I wouldn't use beeswax myself. I do use it, in some quantity, but not
on metalwork. I generally use a commercial harder finishing wax, such
as Liberon's Black Bison. Wax is usually applied mixed in a solvent,
to make it easier to apply - I've posted recipes to rec.woodworking
and rec.knives before (search for "carnauba").
Waxes should be used cold, then buffed well. A stiff shoe polishing
brush is about right.
The usual hot finish is oil instead. Clean engine oil can give blues,
old engine oil gives a better black. Vegetable oils generally end up
brown. Experiment, and expect fires.
Hehe, reminds me of the army days buffing the barracks floors. We'd fire up
a can of Johnsons paste wax and then dump it all over the place and buff it
out. Funny, never saw a smoke detector around there...
On Wed, 1 Dec 2004 20:58:40 -0800, "Greyangel"
Interesting chemistry in doing that. Same as adding amonia to waxes
to make them easier to work.
How did you polish your boots ? Spit and polish, or the spoon and
candle flame ? "burning your boots" used to be both a disciplinary
offence (it ruins their waterproofing, and a necessary requirement for
getting the right parade ground shine. Now I guess a charred spoon in
the barracks would be seen quite differently.
Putting wax on warm really helps; it flows into all the cracks nicely.
You can also do a burnt wax finish, but it is pretty finicky about
having the right temperature. With the right temp you can get an
interesting brown finish that is pretty durable.
Andy Dingley wrote:
I use it a lot in demonstrating to the public. I apply it hot, at about
350 degrees F. I simply test by rubbing it on the part. If it catches
fire, it is too hot. Always do this with gloves. I wipe off the extra
beeswax while the part is still hot. Done in this manner, the metal
turns black. It is a good interior finish, but not for outside. You
want to apply it to parts that DO have fire scale on them. the beewax
seems to actually soak in to the fire scale. Also smells nice in the
process and gets a lot of audience reaction, especially if, while asking
them what they think this is, I take a bit out of it.
I wouldn't use this for exterior finish, but I did try it on some S
hooks used outside and it lasted a couple of seasons.
I went looking for some bees wax around my neck of the city gave up. I
actually had to explain it to one girl in the crafts store. "you know, wax
that comes from bees?" She was still confused when I left. Found some in
another craft store. They wanted six bucks for four lousy ounces of the
stuff. said the hell with it.
Is there a cloth store ? - they sell bee wax in snuff box size normally in a
holder with slots on one side. This is used to wax string and cord.
Maybe in the craft store, but in a different department.
Martin Eastburn, Barbara Eastburn
@ home at Lion's Lair with our computer firstname.lastname@example.org
The cloth store was where I found the little four oz. packages. Way cheaper
on line. Yeah I expect so. Gotta wonder what this internet economy is doing
to us when you can find what you want cheaper on line and people stop
shopping in their local area. You end up with strip malls full of clothing
stores and fast food joints on every corner and it's gotten hard to find
anything of substance.
Unless the store of substance also has an on-line presence.
That's becoming increasingly common.
Besides, look at it this way: If it weren't for the Internet our
access to a whole lot of things (like blacksmith's tools!) would be
spotty and restricted.
Projects expand to fill the clamps available -- plus 20 percent
Couldn't agree more. Love the internet for that reason. I get more
confused looks around here when I'm looking to pick up something I need for
knife project. Even the metal dealers stutter when you actually start to
talk composition and tool steels. Though to be fair I finally found a
metals dealer one town over that knows their stuff. It just aggravates me
how narrow the scope is in my area.
I remember seeing candles from bees wax at one time.
If the problem persists let me know. We've got a lot bee keepers in my area
and I'm sure I can get some easily (although it might be the REAL thing). How
much would you like?
dennis in nca
As an inexperienced bladesmith I tend to go looking for something I think I
could use for whatever project I'm working on at the time. I wanted to try
using the bees wax to shine up wooden handles. Maybe mix it with olive oil
or something. Not really impressed with the shine from Danish Oil. I
probably don't need much. I did happen to spot some in a hardware store
near work one day when I was frantically trying to find some specific
loctite formula to meet some manufacturers specs. I don't think Loctite
even sells over the counter anymore from what I found that day. ;-) Anyway
I haven't had a chance to go back and check it out but that may do me just
fine. I appreciate the offer though. I'm open to suggestions on a good
shine/sealer for handle wood though if anybody has better ideas? I know the
Danish Oil is supposed to be a good deep sealer but it could use something
on top of it to shine it up some I think. Or maybe I'm just not doing it
Ugh. Please, no. As a reasonably experienced woodworker, beeswax is not
a good choice for a high shine, and olive oil goes rancid when used as a
finish. Beeswax on wood is relatively soft and sticky, giving a
low-luster shine that tends to pick up dust.
If you want a high shine, carnuba is the wax of choice - putting it on
with a buff gets the best shine, but if your blade is sharp this might
require some degree of cleverness in keeping all your fingers while
buffing the handle. And it would be quite unsuitable for handle use
(non-display), since shiny=slippery.
Likewise, Danish oil is not a finish suited to shiny. Lacquer (Deft in a
spray can is the easiest workable stuff for low volume use) is good at
shiny, and lacquer which is buffed (rouge, white diamond and carnuba wax
- on separate buffs) is far up on the high end of shiny. Shellac can
also do shiny quite well.
The "finish" (and I use the term loosely) I prefer on wooden handles for
use (saws, planes, hammers, mallets) is about 1/3 each carnuba,
turpentine, and boiled linseed oil. I cheat and get the first two
already mixed as bowling alley wax (no grit in that, unlike some other
floor waxes). It has a good feel, and is less prone to causing blisters
than the shiny finishes that sometimes come on manufacturered wooden
The joy of using paste wax is that I don't have to heat, flake, scrape
or otherwise fuss to get it to mix. I just put a dollop of paste wax
(which is wax and turpentine, for the wax I buy - Butcher's bowling
alley wax, clear) in a small jar or can, and guesstimate half a dollop
of BLO, and stir - the paste wax is already workable enough that this
goes pretty easily, and gets easier yet as the oil works in.
Heat or extreme patience is needed if starting from pure wax. Heating
wax (and perhaps the oil) in a double boiler and then going away from
the heat to add the oil (perhaps) and turps (definitely) would probably
be the way to do that, but I don't make this mix that way.
Carnuba wax? Never heard of it but I'll see if I can find it. I'm not set
on using any one thing, just wanted to find something that works. Thanks
for the tip! As for suitable for knife handles... I'm out to do display
kind of stuff too and geometry can often make up for a too smooth texture.
Hell, it's done all the time in the industry.
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