The lipstick making machine that Katherine uses to make Soft Wax 2.0 has been on the fritz. One of the toggle switches started to feel mushy-mushy. Then the heating element wouldn’t turn on.
When it comes to machines and tools, I find that switches are the weakest link. So I took apart the machine’s control panel and found that the toggle switch had melted from the inside.
I could replace the toggle, but I wanted someone else to examine the components to make sure they were sound. Enter Eric Applegate, a local man of many talents. One of the many things he does is build and rebuild machines. And he has a candle-making business.
So he and his daughter stopped by to evaluate our machine. It’s all good news. The components are good. The manufacturer simply used the cheapest switch available. So now Katherine is back in business. She just made up a batch of Soft Wax 2.0 and posted it in her etsy store.
Notes on the finish: This is the finish I use on my chairs. I adore it. 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.
Watch a video of the application process here.
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. Each glass jar contains 8 oz. of soft wax, enough for about five chairs.
15 thoughts on “Soft Wax 2.0 Now Available (Broken Switch Edition)”
Can you explain what “waterless process” means in this instance and why I should care? I’ve used this soft wax on two things I’ve built and love it, so no criticism intended. I just don’t understand why it’s mentioned every time. Thanks.
If you make the stuff in a double boiler, which is typical, then water gets into the mixture. The water can rust stuff if the wax is applied to metal.
We also used a higher amp switch. The story was getting too long to explain everything. Apologies
Let Bean know, catgut is used in the best switches.
I will not!! Poor Bean.
If you have problems again, honeywell (eatin and others also) makes military spec toggles in a wide variety of contacts/poles with multiple current ratings and batt options. You can find them nos on ebay for not much or get them through allied electronics. There used to be nice three page hand drawings with all the options. Now there’s a convoluted brochure to explain them. They are generally dust and moisture proof also. Nasa uses these things. They are Awesome!
Link to Honeywell TL series catalog. Like i said there was a hand drawn set of sheets that were much easier to select a switch with but they’re not on the website anymore
Got it. Thanks!
Because you use involves heating something up, there is a fair amount of current flowing through the switch that is the wired to the heating element(s). … which them gets hot and fails. Yes, a better QUALITY switch would work, but in the long run a higher Amperage switch is the best solution…. I wish I were there to help, but just keep this in mind the next time the r switch fails….. HIGHER AMPERAGE!
Our dining table top was originally finished with Waterlox and is in need of rehab. Would Soft Wax 2.0 be an appropriate choice?
It depends on your expectations. I love Soft Wax for tables and chairs. It is not durable, but repairs are easy.
Many woodworkers want poly or varnish on a table for maximum plastic durability. When the film fails, it looks like hell and is tricky to remove.
With an oil/wax, the table will show its age quickly (which I like). When you need to repair a scuff, simply apply more soft wax.
Then, every year or so apply a coat to the whole tabletop and buff it off. After several years, it will go longer and longer between waxings.
Thank you. Your comments indicate I need to make an order!
If only there was a book out there that could show you how to age furniture and give it that patina …. 🙂
It sounds like the machine was originally built for the military.
I want to see the actual machine and how it works. Sounds cool!
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