A New Batch of Soft Wax


My daughter Katy has just finished making up a new batch of 46 jars of soft wax, which are available in her etsy.com store. The tins are $12 each.

I am one of her biggest customers – I love using the wax on my chairs, tools and vise screws. It has a strong piney smell and, because of the amount of solvent she uses, it is easy to apply and requires no buffing to get a low lustre.

Katy has been taking a break from making the wax lately at my insistence. There have been some really nasty things thrown around on social media – mostly that I’m exploiting our customers by mentioning her wax business on this blog. I hate for her to get dragged into my mud.

But last week I decided not to care about the wankers.

So if you don’t like it, don’t click here. And I have something – it’s around here somewhere – that you can sharpen instead….

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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39 Responses to A New Batch of Soft Wax

  1. davidmaydole says:

    Keep it up guys! There are plenty of us who genuinely love and appreciate what you guys do. There will always be a loud group of obnoxious folks who will exclusively build birdhouses from peckerwood and from nothing else (not that there is anything wrong with that eh!)

  2. Nathan says:

    Exploiting your customers? I call BS. If it were a bad product, people wouldn’t buy it. Why don’t you trolls stomp on the neighborhood kids’ lemonade stand while your at it? Or call the cops because they don’t have the proper permits? Please deliver this message to Katy: Keep up the great work. Learning how to run a business is incredibly valuable and rewarding, but you’ll have to deal with idiots from time to time. People are mostly cool. Some aren’t. Don’t let the haters stop you. I’ve made my own wax up until now but I went to your store as I was typing this to buy yours. I don’t feel the tiniest bit exploited. Thanks Katy and Chris.

    • tsstahl says:

      ‘Exploiting’ customers? How gauche. The practice is called marketing.

      An argument by trolls could be made that Katy is the one being exploited–forced to work under your (Chris’) uncouth and callous hand. Or it could be that charity does indeed begin at home and parenting a child in a positive manner is a Good Thing for all involved, including society as a whole.

      This reply started as a simple affirmation of Nathan’s post. Got off track quickly…

  3. Rachael Boyd says:

    I love the stuff and use it for a lot of things in the shop . Thank you Katy for making the stuff. ( cause I don’t have time to)

  4. Dan says:

    noli illegitimi carborundum.

    the older I get the more I think that you can live a pretty decent life with just “do your best not to be a jerk” and “don’t let the bastards grind you down.” The anarchist’s ethical tool chest, or something.

  5. Mike Kolodner says:

    Chris, just ordered a tin of Katy’s wax. Plan to use it on drawers. As a Dad with 2 daughters of my own I say bravo to her! Please tell her to keep up the good work and ignore the negative nabobs! 🙂

  6. Jason says:

    Seriously? What is wrong with people? How exactly do you exploit a customer by letting them know a product for another maker is available? If anything it’s a service to the people who read this blog.

    As a parent I applaud you for shielding your daughter from the vitriol that, frankly, has nothing to do with her, and for showing her how to rise above the pettiness. I also agree with you on the decision not to let the wankers dictate how you or your daughter conduct your businesses. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it or buy it.

    Now, off to buy a tin to support the next generation of people who make.

    • djmueller says:

      Really a shame that there are people obsessing over others’ successes. I was told once that naysayers are actually an indication that you are doing well, but it’s no pleasure stomach-ing the abuse; it’s a bitter pill. Too bad your daughter got a dose. Hears to the success of Soft Wax and Company.

  7. William Cooper says:

    Your “shameless plugging” of your daughter is one of the best things you do. It gives a very human dimension to your writing. If anyone doesn’t like it **** ’em.

  8. studioffm says:

    I say well done Katy. Proud owner of the first can of wax you sold .

    david savage

  9. toolnut says:

    How dare you support your daughter and so publicly too. You monster.
    (Sarcasm alert for the wankers)

  10. Richard Mahler says:

    How can mentioning any product you yourself use be exploitation – even if if it IS from family or friends? Who thinks you would promote anything inconsistent with the quality your own business stands for? In a world where there are as many ways of marketing as there are ways of communicating, consumers choose their filters and should just get over themselves. We all have a finger that can hit the delete button as quickly as the buy button! As a social media culture we need to grow up and develop some measure of perspective and judgement about how we use it: petty complaints and exposing your lack of personal responsibility are a waste of time. There are too many real issues in this world that need our attention,

  11. simmonsjay1 says:

    Don’t always agree with you but support you on the soft wax issue 100%. Keep telling us about it’s availability.

  12. In this case, Katy, you’ll want to say “no, irrelevant people are irrelevant and I won’t pay attention to them.”

    As your dad might expound, there are a vast number of armchair woodworkers out there who talk and talk and talk and don’t actually DO anything. They are irrelevant. Their opinions are formed by reading opinions! And that’s the worst sort of opinion to have, I think.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. I’m still working through my two tins, which tells me I need to be making more stuff. So I’ll get back to it.


  13. John Malloy says:

    As to the usefulness, the wax does well. No customer eexploitation here. Ignore them.

  14. occasionalww says:

    There are two ends to every distribution. For every jerk on social media there is someone who’s opinion you can really trust. If you are going to delve into social media you need to be able to parse them out. Or, ignore them all and stay focused on your own vision. Keep up the good work Katy.

  15. occasionalww says:

    Oh I forgot to ask, is there any chance that Katy would package a dark pigmented wax (that doesn’t smell like creepy janitors)?

  16. dlang4d says:

    I have bought soft wax and I love it. Please encourage Katy to continue making this great product. I am a beekeeper and have lots of wax. I also keep a quart of turpentine around . I prefer to by from Katy rather than use my shop time for soft wax production. That is the basis for capitalism…. some folks think it still works.
    Keep up the good work we REALLY appreciate what you all do!

  17. David Ryle says:

    Seriously!!! There are some really self-absorbed wankers out there.

  18. miathet says:

    Any hope on the black wax experiments? I love the stuff and would love to switch from the chemically black stuff I have.

  19. boclocks says:

    Just placed my order. Take that you capititalist pigs!

    And to heck with those busybodies.

  20. jayedcoins says:

    People are funny. How dare you “promote” your daughter taking the initiative to make something useful, sell it at a totally fair price, and give herself a little money for absurdly expensive school books (and hopefully some cool shit like records and junk food)!

    Sharpen this, indeed.

  21. Wonko T. sane says:

    There are apparently a number of people on the internet concerned about purity. Purity in tool reviews. Purity in business ethics. Purity in media. Purity in politics. Always concerned about being 100% in line with what they believe the world ought to be like 100% of the time.

    They bore me. They lack sophistication, and subtlety. They lack humor, grace and humanity.

    They lack, and they know not how much they suffer in the lacking.

    • Oh no, I’ve recognized for a time that the woodworking social media space had quite a few angry and embittered old men who like to rant about and at anyone, but could it be that we actually have gamergate-esque trolls under the banner of “Well actually it’s about _ethics in woodworking journalism_” ?

      People who are focused on how things “should” be and what others “should” be doing are the angriest and bitterest people I have ever had the displeasure to meet.

  22. meanmna says:

    Laughable. As a father of a daughter also in college, I applaud Katy in this. To heck with the mud slingers.

  23. Richard Mahler says:

    I’ll reiterate what I tried to say above – and what all the others above have said much better: ignore the many who think their gift to social media exchange is that the world should reflect an image of themselves. It is immature, self-centered and contributes nothing to a conversation. Your instincts are sure, Chris, so keep up what you do – and what your daughter does – so well.

  24. Chris F says:

    We have a phrase for this in Australia Chris, it’s called “Tall Poppie Syndrome”. Some people would do anything to chop down a successful person, including inventing an ethical issue that doesn’t exist.

    Good on Katie for showing initiative in clearing her debts and intelligence in leveraging a famous dad for marketing purposes. Good on Chris for giving his daughter a small and perfectly ethical leg up in the world.

    Might have to buy some stickers now….

  25. Salko Safic says:

    Well said Chris.
    Social media is hard, most people are good, but then some leaves you wondering should I just hit the delete site button.
    Best wishes to your daughter and lose any sleep over it. I know easier said than done.

  26. Matt says:

    Snagged the last one thankfully…thanks for not worrying about those wankers.

  27. Steven Pedersen says:

    What loving father wouldn’t support his child’s business? I have bought the soft wax and will buy it again when I run out. Keep up the the great work Katy and Chris, keep promoting your daughter! My son is 32 and I still promote his company to anyone that will listen. Steve Pedersen

  28. Pieman says:

    Really? I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised as it’s the Internet where mindless small minded individuals spray their bile from their immovable high moral ground without fear of someone calling them out on their unacceptable behaviour. In the words of one of our modern philosophers “Haters gonna hate, but I’m just gonna shake it off”. You both are doers, keep doing it. I’d buy some but fear the freight will be more than the product.

    Cheerio from Sydney.

    PS I fully approve of the application of the term wanker. I had no idea there was any usage outside of Australia

  29. woodgeek says:

    I’ll be watching Etsy for whenever Katy makes another batch. Big thumbs up to both of you.

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