Wax finishing

I'm making shelves out of maple plywood with black walnut laminated on the edges. I'm thinking of using danish oil and then waxing them. Wouldn't you know it, I was looking through a magazine a couple of weeks ago that had something in it about using automotive wax finishes on wood but now I can't find it in the store. I don't remember the name of the magazine but would like to know if someone has it and would let me know which woodworking magazine it was or at least tell me which automotive wax finish would be suitable for my project.
Ryan
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Good. It's a bad idea anyway.
Waxes come in three flavours; finishing waxes, maintenance waxes and waxes for use over paint.
Finishing waxes are hard. They contain carnauba or candelilla wax to make them hard, and solvents to make this workable. Applying them needs considerable buffing and this mechanical buffing is what gives the wax its shine (wax is full of little flat plates - buffing aligns them). These are the waxes to use on unfinished wood to build up the initial surface.
Maintenance waxes are what your maids use to polish the furniture. They're soft, so don't require much buffing. They have a small solvent content and emollients as well (oily components that soften the wax but don't evaporate). Beeswax and turpentine mixes, possibly with a little ammonia, are a good example. These waxes will restore a sheen on a polished waxed surface, they'll hide minor wear and scratches in the surface, but they won't put a shine on that wasn't there before.
Waxes for use over hard paint surfaces are typically car waxes, which also need to cope with the great outdoors. They should repel water (as water carries dusty dirt, which otherwise builds up on the surface), they should resist sunlight and they should provide a good shine. Polishing is done by "spit and polish", a wet polishing process where the wash water acts as a co-solvent, rather than by mechanical buffing. Good ingredients to use for a wax under these conditions are silicones.
If you're finishing new wood, go with the hard finish waxes. Avoid silicones around any other finishing treatment that isn't actively using them. What they enhance in one technique, they screw up in another.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Thanks for the info. Any good brand names to look for?
Ryan
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I'm in the UK - don't know if they're relevant.
Nearly every manufactured finishing product I buy is from Liberon. Their "Black Bison" finishing wax is good - I use the "neutral" which is white, rather than the "clear" which is a bit yellowish. The coloured waxes (which I rarely use) are far from light stable IMHE, so will fade enormously. I also use this stuff on steelwork - keep separate tins and brushes for doing that, as it ends up filthy and will discolour wood.
The local antique trade swear by "Briwax", which isn't available in the USA. This is very heavy on the solvents (why you get a different formulation in the USA) and is easy to apply for a quick one-pass finish job on Antique Naughty Pine Furniture (tm). Now this is great if you _want_ to make shoddy recycled pine look like "old" furniture with little effort, but it's nothing like as hard wearing as a harder wax.
--
Smert' spamionam

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wrote:

Both are available in the USA.
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Briwax IS available in the US. I have a can of the "Dark Brown" version right here in my hand. It is manufactured in the UK using toluene as a solvent. I was told to let shelac "cure" for two weeks minimum before applying a coat of this over fumed QS white oak. You can get it in the US from:
    http://www.briwax.com
It was something like $20 per can in the "Original" formulation with the dark brown pigmentation. Robert W. Lang ("Shop drawings for Craftsman Furniture - 27 Stickley designs for every room in the house") was the person who recommended it (and warned about the cure time) to me. He's got a copy of the #700 Harvey Ellis (Stickley) bookcase in the Feb 2005 issue of Popular Woodworking.
I go to pick up the QS white oak for it tomorrow at a sawmill 100 miles away.
--
I can find no modern furniture that is as well designed and emotionally
satisfying as that made by the Arts and Crafts movement in the early years
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My excellent neighborhood hardware store has 6 or more colors on the shelf, as does the local Woodcraft. The price sticker on my can says $13.99.
Patriarch
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wrote:

The Klingspor Woodworking Shop also carries Briwax ... at least in their Winston-Salem, NC store ... just saw a whole shelf of it last evening.
Regards,
Rick
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Sold as "floor wax" and/or "furniture wax"
Johnson's Paste Wax Landmark Butchers
(*NOT* a comprehensive list)
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Ryan wrote:

Usually you'll get a Carnuba, beeswax mix with some solvents to make it speadable. I've just been learning about applying waxes over varios finishes and I recommend you let you oil cure for at least a couple of weeks before applying wax otherwise it may never dry properly. Also do thin coats of wax (3 is a nice number) and let the waxes cure at least a couple of hours between coats. I've been applying the first coat with 0000 steal wool and it works great for smoothing out any imperfections.
JC
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