Request for a beeswax finish recipe

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velar

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Greetings all. Complete novice here. I have a couple of beehives and have always loved the smell of beeswax on/in wood.

I've seen several people on here saying they make up their own finishes and I'd like to experiment with that for a series of boxes I'm making. I'd like them to end up smelling of beeswax, but I need a good protective finish too as these will be handled (and in some cases probably fairly constantly abused, as they'll be for my kids'Pokémon cards etc.).

Can anybody advise on a recipe/method? There are many hinted at on here and there's an obvious consensus that inclusion of something harder like carnauba is necessary, and it's clear that quite a few experts on the forums have hit on a sweet spot, but frustratingly few actual recipes. Can anybody please help?
 
Just get some carnauba (flakes, ideally, it takes a while to melt) or some microcrystalline wax (if you can find it) and some white spirit or turpentine (the one and only use for turps substitute is cleaning brushes - there is no B.S. number for it) and melt together with your beeswax. Use some form of bain marie, obviously the stuff is flammable. I use turpentine as I like the smell, it doesn't really make the finished polish better. A high beeswax content smells wonderful but makes the polish very soft to the touch, and not much good for anything that's likely to be handled. A high carnauba content makes a harder polish that's more resistant to marking (fingerprints) but is a bit harder to buff up. The solvent content will determine the consistency of the end product, but there's no waste - try a mix, if you don't like it, melt it, add more of an ingredient to alter it.
 
5-10% carnuba by weight to beeswax depending on how hardwearing you want it and per kilo of B/wax 30ml of turpentine and also a couple of drops of orange or lemon oil for a nice subtle whiff.
 
the traditional beeswax is 50% beeswax 50% pure turpentine, as phil suggested I'd add in carnuba though,

I tried making beeswax and it's a nice finish but very very prone to finger print marks so never put it on high wear items, it looks lovely on oak, you can add in some pure tung or linseed oil, you'll likely have to experiment and make a few different mixes to get exactly what you're looking for, a hardwax is often better, now I just use peacock wax from skelton saws it's great stuff and smells amazing, no nasty petro chemicals in it.
 
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Just get some carnauba (flakes, ideally, it takes a while to melt) or some microcrystalline wax (if you can find it) and some white spirit or turpentine (the one and only use for turps substitute is cleaning brushes - there is no B.S. number for it) and melt together with your beeswax. Use some form of bain marie, obviously the stuff is flammable. I use turpentine as I like the smell, it doesn't really make the finished polish better. A high beeswax content smells wonderful but makes the polish very soft to the touch, and not much good for anything that's likely to be handled. A high carnauba content makes a harder polish that's more resistant to marking (fingerprints) but is a bit harder to buff up. The solvent content will determine the consistency of the end product, but there's no waste - try a mix, if you don't like it, melt it, add more of an ingredient to alter it.
Thank you, that's really helpful - and the no waste thing is a very good point (though I can imagine there's no end to possible experimentation :))
 
the traditional beeswax is 50% beeswax 50% pure turpentine, as phil suggested I'd add in carbuba though,

I tried making beeswax and it's a nice finish but very very prone to finger print marks so never put it on high wear items, it looks lovely on oak, you can add in some pure tung or linseed oil, you'll likely have to experiment and make a few different mixes to get exactly what you're looking for, a hardwax is often better, now I just use peacock wax from skelton saws it's great stuff and smells amazing, no nasty petro chemicals in it.
I've not heard of Peacock, I'll look it up - thank you!
 
Apologies for late acknowledgement, been away from the computer for a couple days - all these replies are very much appreciated, thank you all! Lots of mad scientist fun to be had clearly
 
I use beeswax on turned bowls as it's foodsafe and go with a mix of mineral oil and beeswax. Not too sure about exact quantity as the beeswax I'm using is like a bar of soap. Make it in a bain marie as suggested above. Have mixed some carnauba wax in which gives a pleasant smell. The beeswax I'm using doesn't have much smell so it's normally the scent of the wood that comes through. Did try a mix of b/wax with linseed oil but it went very hard in the jar after a short period of time. Good idea tho for the boxes you're making.
 
For a food safe finish I mix 1 part beeswax to 4 parts mineral oil by weight melted together in the microwave. I get the mineral oil from the pharmacy ( sold as laxative) as its half the price of the wood stores. I should probably try adding some carnauba in the future.
 

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