Wax on stationary machines

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Forum topic by ric53 posted 01-03-2017 02:12 PM 783 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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194 posts in 1693 days

01-03-2017 02:12 PM

Hi Guys, I’m tired of spending money on Glide Coat to treat my machines. I know that you can use paste wax on them but I have a concern that the wax will transfer to the wood and affect finishing. My question is will this happen and how long do I have to wait after waxing to use the machine? Also any recomendations on what wax to use. I’m not a novice woodworker and have always used glide coat, a similar product or nothing at all. Thanks.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

18 replies so far

View WhyMe's profile


1061 posts in 1735 days

#1 posted 01-03-2017 02:20 PM

I’ve always used Johnson’s paste wax. Let it dry and buff. I can’t say I’ve ever noticed a problem with it affecting the wood.

View Kazooman's profile


1214 posts in 2126 days

#2 posted 01-03-2017 02:23 PM

Johnson’s Paste Wax seems to be the most popular choice. I don’t think there is any issue with it transferring to the wood and affecting finishing unless you had applied a massive layer and didn’t buff it out. Apply a thin coat with a rag (keep it in the can), let the wax dry for a minute or two and buff out with a rag. Good to go.

Geez…. three minutes slow on the draw again. At least the OP now has two identical opinions to draw on.

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 765 days

#3 posted 01-03-2017 02:30 PM

Wax has been used on tools for hundreds of years. If it has effect on finishing someone would have noticed by now.

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Fred Hargis

5142 posts in 2667 days

#4 posted 01-03-2017 02:39 PM

The waxes that will create problems for you are the automobile waxes that have silicon in them…you want to ban silicone from the shop. But the waxes mentioned above will do what you want, and in a comparison (FWW, I think) someone declared the Johnson’s product to be the best. I forget the details). But there is also Trewax (what I use) and Briwax and some others. These are normally sold with the floor care products, since that’s the main use of them. You apply the wax, wait a few minutes and then buff it off…then back to woodworking. You’ll find the wood moves across the tops much more easily.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View BurlyBob's profile


5936 posts in 2439 days

#5 posted 01-03-2017 02:43 PM

I use Minwax finishing wax. I’m thinking it might be just about the same as Johnson’s. Might even be made in the same factory and packaged for Minwax. I haven’t seen it effect wood. I use it on just about every bare metal surface in the shop.

View johnstoneb's profile


3035 posts in 2347 days

#6 posted 01-03-2017 02:51 PM

I use a bowling alley wax high carnuaba content. wipe on let dry a few minutes wipe off. Once it is dry and buffed off there is nothing to transfer to wood. Sanding finishing prep would take any residue off if there was any.

Keep silicone out of the shop.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View ric53's profile


194 posts in 1693 days

#7 posted 01-03-2017 03:03 PM

Thanks Guys! Johnson’s Wax it is !

-- Ric, Mazomanie

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3239 days

#8 posted 01-03-2017 03:28 PM

I use car wax or glide cote the saw once per year or so. Between applications of those products, I give my table saw a very quick wipe down with wax paper once in a while, which doesn’t provide any moisture protection but it does provide some light lubrication. You can definitely notice the difference. I know there is a lot of caution over using car wax but I always buff it out thoroughly and I’ve never had a problem with it affecting finish.

-- PaulMayer,

View bondogaposis's profile


5053 posts in 2525 days

#9 posted 01-03-2017 04:14 PM

I also use Minwax finishing wax on my cast iron surfaces and planer bed. It has never caused a problem with finishes. I also use paraffin on my hand planes and that has never been a problem either. I don’t think it transfers to the wood at all.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View pintodeluxe's profile


5783 posts in 2987 days

#10 posted 01-03-2017 04:20 PM

I was feeling the same way you do, so I tried the Johnson’s Paste Wax. Let me tell you, I am back to using Glide Coat. There is just nothing like it for decreasing sliding friction.

Glide Coat dries quickly, so you can get back to work quickly.
Paste wax is greasy, and dries very slowly (especially if the ambient temperature is low).

One thing I don’t like is the smell of Glide Coat. I have to put a respirator on to apply it.
I’m sure something less toxic and less expensive will come down the pike eventually, but until then I’ll be using Glide Coat.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View MrUnix's profile


7005 posts in 2373 days

#11 posted 01-03-2017 05:50 PM

One thing I don’t like is the smell of Glide Coat. I have to put a respirator on to apply it.
- pintodeluxe

Check out the MSDS for that stuff :)

It has a ‘target’ solids content of only 2.3% and It’s mostly Acetone (30-60%), Naphtha (10-30%), Propane (10-30%) and Isoctane (7-13%). (no wonder why it dries so fast!!!)

Put me down as another Johnsons paste wax user. Between paste wax and a breathable cover, even my machines that sit out on a covered patio exposed to extreme humidity changes (to the point of making everything dripping wet) are doing just fine.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View TheFridge's profile


10500 posts in 1660 days

#12 posted 01-03-2017 08:16 PM

JPW here as well. I use it all my hand tools as well.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Woodchuck2010's profile


721 posts in 1032 days

#13 posted 01-03-2017 08:49 PM

-- Chuck, Michigan,

View Madmark2's profile


392 posts in 762 days

#14 posted 01-03-2017 09:05 PM

Johnson’s doesn’t build up because each layer dissolves the other. The wax is compatible with most finishes without staining or spotting. Use it on your saw top, your jointer deck and on your planer bed & feed trays. Any cast iron surface will enjoy an occasional waxing.


View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

592 posts in 1643 days

#15 posted 01-03-2017 09:15 PM

There are some types of bronze that are impregnated with oil, for use as bushings/bearings. I would imagine cast iron is as porous if not more so than bronze. I always use johnson’s paste wax for my tools but perhaps thinning it with more mineral spirits would get it to penetrate deeper into the CI and reduce the frequency of re-applying?

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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