I have a small amount of ebony that I need to mill into boards and dry.
We're only talking about 5-10 boards here, so I don't need a lot, but I do
want to seal the ends with wax. I've seen references to a wax + turp
mixture or else some off-the-shelf stuff. Does anyone have a recommendation
for a retail product or else a recipe for mixing something up if I have to?
For an off the shelf product, Anchorseal. Rockler sells a namebranded
equivalent. Woodcraft has it too. Also works even better is canning wax,
melted in a pan and painted on. Second choice, a far distant second IMHO,
is old latex paint. I have used paint, and I have been sadly disappointed,
so I won't do it again. For your Ebony stash, canning wax melted in a
garage sale electric skillet would be my choice. Just dip an inch of each
end in the wax.
Maybe paraffin disolved in xylene? We use a lot of it in histology. The
xylenes should evaporate and leave the paraffin behind forming a seal deeper
in the wood. It might take some time for the xylenes to escape.
For small quantities of dense wood like ebony, then anything
(including leaving it bare) would probably work. Plain wax, applied
hot and molten, is probably the simplest real technique. Heat a
shallow tin of wax, then dip the ends.
If you're doing it on large quantities of rough-sawn timber outdoors,
then I wouldn't use hot wax. It has a tendency to freeze as soon as it
hits the cold timber, thus giving a poor bond that flakes off later.
It's especially awkward for rough-sawn ends.
For "timberyard" scale work, I use a commercial wax emulsion in water
("Chestnut Endseal"). I've also made this stuff at home, but the
emulsifier is hard & expensive to get hold of in under 40 gallon
quantities. Buying it ready made was cheaper! You _can_ even make it
from wax, water and cheap hair shampoo - the main ingredient is a
reasonable wax emulsifier.
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