Waxing is an old English polish, commonly used before french polish and varnish were introduced, especially for hardwoods like oak. If you want to know a little bit about using a polisuer or French polisher I suggest you google Don Williams and have a read on his methods of applying wax polish. In this blog I only intend writing on how it was once made and still can be made in your own shop today if you so wish and it’s methods of application. Doesn’t hurt to give it a go as the results may be more pleasing than buying several cans of the stuff of various brands which can add up to be an expensive journey.
It’s quite simple one part melted beeswax and one part turpentine or citrus solvent, mix and cool. That’s it.
Rub a thin layer with a rag, stiff brush (make sure you don’t leave surface scratches) I’ll leave that to your better judgement or apply it using your fingers as the applicator, did I repeat myself twice there lol. Let it dry for several hours then rub with a cloth, flannel or piece of felt is best. Put on several coats leaving the work overnight between coats. Rub often with a warm cloth. This method was used centuries ago when they made their own waxes but isn’t necessary if your using modern day waxes or off the shelf waxes.
As you can see this method goes against you knew about waxing with modern day products. Modern day products are designed to quicken the process but are we truly achieving the best possible results. This I will let you answer if and when you decide to make one and give it a try. There are many great waxes on the market, in the beginning I was amazed with one, Minwax finishing paste wax till I bought another from E-beaut their Traditional Paste wax and now I’m not so crazy about it anymore. I’ve actually got mixed feelings about it, it’s good and does what it say’s but I’m not sure whether it’s me and my tastes are changing or if it’s too shiny for my tastes. I don’t know it kind of reminds me of putting car polish on timber but the bottom line is I haven’t settled on a wax I can truly say I am very pleased with it. This you can only see after using it for a while atleast upto 12 months and if you still like it; then stick with it.
As for making your own I would definitely give it a go, I was in the process of making it when my wife came home early from work and saw me using her saucepan melting beeswax, well it’s not just a saucepan but a Bessemer and no we can’t have that now can we, anyway the results were the reenactment of the Benny Hill show for those who remember it, you Brits will. So I never got my chance of finishing it but one of these day’s and soon I will buy a cheap saucepan and cook it on my BBQ and let you know the end results..
My next post will be on a new discovery I made, a fool proof method of blotch free staining in softwoods, just when you thought you had nothing more to discover in woodworking. And just to add to that I was the winner in PW for another discovery I made almost 12 months ago.