Apply Soft Wax to a Carcase

Soft Wax from Christopher Schwarz on Vimeo.

Today I applied soft wax to the drawers and carcase of the chest of drawers I recently completed. Because we get so many questions about using the stuff, I shot this short video that demonstrates how I apply it to a carcase.

Note that I am not applying it to the show surfaces of this piece. (I used a slightly different wax for that, which I’ll discuss later.) Soft wax is fine for both interiors and exteriors of furniture, but it excels at lubricating bearing surfaces that are raw wood, adding a little protection, making the wood feel smoother and adding a nice piney smell.

We encourage you to make your own soft wax. It’s not hard. A teen-ager can do it. Heck, a teen-ager does. Katy, my 15-year-old, cooks up soft wax and sells it through her etsy store. There are a few tins there for sale now, but she is going to crank up production on more tonight.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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9 Responses to Apply Soft Wax to a Carcase

  1. Daniel Wachs says:

    Through-domino drawers? It looks really nice.


  2. jdcook72 says:

    It puts the lotion on its skin. Sorry, after reading the title of the post, that is all I can hear looping through my head.


  3. Jeremy says:

    But the question is, did you pay going market price for this wax, or are you getting some sort of kickback from the factory big wigs?… 🙂


  4. Why only wax the parts where the drawer rubs on the inside? Later, for future lubrication, I can see only where the drawer rubs, but wouldn’t it be better to at least put one thin coat right after the build?


    • The way I see it, there’s no reason to apply any finish or wax to interior parts that won’t see the light of day or wear and tear. That’s the historical approach to finishing.

      The more modern approach is to finish everything, inside and out.

      Both approaches are valid in my estimation. The historical approach is faster and uses less finishing material. The modern approach shows care at every step of the way.


  5. Where’s Katy sourcing her tins? The pricing I’ve been getting is redonculous.


  6. drjohn1963 says:

    Do you typically go without runners or such for your drawers? I know that you did for the tool chest, and it seems to work well; just wondering where the limits are for this… I guess for face frame cabinets and such where there is not much side guidance?

    BTW, I have loved every book I have bought from you guys, both in terms of content and the extraordinary quality of the books themselves. Truly a lost art!


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