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I Forge Iron

Best way to use bees wax

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I'm still mostly making round stuff out of square and square stuff out of round. But I have made a couple of hooks and a horse shoe heart. They are starting to rust some. So heres my question. How is the best way to use bees wax. I've got a couple of 1 lb. blocks. Got them from Rudy's Honey. Their honey's real good too.

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I make sure all my planishing is finished, heat the piece up to orange, take it out, wire brush the scale off, and as it turns black, start rubbing the piece with wax, the wax sometimes ignites to flame, just blow it out, wait a few seconds, and go again, once it stops bubbling off, then liberally coat it, and hand rub it when cool enough. You can melt the wax into a turpentine, lindseed oil mix, and that makes my favorite mixture for finishing. WD40 also works for a nice black application, but as it is so flammable, be very very careful.

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I don't claim to be an expert in this area, but I like my wax to dry quickly. I have mixed the blacksmith's brews that are on the internet and in the books. I would rather not have a sticky surface that takes a day or so to harden, then have to buff it off.

If you want to try an alternative, I generally use Butcher's bowling alley wax (clear paste) with very good results. They have more than one formula, so be sure to get the clear paste wax. The object you want to wax should be hot. If the item I'm going to wax will fit into the can, I use that item to melt some wax in the can (hold with tongs... the item should be hot enough to melt the wax quickly, but not hot enough to burn the wax or cause a flame... experiment a bit), then use a small bristle brush to coat the entire piece several times. The wax should run freely over the object the same as if you poured water on it. If part of the object will not fit into the can, I heat up a small piece of steel to melt a portion of the wax in the can, then brush the melted wax on the object. I then place the object on a flat cloth, or heavy paper towel and turn it a couple times as it cools. Then polish it with a soft cloth after it's cool. This wax seems to have similar ingredients listed for the blacksmiths brews, obviously at different proportions, is less messy, works better and doesn't end up sticky.

Do not breath the vapors.... if you breath them more that just a little bit, you will end up with sinus problems that take several days (or longer) to go away (not pleasant).

The big-box stores used to carry this wax, but now I have to order it online (just Google for it). I highly recommend it for ironwork (indoors only).

Edited by djhammerd
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