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Thread: Microcrystalline wax

  1. #1

    Microcrystalline wax

    I've noticed some turners finish with microcrystalline wax. It's also used by museums on precious antique items, because it's more stable than other waxes. I use parrafin wax occasionally, expecially on salad bowls and other items which need to be waterproof.

    Questions for the group: Do you use microcrystalline wax? Which type and where do you get it? Are you satisfied with the appearance and wear properties? Is it difficult to apply?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pauline, South Carolina
    Posts
    67
    I use Renaissance brand on everything but utility items that hold food items. It does not fingerprint like the carnauba or bee's wax products.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    5,899
    I use it on nearly everything as a final coat on top of finishes and on metals such as brass and aluminum I turn. Wipe on, wipe off, rub with soft cloth.

    I know some people who use it on bare wood as the only finish. I haven't tried that but I don't know why - I sometimes use beeswax on bare wood.

    The only thing I don't like about the Renaissance wax (besides the price is the tall can it comes in. I have a wider, shallow metal can that is far easier to get into, especially near the bottom. I dig the wax out of the original can and repack it into the shallower can. I keep that can plus some soft cloths in a plastic container to keep everything in one place and keep the dust off the cloths. (I buy the 200 ml cans from Amazon when the price gets low enough - it sometimes hits $13 and recently and a few days ago it was about $6 for a short time - check camelcamelcamel.)

    JKJ
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 07-07-2018 at 9:04 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Brillion WI
    Posts
    118
    Doctor's Woodshop brand oils has one product combination of walnut oil and microcrystal wax. I like this product a lot. http://www.doctorswoodshop.com/Store

    Paul

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    TX, NM or on the road
    Posts
    756
    You can buy raw microcrystalline wax at about $4 a pound. One of my favorite bar wax for buffing is a mix of food grade paraffin, beeswax, palm wax, and carnauba, roughly equal amounts. Note I did not include the microcrystalline, instead I use food grade paraffin wax from the canning section in the grocery store. Just melt the waxes and pour into a mold, I use a muffin pan. The other waxes all come from places like Hobby Lobby and Michaels candle making section. Another mix left out the carnauba and uses just equal amounts of the others. For those that are on WOW, the latter was Judy Kingery's favorite.

    I tried the microcrystalline wax by itself in a bar form for buffing, neither Judy or I ever used it again. The next time I mixed up a batch of wax mix I melted it those bars in with my other combos. I did play with creating my version of Renaissance Wax, since I had no real use for it, Judy was major the tester, but in the end, I never did like it enough to mess with having to add an evaporative part, so that it was easy to apply.

    Based on my likes and dislikes, I only bought the microcrystalline wax from the candlemakers one time, with shipping etc., it was easier to substitute the food grade paraffin which is in my opinion close enough that most people won't know the difference. A purist may say I don't know what I am talking about, but for my use on game calls, bottle stoppers, pens, pepper grinders, weed pots and the other small stuff I made, it was more than good enough.

    Another wax I made was similar to the neutral Kiwi shoe wax. It did include an evaporative in it too keep it soft like the shoe polish. A mix of waxes and an citrus solvent. This stuff was so good that I could literally spit shine shoes with it, and any of the wood workings that I wanted to. But I never could get a color to make my own shoe polish.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Co.
    Posts
    97
    Some things are pretty simple and don't need deep analysis. I don't think there is anything that approaches the effectiveness of Renaissance wax. It was designed for and is used by the Smithsonian to preserve precious wood, leather and other items of extreme value. If you want to mess around experimenting with everything, find something that can be approved upon. As for cost, I find that I get at least 500 pieces per 7 oz. can and it takes less effort to apply than anything else I know of. You can spend lots of time and money experimenting to replace something that stands alone at the top of the heap.

  7. #7
    I'll try a small jar of Renaissance Wax.

    "Based on my likes and dislikes, I only bought the microcrystalline wax from the candlemakers one time, with shipping etc., it was easier to substitute the food grade paraffin which is in my opinion close enough that most people won't know the difference. A purist may say I don't know what I am talking about, but for my use on game calls, bottle stoppers, pens, pepper grinders, weed pots and the other small stuff I made, it was more than good enough."

    Thanks Marvin, and others, for your input. I use food grade paraffin a lot, sometimes as the only finish, and really have no complaints.

    "One of my favorite bar wax for buffing is a mix of food grade paraffin, beeswax, palm wax, and carnauba, roughly equal amounts"

    Perhaps I'll go to the Lab and whip up a batch of "Buffing Mix " .

    Thanks again.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    TX, NM or on the road
    Posts
    756
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Baler View Post
    Some things are pretty simple and don't need deep analysis. I don't think there is anything that approaches the effectiveness of Renaissance wax. It was designed for and is used by the Smithsonian to preserve precious wood, leather and other items of extreme value. If you want to mess around experimenting with everything, find something that can be approved upon. As for cost, I find that I get at least 500 pieces per 7 oz. can and it takes less effort to apply than anything else I know of. You can spend lots of time and money experimenting to replace something that stands alone at the top of the heap.
    It was because someone was looking for a "better mousetrap" that the Renaissance Wax was developed. For me the bar wax is one of those "better mousetraps". I was production turning game calls 72 at a time, to simply run them through the buffing wheels saved me a lot of time. My version of the Kiwi neutral shoe polish also made like the microcrystalline was also a money maker, I found that people would pay for a small can of the wax, over the years I sold a few thousand at a nice profit. And to top it off, it had my name on it, which lead to more sales of game calls.

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