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Beyond Wood: The Versatility of Paste Wax in Your Workshop

Beyond Wood: The Versatility of Paste Wax in Your Workshop

Beyond Wood: The Versatility of Paste Wax in Your Workshop

You want to finish your hand tools and small projects? Paste wax is the way to go. But don't forget to check where your materials come from. Avoid Brazilian-sourced beeswax or paraffin due to the state of the Amazon rainforest and deforestation's impact on the environment.

Making paste wax is easy and enjoyable. Melt wax and oil together in a pot over boiling water. Use 1/3 cup wax to 1/2 cup oil for medium mix, 1 cup wax to 1/2 cup oil for hard, and 1/3 cup wax to 1 cup oil for soft.

Once melted and mixed, pour into a jar and let it cool. The hard mix protects less-used tools, the medium is durable for plane grips, and the soft finishes tools not in regular contact.

Create your own blend by experimenting with different oils and waxes. Varnish or tung oil is optional. Apply paste wax with a cloth, let dry, and buff off.

Here's a table of common ingredients found in commercial paste wax:

Ingredient Purpose
Carnauba Wax Provides a hard, durable finish
Beeswax Provides a protective barrier and shine
Mineral Spirits Used as a solvent to dissolve the wax and aid in application
Petroleum Distillates Used as a solvent to dissolve the wax and aid in application
Silicone Oil Provides water resistance and a slippery feel
Microcrystalline Wax Provides a smoother, creamier texture and helps with spreadability
UV Stabilizers Helps protect the finish from sun damage
Dyes or Pigments Adds color to the wax


Note that not all paste wax formulations will contain all of these ingredients and some may contain additional ingredients not listed here.

Paste wax uses in the shop

When you're using paste wax as a clear coat on wood, make sure you choose a clear wax like Trewax. Johnson's can put a yellow tint on things, and we don't want that! Dip a cloth into the paste wax and don't be shy, smear it on liberally. This will make that wood grain pop and give it a unique, waxy feel that's dry to the touch. You'll love it!

But that's not all, folks! Paste wax can also be used on tabletops to keep them from rusting and make them glide smooth as butter. Simply apply the wax and let it dry before buffing it off with a clean cloth. And did you know you can also use it on the bottom of hand planes for a smooth glide, or on wood on wood projects like drawer slides or planer beds? Yes, you can!

Paste wax is a must-have in any workshop for its versatility and unique finish. Whether you're a seasoned woodworker or just starting out, make sure to add paste wax to your tool kit. You won't regret it, I promise!

Floor Wax

Substituting hard floor wax for paste wax is a cheap option for some woodworkers. However, not all floor waxes are created equal and some may contain harmful chemicals. If you're considering this option, make sure to choose a product designed for wood and free of harmful chemicals like silicone. Test it on a small area before applying it to the entire surface, and follow the instructions carefully. Apply a thin, even coat of wax and let it dry completely before buffing it off. Remember to exercise caution with any new product you use on your woodworking projects.

In conclusion, paste wax is a timeless and effective finish for hand tools and small projects. Making your own paste wax is easy and allows for endless possibilities. Don't be afraid to experiment and find your perfect blend.

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Beyond Wood: The Versatility of Paste Wax in Your Workshop
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