American Woodworker

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Practical Paraffin




Ordinary paraffin canning wax has dozens of uses in my shop. It’s cheap at $2 a pound, available at any grocery store and easy to cut into small chunks. Unlike candle wax, which often contains beeswax, or some spray lubricants, which may have silicone in them, paraffin won’t contaminate oil and varnish finishes because it’s a completely petroleum-based product. Most wax residue gets sanded off anyway. 






I often lubricate my jointer and planer beds with a paraffin wax squiggle. Wood is much easier to push down a waxed bed.







Glue doesn’t adhere to paraffin. I rub wax on clamping blocks to keep them from sticking.






I always wax new and old drawers to make them run smoothly. 






My plane is much easier to push when it’s waxed, too. I rub paraffin on its sole every 10 strokes or so. 










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Steve Metcalf wrote re: Practical Paraffin
on 11-08-2009 9:37 PM

I suppose it would be a lot easier to apply than the Minwax paste wax I use for those purposes. Thanks.

Nikoletos giannis wrote re: Practical Paraffin
on 05-15-2011 8:15 AM

I use a bar of soap.Thanks.