Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Beeswax polish. I understand it now.
I have finished applying the beeswax polish to my niddy noddy. It feels and smells beautiful. It gleams. I am very happy with how it's turned out.
But the understanding part? Let me explain.
When I first searched for a recipe, there were many options facing me. Some used beeswax and turpentine, others used beeswax and olive oil. Some used beeswax, turpentine and olive oil. Some even included soap flakes. Scenting any of these recipes was optional. But the thing none of these recipes explained was what any of these ingredients did. Now, this may be already obvious to someone who has made more of a study of woodworking than I have, but here's what I learnt.
My beeswax polish, using just beeswax and turpentine, turned out to be the consistency of just soft butter, which made it perfect for rubbing into the wood. I used my fingers to apply the wax mixture for that extra hint of tactile experience. Also, being a newbie, it was helpful in identifying the parts of the wood I'd missed. The smell of the polish when I first opened the jar is very strong, and smells very much like Vic's vaporub. This is why I thought at first that the neroli oil I added wouldn't be strong enough.
When applying the oil at first, it seemed a little sticky, which may have just been a sign that I was applying too much at once. It is very important to use a lint free cloth to rub in the polish; this means a cloth not likely to lose threads or fluffs when in use, like some duster cloths are prone to. And what I learnt was that the turpentine acts purely as a solvent, and evaporates away to let the beeswax and neroli soak into the wood. My finished niddy noddy, which had 4 layers of wax applied to it, has a beautiful soft feel to it, and a faint, sweet scent of oranges.