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Forum topic by RickG83 posted 04-24-2012 07:04 PM 1392 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 2459 days

04-24-2012 07:04 PM

I took my first trip to a specialty hardwood lumber mill today and I was like a kid in a candy store. I picked up all sort of cool stuff like Purpleheart, Bloodwood, Olivewood. My question is some of the wood I got like the Zircote has wax on it. Is this a property of the wood or something the mill puts on to protect it until it is worked and finished? If so, how do I get it off before working it so it doesn’t get all over my saw blades, sanders, etc…

Thanks in advance!

13 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17796 posts in 3240 days

#1 posted 04-24-2012 07:18 PM

id use a card scraper on it, im assuming that the wax is to keep the moisture out and keep it from warping splitting and so on

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View RickG83's profile


9 posts in 2459 days

#2 posted 04-24-2012 07:21 PM

Excellent, thanks! They are very small blocks I intend to cut up and use as keys for box joints. Just the contrast of colors in the picture gets me really excited to use them.

View chrisstef's profile


17796 posts in 3240 days

#3 posted 04-24-2012 07:39 PM

yea heading to the hardwood store is a little slice of heaven, as long as you bring your wallet.

welcome to the gang Rick … lookin forward to seeing whatever you may create with that lumber.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5148 posts in 4194 days

#4 posted 04-24-2012 08:00 PM

Welcome Rick. You’ll find some good folks who’ll help ya spend your money here. Oh! They’ll also give you some good info.


View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3192 days

#5 posted 04-24-2012 09:14 PM

The wax is used as a means of keeping the wood wet, so a turner has an easier time in roughing out whatever they make. This means the wood will be wet, and will need to dry up before you use it. If you are making keys, best to trim it down to a close size then let it dry completely (let it set in your house in a lightly ventilated area for a few weeks) before you make the final dimensions.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View RickG83's profile


9 posts in 2459 days

#6 posted 04-24-2012 09:17 PM

Thanks for that Nomad. Especially with keys, I don’t want them to shrink or swell. Good tip!

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2540 days

#7 posted 04-25-2012 12:29 AM

Welcome to LJ’s Rick, the lumber mill I have by me uses wax as well to keep the boards wet. When ever I start a new project I clean all the wax off with my glue scraper, and let it dry for at Keats a month or two depending o. What the humidity is and what my moisture meter says. I had ordered wood through the Internet a few times and it’s been hit or miss, depending on who you deal with, I’ve received boards that were soaking wet and wrapped in butcher paper and several that were not dried properly and where split when I opened the box. It sounds like a reputable place so I would stick with that place. I use a lot of hard maple which is very dense and machines very well, it does not take dark stain to well without some prep work, but that’s the trade off.

Good luck and reach out when you have a question, if I can help I will, if I can’t I won’t, but I am sure someone here can help, I ve never been let down.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3761 days

#8 posted 04-25-2012 01:10 AM

I think that’s mostly wax. Yes, I’d keep it away from the sanders, but no problem with your blades. Actually will help wax up the tools for you. Bench planner, thickness planner, table saw, won’t hurt them at all. Card scraper works too.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1651 posts in 2506 days

#9 posted 04-25-2012 02:41 PM


Welcome to LumberJocks , a world of advise, opinions, and experiences, all shared without judgement.

Work Safe and have Fun. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2458 days

#10 posted 04-25-2012 08:12 PM

Ha Rick! I had to laugh at your “kid in a candy store” comment. I have not done any woodworking in a few years, but I am ready to start up again. Last night I went to the lumber store and wanted some of everything. Like you, I settled on some exotic pieces for trim. I have a fair amount of figured maple at home and the ebony, bocote and cocobolo is going to make a nice contrast.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 3537 days

#11 posted 04-26-2012 02:37 AM

If you will be processing local, urban, free logs, etc. You will want to wax’em too. I recommend Anchorseal as soon as it is cut. After a few weeks of storage another coat. I don’t scrape it off until I’m ready to watch for some splitting.

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2811 days

#12 posted 04-26-2012 02:43 AM

Welcome to LJs Rick. Looking forward to your projects with the contrasting woods, you made some great choices.

View ecmkno1's profile


4 posts in 2460 days

#13 posted 04-26-2012 02:46 AM

Wow!You guys have a lot of knowlege and give real good advice.I don’t even have the opportunity to see or buy wood like that.I live in The Bahamas and we have to import EVERYTHING,specialty wood like that would absolutely cost a furtune.

-- Ellis,Freeport Bahamas,

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