I use this finish for protecting
my planes, metal tools, and old wood in general.
This also works well as a finish coat over milk paint. It will darken the wood to
some degree, so test it out and see if you like the results. This also not a
waterproof finish by any stretch.
The three ingredients are beeswax,
boiled linseed oil, and mineral spirits (paint
thinner). FIRST WARNING: This is an extremely volatile mixture. BE CAREFUL!
I get my beeswax from a fellow who
melts it into muffin tins. I usually start with
about 1/2 of a cake of wax. This goes into the pot. (It is highly recommended that
you purchase a good heavy medium sauce pan for doing this and stay away from
your spouse's........! Other's have suggested that you use a double boiler or a water
bath.) I bust the wax into smaller chucks, then melt over a low heat. SECOND
WARNING: I said LOW heat. You may have to remove the pot from the heat source
a couple of times, if the wax starts to smoke before it is all melted.
Once the wax is melted, remove from
the heat source and carefully add a like amount
of linseed oil. The wax may coagulate a bit, this is normal. Return to the heat again
until the mix is clear. Remove from the heat and leave the area of the heat source. Add
an equal amount of mineral spirits to the pot and stir in (I just use the brush that I use
for putting it on with). This works really well while it is warm, but still works okay when
it is cool. I usually get about two to three weeks of use out of a pot, maybe more. If it
get's too thick, you can add more thinner. I've tried re-heating it and somethings it works
okay, other times the linseed oil starts to get a film in it.
I usually store the pot with a rag
over top to keep whatever out. It can be transferred to a
jar (a low wide mouthed jar works best) and used out of there. If it was kept in a sealed
container, it would keep for a longer period of time.
One other method that was recommended
by a reliable source was to cut the wax into fine
shavings. Put these into a jar with the spirits (the mineral kind, not the drinking variety).
Cover tighly and keep in a dark place for a couple of weeks. The wax will dissolve into the
spirits and when it does, add the oil, mix well and keep covered until you need it.
Other variations of this formula
(which I have not tested so don't come a'yellin' if they
don't work) is to substitute carnuba wax for the beeswax and tung oil for the linseed oil.
Agian I haven't tried these and can't say how they will work. Carnuba is a very hard wax,
I've used it on smoking pipes (the tobacco variety!).