DIY Waxed Canvas Tool Roll #3: Are All Waxes Created Equal?

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Blog entry by DylanC posted 11-28-2016 03:53 AM 2937 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Wax On...Wax Off, the Search for the Best Wax Recipe Part 3 of DIY Waxed Canvas Tool Roll series Part 4: Getting the Canvas Ready »

Based on my initial observations of my finished wax mixtures, I believe there are at least some cosmetic differences between the use of paraffin and beeswax for this type of project.

I’ll start with the two 2:1:1 mixtures (wax:BLO:MS), one using paraffin and the other beeswax as the wax base. The paraffin was some Gulf Wax (household canning wax, ~$4 for a 1 lb. box) that I found in the cupboard. The beeswax came from Hobby Lobby (the white variety, $7.50 per pound after a 50% off discount) After cooling, the two were virtually indistinguishable at first glimpse.

Both waxes were very hard before mixing, almost like a block of plastic. After mixing with the BLO & MS, each was considerably softer. I judged the softness by pressing my finger into the middle of the jar. The beeswax gave some resistance, but with a bit of effort I pressed my finger in up to the first knuckle. The paraffin mixture was softer yet, but more noticeable was the difference in texture.

The beeswax pictured above was a very creamy texture, a lot like butter. You can see from the picture it almost looks like butter.

The paraffin, on the other hand, looked and felt more like an emulsion, with more of a distinction between the waxy and oily components in the recipe. I didn’t expect this at all, because the mixture was very uniform when it was in the liquid state.

And lastly, the one-to-one paraffin/mineral spirits mixture. This had some of the same feel as the paraffin mixture above, but much less so. This batch is quite creamy, even softer than my can of Johnson’s Paste Wax I keep around. I’ll also mention that this batch started with ~8 ounces of leftover candle wax (mostly red with a bit of brown), and I am assuming that the wax is paraffin. The candles were bought at a big-box retailer for a few bucks each, so I believe that to be a safe assumption.

So far, I’ve no idea if the texture of the waxes will make any difference in the finished product. It might take me a bit to find that part out, too. It turns out that canvas is not the easiest thing to sew as I’ll discuss in my next post.

-- Dylan C ...Seems like all ever I make is sawdust...

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#1 posted 12-01-2016 01:54 PM

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