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Author Topic: wax sticks  (Read 2578 times)

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waltzman

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wax sticks
« on: November 17, 2008, 01:43:58 AM »

I'm planning my first reed waxing job and plan to use the 'soldering iron and sticks of wax method'.  The wax I ordered came in two round cakes.  Does anyone have a suggestion for making the little sticks of wax.  I thought I would melt it and pour it in a flat pan lined with wax paper (to keep it from sticking) and then cut it up.  Anybody have any better techniques?
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RGF

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Re: wax sticks
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 05:22:03 AM »

Don't know about turning blocks into sticks....I guess your method sounds like it could be worth a try. Please post your results!

But I've got a soldering pen tip that might be helpful. I cut a short length of solid copper electrical wire and wrapped it quite tightly around the length of the soldering pen tip, leaving an additional inch and a half of wire extending straight out from the tip of the pen. I placed the end of that wire on my anvil and smacked it flat with a small hammer, then filed that flattened end into kind of a thin "paddle" shape. (Hope this is making sense.)

It does several things that I like: the temperature at the point of business is cooler and doesn't smoke the wax; The thin edge of the paddle can fit between closely spaced reeds, and touching the wax stick to the hot wire will flow it down nicely into tight spots; And you can use the flat side of the paddle to smooth the wax nicely around perimiter areas. It also allows you to bend the wire to obtain the most comfortable position of the working tip.

I know I have certainly received lots of useful information here in the year or so that I've been stopping in -- hopefully some might find this a useful tidbit.

Bob
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Malcolm Clapp

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Re: wax sticks
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2008, 06:04:27 AM »


I thought I would melt it and pour it in a flat pan lined with wax paper (to keep it from sticking) and then cut it up. 


Why not just cut the cake into sticks with a heavy knife without heating it?

You will need to do it on a not too cold day though, so if you live in Alaska, then probably ignore this advice!

MC (in Australia, currently 23 degrees C and cutting up wax)
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 06:06:12 AM by Malcolm Clapp »
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Tuner/repairer, now retired, but still playing! Happy to offer advice on repairs etc., and might be persuaded to undertake the odd emergency job for local and longtime  customers.

an bosca ceoil

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Re: wax sticks
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 10:23:45 AM »

You can use  "Tupperware"  type containers with some quite warm water covering the bottem, rather than wax paper.
Pour the just melted  ( not smoking hot) wax onto the water to achieve the thickness you want and pop it into the fridge.
When cooled you can flex the tub to break the edges away leaving a flat sheet (the edges will be a little thicker).
After drying, core the sheet to the width of strip you want with blade and straightedge, at room temerature.
Next freeze the sheet when you will be able to snap it into strips.
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waltzman

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Re: wax sticks
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2008, 02:29:41 PM »

Don't know about turning blocks into sticks....I guess your method sounds like it could be worth a try. Please post your results!

But I've got a soldering pen tip that might be helpful. I cut a short length of solid copper electrical wire and wrapped it quite tightly around the length of the soldering pen tip, leaving an additional inch and a half of wire extending straight out from the tip of the pen. I placed the end of that wire on my anvil and smacked it flat with a small hammer, then filed that flattened end into kind of a thin "paddle" shape. (Hope this is making sense.)

It does several things that I like: the temperature at the point of business is cooler and doesn't smoke the wax; The thin edge of the paddle can fit between closely spaced reeds, and touching the wax stick to the hot wire will flow it down nicely into tight spots; And you can use the flat side of the paddle to smooth the wax nicely around perimiter areas. It also allows you to bend the wire to obtain the most comfortable position of the working tip.

I know I have certainly received lots of useful information here in the year or so that I've been stopping in -- hopefully some might find this a useful tidbit.

Bob


This is exactly what I did except I attatched the copper wire to a hot melt glue gun which is about one third as hot as a soldering iron.  It seems to be just the right temp.
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Falseknight

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Re: wax sticks
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008, 07:42:18 PM »

So if you could cast wax sticks of the correct diameter, could you use a hot-melt glue gun for waxing direct?
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waltzman

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Re: wax sticks
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2008, 09:37:07 PM »

So if you could cast wax sticks of the correct diameter, could you use a hot-melt glue gun for waxing direct?

I don't think so.  The melting point of the wax is considerably lower than the hot melt glue sticks.  You would end up with wax everywhere.
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Falseknight

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Re: wax sticks
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2008, 11:45:49 PM »

Bizarrely, you can control a glue gun with a thyristor dimmer - they re low power, so if you buy one of those IKEA type dimmers on a plug block, you SHOULD be able to control the heat to a suitable level.
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