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Thread: Jojoba v Camilia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Philadelphia, PA

    Jojoba v Camilia

    I don't really want to add another thread in the wax, oil, etc department BUT...

    Currently, and after a bunch of research looking for the "best" rust-inhibitor out there, I just started using WD-40 rubbed on with a shop rag to keep rust at bay. So far, I've no real complaints about WD-40 keeping away rust (in fact, I'm amazed at how well it works in my little garage shop) but I've found some talk that something petroleum-based can have adverse reactions on wood and with certain finishes.

    Thus I've started reading up on oils like Camilia (or Camillia?) and Jojoba. I've also read [please don't ask me where] that Camilia can also help in lubricating the bottoms of planes when in use. Some claim something similar for Jojoba, too. In searching vendors like TFWW, etc all I've come across is Camilia oil which leads me to believe that might be preferable. Still, I need to check with The Creekers as I don't believe you guys (and girls) have steered me wrong yet.

    Question #1: Has anyone had adverse affects from something like Wd-40 on their work and in their finishes? If so, what kind and how bad would you say it was? Disastrous or not really a big deal?

    Question #2: Of the oils mentioned above, which would people recommend most, Camilia or Jojoba? Is there any appreciable difference besides availability and/or price? Do these oils pull double-shift as plane lubricants and if so, do they work on metal-bodied as well as wooden ones?

    Whew! Lots of questions (hope there's no minimum...!) and thanks to whoever has any input!!
    Please Pick One of the Following:

    Built Correctly & Within Budget / Within Budget & Done Quickly / Done Quickly & Built Correctly

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Tallahassee, FL
    I have never had any problems with any type of oil. I've pretty much used all of them. They way I see it, you may put a very small amount of oil on the wood with the first swipe. That oil will only be on the wood for a few seconds and will be removed with the next pass of your plane. Any further lubrication can be done with wax. You shouldn't, after all, be drowning your tools in oil, just wiping them down.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Ellsworth, Maine
    I agree that most any oil should be fine, including WD40. This is only true if the oil is used properly as stated above. Just apply the oil to surfaces with a rag and then use a dry rag to wipe all the oil back off. The surface should appear dry as if you took all the oil off but in reality there should a fine film left that is not visible but will help prevent moisture issues. The film is so small that you shouldn't have any being transfered to the wood as you pass it over the tool in question. If there is a tiny bit left on the wood most likely it will be sanded or scraped away anyway. But really there shouldn't be any transfer of the oil if used properly. I'm not a big fan of WD40 myself but should work fine. I hear that it has a tendency to dry out faster than most oils and when used on plastics or rubber it can cause these materials to crack over time. But I don't use the stuff so I don't have any experience of that. I tend to use waxes and gun oils such as Breakfree CLP or Hoppes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I would be nervous about the frequent skin contact of wd-40. I wouldn't want to be gripping planes with wd-40 on them. Of course I don't know if Camellia oil is any better but it sure sounds healthier .
    With skill and tool we put our trust and when that won't do then power we must.

  5. #5
    It depends on the application, the tool, etc. I've been doing a lot of restoration lately and my general rule is to use white spirits / mineral spirits to displace water on steel or iron surfaces (sometimes with an abrasive suitable to the task), then a big soap-bar size piece of Gulf brand wax, which you can buff with a rag. If you're just getting a bit of sweat off of a plane, the abrasive could be a Scotch brite pad. If I'm fixing up a rusty little plane or bunch of plane parts, you can dunk them in a coffee can with that, then pull them out and hit them with compressed air. The theory is that the mineral spirits displace the water molecules in the micropores, and the rapid evaporation takes whatever moisture may be left. I've also been experimenting with actually melting the wax and rubbing the part down with a rag or sock. The melting point of paraffin (a relative of mineral oil by the way) is about 150 degrees F, so when you see the wax melt you know the part has just reached that temperature. It's a bit warm for comfort, about like a piece of metal left in the rear window of a car on a hot day. Gets hot, but cools rapidly. Anyway, the wax is self-leveling, in its liquid state it fills all the teeny little pores you can't reach otherwise, and prevents sap and moisture from lodging in there. It's something you should be putting on your planes as a matter of course. Give it a try.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Denver, CO


    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Erickson View Post
    I would be nervous about the frequent skin contact of wd-40. I wouldn't want to be gripping planes with wd-40 on them. Of course I don't know if Camellia oil is any better but it sure sounds healthier .
    I believe camellia oil is used in hair and skin products in several Japanese products, so I wouldn't worry about harmful effects on the skin.

  7. #7
    I've used 2 of the 3 you listed. I love Camilia oil over WD-40 if my hands are really all over a tool when using it. I use WD-40 to loosen rust up, free parts up and as a quick blast for some rust prevention. I tend to use the Camilia as my long term storage oil as well since it hangs around and doesn't seem to creep and puddle into a hardened mess in tight spaces like WD-40 does when I've taken things apart a few years later and inspected them for any hidden rust build-up.
    WD-40 has discolored some of my steel items, and based on its solvent base, probably is harder on plastic and rubber items as noted by other posters. I think the solvent in it is "Stoddard Solvent" or something like that from what I read about WD-40 a few years ago.
    Not as gentle on you as Camilia oil, which I believe is vegetable based, but I'm not giving up my WD-40 by any means in the meantime.
    So, a vote for both of them, and for wax, and Boeing Spray products too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Fayetteville, GA
    I've read somewhere that light, natual oil are best. I'd throw canola oil as a possible candiate. Plentiful, inexpensive, readily available. Besides, if it's edible, I assume that it's quite safe on the skin.

    I can't claim much in my dry dessert climate but that's what I use.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    W'burg, VA
    I use a gun product called Eezox. Fantastic lube and rust preventer. Hard to find but a friend who runs a gun repair shop keeps it in stock. Not $$ connected. Phil

  10. #10
    WD-40 is more of a solvent and moisture displacing agent, not a lubricant or rust preventive. It is composed primarily of Stoddard solvent, and provides only limited protection against rust. I use Boeshield for things that may sit around for a while, but on tools used daily I just give them quick wipe with a soft rag sprinkled with a bit of light oil such as 3-in-1. Lie-Nielsen sells and recommends both Jojoba oil and Camellia oil, and I may give them a try some day.


  11. #11
    For years I've used a 2 step process. On a clean tool I spray on a coat of Boeshield T-9 and remove all visible buildup before it turns cloudy. If you let it turn cloudy and "dry" it is miserable to buff off and leaves a surface which will prevent rust, but will also have a high coefficient of friction. I repeat this a second time. The next step is a spray coat of TopCote. Since this is a wax based product I DO let it cloud over and dry. Then if gets buffed and a second coat gets applied with the same process.

    The whole process uses 2 products because the Boeshield is a great rust preventative, but does nothing to lubricate. The TopCote adds a minimal amount of additional rust protection, but is a fantastic sliding surface and wears pretty well too.
    Dave Anderson
    Chester Toolworks LLC
    Chester, NH

  12. #12
    re: lubrication for planes and saws

    The oils are probably fine, but IMHO nothing beats parrafin wax. A couple of squiggles on the bottom of any plane will have you thinking NASA sharpened you irons.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Gibsons British Columbia Canada ( near Vancouver )

    Camellia oil

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Fan View Post
    I believe camellia oil is used in hair and skin products in several Japanese products, so I wouldn't worry about harmful effects on the skin.

    Our Japanese daughter in law, let out a squeal when looking at the bottle of Camellia oil on my workbench - she said ' I used that on my hair when I lived in Japan ' ( as hair conditioner ).

    My vote for Camellia oil.

    Another post mentions canola oil - we cook with it all the time, but it can get gummy after it oxidizes for a while, and can go rancid - interesting thought though.

    Dave Beauchesne
    Last edited by Dave Beauchesne; 03-26-2010 at 12:57 PM. Reason: remove second ' signature '

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Mosby's Confederacy
    WD-40 will evaporate. Something to keep in mind in high humidity areas, especially if your shop time is sporadic.

  15. #15
    I use camilia for hand tools simply because Lie-Nielson suggests it on their
    website. For big tools/machinery I've used Minwax floor wax for years and had zero problems with finishes or rust. I think it's Carnuba wax.

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