Introduction: DIY: Beeswax and Oil Wood Finish Experiments

This 'ible is the process of creating my own DIY beeswax wood finishes, and then testing each of those finishes. I want to make something that gives the sheen of oil but the protection of a wax.

For these waxes I'm experimenting with different ratios of Boiled Linseed Oil and Danish Oil.

I'm hoping to find just the right ratio to make the wax firm but flexible. I'm going to try a few more times until I get it just right. I may also try it with Tung Oil in the future.

Other oils can be used. Some people even use olive oil, I'm going to try and stay away from anything that could potentially go rancid.

Materials Used for making finishes:

Beeswax: http://amzn.to/22j9oy3

Linseed Oil: http://amzn.to/1Xt1ZsC

Danish Oil: http://amzn.to/22j9UvP

Measuring Cup: http://amzn.to/1Ueh8j2

Glass dishes: http://amzn.to/1nMivYp

Small Mason Jar: http://amzn.to/1UehiqJ

Materials Used for testing finishes:

Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch: http://amzn.to/1Ux66o8

Sandpaper: http://amzn.to/1Ux6i6W

Tack Cloth: http://amzn.to/1XtrtGg

Total Time: about 20 minutes per finish

Step 1: Measure Out and Combine Your Ingredients

This step is really where the experimenting comes into play. I suspect I'll be making quite a few batches before I find the ratio that works best for me. If you decide to try your own you should experiment as well to find what works best for you.

I found that when measuring the beeswax it melts to about half the volume for the solid. For example, I melted 4 ounces of solid wax and that rendered about 2 ounces of liquid.

For this batch I tried four different combinations

1:1 Beeswax to Boiled Linseed Oil

1:2 Beeswax to Boiled Linseed Oil

1:1 Beeswax to Danish Oil

1:2 Beeswax to Danish Oil

Step 2: Melt the Wax and Pour the Finish

Place the jar into a pot of boiling water to create a double boiler effect. You want a low boiling not a rolling boil. Stir occasionally until all of the wax is melted.

Once the wax has been reduced to a liquid state, carefully pour into your glass containers.

Let the containers cool until the finish is solidified once more. (You can place it in the refrigerator if you are in a hurry).

Cover and label your finish.

*Once I find the ratios I want I will use a jar or tin with a lid for better storage but since this is an experiment I'm just using the small containers i had laying around.

Step 3: Test Out the Finishes

go out to the shop and grab some scrap wood, and clamp it down to a bench.

sand the wood up to 220 and clean off the dust with denatured alcohol

Then apply each finish to the wood, allow the finishing wax to set and then buff off the excess.

I found both of the 1:1 ratios to be to hard, and could not apply the finish easily.

So I grabbed another board and but the two 1:2 ratios to the test.

I plan on making some adjustments to my ratios and trying again. Possibly adding a Tung Oil mixture as well.

It's hard to tell the difference in the pictures, but if you watch the video and have an opinion on weather A-Danish Oil or B-Linseed Oil turned out better I'd love to have your opinion below.

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Comments

author
ata1anta (author)2016-03-23

A lot of the recipes I have come across for things like wood utensils, the ratio is 1 part wax to 4 parts oil. That recipe calls for mineral oil USP (food grade), so that might be an oil you'd like to try in your experiments.

I didn't know what Danish oil was so I "googled" it. Turns out the base oil is either Linseed or Tung oil, depending on the manufacturer.

author
Just4Fun Media (author)2016-03-17

That is s great natural alternative (I bet it smells great too). How durable is it compared to traditional oil or polymer varnish?

Have a great day! :-)

author
prodigal-sun (author)2016-03-16

You might consider a a small amount of deodorized mineral spirits to carry the wax into the grain and then evaporate slowly? Also on the subject of color... Orange oil has a nice golden orange color and smells awesome, but it is acidic and that could cause problems over time

author

I'll have to looking into the orange oil. I think adding the mineral spirits will be counter productive to the consistency I'm trying to achieve but would be good to add to a finish for a specfic project.

author
Sebafleb (author)2016-03-15

B looks a bit darker than A but they both look great and equally glossy.

author
KagedCreations (author)Sebafleb2016-03-16

Thanks for your input!

author
Wefneck (author)2016-03-15

I use a mix of wheatgerm and almond oil with a few drops of sandalwood oil (just for the smell) which I then mix with beeswax roughly 1:1. Sometimes I also add a small amount of carnauba wax. The bright yellow wheatgerm oil makes the honey tones in fruit wood really pop.

author
KagedCreations (author)Wefneck2016-03-15

Thanks for sharing! Do you have any concerns about the wheat germ going rancid?

author
Wefneck (author)KagedCreations2016-03-15

Here is my recipe:
2 Tablespoons of Almond oil
2 Teaspoons of Wheatgerm oil
5­ drops of Sandalwood essential oil
mix with melted beeswax roughly 1:1

author
Wefneck (author)KagedCreations2016-03-15

I have had a bottle of the mixed oil in my shed that I have used for years. If it has gone rancid it certainly does not smell bad or seem to affect the timber adversely. I wouldn't eat it but I don't need to. I think something about the mix seems to keep it from going horrible. It also leaves my hands nice and soft.

author
Wefneck (author)2016-03-15

I use a mix of wheatgerm and almond oil with a few drops of sandalwood oil (just for the smell) which I then mix with beeswax roughly 1:1. Sometimes I also add a small amount of carnauba wax. The bright yellow wheatgerm oil makes the honey tones in fruit wood really pop.

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