A versatile accessory on the jewellery bench such as beeswax has a plethora of uses, and you can feel good about helping out the plight of our bee’s at the same time.
From lubricating your jewellery saw blades to coating your threads and cords for beading, the list of uses for beeswax goes on and on.
100% Natural beeswax is less oily and easier to clean than bleached beeswax products, leaving less residue on your tools.
Once you’ve finished using it on your workbench you can seal some home made cheese with it - yes, really. Take a look at Curd Nerd for their tips on waxing cheese with beeswax.
But lets take a look at how you can use beeswax in your studio or workshop….
When cutting metal beeswax helps the saw blades to glide smoothly through the metal without 'catching', making sawing much easier and reducing the amount of broken blades.
Once the saw blades are strung in the jewellery saw frame, swipe the back of the saw blade through the beeswax before using.
For more information on cutting metal with a jewellery saw and how the beeswax helps wiht a clean, smooth cut, have a read of our article: 'How to Use a Jewellery saw'
Beeswax is a lifesaver when beading and sewing. Wax and coat the cord, thread and silks when you're stringing beads and pearls to prevent fraying, knotting and tangling. The same applies to sewing and embroidery thread.
Melt the beeswax and mix with a tiny amount of olive oil if your find the wax block is crumbling. Jeweller, Diana Redlin explains more on this in her article on the Jewelry Making Journal website.
For fiddly and tiny beads you can also mould the beeswax into a pointed ‘pick-up-stick’ and use it to pick up the beads.
Stone setters and beaders use beeswax for picking up and holding small stones, beads and pearls in place whilst setting or beading.
Shape your beeswax into a cylinder and taper the point. Alternatively warm the wax so it's malleable and press a small amount onto the end of a stick of pegwood. Use this to pick up and place small parts when stone setting.
If the wax is too sticky you can mix it with a bit of ash.
The oxidised areas of the silver will eventually shine up over time, but by applying beeswax with a clean soft cloth to the area of oxidised silver acts as a sealant and prolongs the oxidisation from shining up too quickly.
Jeweller Cecilia Stamp has a page based on 'Aftercare' on her website which is a nice touch. Take a look. She suggests using beeswax to seal and protect any oxidised silver jewellery made by her.
When rubbed on to a surface of metal for instance, natural beeswax leaves a film onto which a design can be then be transferred.
Beeswax is the best lubricant when drawing wire through a drawplate.
Take a look at Hans Meevis' Jewelry Tutorial for step by step instructions on how to do this.
Use beeswax to give your beach pebbles, stones and rocks a natural looking shine and polish.
Always use a clean soft cloth for this that hasn’t been used with any other cleaning product or jewellery abrasive/polishing compound otherwise this will mark your stones.
By applying beeswax to your steel drill bits, screws and nails, will help reduce friction in the cut during machining.
Coat your nails, screws and drill bits with beeswax to prevent them splintering wood as they go in.
The same applies for using beeswax on drill bits going through metal to achieve a cleaner cut and prolong the life of the drill bits.
Use beeswax on your stainless steel tools where you require them to move smoothly on the glass and to prevent oxide deposits from discolouring your light colors.
To apply the beeswax wave the tool through your flame then swipe both sides of the tool on your beeswax block. Remove any residue.
Do not use beeswax on any tool you use to grip the glass with.
Use beeswax as a cutting lubricant for tools when working on wood and use to restore surfaces, joints and any moving parts.
If you coat your nails, screws and drill bits with beeswax they will not splinter the wood as they go in.
Coat your hand tools with beeswax to prevent them from rusting.
This a very old method of casting pieces and the beeswax will need some manipulation in order to use it in this way.
Mix with a tiny amount of light oil and keep the wax cool as it begins to warm and become too soft.
Other Uses for Beeswax
- Preserve the bodies of guitars
- Coat Tambourine surfaces when using the roll playing technique
- Coat woodwind instrument reeds
- Coat bag pipe strings
- Skin care products such as lotions and balms
- Batik fabric dyeing
- Sealing cheese
- Sealing envelopes and letters
- Waterproofing shoes and boots
- Maintaining dreadlocks and moustaches
- Grease cooking pans and baking sheets
- Make your own beeswax candles
- Furniture polish for wood and granite counter tops
- Cotton soaked beeswax wrap - an alternative to clingfilm
- Prevent bronze from tarnishing
- Lubrication for wet suit zips for surfers and divers
- Lubrication and waterproofing of bow strings in archery
- Ukrainian egg decoration called Pysanky
- Sealant for matches when camping
- Wax surfaces of skis, snowboards and surfboards