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Chapter 11. Homebrew Wood Finishes > Homebrew Wood Finishes - Pg. 383

MAKE: PROJECTS Eccentric Cubicle "Takes its time and puts the hurt on your nose" to "Almost immediately, and like the Pope's farts." I actually don't mind having to wait a few days for a finish to set up; the impatient amongst you will no doubt disagree. It's your call. Pigments only seem scary. They're nothing more than oddly coloured dirt and rust, when you look at them closely; the trick is to get them where you want them and make them stay there. They're similar to dyes, but are delivered as a suspension rather than a solution; these are relatively large particles floating around in a carrier liquid, waiting to settle into the pores of the wood you're finishing. What liquid? A 50-50 blend of oil and solvent is a good start, with the primary challenge during formulation being that of thorough mixing of the pigment into the carrier. Heat the oil in the graduated cylinder (in the double boiler), add an equal amount of solvent, then mix in the pigments, top- ping up the fluid level with more solvent if you lose too much to evaporation. You can test the colour while the mix is still warm; when you're satisfied, transfer to a clean, dry Mason jar and seal it up. Label the jar appropriately with the ingredi- up to a warm medium gloss glow. It can be pigmented if you like, but the low oil-to-wax ratio means a higher tendency for the colourant to buff off during polishing. Pour ¼ cup of boiled linseed oil into your graduated cyl- inder and put it in the simmering pan of water to heat. Add carnauba wax pieces slowly, stirring as it melts, to get 1 cup of solution. Add about a tablespoon of beeswax, stirring constantly until it's melted. Pour in 3/4 cup of your solvent of choice and continue stirring under heat until the mixture is smooth and homogenous. Pour into a clean, dry Mason jar and seal it tightly. The mixture will solidify as it cools into a firm, slightly creamy paste. To use, just rub a light coat into the wood (with the grain, please), let it set overnight, then buff out with a soft cloth. If you want a higher gloss finish, you can apply a light coat of a suitable wax-only blend after about 48 hours of setup time. Higher gloss wax blend? This ratio would work on hard- wood, but I'd eliminate the beeswax and up the paraffin con- tent on softwood.