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Wax Eloquent: Make Your Own Wax

Highland Woodworking's Home Brew Wax Recipe
by Chris Black

Over the counter paste wax is perfectly acceptable, but cooking your own furniture wax makes you appear privvy to the jealously guarded secrets of historic guilds. Your friends will beg you for the mysterious recipe and you can act aloof (then share it with them).

The Basic Recipe

Start by putting 1 part carnauba wax in the soup can, then place the wax filled can in a pot of hot water and slowly heat until the wax is melted (approximately 185° F.) Once the carnauba wax has melted, remove the can from the heat (it's hot, use some pliers) and add 4 parts beeswax and enough turpentine to cover the mixture. Mix thoroughly, move into an appropriate storage container and let cool.

Optional Extras

Wax is a versatile finish and you can modify the basic recipe in many ways. Here are a few we've used.

  1. To make a thinner wax, add more turpentine during the mixing step.
  2. To make a thicker wax, add more beeswax during the mixing step. (Don't thicken with carnauba wax—it takes too long to dissolve.)
  3. To make a harder wax, use a larger proportion of carnauba wax from the beginning.
  4. To make a softer wax, use a larger proportion of beeswax from the beginning.
  5. Add universal tinting color after mixing to get any color wax you desire.
  6. Add a little rottenstone to make a fine polish for buffing out scratches and dull finishes.

Copyright © 2004 Highland Hardware, dba Highland Woodworking

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