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I have an assembly table that I want to retire and let my family use as a project table. It has only been finished with a paste wax to prevent glue from sticking but I would like to apply a water base polyurethane. What would be the best method to use to remove the wax? Is there a finish that can be applied over the wax?
 

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i have only heard of mineral spirits ,
there may be others ,

hang tight ,
someone may know more .
 

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What kind of top is it? If it's wood you probably can get by cleaning it off with steel wool and mineral spirits. I'd try cleaning it, let the mineral spirits evap and then clean it again. urathane should work then.
Btw if you use steel wool and a water based finish, make sure you get all the steel wool removed.
 

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If you can work on it outside, Turpentine does a pretty good job of disolving wax. I would think (emphasis on think) that a few good rubdowns with turpentine then a few days in the sun to dry out and get rid of the smell should work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The table top surface is Birch Plywood and the entire top is heavy but easily removed from the table legs so I can work on it outside. I had thought that mineral spirits (or tupentine) and synthetic steel wool might work well and I have plenty of both. I guess that I was just being lazy and hoping that there might be a finish that could be applied over the wax.

Thanks,
JL
 

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I agree with a1Jim. I've used naptha and it is super easy to strip wax. In fact, the ski shops sell an expensive bottle of solvent to clean the wax off skis before doing base repair work. It smells EXACTLY like naptha! (don't buy the expensive ski solvent)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for all of the ideas. The top can easily be removed but it is not just a piece of plywood. I made a torsion box and it has a definite top and underside. Yesterday I removed the wax with turpentine several times until the mop rags were clean and then to be safe I scrubbed and mopped up one more time. Tomorrow I will sand and seal with dewaxed shellac and go from there. I would have tried naptha but I have a lot of turpentine and mineral spirits. The only naptha that I have is an unopened can of Coleman fuel and didn't want to open it for this.

Thanks,

JL
 
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