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Help me with Johnson's Paste Wax

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Forum topic by Jofa posted 01-26-2015 09:30 PM 948 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jofa

272 posts in 1304 days


01-26-2015 09:30 PM

Hey guys.

I bought a tin of Johnson’s Paste Wax a while back, really to use as a protectant for my table saw.

So I’ finally started to use some very old mahogany that I saved from an old dresser that was being thrown out. The piece is made up of a bunch of glued boards and each board is probably about 4” in width. The top of the dresser was painted over so I used my HF hand power planer to remove about 1/16th which made short work of the paint layer. It left me with 3/4” of stock.

I’ve assembled the first project with it and as I was finishing with sanding, I thought about what kind of actual finish I want to use. Typically I use OB gloss poly.

Grabbed a scrap piece of the mahogany, sanded it and rubbed some Johnson’s on it using 0000 steel wool.

I’m blown away at how that stuff transforms the wood. The grain pops beautifully.

So, my big question is, can this stuff be used as a finish by itself? If so, is there a process to doing it?

Any guidance is always appreciated! Thanks!

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.


8 replies so far

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JayT

4785 posts in 1677 days


#1 posted 01-26-2015 09:35 PM

JPW can be used by itself, but doesn’t provide much protection and must be refreshed periodically. The wood will still scratch easily and wax by itself isn’t much protection against moisture. If I want that type of look, I usually use a coat or two of oil finish first then wax. Anything that will be exposed to a lot of wear and tear or moisture still gets poly, though.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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Jofa

272 posts in 1304 days


#2 posted 01-26-2015 10:27 PM

Jay, thanks very much.

This is great info.

This project is a guitarist’s pedalboard. It may stay in someone’s living room or may be brought to “gigs” depdnding upon who buys it.

I’ve seen that some guys put on polyurethane and then the wax. This doesn’t make sense to me because the poly creates a “shell” and wouldn’t the wax simply sit on top of the poly? Isn’t the wax best used when it absorbs into the actual wood?

Thanks again.

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

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MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#3 posted 01-26-2015 10:32 PM

The wax isn’t absorbed, or if it is, it’s very, very minimal. JPW is typically used on hardwood floors and furniture, which are NOT bare wood, but finished and then waxed.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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JayT

4785 posts in 1677 days


#4 posted 01-26-2015 10:38 PM

I ve seen that some guys put on polyurethane and then the wax. This doesn t make sense to me because the poly creates a “shell” and wouldn t the wax simply sit on top of the poly? Isn t the wax best used when it absorbs into the actual wood?

- Jofa

The light abrasive nature of the wax and the application process smooths out and fills some of the tiny imperfections in the poly. Just like waxing a car, it evens out the sheen and helps hide small scratches that develop over time. Combine that with the light wax coating that is on top and it feels much nicer to the touch than poly by itself.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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Tennessee

2410 posts in 1981 days


#5 posted 01-26-2015 11:02 PM

I used to use it all the time as a finish on poly, but never on raw wood. I would at least put on a couple coats of oil on first. And to be honest, once on fairly raw wood, you’ll have a dickens of a time trying to put something on top of it as an additional coating, if you ever desire. It is basically carnauba wax.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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DocSavage45

7707 posts in 2309 days


#6 posted 01-27-2015 01:06 AM

It’s been said. Looks pretty, not durable. Does fill voids. Adds a little protection.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1401 days


#7 posted 01-27-2015 02:58 AM

I’m interested that it changed how the wood looked. Whenever I put wax onto raw wood it doesn’t really do anything for the look, although it does give it a smooth feel.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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Jofa

272 posts in 1304 days


#8 posted 01-28-2015 02:30 PM

@ Oyster: Well, when I went back after a little while, it didn’t look as nice as it did when I originally applied it. I assume it “dried” or seeped into the wood because the difference wasn’t as dramatic. When I first applied it, it created a nice depth and darkened the wood a little (similar to wetting the wood).

@ JayT: So let’s say I’m done applying my poly. Are you saying that the wax should be applied and then buffed? Would it make sense to wet sand the piece first so that it’s super flat?

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

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