Carnauba wax is an amazing product

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					x08ant_082p-Howards        16/9/08     10:10 AM        Page 1


    Carnauba wax
             arnauba wax is an amazing product.           production of cheaper furniture polishes,

   C         This natural plant wax was first
             discovered in Brazil in the latter part
    of the 16th century. Harvested from the leaves
                                                          however nothing really compared to Carnauba
                                                          wax in appearance and performance.
                                                             In the 1970s synthetic polymer emulsions
    of the Brazilian cerara palm, it was found that       were introduced to the market, and these
    this wax could deliver a very high shine, was         became popular with trades looking for quick,
    extremely durable and non-greasy.                     easy, more permanent and less expensive ways
       It had a higher melting point than beeswax         to deal with coating wood.
    which meant that it stayed stable even in                By far the most widely used polymer products   The Method
    extreme summer conditions. Later on, this             these days are based on silicone oils, which      The process of making your own high quality carnauba wax blend is really pretty simple.
    made it an excellent choice for the protection        provide lubrication and gloss. But according to   Firstly, you will need beeswax, which is available from any apiarist.
    of furniture in the British dominions of India,       many woodworkers these oils have certain long-    Chip off a few slabs and using kitchen scales measure out 100 gm. Set aside.
    South Africa and of course, Australia.                term drawbacks related to maintenance and over
       The downside of carnauba wax was that it           coating with other products.
    was extremely hard and difficult to use. To              In an effort to break away from silicone-
    overcome the problems European and British            based waxes Howard Products Inc. USA was
                                                                                                                                                                 Measure out 100 gm of carnauba
    woodworkers started blending it with softer           the first wood-wax manufacturing business to
                                                                                                                                                                 wax flakes, which is available from
    wax and oil products.                                 discover and harness the use of pure, cold-
                                                                                                                                                                 Howard Products direct if your
       By the late 19th century there were                pressed orange oil as a solvent in the blending
                                                                                                                                                                 stockist doesn’t have it or won’t
    carnauba wax based products blended with              together of carnauba wax and beeswax. It was
                                                                                                                                                                 get it for you.
    candelilla, esparto grass oil, sugar cane oil,        immediately successful and began a rash of
    palm oil, hemp oil and raffia waxes, among            furniture preparations claiming to contain
    others. These blends resulted in a much easier        pure orange oil.
    to use wax which provided a better shine and             Recently, Howard Products Australia
    more stable finish on wood than beeswax.              bought a large amount of brown Brazilian
       By the 1920s chemists in the USA had               wax flakes and is offering 500 gm bags of
    managed to create a suspension of carnauba            this amazing raw product at perhaps the
    wax in a soap and water base which was                lowest price you’ll ever pay for this otherwise
    marketed as a self-polishing wax emulsion.            rare and expensive product.
       Even though this development meant that               By following the easy step-by-step guide
    less buffing was required there were problems         you too can blend your own inexpensive
    with streaking, and the finish could easily be        carnauba wax using a bit of beeswax and
    damaged by contact with water due to the              cold-pressed orange oil.
    soap content.                                            The total cost for a good size portion of
       With the maturing of the petroleum age in          wax weighing around 200 gm will be about
    the 1920s to 1930s, beeswax and carnauba              $12. It will cover a large area when rubbed
    wax were blended together with inexpensive            lightly over the surface of your project. Buff    Place the beeswax in an old saucepan and gently heat the wax until it melts and clarifies,
    solvents such as kerosene, naphtha and                up using a good bit of brisk friction.            making certain that you don’t scald it.
    paraffin. These became staple products in the            Naturally, sensible precautions apply when     Now add your 100 gm of carnauba wax slowly and carefully, and stir it into the melted
                                                                                                            beeswax with an old metal spoon or similar utensil.
                                                                                                            When the two waxes
                                                                                                            have combined and

                                               PROTECTION                                                   are liquid take 200
                                                                                                            ml of cold-pressed
                                                                                                            orange oil and slowly
                                                                                                            and carefully add it
                                 with a little dab of                                                       to the mixture.
                                                                                                            Howard cold
                                 Howard Feed-N-Wax                                                          pressed raw orange
                                                                                                            oil retails for around
                                                                                                            $25 at some of our

                                                                                                            Stir all the ingredients until blended then take off the heat and allow to cool for a few
                                                                                                            minutes. Now take your mould, which might be a metal mug, tin can or appropriate plastic
                                                                                                            receptacle able to accept heat. Into the mould carefully pour your still warm liquid. Safely
                                                                                                            set aside and let it cool overnight. In the morning you’ll have your wax ready to use.

                                                                                                            heating and blending wax in this way. Have        pressed essential orange oil because of its
                                          Feed-N-Wax is a clever blend of durable carnauba                  sand in a bucket in case of spills or sparks.     appealing fragrance, plus, it is good for wood.
                                          wax, nourishing beeswax and nutrient rich orange                  Keep a bucket of water on hand and plenty of      However, turpentine can be used if preferred.
                                                                                                            cloth pieces to use for handling hot items.       Remember, if your local Howard Stockist
                                           oil. It has the power to clean, protect and nourish                 Another precaution is to have an               doesn’t carry these products just ring us ■
                                                           all the good furniture in your home.             appropriate small fire extinguisher handy just
                                                                                                            in case. Don’t slop things around. Be careful
                                                                                                            and contained in your actions.
                                                                                                               Note: The methods and measurements used        David Foster
                                                                                                            in this example are just suggestions. There are   HOWARD PRODUCTS AUSTRALIA
                                                                                                            other ways to make your own wax and any 
                                                                                                            number of recipes. I choose to use cold-



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