In Tricks of the Trade

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A) I often lubricate my jointer and planer beds with a paraffin wax squiggle. Wood is much easier to push down a waxed bed.

Ordinary paraffin canning wax has dozens of uses in my shop. It’s cheap at a few bucks a pound, available at any grocery store, and easy to cut into small chunks.

B) Glue doesn’t adhere to paraffin. I rub wax on clamping blocks to keep them from sticking.

Unlike candle wax, which often contains beeswax, or some spray lubricants, which may have silicone in them, paraffin won’t contaminate oil and varnish finishes because it’s a completely petroleum-based product.

C) My plane is much easier to push when it’s waxed, too. I rub paraffin on its sole every 10 strokes or so.

Most wax residue gets sanded off anyway.

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