Waxing tips sorely needed

I made a table top from cocobolo. Based on recent suggestions in this group and some experimenting i decided to sand to 1000 grit then apply paste wax. Well, I got thru the sanding and now I want to apply the wax (it looks beautiful even without wax. I could never have imagined that wood could look and feel this smooth just by sanding).
Anyway, I have a few scraps and was experimenting with waxing, but no matter what I try, the sheen is very uneven. Some spots are shiny some less so. It follows the pattern of the application as if some spots got more wax tt than others.
I've tried more and less wax on the applicator, I've tried a damp applicator, I've tried waiting for it to dry 10 and 20 minutes - nothing helps. The best results so far is to use a damp applicator and sort of apply then rub it off without letting it dry. But it's still not great.
I've tried two brands: and old can of "Bowling alley wax" and a can of "Staples" (from woodcraft)
Any tips?
Thanks,
Mitch
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I typically use Briwax. I've used Johnsons and soem others but the bulk of my experience is with Briwax.
I use 0000 steel wool. The wax coems thinned in the can so it is really loose, almost soupy. The use Naptha, it dries real fast. I dap just a little of the wet on the steel wool, do circular motions maybe a 6" square at a time. Try to get the wax as thin as possible.
After it hazes over in 5-10 minutes then buff the heck out of it with terry cloth or other rough material. You have to heat it enough when you buff it to get it to actually melt as it is removed and buffed. I use an electric buffer on big areas.

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Could well your wood. When waxing your wood... uhhhh wait.... that's another group....
Cocobolo is highly prized as a woodturning medium by everyone that has ever turned it. It is close grained, hard, but not brittle, and will really finish up nice. It is the opinion of many that these fine attributes are the result of all the oil in the wood. I made a lot of pens and Christmas ornaments with this stuff when I could get it, but it is too rich for me now. But others in the woodturning club made large bowls (from $250 blanks!) and some made other things that were of some size.
Finishing that wood can be problematic, no matter what finish you choose. There will be spots that have more oil than others, and that will make your finish spotty. The trick is to flash off as much of the surface oil as possible so that the finish you apply can actually dry out, and not be contaminated by oils in the process. That is what makes the finish uneven. The oil also holds a lot of sanding dust, and if you sanded to the super high grits you are talking about there will almost certainly be a great deal of oily dust ground into the pores of the wood. If you used power sanding, guaranteed you will have a dirty surface.
I found the best way to adhere a finish to Cocobolo was to not sand past 320 (sorry, but I usually don't go past 220 anyway...). Take a clean Tshirt type rag and clean (scrub) the wood with the rag soaked in laquer thinner. I settled on lacquer thinner as it was hotter than mineral spirits, etc, which just seemed like they didn't take any excess oil off. Lacquer thinner was hot enough (high VOCs) that it was able to dissolve and remove the excess oils. I'll bet if you clean your table top with a lacquer thinner soaded rag, you will see a marked difference in the sheen of the wood, not to mention some really brown tinged rags. The reduced sheen will tell you that you have removed some of the surface oil and in the meantime have removed the dust in the pores.
I have finished with Carnuba wax after doing that. (Keep in mind, I am not doing anything as large as a table top!)
BUT...
For that perfect sheen, I would probably take some Zinseer sanding sealer and cut it by 50% and quickly wipe down the surface with a spit coat. Sand very lightly with 400 (since you are looking for a super smooth surface) and check out the surface. If it wasn't uniform, I would do it again. When the sheen and appearance was where I wanted it, I would wax the top. I tried this on my lathe projects and it worked great.
Wax alone doesn't work well with really oily woods, in my experience. Since wax is not meant to be a penetrating finish, it seems to just lay on top of the oily woods. And the greener the wood is, the worse this will be. The problem is knowing how green one of those oily tropicals actualy is, and how much difference that makes when finishing.
As always, YMMV.
Robert
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Sanding that fine, is it possible you burnished the wood unevenly? That would lead to spotty sheen.
jc
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Not sure about any problems with oily woods, which a previous poster covered succintly, but I do know a good tip for even application of wax. Get a nice old, well worn, t-shirt/rag and cut a foot square piece out of it. Take lump of your intended wax and put it in the middle of the squared. Twist up the wax inside the rag, just like you were making a rubber for French polishing, so you have a ball of wax inside the cloth. Rub the ball onto the surface you want to polish. A little bit of hand pressure will extrude the wax out the cloth and you will have total control of the amount of wax being deposited on the surface. I always found waxing to be drudgery until I discovered that it's easy so long as you are laying down the absolute minimum amount of wax.
Also, forget about any mutiple coat, every-day-for-a-week, every-week- for-a-month,every month for a year malarkey. Wax doesn't penetrate wood or finishes and any subsequent coats dissolve the previous coat, undoing all of your work.
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Not sure about any problems with oily woods, which a previous poster covered succintly, but I do know a good tip for even application of wax. Get a nice old, well worn, t-shirt/rag and cut a foot square piece out of it. Take lump of your intended wax and put it in the middle of the squared. Twist up the wax inside the rag, just like you were making a rubber for French polishing, so you have a ball of wax inside the cloth. Rub the ball onto the surface you want to polish. A little bit of hand pressure will extrude the wax out the cloth and you will have total control of the amount of wax being deposited on the surface. I always found waxing to be drudgery until I discovered that it's easy so long as you are laying down the absolute minimum amount of wax.
Also, forget about any mutiple coat, every-day-for-a-week, every-week- for-a-month,every month for a year malarkey. Wax doesn't penetrate wood or finishes and any subsequent coats dissolve the previous coat, undoing all of your work.
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