Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On the making of cobblers wax.....

I think this is the second or third time I've made cobblers wax, this time a big batch. You can make it at various ratios of Rosin : Wax : Oil, and this particular ratio is 6.75 : 2.25 : 1 
More rosin makes the wax harder and more tacky, more wax makes it softer, but less tacky.

In times of old, 'summer wax' was harder, and 'winter wax' was softer, for obvious reasons: no great source of heat in the winter.

Anyways, there's the final batch (18 sticks), and what follows is a series of photos of the process.

Start with your raw materials. Wax and rosin, in 1lb bags.

 You'll need a scale to work out how much of each you want. For 500g total of wax rosin and oil, I used 337.5g rosin, 112.5g wax and 50ml oil (1g = 1ml at a close approximation for oil)

Raw materials in a pan. (You're not going to want to reuse this for food)

The wax melts first

Then the resin,

You need to wait until it is all melted and no lumps are obvious.
Be careful though, the pine rosin is highly flammable, so don't melt it on maximum heat, otherwise it will burn.
I get it to a good temperature and then reduce the heat to less than half max.

Pre chill your molds in the freezer; these were $1 each from Ikea - silicone molds are key, it allows the wax to be easily removed once it solidifies.
The use of foil under the trays prevents an occurrence of wrath from the lady of the house, though with wax, it can easily be removed, if you're dyeing in the kitchen you do so at your own risk!!


 Your hardened wax sticks - the over spill on the sides can be collected and remelted next time, or used immediately.

Easily removed from the mold.

A little bit on your finger as you're tying works wonders for holding materials in place with minimum thread wraps, and your body temperature keeps it soft enough to run over the thread as you need it.

If anyone is interested, the wax above is available for $13 per stick (enough to last you a lifetime), shipped CONUS. Just shoot me an email

Eunan








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