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Thread: Bees wax finish

  1. #1
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    Murray

    Default Bees wax finish

    I bought some bees wax from a man in Truro the other day and got a bottle of mineral oil. Put both in a pot and heated it til mixed. CAUTION. Use a double boiler to melt the bees wax as it can combust without warning. Poured off in some small mason jars. They are now cooling. The receipe I used was 2.5 ounces of the bees wax and 1 cup of mineral oil. Stir while heating til melted. I also made a stronger wax batch using 3.5 ounces of bees wax and 1 cup of mineral oil. This only cost about $4.25 for about a litre. It will be fun to test on some wood. If you splash any on your wood stove it will certainly smoke. I wonder if this would be good for machine tops, blades etc.
    Last edited by MAWarner; 02-28-2010 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Safty warning
    Murray

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bees wax finish

    You don't say what kind of pot you heated it in, but if it was anything other than a double boiler then you were playing with fire -- literally. Beeswax is dangerous stuff to heat because once it reaches a certain temperature it combusts without warning, giving you a stovetop fire to remember. And that's without adding oil. My supplier has a printed warning on all products, but not all do.
    Jim

  3. #3
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    Murray

    Default Re: Bees wax finish

    Jim
    I did not use a double boiler as the web site I got the information from said to heat in a tall metal container. I used a thick bottom cooking pot.
    After reading your reply I did check out some other web sites and noted that most did give this warning so I will add it to the first post just incase someone does not read your reply. Thanks for the warning. As I always said, one should check in here first before doing new things. But I didn't. Guess I don't even listen to myself.
    Murray

  4. #4

    Default Re: Bees wax finish

    I've been making the same beeswax finish for years. I mainly use it to finish unpainted wooden toys for our annual Christmas Toy Workshop but also use it on new cutting boards after several coats of straight mineral oil to impart a nice aroma for the new owner.

    I've always used a double boiler however the last time I made a batch I used an old rice cooker which worked very well and allowed me to keep the process out of the kitchen. You can get small, new rice cookers at Zellers or Walmart for about $20.

    I buy my beeswax a kg at a time from the "Honey Bee Centre" in Cloverdale. It has a few impurities (aka bee parts) in it so I melt it first, then strain it into old muffin tins to dry. I use the resulting cakes to make the above finish but they also come in handy for waxing screws or, when turning, to make a loose fitting jam chuck fit a bit better.
    Steve
    Richmond, BC

    Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  5. #5
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    Kevin Turner

    Default Re: Bees wax finish

    Murray,
    Like Steve said, he's been doing it for years. I to, pour it into muffin tins, let cool. Small pucks are the way to go...Especially if you want to experiment with different strenghts etc.
    I agree with all the warning, and find myself testing limits....I.e. pot on the wood stove, with an old cooking sheet under the pot.
    I added turpintine into a batch, for small boxes. I used the mineral oil also. But I didn't get that "Shine" that I do with other products.( may be I didn't have the mixture right, I'm not sure.)
    In the end, I wade out the risks, verses the look I want, and I stopped using the bees wax.( for the time being......) good luck, be safe, and make sure the insurance is up to date... .
    KevinT in T Bay.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Bees wax finish

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinT in T Bay View Post
    I added turpintine into a batch, for small boxes. I used the mineral oil also. But I didn't get that "Shine" that I do with other products.( may be I didn't have the mixture right, I'm not sure.)
    You won't get a shiny finish with beeswax/mineral oil, at least not that I've been able to achieve. Nor is it a very durable finish. I wouldn't consider it as a permanent finish for furniture or projects that are to be handled regularly. However, it's great for objects that little kids are going to chew on or that you are going to prepare/serve food on. I generally have to re-apply the finish about monthly to my cutting boards and salad bowls that are in daily use.
    Steve
    Richmond, BC

    Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  7. #7
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    Bill

    Default Re: Bees wax finish

    I generally avoid any wax finish since it's durability is typically low. It looks nice when first applied but doesn't look so good after some time has passed. I don't even use the carnuba stick with my Beal buffing system very much.

    Like everything else it may have its niche. The beeswax/mineral oil mix is inexpensive enough to allow you to give a small container of it to anybody you sell/give one of your projects that use it.

    billh

  8. #8
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    Regina, Saskatchewan
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    Default Re: Bees wax finish

    Oh, you're going to laugh at this one - the formula is almost exactly the same as one I found for making your own moustache wax! Works well on the ole soup strainer but haven't yet tried it on a wood project.

  9. #9
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    Murray

    Default Re: Bees wax finish

    Well not a total loss then. Looks like I can sell it for moustache wax
    Murray

  10. #10
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    Randy

    Default Re: Bees wax finish

    I read somewhere about adding carnauba wax to the blend ,anybody tried it ?
    "Control, control , you must learn control ". Yoda

  11. #11
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    just what you thought :^')

    Default Re: Bees wax finish

    Carnauba causes water-spotting, so I'd think that's not ideal on a salad bowl.
    The beeswax is I think a nice coating for on a user bowl, though by itself it is too hard to put on a bowl easily, softened up with a bit of Walnut oil or Canola it can be used on salad bowls and keep a bowl looking good, won't last forever of course but then the bowls are used and washed I'd presume and re-waxed when they start looking dull and dry, that's just my opinion on this, I buy the stuff as a small pot lasts a long time for me, but I do like the looks of it on a user bowl

    Have fun and take care
    Leo Van Der Loo

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bees wax finish

    As Bill said , it is cheap enough to give a small container with the bowl when I give one away and later when they complain about the finish and they forgot about the container of bees wax, I can sell them another small container for big $$$. But that would be only to friends and relatives
    Murray

  13. #13
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    oshawa
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    Wink Re: Bees wax finish

    Has any body tried adding propolis to this mixture
    I think that it was part of the mixtures used on the Stradivarius violins.
    This can be had from a beekeeper.
    steveb

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Bees wax finish

    OP. You mentioned 4.25/litre. I'm curious where you buy your mineral oil at this price? The cheapest I have found was $22 for 3.78 liters, which doesn't include the price of the beeswax.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Bees wax finish

    Project 240
    I use 2 cups of mineral oil and about 6 oz of bees wax. I paid 6.25 for a bit better than a pound for the bees wax and the bottle of mineral oil was about 800 ml. so only use 2/3 of it. It made about a liter of finish. 4 / 250 ml jars. I will have to look for my receipt for the oil and will let you know. I forgot what I paid as I only remember looking at the shelf price and bought other stuff.
    Murray

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