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Johnson Paste Wax

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Dave Fritz, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. Dave Fritz

    Dave Fritz

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    Location (City & State):
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    I've been using Johnson Paste Wax for some time on my machine's tops to keep them rust free and smooth. It's eventually become dried out even though I've kept the lid on and in a plastic zip lock bag. I decided it was time to replace it to freshen it up. I was surprised to see the range in price for the same product, all the way from about $8 up to $27. I finally got it my local ACE hardware for the cheapest price.

    I did use some Briwax but it contains toluene and the smell was awful. I see they make a toluene free product, mine is pretty old I guess.

    What do you use and how do you store it?
     
  2. Stephen Schmidt

    Stephen Schmidt

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    Location (City & State):
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    I've been using the same can of Johnson's for the last 25 years. Just kept the lid on with my wiping rag inside and in a cabinet. It's getting low so I'll be getting something else soon. I've also used Boshield T-9 (?) spray can. It also keeps the rust away. Just my $0.02. Steve
     
  3. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I'm with Steven I've been using the same can of a johnsons paste wax for at least 15 years.
     
  4. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Not positive what the solvent is in the Johnson's paste wax is, but other similar paste wax formulas use turpentine. I have been using Butcher's Wax for years. They have a paste wax and a bowling alley wax. Turpentine is the smell that comes out of the can, but I haven't added any. Same idea with the Kiwi neutral shoe wax.

    robo hippy
     
  5. Tom De Winter

    Tom De Winter

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    Apr 30, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Quad Cities, IL
    I recently purchased my first can of Johnson Paste Wax and don't know if this is normal consistency. It's more like mush than the paste I expected.
    Wax Mush.JPG
     
  6. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    I believe it should be solid, very much like shoe polish (if you go back that far). The mush probably just has too much of whatever they use as solvent, but I think it should perform fine, just take a little longer to harden after being applied.
     
  7. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    For a can of wax that is drying out you can add some mineral spirits or naptha to soften it up. Let it sit a while to soften the wax. Just depends on how fast you want the solvent carrier to evaporate when you put it on. Its hard to add too much. You can just leave the lid off for a while and let some evaporate.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  8. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    I have an old can of Johnson's paste wax that I have had since the 1970s I think and it is really thin like Tom said.
     
  9. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    My father used to hold a match under shoe polish that had dried out to re-level it. I’ve gently passed a propane torch flame over the wax in my paste wax can to do the same thing.
     
  10. Jason Goodrich

    Jason Goodrich

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    Portland, OR
    I switched to Howard and really like it. More citrus that turpentine.
     

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  11. Ron Solfest

    Ron Solfest

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    I also use Boeshield on cast iron tops usually. Paste wax on a variety of other things. Here’s my Minwax can on right that is 35-40yrs old (price tag on that says I paid $5.59). I bought the can of Johnson’s about 10-15 yrs ago on the left.
     

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  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    You guys aren't using nearly enough Johnson's Paste Wax if you have cans that are fifteen to fifty years old. I have four or five cans strategically placed in various locations around the shop, garage, and home. I doubt that any can has lasted much beyond a decade. I've never had a can go dry except for the one that somehow got punctured on the bottom by a skew. I put Johnson's Paste Wax on nearly everything.
     
  13. Ric Williams

    Ric Williams

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    Location (City & State):
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    I've got a can of Minwax finishing paste wax that I bought in 1976, for $2.79 at Ace Hardware. I think the stuff reproduces in the can, because I've used it a lot, but I've still got about half a can of wax left.
     
    Russ Braun likes this.
  14. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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  15. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    I also have been using Johnson's paste wax on all my shop machine's for years to prevent rust. I get several years out of can. I also have a dehumidifier in my small basement shop that really helps keep rust away. Alabama's summers are very humid so I use a lot of paste wax in those months.
     
  16. Steve Tiedman

    Steve Tiedman

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    Location (City & State):
    Minneapolis, MN
    Close to 20 years ago I bought a tub of Johnson's, and then the Lundmark's and Trewax shown in the photo. All were hardware store finds, all well under 10 bucks per can. A buddy needed some wax, the Johnson's was close at hand, so that's the one I gave him. Both the Lundmark's and Trewax are carnuba based (not sure what else may be in them, esp. what the "special hardener" might be in the Lundmark's), and both have mild odors mainly of turpentine, esp. the Lundmark's. Both are firm in the can, and cream white of color, not mushy as some describe the Johnson's. I'd say no harsh solvents in either one. The turpentine of the Lundmark's actually smells nice in the shop. Both work great for everything from machine tops to woodturnings.
    20201120_113553.jpg

    20201120_113612.jpg
    Well, I can confirm that turpentine, an evaporating solvent, is not going to "nourish and put life back" into something that is in fact dead. Silly marketing department...
    20201120_114006.jpg
    Steve.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
    Bill Boehme likes this.

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