Hard Carnauba Wax vs Alfie Shine vs Paste Wax

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sploo

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custard":3lra8zvw said:
...The problem is the high level of volatile solvents that deliver fast drying also means it shrinks, which reduces its ability to fill the grain on an open timber like Ash, which in turn limits the level of gloss you can expect. If you look at the top left hand corner of this photo (the only bit that's in focus) you can see the open and unfilled grain pores. Used on a tight grained timber, like Beech or Maple, I think the results would be better....

I've experienced this exact problem on open grained timbers; so now I know why it happens (many thanks).

I have some beeswax, and have made food safe paste finishes before (beeswax and mineral oil), so I think I'll have a try at making the hard wax recipe.

Looking at Carnauba, it appears it comes in a variety of grades (T1 being the lightest and "best", T3 being more readily available). I suppose it probably makes little difference on dark woods, but is it worth using T1 for something intended for ash/maple etc?
 

sploo

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Update: I bought some carnauba and beeswax and mixed up a jar over the weekend (glass jar in a pan of boiling water).

The mix/ratios I used were:

  • 20g carnauba (melted fully first)
  • 80g beeswax (added in batches and fully melted with the carnauba)
  • 100g white spirit (added at the end, and warmed just enough to ensure the liquid was completely clear and mixed)

Once cooled, the resulting wax has the consistency of a hard soap; more difficult to use than a soft wax, but not unacceptable.

I couldn't find any ash, but with a piece of what I think is sycamore, I applied two coats of 2lb cut shellac, sanded, then waxed 1/3 with a micro-crystalline wax, 1/3 with Hamphire Sheen, and 1/3 with my hard wax.

Certainly the micro-crystalline doesn't compare to the other two. The Hampshire Sheen (labelled as micro-crystalline wax, carnauba and Danish oil) is a little easier to apply than the hard wax, and pretty close to my own brew. Both do seem to improve with more coats.

I'm not sure I'd be able to spot the difference between the two; though the home brew wax is significantly cheaper per gram.

I've not had chance to do any wood turning in ages, but I suspect the home brew wax will be very nice on a bowl.
 

sunnybob

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I got my care package from Memzey (in exchange for an edward preston plane blade, but I did make him buy the beers, so we're square) but not sure if it was made by him or custard, so ta very much, whoever you are.

First trials did not go well, due entirely to me not knowing what the hell I was supposed to do with it. I've now got it on the latest box, and have to admit it has its place on the shelf. I actually like shiny finishes over wax, which is why I use wipe on poly so much, but my latest box is a request from family and she wanted what I call "wet look" so it was time to try harder.

HARD is the word, talk about elbow grease, I've used gallons of the stuff getting this wax to shine.
Even though I dont have any sealer, the wax does make the ends of rosewood shine nicely, and even lightens it compared to wipe on.

At first it was taking fingerprints better than police powder, but I've learnt I have to polish and then just walk away.

I hope I have enough to get me through to next august.
 

sploo

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sunnybob":1i7bvqrl said:
Even though I dont have any sealer, the wax does make the ends of rosewood shine nicely, and even lightens it compared to wipe on.
I would've thought you'd have a hard time with the wax straight into bare wood - especially on end grain?

If you can get hold of some shellac flakes it's easy to mix up your own sealer with some meths (if a bit slow, as you need to leave it for a couple of days).
 

sunnybob

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See? told you i know nothing didnt I?

Actually Memzey did give me some advice about shellac, but this year has been absolutely mental with visitors and Very Important Projects and I although I think there may be some on the island somewhere I havent had time to track any down. Next feb is looking like I might get some time to myself. Glad I'm retired, if I werent already I wouldnt have time to.

But actually, the wax HAS made the wood lighter and shinier, so that makes me want to try to find some to see if it makes it better again.
 

CHJ

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sploo":35fzh1nn said:
sunnybob":35fzh1nn said:
Even though I dont have any sealer, …...
I would've thought you'd have a hard time with the wax straight into bare wood - especially on end grain?
.
I would have thought so too, the wax is going to soak into the wood in varying proportions dependant on grain orientation.
On a sealed wood the amount of wax required is miniscule and any volatiles in a paste wax should evaporate quickly, on bare wood I would suspect that some of the volatiles are being trapped in the wood and are slowly coming to the surface and 'wetting' for want of a better word the surface wax you are trying to buff up.

I would expect a paste wax containing Bees wax to dull over time if handled regularly because it softens at hand heat.
 

OscarG

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Sorry to dig up an old thread but I'm struggling a bit with the Black Bison.

Watching videos online of people using pastewax some of them wipe it on and almost immediately wipe it off and buff. The Liberon instructions says wipe it on, wait 20 mins then wipe it off and buff.

I've tried both and neither seems to do much!

Also when adding another coat, do you have to wait a certain amount of time?

I'm currenly trying it on little xmas tree decorations, they feel silky smooth to touch but the effect of the wax is so minimal it's hard to see which ones i've waxed and which ones I haven't #-o

I'm struggling to see why this stuff gets good reviews as to me it seems garbage, I only can conclude I must be doing it wrong!
 

sunnybob

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Oscar, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
You and me, we seem to be the same and cant see what everyone else raves about with wax finishes.
People who love wax finishes think of gloss poly as garish and childish behaviour from people who should know better.
Oh dear, guilty as charged, m'lud.
:D :D :D :D 8) 8) 8) 8)
 

OscarG

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One on the left has been Black Bison'd, the other hasn't. Previously both had 3 coats of BLO.

u5SIu21.jpg


in another light..

FzIkDtZ.jpg


Slight difference but not much, should be better than that right?! Or am I expecting too much from the wax?
 

sploo

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I don't tend to wait any time at all for putting a new wax coat on after buffing the previous - maybe a few minutes tops.

Surprising it's not making much difference when buffed though; but on some woods waxes can be quite subtle; unless it's a really shiny wax such as Carnauba.
 

CHJ

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Think you are experiencing the vagaries of light scatter, I suggest waxes themselves have different reflective properties.

How 'shiny' does a block of Beeswax look in comparison with hard Carnauba for instance.

OscarG, Consider what is happening, is the light being scattered by the wood surface or is the oil finish reducing the scatter and giving you high contrast apparent deeper colours.

Is the wax increasing the light scatter and reducing the apparent colour contrast/depth.

On a sealed smooth surface with minimum light scatter a thin coating of a virtually transparent hard wax should not increase the scatter and give an increased shine.

Is it a case of a softer wax on top of the oil scattering the light more. What does the surface look like if you look at it through polarised or UV filtering sun glasses?


This is what I would expect on a sealed wood after Carnauba or light dressing of Microcrystalline wax. (Walnut sanded to 240 grit)
wax1.jpg
 

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OscarG

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Thanks Chas

I guess there's a lot more to it then my whining about it not being shiny! Perhaps if I had done this properly and used sanding sealer like Custard showed the wax would have looked a lot better.

That bowl looks fabulous!

These xmas trees were made in a hurry from offcuts, I didn't spend a great deal of time sanding them, I guess I'm paying the price for that now.

Thanks for your post.
 

sploo

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OscarG":20udutsf said:
Thanks Chas

I guess there's a lot more to it then my whining about it not being shiny! Perhaps if I had done this properly and used sanding sealer like Custard showed the wax would have looked a lot better.

That bowl looks fabulous!

These xmas trees were made in a hurry from offcuts, I didn't spend a great deal of time sanding them, I guess I'm paying the price for that now.

Thanks for your post.
I've used shellac over oil before (both Danish and linseed - though it needs time to dry fully); as the oil seems to add a bit more Chatoyance to the grain than just using shellac. The shellac then gives a depth (a bit like adding a clear coat over the colour coat on a car) - as well as sealing of course - and wax on top adds the final touch.

I think the trees look good; nice timber colours, and a pleasing shape.
 

OscarG

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Thanks Sploo

I've definitely gonna have a go at shellac next time.

I made 6 of them. 3 had the standard wax attempt. The other 3...ha I'm reluctant to share what I did :oops:

I thought I'd try making a wiping poly. As I'm desperately short of time, I needed something that day so with no alternatives and seeing that it apparently had poly in it, I bought some glossy "no nonsense - yacht polish" from Screwfix!

Mixed it 3:2 with white spirit and had a go, the stuff did nothing, so losing patience and not having a brush handy I slapped it on as smooth as I could with a rag and left it.

They dried up looking...yep....utter s***. Shiny (in places) but still s***. Sanded it off, some of the BLO coming with it and stuck the wax on. Because I was distracted by yelling at the football I left the wax on for about 2 hours before buffing it out. These 3 now patchy but they look shinier than the other 3.

I don't know if it's the increased time the wax was left on or my ill-advised foray into yacht polish but they're definitely shinier.
 

sploo

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Finishing is a dark art :)

If you use shellac it really is worth buying a bag of dewaxed blond flakes, and mixing your own (with meths). I usually do a small batch of 3lb cut, and dilute a bit to a 2lb cut for use. It tends to "go off" after a while, so having it fresh is good; and it's so much better than the bought stuff. A 1" hake brush is really nice for application.

I always find poly looks a bit plastic (well, because it is plastic... I think). Good for utilitarian items, but the old school coatings are much nicer. Danish oil followed by a good shellac and wax gives wood such as bubinga that "oily paper bag that contained a bacon sandwich" look... which sounds daft, but it really shimmers.
 

OscarG

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Thanks Sploo

Do you always put your shellac on after the danish oil?

Do you every put the shellac on bare wood or after a shellac sanding sealer?
 

sploo

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OscarG":1ll9jjnv said:
Thanks Sploo

Do you always put your shellac on after the danish oil?

Do you every put the shellac on bare wood or after a shellac sanding sealer?
If using oil I'd always use that first (it goes into the wood, rather than sitting as a film coat on top - well, Danish oil can contain a little varnish though). It does need a few days to properly set up.

Shellac sanding sealer is (I think) just shellac with a bit of a filler. TBH I find a good quality homemade shellac is better; so I'd only use the shellac. I do have an old tub of sanding sealer that I use like shellac; but only on utilitarian stuff where I don't really care about the final look (it's just for sealing and protection).

Danish oil + wax is pretty close on many woods to Danish oil + shellac + wax (or even just shellac + wax), but the combination of all three on bubinga is very nice. Oils on some woods (e.g. purpleheart) can make them very dark - which isn't always ideal.

It's worth also seeking out Custard's beeswax + carnuaba + white spirit Hard Wax recipe. Not easy to apply, but really nice and shiny.
 

OscarG

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I'm looking for ways to avoid the oil to be honest as I found it made my bubinga too dark and lost its red quality. I've just finished a bubinga+oak bandsaw box, will shortly post the final pics in Project section. Used BLO + this Black Bison wax. The finish looks "ok", it's acceptable and has slight sheen, but I didn't think it did the bit of wood justice. I'm a little disappointed with the finish. If it wasn't an xmas pressie and I had more time I'd probably take it back to bare wood and try again with something else.

I'm gonna try SunnyBob's wipe on poly technique along with exploring other non-oil methods.

Thanks for the shellac tips!
 

sploo

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OscarG":v6zrpln9 said:
I'm looking for ways to avoid the oil to be honest as I found it made my bubinga too dark and lost its red quality. I've just finished a bubinga+oak bandsaw box, will shortly post the final pics in Project section. Used BLO + this Black Bison wax. The finish looks "ok", it's acceptable and has slight sheen, but I didn't think it did the bit of wood justice. I'm a little disappointed with the finish. If it wasn't an xmas pressie and I had more time I'd probably take it back to bare wood and try again with something else.

I'm gonna try SunnyBob's wipe on poly technique along with exploring other non-oil methods.

Thanks for the shellac tips!
BLO (in my experience) is particularly prone to making woods darker (even more so than Danish).

One other benefit of Custard's hard wax recipe (if I recall correctly) was that the solvent in most commercial waxes evaporates quickly; and thus the wax "pulls back" on open grained timbers. The hard wax does seem to do a better job of filling the grain, and leaving a more consistent shine.

Just remembered: the recipe I used was posted on this thread: post1240700.html?sid=4e6f08c727beb1d91afaca345ca1facb#p1240700

The shellac flakes I used are linked below. It takes a few days for them to fully dissolve in meths, but it's well worth the time to make it: https://www.axminster.co.uk/liberon-blo ... gJS0fD_BwE
 
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