand let it dry, hand rub it with white scotchbrite, then buff it with my RO 150 with that buffing pad. Works great for me.

I also use it as a final finish when I use shellac. Gives it a nice finish
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 04:34 AM by jobsworth »

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3594
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2016, 10:41 AM »
Which pad are you talking about @jobsworth ? I use the sheepskin pad for that, but it loads up pretty quickly with wax and requires cleaning.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2016, 12:23 PM »
No it isn't the sheep skin pad. I got some for my RO 90 they are not cheap.

Ill do a search for it.  It took a bit of a search. I found out about them by talking to Tom Bellemare.

here is the p/n 485970

Just got done buffing a desk top Im making for my son, has a nice shine and very smooth finish
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 12:34 PM by jobsworth »

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3594
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2016, 07:47 AM »
Huh.  I have that pad, but I've always used it just to apply the polish, then buff it out with the sheepskin.

No it isn't the sheep skin pad. I got some for my RO 90 they are not cheap.

Ill do a search for it.  It took a bit of a search. I found out about them by talking to Tom Bellemare.

here is the p/n 485970

Just got done buffing a desk top Im making for my son, has a nice shine and very smooth finish
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2665
If you don't like Signatures, just go to Look and Layout and tick No Signatures.

“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2016, 08:06 AM »
That sure looks like it

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2016, 01:05 PM »
Here's a photo of a desks I'm making for my son here's top I finished with wax buffed out using the pad, notice the shine

Offline Mavrik

  • Posts: 240
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2016, 04:19 PM »
I've been experimenting for some time with brewing my own wax recipe.

Got hold of some raw beeswax from a honeybee foundation.

Bought some carnauba flakes.

Find 50% beeswax;  50% carnauba melted in a double boiler & thinned with real turpentine works great.

I make a fairly "runny" brew.
I apply it by hand (literally) and buff it with anything soft.
The carnauba shines very easily.

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TS55, MFT 1080, PS300, EHL 65, Domino, OF 1010, CTL 22, RO 125, BS75

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2016, 05:29 PM »
Looking at the FWW online membership - their website is a mite unclear to me on annual cost. I think it is $79.75 year one then $19.95 each year thereafter to renew. They refer to the following years as "upgrades" rather than renewals.

Can anyone with this subscription confirm my understanding?

Thanks,

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3634
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2016, 05:46 PM »
I wish that they had included Butchers Bowling Alley Wax.  It would be nice to know how this "Old Reliable" stacks up against the field.   
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2197
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2016, 11:06 PM »
I wish that they had included Butchers Bowling Alley Wax.  It would be nice to know how this "Old Reliable" stacks up against the field.   
You're right, they missed that old chestnut in the review... [mad]
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1471
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2016, 02:55 AM »
Two surprises for me.  First is the author's selection of Renaissance Wax as the best of the lot (he tried at least a dozen).  That's what I use when I do a wax finish -- but I came to it not after extensive testing, but based upon a recommendation when I was looking for one

I use it too all the time. Not surprised by its top rank. It was developed by British Museum for antique restoration and is a go to product for polishing your sward and armor.

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2016, 07:11 PM »
Help me understand a wax's place in a finish. From what I can glean is acts to smooth out a previous applied finish, but does it provide additional protection?

Case in point, I recently finished a small side table, first using Surfix (which remained a little gummy) then with additional coats of a urethane/wax finish that @Tinker recommended. Final result has a nice semi-gloss but I can still see some pores. Should I apply wax over this as a final coat?

In the case of the table it will certainly see drink glasses set on it at some point, is wax proof against rings showing up?

Thanks,

RMW   
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3659
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2016, 08:22 PM »
Help me understand a wax's place in a finish. From what I can glean is acts to smooth out a previous applied finish, but does it provide additional protection?

Case in point, I recently finished a small side table, first using Surfix (which remained a little gummy) then with additional coats of a urethane/wax finish that @Tinker recommended. Final result has a nice semi-gloss but I can still see some pores. Should I apply wax over this as a final coat?

In the case of the table it will certainly see drink glasses set on it at some point, is wax proof against rings showing up?

Thanks,

RMW   

@Richard/RMW, I believe the finish I recommended was a blend of oil and urethane.  My feeling about wax has been that once wax is used, no other finish other than wax will work unless the wax is removed.  I have used wax for some of my projects.  I have used a mixture of mineral oil and canning wax for a food safe finish.  In that case, if I need to refinish, i use the same type of finish.  Sometimes, when using the mineral oil and wax, I do a first coat with a type of Danish oil and then the oil and wax over.  I also make use of the micro wave oven if the project will fit. If the project won't fit in the micro wave, i apply the oil and wax part and then warm the surface with a hair dryer.  I don't know if the heat does anything for the durability of that type of finish, but it soaks the O&W into the wood quicker.  I do several coats within an hour instead of waiting over nite for a second coat. 

The oil and urethane (Arm-R-Seal) seems to make a hard finish and i find i can apply either with brush, sponge or with a cloth or paper towel.  It will dry and harden within 24 hours and ready for a second coat.  with that finish, I am told it will resist breaking down from somehing like a hot cup of coffee.  I have not checked that out. 

The oil and wax type finish I have used mostly on serving trays and coasters.  The coasters we use for everything one might use a wood coaster for. we have used hot cups of coffee or tea with no ill effects.  We have spilled alcohol on them with no breaking down of the finish. The finish will be dull to begin with, so it takes a lot of dulling to show.  we have rinsed the coasters with warm water.  We have not, to my knowledge, used  warm soapy water for rinsing. The set of coasters we have kept for ourselves have been used for three or four years with almost no ill effects.  we don't use them often as a set, but my wife uses one almost every day for her afternoon cup of tea.  I think she uses a different one each time if she thinks about it.

I cannot show a pic of any of the projects i have done with oil and wax.  They got lost with my most recent computer upgrade.  a bummer.  When my guru gets to me (after 4th of july) he ill try to sort that problem out so i can add new pics and hopefully retrieve the old ones.
Tinker
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline JSlovic

  • Posts: 100
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2016, 08:23 PM »
I wish that they had included Butchers Bowling Alley Wax.  It would be nice to know how this "Old Reliable" stacks up against the field.   

Funny Bowling Alley Wax Story-
I was the Mfg Engineer in a plant many years ago. My boss was an "all thrust and minimal guidance" type of guy.  I was traveling and we had an issue with some components that were sticking to their wooden carriers.  He called in a panic and I told him to just polish the carrier with Bowling Alley Wax.  He says got it and hangs up the phone.
Later that day I got a call from one of my Techs asking where to get bowling alley wax- the boss has driven to every bowling alley in town without finding any.
 

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2016, 08:54 PM »
Help me understand a wax's place in a finish. From what I can glean is acts to smooth out a previous applied finish, but does it provide additional protection?

Case in point, I recently finished a small side table, first using Surfix (which remained a little gummy) then with additional coats of a urethane/wax finish that @Tinker recommended. Final result has a nice semi-gloss but I can still see some pores. Should I apply wax over this as a final coat?

In the case of the table it will certainly see drink glasses set on it at some point, is wax proof against rings showing up?

Thanks,

RMW   

@Richard/RMW, I believe the finish I recommended was a blend of oil and urethane.  My feeling about wax has been that once wax is used, no other finish other than wax will work unless the wax is removed.  I have used wax for some of my projects.  I have used a mixture of mineral oil and canning wax for a food safe finish.  In that case, if I need to refinish, i use the same type of finish.  Sometimes, when using the mineral oil and wax, I do a first coat with a type of Danish oil and then the oil and wax over.  I also make use of the micro wave oven if the project will fit. If the project won't fit in the micro wave, i apply the oil and wax part and then warm the surface with a hair dryer.  I don't know if the heat does anything for the durability of that type of finish, but it soaks the O&W into the wood quicker.  I do several coats within an hour instead of waiting over nite for a second coat. 

The oil and urethane (Arm-R-Seal) seems to make a hard finish and i find i can apply either with brush, sponge or with a cloth or paper towel.  It will dry and harden within 24 hours and ready for a second coat.  with that finish, I am told it will resist breaking down from somehing like a hot cup of coffee.  I have not checked that out. 

The oil and wax type finish I have used mostly on serving trays and coasters.  The coasters we use for everything one might use a wood coaster for. we have used hot cups of coffee or tea with no ill effects.  We have spilled alcohol on them with no breaking down of the finish. The finish will be dull to begin with, so it takes a lot of dulling to show.  we have rinsed the coasters with warm water.  We have not, to my knowledge, used  warm soapy water for rinsing. The set of coasters we have kept for ourselves have been used for three or four years with almost no ill effects.  we don't use them often as a set, but my wife uses one almost every day for her afternoon cup of tea.  I think she uses a different one each time if she thinks about it.

I cannot show a pic of any of the projects i have done with oil and wax.  They got lost with my most recent computer upgrade.  a bummer.  When my guru gets to me (after 4th of july) he ill try to sort that problem out so i can add new pics and hopefully retrieve the old ones.
Tinker
Tinker

Sorry @Tinker I misspoke, it was the Arm-R-Seal you recommended that I used. It went on great once I got the hang of keeping a wet edge and not over-wiping.

The Arm-R-Seal was quite thin which surprised me, and it dried FAST when applied so it was easy to over-brush and end up with streaks. I took 1/2 sheet of paper towel and folded it to around 2" square & wrapped this into a single layer of tee-shirt rag making a pad that would soak up some finish, then used the edge to apply the finish. On the final coat I was very careful to recharge the pad often and take long barely overlapping strokes while keeping the coat as thin as possible.   

I am happy with the look and happy to let it be, I just don't understand the benefits of applying wax over another finish. I'll have to consult The Oracle a bit more.

RMW

As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3659
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2016, 04:35 AM »
@Richard/RMW I used to use wax over varnish until I found out that once waxed, only wax could be used over wax.  I don't think oil and wax can be used over wax only. with he oil and wax however, the finish looks natural nd  the wood shows, but it is a dull fnish.

I found I had to work faster with the Arm-R-Seal than with wipe-on-poly  I like your idea of wrapping cloth over the folded paper towel.  I have been using only the paper towel folded into a two inch square.  For small area, i use one piece.  For larger area, I use two pieces.  (We get our paper towels divided into 1/2 sections or 1/2 sheets sections.) I have not observed the durability of Arm-R-Seal over Wipe-ON-Poly over a long period of time with heavy use.  I am taking the word of others about much of what I have claimed about its durability.  With Wipe-on-poly, the lighter woods, such as maple,pine and white sections of poplar seem to yellow with time.  I have not observed that yellowing with the Arm-R-Seal.  I have only been using that on projects for about a year.  some wipe-on-poly projects I have in my own house have been here for 25 years or more.  The oil and wax projects I have been able to observe for round ten years (or maybe it is about 15 years.  Time flies when one gets to be 39)
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3634
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2016, 10:20 AM »
I wish that they had included Butchers Bowling Alley Wax.  It would be nice to know how this "Old Reliable" stacks up against the field.   

Funny Bowling Alley Wax Story-
I was the Mfg Engineer in a plant many years ago. My boss was an "all thrust and minimal guidance" type of guy.  I was traveling and we had an issue with some components that were sticking to their wooden carriers.  He called in a panic and I told him to just polish the carrier with Bowling Alley Wax.  He says got it and hangs up the phone.
Later that day I got a call from one of my Techs asking where to get bowling alley wax- the boss has driven to every bowling alley in town without finding any.
 

Funny!!!   [big grin]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2665
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes - Aussie Wax.
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2016, 05:06 PM »
Three High Quality Australian made Wax Finishes.

Birregurra Heritage Wax Polish is available in neutral and a dark tone at many farmers markets in Sth West Victoria and in Melbourne through Port Melbourne Paint and Paper, 365 Bay St., Port Melbourne, Vic., Australia. http://www.portpaintandpaper.com.au

Two other great Aussie Wax products are made by -

Gilly Stephenson's who sell both on line and through Mitre 10, Bunnings, Just Tools, and many good paint shops.
http://www.gillystephenson.com

OrganOil whose details are  http://www.organoil.com.au/waxpolish/index.html
I have not used this one, but I think their HardBurnishing Oil is just fantastic [refer bottom right image].

« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 05:23 PM by Untidy Shop »
If you don't like Signatures, just go to Look and Layout and tick No Signatures.

“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Online Bohdan

  • Posts: 879
Re: Fine Woodworking article on Wax finishes
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2016, 08:32 PM »
The most interesting aspect of Renaissence Wax for me is its museum use to prevent their swords, guns, armour etc. from rusting. I have just ordered some and I am going to try it on some tools that are particularly rust prone. Not cheap but if it works  [big grin].