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Chapter 11. Homebrew Wood Finishes > Homebrew Wood Finishes - Pg. 382

Finishes · Mason jars in a variety of sizes. (The kind your aunt Tillie used to preserve her homemade cantaloupe/mutton marmalade. You know, glass top and bottom, rubber gasket, screw-on metal rim to hold the whole thing together.) Sourcing some of this lot in the wilds of middle America would likely have been pretty challenging a few years ago. Luckily, the current global online marketplace makes stocking up for this kind of adventure a matter of a few mouse-clicks and a few days' wait. And of course, you're gonna need some other stuff: · Access to the stove. (Or a hotplate, or an electric frying pan.) · A glass stir rod. (Yeah, it really needs to be glass, although I suppose you could use a piece of stainless-steel rod in a pinch. Avoiding contamination of the stuff you're mixing is a fairly big deal. Glass is good, because it's chemically inert to the ingredients, and looks really cool.) Seems simple enough, dunnit? Half-fill the sauce pan with water, and set it a simmerin' just short of boiling. You're dealing with extremely flammable ingredients, and doing the double-boiler thing will let you melt and mix stuff without exposing them to hazardous amounts of heat. As it is you're going to be encouraging volatile petro- chemical products to vapourise, which is dangerous enough. While the water's heating, let's look at the material specs. The three waxes you bought each have their own distinc- tive strengths and weaknesses. Your job is to negotiate a compromise blend of these that does what you want. Wax Carnauba Strengths Hard, shiny, smooth Soft, polishes easily, smells nice Slippery, shiny Weaknesses So hard that it's almost crisp; brutal to buff a shine into Soft, sticky, low melting point Really, really soft; Beeswax Paraffin