We are very happy to [finally] announce our Beeswax Finishes. Not only are we launching our Signature Series, but we are giving away 20 (twenty) FREE samples – more on that later… First, I (JD) want to share a little bit of a back story, and why we are giving away these free samples.
We made our first “batch” ever approximately a year and a half ago. It was in preparation of a craft show, and I wanted to use an all-natural finish for my cutting boards I was going to be selling. It is very common to use Mineral Oil as a cutting board finish, but it doesn’t exactly leave a finished “feel”. I wanted something that would soak into the wood as well as “seal” the surface, leaving a smooth finish on even the most stubborn wood species. So, I decided to research various finishes.
We’ve all seen butcher block conditioners of various types and styles. However, they are all mass produced and many of them are not necessarily as “natural” as they appear to be. That’s not all that bad, it’s just not what I was looking for. I source the majority of my lumber and other materials locally. I like to be able to say without a doubt that this product contains _____ and _____. And, the vast majority of the “wax” finishing products include, in varying portions, BEESWAX – and I know exactly where I can get that. My Back Yard….
OK. A quick back story on that last comment. In my back yard are approximately 5+ Honey Bee Hives. They belong to my Dad. (You can see more pics of the Epic Beekeeper’s Toolbox I made him for Christmas over on our Instagram page.) He has been beekeeping for several years and his Apiary needed to expand beyond just his back yard. And so, over the course of time – our back yard has become a honey hub. (Thankfully my wife, Amy, enjoys the rewards and doesn’t mind the hives)
I decided that I would ask if he had any beeswax available and go from there. He gave me a small chunk and from there the rest is history. Just kidding.
(When I say he gave me a small chunk, I mean exactly that. Roughly 1/2 pound. That may not seem like a lot, but it was enough to start exploring a few recipes and developing my/our own blend. FYI Beeswax doesn’t come naturally in a chunk, or the more popular 1 pound pressed brick that you see in stores. It is essentially the building block of a honeybee hive. Well beeswax and propolis. (Propolis can actually be mixed with solvents to create a lacquer-like finish, more on that at a later date.))
I did not realize how much information had been passed on to me by my Dad. I want to elaborate and go into much more detail regarding honey bee hives. However, I do not have pictures readily available to demonstrate the various details I would like to share. I WILL be making a video series as well as a blog series about beekeeping in a few short months – when the weather improves and bee season is upon us. I definitely want to share more about the anatomy of the hive, proper care, processes and more – but that will have to wait until another time. Stay tuned for that.
Once I had the beeswax, I tried several different variations of recipes I had found online. For the most part some were unsafe and others were too diluted to really be called a beeswax finish. After trying several different ratios, I landed on a blend that has worked very well, in many applications. I was very pleased with the previous version and after some time, the finish has proven itself well, by inspecting various products it had been applied to.
There are several features that I truly love, but we will cover a few that I think you would like to know.
Fragrance – When you first open the jar you will notice a hint of a sweet honey fragrance. This is because the wax is essentially “Raw” – meaning it is not excessively processed like many commercially available waxes. (We filter our wax several times to remove dirt and foreign debris, but we do not heat the wax directly or “boil” our wax. Commercial industries will often homogenize wax, much like the processes used for commercial honey manufacturing. This can affect some of the natural benefits of these products, and usually results in the addition of other materials to replace what was lost, or it is left alone as the finished product as it is with honey. More on this and the benefits of Local Raw Honey in our beekeeping series.)
Texture – After you’ve enjoyed the relaxing scent of honey you want to feel the wax. It’s ok, go ahead. It’s all natural and won’t harm you. Glide your finger across the surface and with slight pressure, scoop a small amount onto your finger tip. You’ll notice that it isn’t exactly soft, but it’s not a hard paste either. The blend is mild and as you lather it, you will notice that it is smooth. As it starts to melt/soften (due to your body temp) you can see that it will not be hard to apply – this is very important when it comes to apply this as a finish. Also, since it is “melting” in your hand, we know that it will be a good finish for bare wood as it will melt and seep into the surface providing a sealing finish.
There are many ways to apply a wax finish, and we definitely have our preferences as well. We’ll explain one method with a few suggestions to keep in mind along the way.
Cheese Cloth – We recommend grade 10 (readily available at craft stores, home centers, or online), grade 50 is also a good substitute. Cut off a small piece, roughly 4″ x 8″. Fold this in half so you have a square. Then, with the square of cheese cloth in your hand scoop a small amount of beeswax finish into the center of the square. Fold the square so that the beeswax finish is “enclosed” in a pouch. Now apply using a circular motion (think: wax on, wax off). over the entire surface. It is important to “work it in” and be sure to do so over the entire surface. You’ll notice that the wax is melting – due to the friction created as well as the transfer of your body heat. This is good and it will allow the finish to soak into the wood grain providing a string, durable finish. (Note: when using any wax finish, a little goes a long way. You will be buffing the surface, so any excess will be removed and wasted, so keep this in mind. You can repeat the finishing process to build up a thicker finish if you desire, but you can only apply small amounts at a time – considering the excess will not remain through the buffing process.) Once you’re satisfied with the coverage, set the work piece aside and let it sit for approximately 15-30 minutes. (This is not an exact science, we are simply waiting for the finish to be absorbed. You can wait longer, allowing the wax to harden – if you are looking for a more “polished” look after buffing) (Note: you can speed up the absorption time by applying heat at this time. You can use a heat gun or hair dryer for this. You don’t want to overheat the wax, but you can melt it and allow for it to soak in better with this step.) After it has had time to soak in, it’s time to buff. You can do so with a simple cotton cloth (for cutting boards, to remove the excess finish) or your choice of buffing accessories.
Ok. Let’s get back to this FREE SAMPLE!!
Why are we giving away FREE SAMPLES? The answer is simple. We want YOUR feedback. We know that our Signature Series works great for us, but we want to know how it is working for you. Yes, we are selling this product and as with any product – we want to continuously improve it. We don’t want to be a company divided from our customers, instead we want YOU to be involved in the development process. YOU, our customers, are the ones using this product and we want to know exactly how you feel about it. If there are any issues, or perhaps you’d like to see another type designed for a specific use/material…. We want to create an open line of communication. We want to encourage our Community to be open with us and share your experience.
As we continue to make improvements/enhancements and revisions, we will be releasing new “batches”. But rather than calling them “batch 1”, “batch 2”, etc We are naming our “Batches” or “Series” after various terms related to beekeeping… For example, this first series is our “Cell” series – named after the building blocks, the individual chambers, or cells, of the hive’s structure. And, as we develop Final versions we will appropriately name them after various Hive Occupants.
As if the FREE Sample isn’t enough for you, we are also offering FREE SHIPPING! What, that’s still not enough? All of our Contributing Cell-Series Community Members will receive a coupon for $2 off your purchase of the modified “Brood Series” Beeswax Finish. (Brood are the embryos that are in some of the Cells. They are nurtured and fed by the community of “nursing” bees and will eventually emerge as a new honeybee.) The “Brood Series” will be released once we have processed all of YOUR FEEDBACK and SUGGESTIONS – and we make our necessary modifications as YOU deem necessary.
So how do I get My FREE SAMPLE???? Click HERE. “Purchase” our free sample and we will ship it to you as soon as possible. We will include information as far as how to submit your suggestions and we can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
We only have 20 free samples, so act fast. The free sample is approximately 1/2 oz of Beeswax Finish. Anyone who purchases our Beeswax Finishes OR receives a Free Sample is encouraged to provide feedback. Each purchase (or free sample) will include the instructions for submitting feedback. EVERYONE who provides FEEDBACK on our Cell Series Finishes will receive a $2 off coupon for use toward their future purchase of any of our “Brood Series” Finishes. Coupons and BENEFITS for future contribution will be discussed when we announce series updates.
Thank you very much for your continued support and we are very excited to hear from you soon!!