Carpenters grease box (LJ's grease pot)

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Project by mafe posted 08-09-2010 09:21 PM 18554 views 38 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Carpenters grease box
As a lover of old tools I present; LJ’s grease pot…

A long time ago I read that the old days carpenters used to have a grease pot on the bench, or a pocket version to bring out.
When you see the old wooden planes that are allmost black, it this layer of grease (75% fat / 25 % bees wax).
The grease was used to make a better glide when planing, and also to care for the steel and wood, to prevent dry out, and rust. It is also good for screwing a tough screw in, just dip it in a little grease.

The other day I fell over this on ebay.
And I remember having seen this also, so now was the time.

I desided to make my own version, and as I made the first glue up, I was inspired for one more.

The first one are designed for the workshop, it’s allmost a bandsawbox, except I drilled out the center piece.
After I glued the buttom on, and finished the sides with a steel brush to enhance the texture, and the end grain polished up to mirror finish. The lid are attached by a brassscrew, and the lid simply turns, no locking.

The second box, are thought to be my bring allong box, so the egg shape was a shape I thought would be wonderfull to have in the pocket. I keept it a little rough in the finish, and then the whole box was polished up to a mirror finish, just for the sweetness. The lit are attached by a brass nail, that are epoxy’ed into the base, and locks by a little nail piece, that slice up and down.

I filled mine up with beeswax, since I have no experience with the fat, and also I’m on a diet!

Here are a recipe for Grease box, Grease our friend Alba blogged for all of us – thank you.

I’ll post a blog with a tutorial when I have the time.
Perhaps this could be a challange for all you old tool lovers here, to make a interesting grease pot… So we can see the imagination here.

You have to see what our friend DIV's grease box version.

I made a blog about the grease box story.

And I made some other versions also; Grease box III (for Div), MaFe Overkill grease box (the Roy Underhill version)

_Hope it can be to some inspiration,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

35 comments so far

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4178 days

#1 posted 08-09-2010 09:47 PM

Mad F, stop making us jealous with all your little wonderful shop additions! I suppose that is what you get when vintage architects become fanatical rhykenologists. PS, I see you have a new signature…

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View mafe's profile


13330 posts in 4327 days

#2 posted 08-09-2010 10:01 PM

Hi my friend,
Yes I changed my signature in your honor!
I was hopeing to make you jealous… Perhaps even to provoke you and somer other LJ’s to take up the challange, and make your versions of this.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4178 days

#3 posted 08-09-2010 10:04 PM

I accept the challenge. Watch this space…!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22343 posts in 4913 days

#4 posted 08-09-2010 10:08 PM

Good job on it. Thanks for the post, You could use a little mineral oil or vegetable oil to soften the bees wax. Just use very low heat or double boiler when you melt it. 50/50 will soften it quite nicely.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View mafe's profile


13330 posts in 4327 days

#5 posted 08-09-2010 10:20 PM

Thank you Topamax,
Perhaps I’m just to much of a ‘modern’ man, but the thought of 75% fat…
So I’ll try your advice.
DIV: I can’t wait to see your version(s).

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View swirt's profile


6618 posts in 4209 days

#6 posted 08-09-2010 10:44 PM

NIce grease pot.

The Full Chisel blog had an interesting bit about tallow on there a few days ago. It was an interesting read.

-- Galootish log blog,

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 4151 days

#7 posted 08-09-2010 10:45 PM

Very cool and very useful! Great Project! Thanks for sharing.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View anon's profile


417 posts in 4134 days

#8 posted 08-09-2010 11:25 PM

sweetness itself :) i need one of those. it makes me happy to see your projects!

i think you’ve waxed your cogs and greased your bearings mads, the projects are just flying out of you.

View mafe's profile


13330 posts in 4327 days

#9 posted 08-09-2010 11:30 PM

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

260 posts in 4361 days

#10 posted 08-09-2010 11:32 PM

Roy Underhill made one last season. His was rectangular and had a pretty complicated lid system. He’s got plans for it on his school’s web site.

-- Tony -

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4832 days

#11 posted 08-10-2010 12:02 AM


-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4314 days

#12 posted 08-10-2010 12:14 AM

Now that is just too cool to not have one in my shop. Thanks for sharing!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View ars's profile


30 posts in 4142 days

#13 posted 08-10-2010 12:43 AM

Roy Underhill just did a nice in depth article on these called “Tallow Tales & the Black of Handplanes Of Britain” in the latest Popular Woodworking. I was wondering when I was gonna start seeing these pop up in the forums.

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 4441 days

#14 posted 08-10-2010 02:15 AM

That would be a welcome addition to any woodworker’s apron. Great job.

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26774 posts in 4343 days

#15 posted 08-10-2010 02:56 AM

Hi Mads, that is a very nice and useful project. I like it. You always make me laugh- you did not use the fat because you were on a diet!! HaHa . Great sense of humor!!

I watched a blacksmith in Indiana at the Feast of the Hunter’s moon and when he finished with one of his fancy twisted iron pieces, he dipped it while hot in a wax/fat solution and it turned black and he said it would not rust!

Did you get the beeswax in a paste form? I have a sheet of brown beeswax that I use to lubricate my bandsaw blade every time I cut aluminum, but I never saw the paste version.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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