Soft Wax News from the Soft Wax Princess

New_soft_wax_jar_IMG_0915

During the last couple months, Katherine and I have revamped her soft wax business to fix some problems and improve the overall product. And today, she is ready to ship out a big batch of 8 oz. glass jars of soft wax made using a waterless process.

If that’s all you need to know, click here to visit her etsy page. If you’d like to know more about the changes, read on.

After selling hundreds of tins of the stuff, we listened to customer feedback and the few problems and complaints that came up. Here’s what we heard:

Problem: There was some rust in the bottom of the tin.

At first we were making the wax in a slow cooker that was aided by a water bath – each batch took two hours to complete. If the heating process took too long, then water would condense on the lid, and a little would drip into the wax. The water would end up at the bottom of the tin and rust.

NEW-soft_wax_box_IMG_0916

Solution: New process and jars

We devised a different manufacturing process that uses no water. We rapidly heat the solvents in a temperature-controlled glass kettle-like device (it takes only two minutes) and then add that to the wax. It quickly melts the wax. This change does two things: There is no time for a significant amount of water (even from the atmosphere) to get introduced to the process. Second, there is a lot less time dealing with hot solvents, which is safer.

Second, we eliminated the tins. They looked cool and vintage, but the lids didn’t screw on and they would rust. We switched to a cosmetic glass jar with a metal screw-on lid. The interior of the lid is coated with a waxy and sticky substance to lock the lid during transit and prevent the lid from rusting.

Problem: Katy ran out of wax all the time

Solution: Use bigger jars and buy beeswax in bigger volume

We now use 8 oz. jars instead of 4 oz. tins. Because we sell by volume (not weight), you actually will receive about three times the volume of wax that we shipped in the tins. There is more room in these jars, and they can be filled much closer to the brim.

The retail price of these new 8 oz. jars is $24, which is twice the price of the 4 oz. tins. And you are getting way more wax. How did we do this? We bought beeswax in volume.

Earlier, Katy was buying wax in 8-pound increments. However, we decided to bite the bullet and buy a 55-pound box, which cut the per-pound price in half.

(Have I mentioned that Katy is learning a lot about economics with this business?)

There are lots of other improvements – a new Indestructo box and live shipping rates. You pay exactly what it costs to ship the jar.

If you would like to order a jar, here’s the link. Thank you for your patience as we made these improvements.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Soft Wax News from the Soft Wax Princess

  1. Dave says:

    Just a heads up….$13 to ship to California…

    • Yup. Sadly, that’s exactly what it costs to ship it via USPS priority. We don’t charge for the box, the dunnage, tape, label or the handling That $13 all goes to USPS.

  2. Alan Garner says:

    Is it available at the LAP store when open?

  3. jglen490 says:

    YAY!! Got it this time *<{:o)

  4. Rachael Boyd says:

    good timing I need some more.

  5. rons54 says:

    I’m glad that I have my original tin, which will get reused for something in my tool box when empty, but when I need more wax this is obviously going to be the way to go.

    Economy of scale is right up there with compound interest and gravity.

  6. Robert Sfeir says:

    Great stuff. Glad I was able to finally get one, and bonus that I actually got the equivalent of 3.

  7. craig regan says:

    I like the new look… does this have the same great luster?

  8. Chuck Hammond says:

    Chris –

    I have 50 Kg of beeswax I would love to contribute to you daughter’s business if you guys are interested.

    I’ll explain. I live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and own a company that manufactures lip balms. We literally go through tons of beeswax and sometimes we will receive boxes that have been damaged in shipping. Once the box is breached (usually by one of the forks on a lift truck) all of the contents of the box are not suitable for use in lip balms. However, the wax is fine and would be perfect for this application. And I would love to see it go to good use.

    While I have you I also want to let you know you really have helped me get back into woodworking and done so with a very changed perspective. I had a shop in our old old house but then we moved and for the last 10+ years I did not, and my tools were in storage. A couple of years ago we build a house and this time I made sure I had a shop. I started setting up my shop and built a dining room table from two live edge walnut slabs. Once that was done (an entire year later!) I decided I wanted to (a) pick up the pace and (b) make a new workbench. I spent a fair amount of time researching all kinds of designs and hardware. Eventually I opted for a split top Roubo with Benchcrafted hardware. I soon realized the Benchcrafted folks live half a mile away from me! I contacted them and Jameel was gracious enough to let me visit his shop and look at his bench. During out discussion I asked him a gazillion questions and I think he could tell I could use some guidance. He suggested I purchase The Anarchist’s Tool Chest and the first 16 issues of Woodworking. I immediately bought both and have read them all. It totally changed my perspective and approach. I had to laugh because when I read your chapter on the table you made – and specifically the dimensions of the top – I realized I had made mine the same size for the same reasons. I have been rebuilding my shop and tools and chipping away at the workbench. And by the way the good folks at Lie-Nielsen should send you a nice note…and probably a commission check!

    I’m starting to ramble so enough on that. I just wanted to let you know I really appreciate what you are doing and to let you know it really is making a difference to people like me. If you guys are interested in the wax just let me know the address where you want it shipped and I will get it headed your way.

    Chuck

    • Hi Chuck,

      That is a very kind offer. Have you asked the Abrahams at Benchcrafted if they could use it? They make beeswax candles as one of their businesses. If they can’t use it, we’d be glad to have it and will happily pay for shipping.

      All best,

      Chris

  9. Chuck Nickerson says:

    “temperature-controlled glass kettle-like device”? Tell me more. I’ve always wanted to try some of Stephen Sheperd’s formulas for varnish. This sounds like a safe device for cooking resins.

  10. Jason M says:

    Can this wax also be used over top of other finishes like tung oil and shellac?

  11. Dan Samson says:

    Is this already sold out?

Comments are closed.