I really like SC Johnson Paste Wax for protecting my cast iron tool surfaces (such as table saws and planers). However it has been discontinued. There are other brands of paste wax but they tend to be a lot harder and not spread well.

SC Johnson had this great property where it was was thick until you applied pressure to it and then it would become rather liquid and spread nicely.

According to this article it is made of 4 ingredients:

  1. Deodorized Naptha
  2. Carnauba Wax
  3. Microcrystaline Wax
  4. Paraffin Wax

Would it just be a matter of experimenting with different ratios of these 4 ingredients melted together until I get the consistency I am looking for?

  • Sounds like the ingredients and physical performance of Kiwi Neutral shoe polish. You can still get paste wax on ebay, but it's about $75, not sure what it's worth to you.
    – dandavis
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 18:59
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    You'll waste less time finding NOS cans or partially used cans on ebay, or finding a different brand you can live with. Mixing solvents and waxes is moderately tedious/difficult, and tends to involve some level of hazard of burning your house down. Use a double boiler heated by electricity, and work outside...
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 19:01
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    Or use somehting actually made specifically for protecting surfaces, like LPS3 (just a happy customer.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 19:13
  • at $75 on ebay SC Johnson is not remotely affordable. @dandavis Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 19:15
  • @Ecnerwal do you use LPS3 on woodworking tools? After a quick google search it leaves a sticky residue and machinsts seem to use it for long term tool storage then remote it with WD-40 before use. That will not work for woodworking tools. Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 19:19

1 Answer 1


Why reinvent the wheel? Bowling Alley Wax is functionally equivalent to Johnson's Paste Wax. I have a can of each and they even smell the same.

  • 1
    Bowling Alley Wax is 4 times the price I used to pay for Johnson's Paste Wax. Also living in CA I am tired of products I like getting reformulated or discontinued and would rather be able to make simple things like paste wax myself. Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 21:27
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    @SolomonBothwell Fair enough. "There are other brands of paste wax but they tend to be a lot harder and not spread well." You can add turpentine or mineral spirits to a too-hard paste wax to make it softer and more spreadable. This can get you where you want to be without expending time and effort on creating your own formula.
    – MTA
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 22:24

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