Sealing With Wax?

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Established Member
18 Apr 2022
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North Wales
Has anyone tried sealing the ends of blanks with Wax? How did you get on and what kind of wax did you use (Paraffin wax?)

I know lots of people use PVA, but no matter if I thin it or use it neat(3 coats), I've not have much luck, the wood still cracks. So wanted to try the kind of wax you see used when you buy blanks.
I've heard a lot of people say they use paraffin wax, I've had some success with candle wax, I collect all the scraps from SWIMBO candles and use that when I have enough.
I have a old roasting tray half filled with mainly candle wax(the vicar from the local church keeps me supplied with candle ends and broken candles) and used wax from those scented wax melt smelly things that my Mrs and daughters keep for me once they have lost the scent ,heat it up on a old camping stove and dunk the wood ends in,or roll round blanks to give a coating .
I seal some of my blanks with wax - paraffin or similar, it isn't critical! I use an old slow cooker to hold the wax. It's ideal as the thermostat can be set at around 90°C so the wax doesn't overheat and there are no naked flames involved.

If I have a lot of blanks to seal, I use the wax but for the odd one or two, I would just use end seal or PVA as the slow cooker takes 10-15 minutes to melt the wax.
My limited experience with sealing is that what you use matters less than what you do with the wood. Moisture will escape from the fibres, what sealing does is stop it taking the easy way out via the end grain and causing splits. The first tree felling bits I sealed all split, I had left them round, bark on. Second time I halved them, crudely along the axis with an axe and wedges, don't own a chainsaw mill, then generously sealed the end grain. Old paintbfor some, pva on another batch. They seem to have given much better results, I assume moisture is leaving slowly along the axis cut. Species vary, I was given some fresh cut field maple branches which is fine, I lost more of the fresh cut greengage and cherry which seem prone to splitting. Timing matters, on the day is best, a week later may be too late especially in hot weather. That being so, sealing immediately with what you have to hand may be better than worrying too much about what it is you use. I don't have a kiln, they lay on a concrete garage floor up the middle with a car parked over them some of the time.
I use Paraffin wax and any old candles in a cheap deep fat frier.

In fact just been using it to seal a load of Damson branch wood.


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