We’ve had several complaints that Katherine’s Soft Wax 2.0 sells out so fast. We apologize. She is still in college and has only so much time to devote to wax-making. This time, she has made a double batch, so perhaps they won’t sell out quickly. You can order yours from her etsy store.
Shown above is Penny Turkey (also known as Nickle Chicken), who is perched on one of my Jennie chairs. She loves this chair but hates its maker (me).
Notes on the finish: This is the finish I use on my chairs. Katherine cooks it up here in the machine room using a waterless process. She then packages it in a tough glass jar with a metal screw-top lid. She applies her hand-designed label to each lid, boxes up the jars and ships them in a durable cardboard mailer. The money she makes from wax helps her make ends meet at college. Instructions for the wax are below.
Instructions for Soft Wax 2.0
Soft Wax 2.0 is a safe finish for bare wood that is incredibly easy to apply and imparts a beautiful low luster to the wood.
The finish is made by cooking raw, organic linseed oil (from the flax plant) and combining it with cosmetics-grade beeswax and a small amount of a citrus-based solvent. The result is that this finish can be applied without special safety equipment, such as a respirator. The only safety caution is to dry the rags out flat you used to apply before throwing them away. (All linseed oil generates heat as it cures, and there is a small but real chance of the rags catching fire if they are bunched up while wet.)
Soft Wax 2.0 is an ideal finish for pieces that will be touched a lot, such as chairs, turned objects and spoons. The finish does not build a film, so the wood feels like wood – not plastic. Because of this, the wax does not provide a strong barrier against water or alcohol. If you use it on countertops or a kitchen table, you will need to touch it up every once in a while. Simply add a little more Soft Wax to a deteriorated finish and the repair is done – no stripping or additional chemicals needed.
Soft Wax 2.0 is not intended to be used over a film finish (such as lacquer, shellac or varnish). It is best used on bare wood. However, you can apply it over a porous finish, such as milk paint.
APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS (VERY IMPORTANT): Applying Soft Wax 2.0 is so easy if you follow the simple instructions. On bare wood, apply a thin coat of soft wax using a rag, applicator pad, 3M gray pad or steel wool. Allow the finish to soak in about 15 minutes. Then, with a clean rag or towel, wipe the entire surface until it feels dry. Do not leave any excess finish on the surface. If you do leave some behind, the wood will get gummy and sticky.
The finish will be dry enough to use in a couple hours. After a couple weeks, the oil will be fully cured. After that, you can add a second coat (or not). A second coat will add more sheen and a little more protection to the wood.
Soft Wax 2.0 is made in small batches in Kentucky using a waterless process. Each glass jar contains 8 oz. of soft wax, enough for at least two chairs.
13 thoughts on “Soft Wax 2.0: More & More & More”
Any chance of this lovely stuff ever making it over to the UK, via you distributor over here?
There is a recipe in the blog some time back.
Thanks Anthony, but I would much rather spend my time making things from wood and supporting Katherine in her early business activities. 🙂
However, I guess that with her limited time the odds of a boxful being shipped over to Classic Hand Tools is rather slim, especially with the demand over there, so I guess I look up the recipe and make a few kilos.
Thank you Lost Art Press for making the recipe available, very kind of you.
I was sat here (in the uk) wondering about making a batch and selling it, then sending a % to Katherine’s school fund.
Please thank Katherine for making yet another batch available. I am so embarrassed for anyone who would complain about her volume output. Shame on you if you are one of the complainers.
I just made a batch with your previously published instructions. It was super easy, as you said it would be. Had to special order Linseed Oil and Menard’s required that I order a minimum of two gallons. After melting the wax into the oil there is no way I believed that it would cool into a somewhat solid wax but, alas, it did.
Thanks for the heads-up, this time I was able to buy! It wasn’t complaining – just a little whining. I’ll post a picture of my maple counter top on her Etsy page after I use the wax.
Sold out! Well done. It was a rough week in SE Michigan. I hope you know – this a lot more than beeswax.
The “cook your own” post has the recipe for the wax.
It calls for 3/4 cup of the beeswax granules. Can you tell us how much that is in weight? I’m using a block of beeswax and I don’t know how much to measure out.
About 4 ounces.
He said earlier that that there were about four cups of granules to the pound, so one cup is four ounces weight, three quarters of a cup three ounces weight. I made a batch last month and it came out as expected, although I suspect it’s like bread, close is sufficient.
The big surprise was how little wax you need for the thickening effect, I was fairly sceptical until it started cooling. Made about two us cups, 250 ml.
Indeed – a little more or less beeswax doesn’t affect the finish much. We have these granules that we use for the finish and it can be difficult to judge a cup or 3/4 of a cup exactly (I tried).
Bottom line: If you cook it and it’s too loose, heat it again and add a little beeswax. If you cook and and it’s too solid, heat it again and add another glug of solvent.
I hope your finish works well!
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