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Adventures with Wax #1: Wood Butter (What you got in your box?)

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Blog entry by PAJA posted 151 days ago 1055 reads 5 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Adventures with Wax series Part 2: Time lapse - Melting Wax »

I recently made my first grease box. I’m sure it won’t be the last version of it, but it’s a start. I’m not alone in the “Could’a, should’a, would’a” thoughts as a project comes to a close. Size, shape, wood choice, overall design, etc. You have to start somewhere before you get it right. The next decision…What to put in it?

Wood butter, spoon oil, grease, paste, wax, whatever you want to call it. Something must go in there and so the journey begins. After the usual search of LJ and a few rounds of Google, there was a reoccurring recipe with different ratios of Wax and Oil. I just decided to start mixing and coming up with my own mix and see how it goes. Think of this as a direction to go in rather than an absolute recipe. Just a starting point.

Starting ingredients:

-2oz Beeswax
-6oz Mineral Oil
-Lemon Grass Oil (The scented oil is optional as beeswax smells amazing by itself, but I wanted something a bit different)

*all of which were Food, Pharmaceutical or “Therapeutic” Grade This is important if you want to use on products that may touch food.

Next comes how to melt it. Some say double boiler, some say just stuff it in the microwave. Both are tried and true methods, but seem either to be a fire hazard, or a bit messy. I’m taking the Keep It Simple Stupid route. On this venture let’s stick to the K.I.S.S. method and Start with a candle warming or hot plate. Be careful not to use a coffee warming plate as they seem not to get hot enough.

Next, what to melt it in? I choose short squatty mason jars for a few reasons. 1st it is made to be boiled, frozen, and everything in between. Short works best because it helps to spread the heat around. Also, it can be used to safely store your finished product.

Combine the wax, oil(s), turn on the heat and let it do its thing. Keeping the lid on helps hold the heat in and help it to melt faster. This will take time. Especially depending on the room temp in which you are working. So put on a movie, work on a project, write a blog, post a project because it will take a while for it to mix.

Or sit back and watch it like a Lava Lamp. No real need to stir as the convection(?) inside will cause it to mix all on its own.

After it is fully mixed up, I suggest letting it cool and checking to see what consistency it is. The ratio I mentioned above is what I use on cutting boards, wood spoons, etc. It’s pretty soft and maybe you want something a bit harder. You might also want to start at half quantities and melt and cool to see what you have before making a full jar.

Finally fill up a grease box, or just leave it in the jar.

It’s an ever evolving experiment to see what people like for their needs. I did try to add a bit of carnauba wax to another batch. Apparently I added too much because when it cooled it cracked all the way through. Not ruined, just not the result I wanted.

So let me know what you use and how you use it. Include pictures if you can. Curious to know your recipes and results.

Cheers
-PAJA

-- PAJA - Zootown, Montana "It's the Indian, not the arrow"



5 comments so far

View JAY Made's profile

JAY Made

157 posts in 678 days


#1 posted 151 days ago

Thanks for sharing. Where is the best place to get beeswax?

-- We all should push ourselves to learn new skills.

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2117 posts in 1119 days


#2 posted 151 days ago

Pretty cool! Bet it smells great, too.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View 489tad's profile

489tad

2294 posts in 1645 days


#3 posted 151 days ago

I checked out the project page. Thats a cool grease box.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View PAJA's profile

PAJA

102 posts in 301 days


#4 posted 148 days ago

The first beeswax I used was from a company near Glacier National Park. It was around $12 a pound but then cost an extra $5 for shipping. I’m going to try a different wax. My wife works with a guy who’s family keeps bees. It will cost just over $5 a pound plus free delivery. Too good to pass up. As far as the best? I’m not sure what factors into the quality. Probably the location the bees are kept would be the starting factor for quality. It sure is for the taste of the honey. For me, right now, wax at $5 a pound is the best ;)

-- PAJA - Zootown, Montana "It's the Indian, not the arrow"

View palaswood's profile

palaswood

723 posts in 385 days


#5 posted 59 days ago

wow – ive been wondering about this “grease” for these “Grease boxes”. Thanks Paja. Im feelin that little box mojo right about now!

-- Joseph, Lake Forest, CA, http://instagram.com/palas_woodcraft#

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