This blog is mainly about Telescope making, and some things about my politics. At last we finally have a President that can say "Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me." instead of mixing up with an old Who song.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Waxen it down

I might be movin' to Montana soon
Just to raise me up a crop of Dental Floss
Raisin' it up
Waxen it down
In a little white box
I can sell uptown

-Frank Zappa, Montana

So I have the tool now, and I sealed it with some deck sealer I had around and let it dry. It says its for concrete, and it says you can clean it up with soap and water.


I tried soap and water. The brush felt like I put rubber cement on it. Then I tried MEK. It just stank. Then I tried alcohol - worthless. Finally the old standby, paint thinner - it did the job. oy. But the tool is sealed at least

Then I levelled the tool and put a packing tape dam around the edge. Levelling is very important, since I would be pouring liquid wax on it in a bit.

After melting two bricks of the "Gulf Wax" used for canning preserves and such, I poured the wax over the tiles and let it congeal. It was about 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. And while it was still soft, I scrapped it off with a little wooden scrap wedge that was handy.

One thing I noticed, was little bubbles in the wax, and I was disappointed in them. This kind of wax has a lot of that anyway, but here it seems like a place for disaster to hide. So after I scapped off the wax, I took out my low wattage (10 watts) fine point soldering iron and remelted all the channels to let all the little bubbles pop to the surface.

Bubble free, and with wooden wedge in hand, I scrapped 1/32" of wax out of the channels. It just came right up. I noticed that some of the wax was coming loose around the edges, so I packed it tight and took the propane torch to it and light (ever so lightly ) wafted the flame and sealed them.

Alas, I let it drip down the side of the tool once or twice. And while I could peel it back off, there is always some wax left. Paint (red acrylic - leftover from my front door) doens't like to stick to wax much, and so, this morning, when I went out to paint it, I scrapped off as much as I could and painted it anyway. I hope it work, but I have a feeling that it will peel before too long. I will put another couple of coats on and then wrap the whole thing in several layers of packing tape as David suggested.

Here is a video of me scraping wax. Its pretty easy when its warm.

Here are some other pics.

I put a couple of bricks under an old kitchen pan. That and the wax and the torch and some tape is what I used.

Here is what the wax looks like when you scrap it off. I did it diagonally with a little wooden wedge I had laying around. If I had done it normal/parallel to the channels it would have caught in them in an uncontrolled way.

Here it is after removing the wax and the dam.

Closeups of the wax after scraping 1/32" from the channels.

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