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Thread: Anchorseal vs. Wax?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Anchorseal vs. Wax?

    Does Anchorseal perform better than a 50/50 mixture of mineral spirits and paraffin wax? I've only used the latter and have found the wax sometimes has a tendency to peal in time which probably affects its effectiveness. Anchorseal seems easier to use because it doesn't have to be heated before use like wax. I don't know which is less expensive but paraffin wax isn't exactly cheap anymore. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    I use anchorseal it seems alot easier. Open the can brush on and close the can. Sticks to green wet wood and dosnt peel. A gallon can be found on amazon for $42 not sure how much a gallons worth of the paraffin wax mix would cost.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris A Lawrence View Post
    .... A gallon can be found on amazon for $42 not sure how much a gallons worth of the paraffin wax mix would cost.
    Yikes, a gallon in the stores around here is about $20 and the clubs sell it cheaper. I once bought a 55 gal drum and sold a bunch for what I paid for it: $6 a gallon. Last time I checked UC Coatings also shipped it by the 5-gallon can.

    Steve, I put Anchorseal on the end grain and on figured surfaces of every green woodturning blank I cut. I don't know about mixing paraffin with mineral spirits. I know some people who dip green wood, especially exotics, into hot, melted 100% paraffin. It makes a thicker coating than Anchorseal but I've not once seen it flake off.

    You might call Pete at Big Monk Lumber and see what he advises.

    JKJ

  4. #4
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    I made up and used mineral spirits and paraffin 30 years ago--worked but did peel readily--I even made a sprayable mixture in those days. It took about 60 seconds to convert to endseals when they became available in the timber industry. I now use it everywhere. It is after all just paraffin in a water soluble base. Makes for easy cleaning and can be thinned if necessary. Brushes are for woosies. Check out Craft supplies--their version is like Anchorseal#1 and cheaper.
    Last edited by robert baccus; 11-06-2018 at 11:01 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Pauline, South Carolina
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    I have used Anchorseal for years and prefer the original formula, but it is expensive if you buy it by the gallon from local woodworking stores. I purchase it in 5 gallon bucket directly from supplier...It is obviously even more economical in 55 gallon drum.
    Early on I tried left over latex paint, but was disappointed.

  6. #6
    I think I go over it in the video, but I use white (clear) candle wax that I pick up at garage sales for $1.00 or (a great deal) less per pound.
    I melt it in electric frying pans. The heat creates steam. A "vacuum" is formed n the wax so as the temperature drops, the liquid wax is drawn up into the end grain forming a more durable and complete seal.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRZ...QN5Lsr4OHa_1mQ
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  7. #7
    I use mineral spirits and wax exclusively for sealing green wood blanks. I highly recommend it.

    First, I wouldn't be too worried about the 50/50 ratio. You want to end up with a mixture that is paintable - not hard or too pasty at room temperature. That's partially what will cause peeling.

    Second, there's nothing magic about paraffin vs other waxes including soy or what you may find as 'blended' waxes. These waxes are sometimes softer at room temp and do a better job of staying solubilized in solvents including mineral spirits. You can use any old candle - in fact, because most candles tend to be fragranced, they tend to already be of a type that promotes homogeneity with mineral spirits.

    You will find that the mix appears extremely thin while you are melting it - and even after it initially cools. It'll appear like clear coconut water. You'll think it's too thin and keep adding wax until you saturate the MS. Then, the next day when it completely cools, you'll end up with a solid, pasty mass. So, my advice is mix it up a little thinner than your instinct tells you. Wait a couple days, and and add more wax if it's still too thin.

    You'll know you have it right when you paint it on your blanks and it dries to an opaque haze. Eventually you just get a feel for it, and realize that the ratio and viscosity is extremely forgiving to the end product.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by George Guadiane View Post
    I think I go over it in the video, but I use white (clear) candle wax that I pick up at garage sales for $1.00 or (a great deal) less per pound.
    I melt it in electric frying pans. The heat creates steam. A "vacuum" is formed n the wax so as the temperature drops, the liquid wax is drawn up into the end grain forming a more durable and complete seal.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRZ...QN5Lsr4OHa_1mQ
    I have no problem finding really cheap candle wax at auctions, thrift stores, estate sales, etc... Like George said, it takes heat to make the wax stick. I also use a large electric pan to melt the wax and to heat up the blank so the wax sticks. The more expensive Anchor Seal is saved for coating blanks which are either too large or odd shaped for coating with wax.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Loeblein View Post
    ...I also use a large electric pan to melt the wax ...
    That sounds like a good method.

    I'm sure most everyone knows this, but just in case - don't melt paraffin over an open flame!!! (gas burner, etc) The vapors are highly flammable. For an experiment, melt some (outside) in a teaspoon over a burning candle or propane torch. Without much encouragement it will ignite and burn vigorously. Melting wax on a kitchen gas burner has resulted in house fires.

    I melt wax from my beehives in an electric crock pot for purifying. I always do it outside behind the shop.

    JKJ

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Loeblein View Post
    I have no problem finding really cheap candle wax at auctions, thrift stores, estate sales, etc... Like George said, it takes heat to make the wax stick. I also use a large electric pan to melt the wax and to heat up the blank so the wax sticks. The more expensive Anchor Seal is saved for coating blanks which are either too large or odd shaped for coating with wax.
    This is what I do. My father-in-law brings me old candles by the box from the thrift store where he volunteers. I usually aim for a 30/70 wax/MS mix. I heat the can until the wax melts then mix. Even into the 40s it still has the consistency of paste. Never had any peel yet. Could be that the scented oils in some of the candles helps the wax penetrate a bit. Regardless it adds a nice smell to the shop!

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