Homemade hardwax oil? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-03-2012, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Homemade hardwax oil?

Hi all,

I'm new here. I operate a hardwood flooring business out of Toronto. I'm just curious to know what hardwax oil really is. I know most of it is a sales pitch. I'd like to make my own if it's possible. I've gone through some MSDS sheets from various manufacturers of hardwax oils and natural wax finishes. Most don't list much except the cobalt dryers. I think I've seen xylene.

I'm just wondering if anyone here has ever made their own. All these companies claim to have "special blends of natural waxes and oils", but then claim you can always top coat with polyurethane. You can't put poly over wax, it won't adhere very long. So what's really in the stuff?

I've experimented with carnauba wax mixed with walnut oil and carnauba/beeswax/safflower oil (both tried on cutting boards) and it pretty much all behaves the same. It takes a day or two for it to dry off so that it doesn't leave streaks. It's somewhat water proof but a water puddle left on over night will leave a stain.

Any insight appreciated.
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-03-2012, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canada View Post
Hi all,

I'm new here. I operate a hardwood flooring business out of Toronto. I'm just curious to know what hard-wax oil really is. I know most of it is a sales pitch. I'd like to make my own if it's possible. I've gone through some MSDS sheets from various manufacturers of hard-wax oils and natural wax finishes. Most don't list much except the cobalt dryers. I think I've seen xylene.

I'm just wondering if anyone here has ever made their own. All these companies claim to have "special blends of natural waxes and oils", but then claim you can always top coat with polyurethane. You can't put poly over wax, it won't adhere very long. So what's really in the stuff?

I've experimented with carnauba wax mixed with walnut oil and carnauba/beeswax/safflower oil (both tried on cutting boards) and it pretty much all behaves the same. It takes a day or two for it to dry off so that it doesn't leave streaks. It's somewhat water proof but a water puddle left on over night will leave a stain.

Any insight appreciated.
not familiar with hardwax brands, but i do know that the modern wax coatings we were working with were a combination of tung, TEA, and micronized polyethylene wax, xylene and cobalt as the drier for the oil among other things proprietary.

Polyethylene is a high molecular weight wax, [think milk jugs] that has little of the normal wax properties as to fatty oily feel or softness, but retains the crystalline structure. It incorporates well with oil in a matrix of TEA [triethanolamine] so that the wax is suspended and not floating on the surface when dry. thus, minimizing any small percentage that is randomly on the upper surface. you could apply a coat of poly or vanish over it similar to putting it over dry tung coating since most of the surface wold be the dry oil film.

This, however, does not mean any present commercial products are of the same make up. but could be similar.

Who would carry these products i mention for the general public, i don't know.

Last edited by chemmy; 01-03-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-04-2012, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I was hoping it would be easier than having to find a multitude of chemicals probably not available to small businesses. I'm sure it's not a matter of just mixing them up to make a finish. I guess it's best to stick with the stuff on the market or go with thinned out carnauba and oils and homemade recipes. I'd really like to know what these companies really put in their finishes they claim are 99% natural oils and waxes.

The hardwax oils popular with floors are brands like Osmo Poly X, Eukula, Rubio Monocoat.

Thanks again.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-04-2012, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Canada View Post
Thanks for the reply. I was hoping it would be easier than having to find a multitude of chemicals probably not available to small businesses. I'm sure it's not a matter of just mixing them up to make a finish. I guess it's best to stick with the stuff on the market or go with thinned out carnauba and oils and homemade recipes. I'd really like to know what these companies really put in their finishes they claim are 99% natural oils and waxes.

The hardwax oils popular with floors are brands like Osmo Poly X, Eukula, Rubio Monocoat.

Thanks again.
I would imagine if you were to do a search for natural waxes and oils for wood coatings, you would find information.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-04-2012, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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I've googled the subject to death and all I can find are the simple recipes which are 1:1:1 parts of oil, wax and thinners. They are very effective and give a nice soft feel and a really nice look to my woodworking projects. I can't find anything comparable to the low VOC hardwax oil finishes unless you add poly. I'm thinking I could try something like biodiesel as a thinner which apparently is very eco friendly and technically has no VOCs.

I think I'm just making things difficult for myself. Thanks for the info.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-04-2012, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canada View Post
I've googled the subject to death and all I can find are the simple recipes which are 1:1:1 parts of oil, wax and thinners. They are very effective and give a nice soft feel and a really nice look to my woodworking projects. I can't find anything comparable to the low VOC hardwax oil finishes unless you add poly. I'm thinking I could try something like biodiesel as a thinner which apparently is very eco friendly and technically has no VOCs.

I think I'm just making things difficult for myself. Thanks for the info.
From my quick search on my sites, it seems as if these ones your talking of may be the types where natural distilled oils are made of, such as rosewood oil. In that case, the essentail oils themselves have a degree of natural wax present in the oil. It's not a matter of blending another wax into or with them, ok?

If it were me in your position, i would be looking more into highly polymerized tung oil, where the need for waxes or other resins were not necessary to create a good coating surface. JMO
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-10-2012, 08:17 AM
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You have gained lots of experience om homemade hardwax oil.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-11-2012, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the replies folks!
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-03-2019, 06:17 PM
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Lightbulb hardwax oil

Hard wax oil is tung oil and carnauba wax i am curious to what ratio it is? I dont think walnut oil drys as hard as tung oil. a hard wax oil is prone to stains, and requires recoating for best results,and you also have to put enough finish on it, if it is staining easily
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-03-2019, 09:08 PM
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so from what i am getting from this is you mix tung oil and carnauba wax and xylene 1:1:1 to make hardwax oil. seems like a high ratio for thinning and drying, why xylene vs others like mineral spirits? I guess you just have to play with it, keeping in mind purchasing the oil and carauba wax may already have dryers and thinners in them, i know tung oil does
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post #11 of 11 Old 12-03-2019, 10:33 PM
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Hey @Shastin Michelle - Do you realize that this thread is nearly 8 years old?

Nobody above has visited WoodworkingTalk since 2013. I doubt they will come back.
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