DIY Waxed Canvas Tool Roll #4: Getting the Canvas Ready

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Blog entry by DylanC posted 12-01-2016 05:02 AM 2637 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Are All Waxes Created Equal? Part 4 of DIY Waxed Canvas Tool Roll series no next part

With my wax recipes prepared, I turned my attention to testing them out on some canvas. Somewhere I had read that the easiest place to get inexpensive canvas wasn’t at the fabric store, it was in the paint department at your local home improvement store. So I took a trip to the nearest big orange box and picked up a “heavy duty” 6’ x 9’ 10 oz. canvas drop cloth for $14. It’ll work for testing, but it feels a little bit lighter than what I am thinking the tool roll should feel like. Maybe the wax will add the weight I am looking for.

Once I got home I cut several 12” Squares out of the drop cloth to use as sample swatches for each mixture. Because the canvas frays pretty easily, and because I am going to have to practice my sewing if I want a decent tool roll, I decided to try and hem the unfinished edges of the swatches. I learned pretty uickly that my current sewing machine wasn’t going to cut the mustard. It’s a half-size, all plastic model meant for light duty and portability, not for sewing canvas. Anyway, it was a hand-me-down from my mom. Luckily she’s an avid sewer and she’s got a spare full size machine she’s going to let me borrow for this project. Side thought, how many man-points do I lose for borrowing my mom’s sewing machine for a project?

Anyway, I haven’t got the full size machine yet, so I had to finish getting my swatches on my half-pint. I’d like to say that’s why the stitching looks a bit amateur-ish, but it’s really because I’m not that good. Like I said, I need some practice. I also weighed each of the swatches before coating them and plant to weight them again after the mixtures are applied. You’ll see that of the four swatches above, one has already been used as the guinea pig for the BLO/Mineral Spirits recipe. I applied the mixture almost a week ago and it took a solid 4 days before the wet oily feel went away, but I’ll probably give it another few days before I measure the “after” weight. I’ll probably also try to evaluate the water resistance somehow, but I am already pleased with the darker color and the feel of the treated material. A close-up of the before and after is below, but pictures aren’t the best way to convey how it feels.

It might be a few days until I can wax the remaining three samples, and probably a week or so after that before they are “dry.” I’m planning to post an update after each step.

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

2 comments so far

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#1 posted 12-01-2016 01:46 PM

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#2 posted 06-01-2018 05:43 PM

I’m going down the same road as you apparently, and I’m wondering about various waxed-canvas recipes

Which one ended up working out the best for you?

I’m thinking of trying
1.5:1:1 mix of respectively beeswax, paraffin and boiled linseed oil for a jacket

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