Melting beeswax into BLO

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Forum topic by ChipByrd posted 01-26-2014 02:46 PM 1114 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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146 posts in 1351 days

01-26-2014 02:46 PM

Hi All,

I will be gluing up my workbench top this week.  It’s 13/8×4 x 60” SYP.  I have decided on a BLO/beeswax/mineral spirits finish.  My question has to do with safety.  I understand why it is said to use a double boiler to melt the beeswax into the BLO.  The problem is that I don’t have a double boiler.  What I do have is a small crockpot I bought at a yard sale for $3.00.  Would that be a safe alternative?  


11 replies so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 1911 days

#1 posted 01-26-2014 02:52 PM

First question: why are you mixing beeswax with BLO? Shouldn’t you be using mineral oil and beeswax instead?

As for heating:
I just use a pot with water in it on my hot plate and put a coffee can with the beeswax in it into the hot water.
Although I see no problem with using your crock pot, they have been known to scorch dinners, (DAMHIK).

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View CharlesA's profile


2980 posts in 1221 days

#2 posted 01-26-2014 02:56 PM

I know nothing about melting beeswax and BLO, but I do cook a lot. You can fake a double boiler just by using two different sized sauce pans: put some water in the larger sauce pan and then put the smaller pan in teh water. Make sure you have enough water to suspend the smaller pan so it doesn’t rest on the bottom of the larger pan, but not so much that it boils over.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View atgcpaul's profile


3 posts in 1393 days

#3 posted 01-26-2014 02:58 PM

Not sure about beeswax and BLO, but I used mineral oil instead, not BLO.

Anyway, I simply placed a large metal bowl on top of a smaller pot of boiling water. The beeswax was melted in the bowl and the oil was added after I turned off the flame. Mix and pour. Done.

View ChipByrd's profile


146 posts in 1351 days

#4 posted 01-26-2014 03:37 PM

Thanks for the replied. I found this recipe/mixture from a fellow LJ’er and it made sense.

””“First, is an boiled linseed oil and wax finish. Sand the surface to 180 grit. Mix paraffin or bees wax into heated boiled linseed oil. USE A DOUBLE BOILER TO HEAT THE OIL. The ratio is not critical but about 5-6 parts of boiled linseed oil in a double boiler with one part paraffin or beeswax shaved in. Take it off the stove. Thin this mixture about 50/50 with mineral spirits to make a heavy cream like liquid. Apply this mixture to the benchtop liberally and allow to set overnight. Do it again the next day and again the following day if the top continues to absorb it. After a final overnight, lightly scrape off any excess wax and buff. This finish will minimize the absorbsion of any water and you can use a damp rag to wipe up any glue excess. Dried glue will pop right off the surface. Renewal or repair is easy. Just use a scraper to remove and hardened stuff, wipe down with mineral spirits using a 3/0 steel wool pad (a non-woven gray abrasive pad is better), wipe off the gunk and apply another coat of mineral oil/wax mixture”””

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 1861 days

#5 posted 01-26-2014 03:45 PM

You have a contradiction in the quote you just posted. At the beginning it says “boiled linseed oil and wax” and at the end it says “mineral oil/wax mixture”. I don’t think the BLO and beeswax is correct.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3850 posts in 1917 days

#6 posted 01-26-2014 03:50 PM

I’ve used that finish, and it’s quite good for work benchs and assembly tables, glue pops right off. But instead of MS I used turpentine, no matter I would think it works the same. I dissolved the beeswax into the turpentine first, then added the BLO. This did take quite a while, and at times I sat it out in the sun. So I’m guessing, but I’d bet the crockpot would do it, use low heat. and give it time. But I’d dissolve the wax into the solvent first.

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

View ChipByrd's profile


146 posts in 1351 days

#7 posted 01-26-2014 03:54 PM

The recipe I posted above calls for melting beeswax in BLO. Then mix that with mineral spirits.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 1911 days

#8 posted 01-26-2014 03:55 PM

Boiled Linseed oil is the base for many oil based paints. Oil based paints and heat are pretty much a no-no.
Boiled linseed oil also cures, becoming a hard surface as if you had put a coat of paint without colorant on.

Mineral oil on the other hand mixes nicely with beeswax and is what is used on food safe surfaces as it never goes rancid and never dries out.

To use wax with BLO, just put the BLO on, let it dry for a week or two and coat it with Johnsons Paste Wax or another non-silicone based wax.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Loren's profile


8174 posts in 3072 days

#9 posted 01-26-2014 03:58 PM

I’ve mixed BLO and beeswax before. I think it was 1/3rd
each and 1/3rd mineral spirits or turpentine. I found the
recipe in a Garrett Hack article in FWW. It’s similar to
the Maloof topcoat. Be aware that it can be difficult to
get the wax off the vessel you use to heat the mixture.

I would use a glass jar. You stir it with a stick as it cools
to prevent separation… I made some balm recently from
beeswax and coconut oil and had to stir it.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3850 posts in 1917 days

#10 posted 01-26-2014 05:48 PM

Have it your way, but it’s not going to matter to the finish which is melted into which first, and dissolving it in the solvent is going to be easier. The idea is to get the beeswax to melt.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

17882 posts in 1991 days

#11 posted 01-26-2014 05:57 PM

To melt bees wax, you don’t need to boil anything. Just sitting in the sun will do it, but to speed it up just add a little heat. Just sit a glass or metal container in your crock pot with water in the crock pot on low heat an it should be fine, thus making it a double broiler.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

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