Clemenules

Oil + wax mix: finish and maintenance question

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Can I use an oil and wax mixture for maintenance of pieces that I have previously finished with an oil and wax mix?

Seems to me there is contradicting information on this. I'm aware of the following info:

1. We can mix wax with (boiled) linseed oil to create a 2-in-1 finish. Oil penetrates the wood, wax leaves a subtle shine and soft protective layer. 

2. We can not apply oil over wax. Oil needs to penetrate the wood. In the presence of wax it will just sit on the wax and not be useful for wood. We can apply the oil, but when we wipe of the excess, you're basically wiping off everything you applied in the first place.... This sounds logical to me and seems like an exercise in futility, no? 

Thanks for sharing your insights! 

Edit April 5 2019: assumption 2 is false. Wax doesn't form a polymerized/bonded layer. Oil wil penetrate the wax. 

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I'm not a finishing expert by any stretch. One of my go-to finishes is Osmo PolyX oil hardwax. It has several different oils mixed with wax. 

I have not had any issues whatsoever touching up the finish on anything I've made using the same Osmo oil/wax mixture. That's one of the reasons I love it so much.

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I use wax mixed with mineral oil (which does not cure).  You can re-apply it as needed/wanted.  

BLO will cure, albeit at a glacial rate.  So I don't know if that can be re-applied.  

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I kind of think (again, no finishing expert) that the oil becomes a softener for the wax after the first few coats of oil have penetrated. A delivery method for the wax, if you will. Depending on the oil, it can cure (flash off) or be left on the surface, then buffed off. Most protective waxes are too hard to easily be applied without some sort of oil or spirit solvent to soften them.

 

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Thx for answers so far. I could trial and error my way through this but would much rather learn from others and speed things up. 

Re. oil acting as a softener for the wax: that's the only thing that would make sense. Maybe adding a little turpentine would further facilitate this? 

 

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I've used Osmo PolyX on my dining table for for about a year. No complaints. I also just finished my desk with Osmo - after a month, it still feels great. 

I used to mix my own wax, tung oil and BLO finish but it started making sense to buy pre-made finishes. My vote is now Osmo when it comes to wax finishes.

 

What about using a cabinet makers wax? http://www.ubeaut.com.au/trad.html This is one I use here in Aus.

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2 hours ago, Clemenules said:

Thx for answers so far. I could trial and error my way through this but would much rather learn from others and speed things up. 

Re. oil acting as a softener for the wax: that's the only thing that would make sense. Maybe adding a little turpentine would further facilitate this? 

 

I know that with Osmo PolyX it's not necessary. I just put a little on a soft cloth. The wax is fully dissolved in the oil. Once the mineral spirits in the PolyX flash off you're left with the oil and wax. Just buff off the oil and voilá.

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On 3/15/2019 at 5:57 AM, Clemenules said:

Thx for answers so far. I could trial and error my way through this but would much rather learn from others and speed things up. 

Re. oil acting as a softener for the wax: that's the only thing that would make sense. Maybe adding a little turpentine would further facilitate this? 

 

Turpentine would work but would also take quite some time to flash off.  If it were me i would use a solvent that has a somewhat faster flash time such as naphtha, xylene, or even butyl acetate.

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Rockler made a two part "Sam Maloof" finish (currently pulled from the shelves and not available)... the crux of the system was the same as Maloof had used, part one was oil/poly blend for three coats, Part two was oil/wax blend for another three coats. Obviously this last process would be applying oil over wax... which I believe was part of the concern.  Tried and Tru runs a similar system but with softer bees wax in their oil/wax blend, but again, multiple coats of oil/wax blend.  Like Mike S had mentioned regarding OSMO, the Sam Maloof finish from Rockler and the Tried and Tru all claim the benefit of touchups, and the Maloof finish even suggested using the finish as a maintenance coat when the shine started to fade.

My question would be (not to hijack the thread) can I use OSMO over a cured "Tried and Tru" or cured Rockler finish.  I believe that's simply another form of your original question.  My gut says yes... but confirmation experience is always better :)  

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Since I posted above I've gone back and tried Osmo on a desk I made a few years back that I had finished with Arm-R-Seal. I was never happy with the original finish because much of the walnut was highly figured crotch grain which soaked up the ARS like a sponge. Over time, it just looked flat and dry.

I wiped the top down with mineral spirits and hit it with 3 coats of Osmo PolyX. Wow. Wow. So much richer look and feel. And as has been mentioned above, touch ups are a breeze.

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Never having seen this stuff I did a quick Google.  First hit had a lot of information.

https://worldclasssupply.com/store/Polyx-Hard-Wax-Oil-3054-By-Osmo-NA.html?category_id=1283#product-details-tab-description

And

https://www.osmouk.com/sitechapter.cfm?chapter=82&page=247

Surpringly OSMO Polyx-Oil is a mixture of hard waxes dissoled in vegetable oils with some low odor mineral spirits.  Since I've always understood that vegetable oils, as a rule, neither cure to form a film nor evaporate, but do go rancid, this is not a concoction that I would think would work as a surface coat, yet it's used in the flooring industry.  

My first guess is that it is similar in concept to mineral oil + wax, so touch up applications should be no problem.

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I had the same concerns, mainly due to the fact that I ASSumed that it had polyurethane in it because of the name Polyx. After using it as I would use a poly/oil/wax blend I read that it did not contain any varnish, just various oils and wax. I contacted Marc. He and I discussed the potential issues with using it as a topcoat, as well as the benefits (ease of touch up, etc).

In the end, I've used it for two years on just about everything I've made. I've had zero issues with wear, scratching, etc. Super easy to touch up. It's my go-to finish until I find something better.

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38 minutes ago, Mick S said:

It's my go-to finish until I find something better.

How clear or amber is the finish?

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7 hours ago, Mark J said:

How clear or amber is the finish?

It’s amber. About like ARS, maybe slightly more. 

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My Guess is that Clemenules has had his question answered and moved on :) BUT...   I just received a call from the "guy from OSMO ... I had gone to the link left by Mark J, it was t he Canadian branch of OSMO, I decided to leave an email in the contact link and asked (after reading the FAQ) for a bit more specific info on using OSMO to recoat over an existing oil/wax finish.  To my surprise, the Canadian guys forwarded my inquiry to the US branch for my location and the US guy decided it was easier to call and discus the issue.  Great guy, great conversation and info. The bottom line is that there's no reason it shouldn't work just great.  If the oil can't penetrate into the wood it will simply rub off, but more than likely on a previous oil/wax finish, it should penetrate and leave the hard wax coating as designed. He did suggest applying with a white Scotch-Brite pad as it will leave a better coating of the product and help  eliminate any swirl. While, like most oil/wax finishes, you want to use a very thin coat, he suggested a cloth application (rags) might rub off too much.

I thought I'd share the conversation not only for the positive answers, but for the customer service that frankly stunned me!!!  Looks like these guys are serious about competing!!!

Well... back to the wood...it's ain't gonna sand itself :(

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Great info. That's pretty much what I thought and what my experience has been. And I do use white abrasive pads for applying it. 

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1 hour ago, Idaho Andy said:

My Guess is that Clemenules has had his question answered and moved on :)

Nope still reading with interest though it has morphed into a polyx thread somewhat :) Like a previous poster I had also looked up the TDS of Osmo Polyx and was quite surprised also that such a popular product basically consists of kitchen variety vegable oils, some wax and a little solvent.

I never mentioned explicitly but I was particularly interested in mixing wax with a hardening oil (BLO or in my case, tung). 

Going forward I'll be assuming as follows:

- wax doesn't actually bond together;

- hardening oils polymerize (bond together) when reacting with oxygen and actually form a protective layer;

- oils will penetrate wax and into wood if theres sufficient capacity in the wood. Oil sitting on top of wax/oil finish is because of wood being saturated, not because of wax blocking the oil;

Hence, oil+wax mixtures are viable for finishing as well as touching up. 

Thanks for the answers! 

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As above, but I'm not sure to what degree any oil will penetrate the film formed by a previously applied polimerizing oil (e.g.tung) which has fully cured.

 

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I use mineral  and Beeswax my mix ratio is 5oz of mineral oil to 3oz of bee's wax .I apply three coats waiting about an hour before between each coat. I buff them out by hand  and on the last one I use a buffer .20190223_152747.thumb.jpg.e939d5eb4b98ba63b2edbd7e549558f3.jpg

 

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18 hours ago, Mark J said:

As above, but I'm not sure to what degree any oil will penetrate the film formed by a previously applied polimerizing oil (e.g.tung) which has fully cured.

 

No oil should, but if a polymerized layer is still there, it shouldn't need a touch up, and you can just wipe off the excess from that spot. But wait, the wax might need a touch up so... 

After wiping off the excess oil/wax mixture the wax magically remains?

... 

Can you tell I'm just a weekend woodworker? I'm definitely making this way too complicated. 

Anyhoo for me personally the most important point was cleared up: oil does not sit on top of wax. I've edited the opening post to show one of my assumptions was false. 

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