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Beeswax or paraffin.

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I've seen The Schwarz rub wax on the sole of his plane before using it. Do you suppose that was paraffin? I have a friend who keeps bees so I have easy access to beeswax but it feels a bit sticky. (it is allegedly clean And free of honey.)

I guess I could use the beeswax to make some homemade finish.

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Both work fine. I use paraffin. Go to the grocery stone and look for "canning wax". You can get pack of blocks for like $3-$5 that will last you FOREVER. Old white candles work too...

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depends on what you want to use it for. i prefer bees wax for my wax finishes over using paraffin wax. bees wax is softer then paraffin so it soaks into the wood better. for puting on my metal i usualy just grab some minwax finishing wax. it works just as well as something you make yourself and unless you are realy hard on your metal surfaces it does the trick. if you can get the bees wax and mix up some wax finish. here are 3 mixes for finishes i use the mineral oil one because it is cheaper and i have used it for a while and it works.

1. Equal parts tung oil, boiled linseed oil and beeswax. Melt wax in a double saucepan for safety.

2. Two ounces beeswax, one pint turpentine, and linseed oil equal to the volume of the wax/turps mix. The wax will dissolve in the turps if shaved.

3. Mineral oil and beeswax mixed at 1:5 or 1:6 ratio. This is food safe

i use it for sanding with on my lathe it gets a instant finish and sands smooth in one step so it can save quite a bit of time. plus different bees make there honey from different flowers so different wax can cause different smells and tastes. a perfect example is my mom used a wood bowl to eat a salid and the next day used one that i just finished and sanded with some wild bees wax rather then purified wax. she said the bowl left her food tasting different more sweet. since then i have given her a mixture of the mineral oil/bees wax that is thined down quite a bit but it leaves a flowery sent in the air and she uses it on her table tops. i have also mixed in some honey for my bowls at one time i could not tell a difference but some people have said that it taste sweeter.

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In 'Hand Plane Essentials', Schwarz says he uses cubes of canning wax from the supermarket. IIRC that would be readily available form of paraffin.

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I had gotten some beeswax pellets (they were cheap and I thought I could make it the size I wanted) and melted it into a mold I made because I have heard some say that they prefer beeswax over paraffin. It ended up too hard so I added mineral spirits to dilute it down hoping to soften. Melt it down, add a little, let it cool and try it.Once I got it softened up so I could apply it to my plane it seemed smeary. I tried adding paaffin wax to the point that it was 1/2 paraffin and half beeswax/mineral spirits and still didn't work well. I bet I tried it a dozen times or so and finally just melted it down, added sawdust, and made firestarters with it. I HATE to admit defeat but it's not quite as bad when you can burn the evidence and make and make steaks in the proccess!! Now I am just keeping my eyes open for a beeswax candle to try.

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Update: I searched the kitchen and found a brick of canning wax. Tried it on my plane sole and shooting board (a recent completed project) and tried it out. Can't detect much difference but I don't have much experience yet with my planes.

I will try the beeswax finish when my friend brings some in to work for me. Look forward to trying it out.

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the problem might be that even though the plane is waxed the wood still might be creating alot of friction as you push down on it. try puting some on your table saw, router table, jointer, planer bed ect..... any metal surface. then buff all the excess like waxing a a car. you will definatly see a difference on those. that way you can try the parifin, bees, and just a can of finishing wax. i like the finishing wax for that because its already mixed and in a can just grab and go.

great example i had the other month my planer was not pushing wood through. so i took it apart cleaned the inside, cleaned the blades, checked the chain and the belt, had it in a million pieces. fianly someone told me on here to just wax the bed and see what happens. like butter the huge slab slid right through.

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I have both bees and paraffin, but have only used paraffin on planes. Just picked up some mutton tallow from Lee Valley too.

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I recently was in a Rockler store and had this same question. The gentleman there said he liked paraffin wax better. His reason was that it had less buildup over time than the bees wax did. So it stayed smoother and there for more slippery. With less maitenince.

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Both work about the same for lubricating tools. The main difference is that beeswax is a natural product and paraffin is a petroleum based product (which I suppose one could stretch and say it is natural but heavily refined). Paraffin is typically easier to find but beeswax seems to stick to the tools a little longer and not rub off as quickly as paraffin. I like the beeswax just because it's not petroleum based.

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I follow the Japanese custom of using vegetable oils on my planes, both wood and iron bodied

Camellia Oil is a favorite. I use Kataneabura oil. A little dab'll do ya.

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i dont like using vegitable oils as it tends to go rancid even if it is over years and years it still tends to go bad just will be down the road later. ill only use walnut, linseed, and mineral oil

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