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I just finished building a cross cut sled for my table saw.  I have read that I should wax the bottom of the sled to make it slide smoother across my table top.  Will someone please share with me the type of wax they use for this purpose?  Thanks in advance.

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Hi jeff i used beeswax on mine never had any problems with it.

Hi Jeff - I just use Johnson Paste Wax on most everything. relatively cheap as a can lasts me a long time, available most everywhere and buffs up to a nice durable finish that doesn't contain silicones.

Paraffin wax--- can also be used.

Apply it to the sled runners and miter slots. 

Paraffin is a handy material, that is useful in the shop and around the home.

Use paraffin wax, as a friction reducer.

Apply to wood draw slides, and areas of the drawer that’s exposed to sliding motion---

making for easier drawer operation.

Paraffin wax, prevents oxidation on the surface of polished steel and iron.

Gulf Wax® ‘’Household Paraffin Wax’’, a popular brand of paraffin, is a highly refined paraffin wax, that can be found in grocery stores---for in use of sealing jams, jellies, and preserves, in open top containers.

Hi Ken - forgot about paraffin - works really well but in the state you buy it, square blocks about 1/2" thick, I find it a bit hard to use. I mix it with about an equal amount of mineral oil in a double boiler until it combines. Once cooled it turns into a semi-paste that can be spread pretty easily and is durable. I have some old wooden windows it worked very well on. I also have used it on pivot points for folding wooden furniture with good luck.

Hi Jens,

I use Johnson's Paste Wax, on many objects, including my measuring tools.

The paste wax leaves a thinner coating vs the paraffin wax.

Both products offer advantages, it all depends on the end use product.

I use one or the other.

Experimenting and learning, from each product, will determine which is most suitable, for its end use.

On my skies I'd use paraffin, whereas on my cross-cut sled I use the paste wax.

We coated our bob-sleds runners and toboggans, using warmed paraffin.  

When on the slopes, the paraffin bars came in handy. The runners needed to be recoated after extended use,  or as the wax worn off.

When adjusting the cutter on the hand planes, I use the bar shaped form of paraffin.

Very thin shavings can be obtained with ease.  Safer than running one fingers across the cutting edge, to feel how far the blade extends below the base, and potentially drawing blood.  The paraffin also lubes the metal surfaces.

A plumbers candle, made from paraffin, is another useful product.  I generally keep plumbers candles in my tool boxes, around the shop and in the house.  

And, in my camping gear and in the vehicles tool box.

TIP:  keep plumbers candles in the house, in a readily accessible location, so if the power goes out, you can quickly light it up.  A plumbers candle burns longer than a household type candle.

PS---pour melted paraffin over dried wood shavings, and make easy fire starters, for camping or camp fires.  (use the bottom section of a paper egg carton---fill the cup with shavings, and pour the melted paraffin over the shavings.  Separate one or two, light it, and place it in the kindling).

Thanks everyone for the tips.  I think I will pick up both paraffin and paste to keep around the house.

One note: avoid anything with silicone in it, e.g. car wax. The silicone gets into the wood and prevents the finish from adhering.

James, 

You make a very good point.

I recall a customer saying, "What's the difference?...wax is wax".

Perhaps he just hadn't learned.

My wife uses dryer lint instead of sawdust. Your choice.

''SLIPIT'' product, offered by Rockler, is favored by many.

Slip-It reduces friction on moving wood parts. Use this specially formulated, silicone-free lubricant for wooden windows, doors, drawers and any other wood-on-wood application. Slip-It won’t gum up or cause pieces to jam, and won’t harm finished wood surfaces or skin. Applies easily with a paintbrush.

Technical Details

  • Specially formulated lubricant jelly
  • Contains no petroleum distillates
  • Silicone free
  • Designed for wood on wood movement
  • Apply with a brush

Slip-It Sliding Compound

Applied some ''SLIPIT" to sticking sliding windows---wood-on-wood and wood-on metal.

Used an acid brush, so as to get the lube into those otherwise inaccessible areas.

SLIPIT worked so well, that I now have to come up with a ''hold-open'' device, so the window doesn't slide closed on its own.

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