It is time to think about how we are going to finish off our masterpieces, so a few notes on old recipes for polishes and waxes might be appropriate.
Shred beeswax into a convenient container and add other waxes [ if any ] that may be required. Pour on Turpentine to cover the wax and place the whole vessel in hot water so as to melt the wax and help it to mix freely with the Turpentine. The precise amount of turps is not important but the mixture when cool should be the consistency of butter in summer-time.
NOTE Always use pure turpentine and not mineral turps.
Shred and heat beeswax and add turpentine. To harden the polish add a small portion of Carnauba Wax, say 1 part to 15.
As above but substitute bleached beeswax. Leave out the Carnauba Wax.
For light polish but add titanium white powder pigment so that a white deposit is left in the grain.
Make as normal polish above and add lamp black powder whilst mixture is still molten. Stir thoroughly. This turns the whole mixture black and when applied to the timber, leaves a black deposit in the grain and in the corners etc. The amount of black is not critical, it should leave a fair black deposit.
Make normal polish but only add half normal amount of Turpentine and top up the mixture with eg. Wattyl Colorwood Stain-Charcoal. Add a small piece of Reckitt's washing blue about the size of a sugar cube, this gives the black an extra intensity and a richer tone.
Mix equal parts of beeswax and carnauba wax. Melt in a tin with gentle heat and add powdered colour to suit the colour of the timber being stopped. Colour should be approximated to that of the timber after staining. Stopping can be heated in a tin and applied with a match stick or rolled into a rod and used with hot iron.
Mix crushed whiting with French polish ( white polish when timber is light ). Paint the depression with French polish and when dry press in the stopping. This will take a spirit stain like the surface of the timber.
60 grams of paraffin wax, 60 grams of beeswax, 300ml. turpentine, 300 ml. boiled linseed oil and 5 mls of eucalyptus oil. Heat until all dissolved , partly cool and pour into suitable containers. To make a softer wax, add more paraffin wax, turps and linseed oil.
30 grams of beeswax, 15 grams paraffin wax, 15 grams of pure soap, 120 ml. turpentine, 120 ml. water and 5 mls of lemon essence.
Grate waxes and pure soap into a saucepan, add turps and water, bring to the boil and add lemon essence. Simmer for ten minutes then remove from heat and stir for five minutes or until cool enough to pour into a bottle.
100 ML. Cider Vinegar, 100 ml. Methylated Spirits, 100 ml. Pure Turpentine and 50 ml. Boiled Linseed Oil. Put all ingredients in a bottle and shake well before use.
Break up into small pieces, white polystyrene foam, cover with Lacquer Thinners & let stand for a few days. Shake occasionally. Keep tightly sealed,
100 grams Brown or Golden Shellac, Methylated Sprits, plus up to 1 tablespoon of White or Yel!ow Beeswax Cover shellac with methylated spirits & when dissolved add wax content. Makes a good general polish on hardwoods & most softwoods, open pores should be sealed first before application.
100 ml Tung Oil,25 ml Boiled Linseed Oil, 1-15 parts selected Beeswax, plus 5% Eucalyptus Oil. Gently heat linseed oil & wax in a double container, let cool, add tung oil & eucalyptus oil. Store in screw top [must be air tight] container & shake well before use.
This makes an excellent high-grade finish on most turned-timber particularly hardwoods or timber with close grain. Let dry, cut back with fine abrasives or fine steel wool & re-apply or repeat the process until the desired finish or result is obtained.
No matter how good your chosen finishing recipe is, the final result will depend on the standard of work underneath
P.S. This is only a small sample of some of the old gems that are lurking under benches..