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Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

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  • Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

    I'm searching for recipes for 'Medieval Carver's Wax'. Oddly enough, I've had a hard time finding such a thing via websearches.

    I used to use this mixture to finish my carvings ... years ago. I still have some that I made myself, but I no longer have the information for proper proportions of ingredients. If I recall, I mixed beeswax, turpentine, and linseed oil (heated, of course).

    Does anyone have finishing recipes? I'd be overjoyed to receive any of these either email or on this forum.

    Thanks,
    Jim
    --

  • #2
    Re: Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

    Earlier today I posted such a mix. I use raw Tung oil, boiled Linseed oil and bees wax. You can but a similar mix known as the Sam Maloof finish sold at Rockler. Tried & True original wood finish is also good. T&T use's a polymerized Linseed oil with wax.
    http://www.triedandtruewoodfinish.com
    http://www.rockler.com/ecom7/findprod.cfm?sku=2004&)ID=6

    Dale

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    • #3
      Re: Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

      JiM, I use a paste wax that I like. Can you explain what the 'medieval Carver's Wax does? I guess I am trying to see if a different wax process would give the same effect ot better than what I use. The paste wax I use is a Johnson Floor paste and I put on a coat and allowed to dry then buff. I usually repeat those steps twice again.

      And Dale you method, could you post the advantages over using a floor paste wax. Will to learn new or improved methods.

      Never did like the wording 'new and improved'. If it is new, does it need improving and if it does it should have been already and improved means it isn't new.

      Best to all.
      Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

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      • #4
        Re: Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

        Kenny

        The advantage for me is that the oil's really bring out the grain and color of the wood. I use Walnut, Cherry and Butternut. The oil also offers more protection and is easy to apply. The other nice thing is if a carving looses it's luster over time it just needs to be buffed out to bring back it's satin sheen. And you can recoat or repair the finish simply by applying more with out striping the old finish.
        The nice thing about Tung oil is it is more resistant to mostiure and even alcohol. Tung oil also does not yellow over time as Linseed oil will. Raw Tung oil takes forever to dry this is why boiled Linseed oil is also used. The driers in Linseed help cure the Tung oil. Tung oil alone will give you a dull matte finish.
        At times I will use just straight wax ( Butchers Bowling Alley Wax ) but I am my partial to using the oil's.

        If you would like to try some oil I will send you a sample
        Or if you mix your own use equal amounts of Tung and Linseed and heat in a double boiler or glue pot and add shredded Bees wax.
        You can thin this mix with either Turpintine or Mineral Spirits. I use mine straight. Mineral Spirits will help the oil dry a little quicker than the Turpinetine. I tend to like the smell of Turpinetine better.

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        • #5
          Re: Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

          Thank you Dale. I appreciate the offer. Think I will try the mixture as I have most of everything. Will get linseed oil this week.
          You are crrect in the oil bringing out the grain. I have used Danish Oils also.
          Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

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          • #6
            Re: Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

            I really think you will like the results. Just make sure you mix with pure raw Tung oil. There are lot of finishes that they they are Tung oil finishes. What they actually are is thinned varnish some may have a little oil added. Watco danish oil is a great finish but this is an example of a thinned out varnish with some linseed oil. Pure raw Tung oil will be thick and have a distinct smell. Let me know how your mix turns out.

            Have Fun
            Dale

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            • #7
              Re: Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

              Dale, how long does it take for your oil to dry?

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              • #8
                Re: Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

                Might I suggest trying Minwax pastewax? It comes in either light or dark colors. I've only used the darker stuff, but it puts very nice finish on that's easily buffed up, either with a brush or cloth, and there isn't any mixing involved. It comes in a pint sized can, kinda like half a quart paint can and is easy to get at the wax.

                I've used this over linseed oil finish and it fills in scratches and nicks as good as another coat of oil.

                Al

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                • #9
                  Re: Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

                  I too have used the minwax product with good success (both light and dark) over linseed oil, tung oil, acrylic paints, and various sealers.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

                    Hi Ho

                    24 hr's is about average. I apply a liberal amount of oil but I don't flood the surface. I then let it sit for 30 min or so and wipe of the excess. I will wipe down the surface a few more times in the first 6 hr's. I repeat this as many times as needed to get the look I am after. Carvings get about 2 - 3 coats furniture gets 4 coats with a varnish mix followed by 4 coats of the wax mix.

                    Are you having problems with an oil finish drying?

                    I know Watco's directions say to flood the surface. This will cause drying problems or bleed through in some woods. When using oil I test the piece before applying more coats. If it has a oily feel or I can still smell the oil I wait before rubbing in another coat.

                    Tried & True varnish oil takes some extra drying time because of the viscosity. It needs to be applied in very thin coats.

                    Take Care
                    Dale

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                    • #11
                      Re: Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

                      No, I have never tried an oil finish, have always used Deft! No patience I guess LOL, but always willing to look at other things.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

                        I forgot to mention the other reasons I like to use oil. The smell of the Linseed reminds me of the woodworking classes I took in grade school. Every time I smell it I think of those days. I enjoy the process of rubbing in the oil, it's almost meditating.

                        Dale

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                        • #13
                          Re: Medieval Carver's Wax - Recipes

                          If you want a shinier finish Tru-Oil gunstock finish works well ... I don't care for it on stocks (shinier than I like), preferring pure linseed oil, but it does work well and is easy to apply. Old time gunsmiths refer to linseed oil as the forever finsih -
                          Once a day for a week
                          Once a week for a month
                          Once a month for a year
                          and Once a year forever ..
                          A pain, but really nice if you've got the paitience.

                          On a carving, I prefer a couple of well rubbed in coats topped off with a couple light coats of wax. Makes maintenance a matter of dusting in off and maybe a quick buff.

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