Museum Quality Wax for Briars

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Mike N

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 3, 2023
286
1,236
I used to use Carnauba wax on my pipes. The only problem was that it turned white in any of the cracks and crevices of my rusticated or sandblasted bowls if not thoroughly removed.

Problem solved- one pipe maker recommended Renaissance wax polish made in England. I researched it and saw that it is used by major museums and conservators on antique furniture and dries clear. It’s made by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen and a small jar was less than $20. I highly recommend it, as shown in the photos below.

(tap on photos to enlarge)
 

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sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
19,898
45,786
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
Renaissance is one of several microcrystalline waxes on the market. Two newer versions, formulated specifically for pipes, one for smooth, the other for rusticated or blasts, are Halcyon and Paragon waxes. Ive used them for years and they work great. None of these are as durable as a buffed on carnuba. On the other hand, they can be brought up to every bit as high gloss as carnuba, and there's no risk of gradually buffing the pipe into a soft lump.
 

Mike N

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 3, 2023
286
1,236
Renaissance is one of several microcrystalline waxes on the market. Two newer versions, formulated specifically for pipes, one for smooth, the other for rusticated or blasts, are Halcyon and Paragon waxes. Ive used them for years and they work great. None of these are as durable as a buffed on carnuba. On the other hand, they can be brought up to every bit as high gloss as carnuba, and there's no risk of gradually buffing the pipe into a soft lump.
Thanks for that information. I will check them out. I do have a buffing wheel, but it is not variable speed and I am concerned that it may be a little too fast for my older pipes.
 

PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,539
27,675
Hawaii
Renaissance is one of several microcrystalline waxes on the market. Two newer versions, formulated specifically for pipes, one for smooth, the other for rusticated or blasts, are Halcyon and Paragon waxes. Ive used them for years and they work great. None of these are as durable as a buffed on carnuba. On the other hand, they can be brought up to every bit as high gloss as carnuba, and there's no risk of gradually buffing the pipe into a soft lump.

+1 For Halcyon and Paragon, I use both. 👍


 

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
5,574
14,485
I used to use Carnauba wax on my pipes. The only problem was that it turned white in any of the cracks and crevices of my rusticated or sandblasted bowls if not thoroughly removed.

Heat gun = gone

Indeed, over-waxing on a hard wheel to deliberately create white buildup in the cracks and crevices, followed by a heat gun & final buff on a soft wheel (while it's still warm) is the only way to reach the low spots that hand polishing can't reach.

The technique works equally well with microcrystalline wax---which is what Paragon is---if you like the look and hand feel of it better.

Here's a full rundown on the subject by hardcore shop guys:

Anyone tried block microcrystalline wax on a buff? - pipemakersforum.com - http://www.pipemakersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12621
 

OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
5,947
31,897
71
Sydney, Australia
I do have a buffing wheel, but it is not variable speed and I am concerned that it may be a little too fast for my older pipes.
The real danger is having your pipe flung across the room and breaking against a wall or floor.
As happened to me the first time I used one.

It was an old buffer gifted by a well-intentioned friend and did not come with instructions. And he had forgotten what a klutz I am with power tools
:(
 

Mike N

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 3, 2023
286
1,236
The real danger is having your pipe flung across the room and breaking against a wall or floor.
As happened to me the first time I used one.

It was an old buffer gifted by a well-intentioned friend and did not come with instructions. And he had forgotten what a klutz I am with power tools
:(
Yep, I too learned the hard way to always keep my index finger inside the bowl…
 
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Apr 26, 2012
3,406
5,867
Washington State
I have not heard of Rennaissance wax, so thank you for sharing. Since I don't have a buffing wheel, I use Halcyon and Paragon waxes for my pipes. They both are great on my pipes and give the briar and the stems a nice finish. Super easy to use as well.
 
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Briarcutter

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 17, 2023
218
1,245
U.S.A.
Im pretty sure Renaissance wax is made with petroleum distillates which you want to avoid on a smoking pipe.It is great wax for many applications, but IMO, not a smoking pipe. I cannot speak of the other two waxes mentioned.
 
Last edited:
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jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
24,932
27,689
Carmel Valley, CA
Im pretty sure Renaissance wax is made with petroleum distillates which you want to avoid on a smoking pipe.It is great wax for many applications, but IMO, not a smoking pipe. I cannot speak of the other two waxes mentioned.
What dangers have you observed for those using same? Or something you read? Or deduced?
 

Mike N

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 3, 2023
286
1,236
I use Renaissance wax on the exterior of my briar which does not contact my mouth. To the contrary, Vulcanite pipe stems which do contact our lips and which we bite into on occasion, are made largely of synthetic rubber which in turn is made from petroleum.

Interesting point, though.
 
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OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
5,947
31,897
71
Sydney, Australia
Im pretty sure Renaissance wax is made with petroleum distillates which you want to avoid on a smoking pipe.It is great wax for many applications, but IMO, not a smoking pipe. I cannot speak of the other two waxes mentioned.
I can’t envision any problem as you are applying to the exterior of the stummel and not using as a chamber coating

I use Obsidian oil on my stems
 
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Briarcutter

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 17, 2023
218
1,245
U.S.A.
I don't like the odor of petroleum on the briar and i believe what ever is on the outside will eventually come to the inside. It comes down to what ever the owner is comfortable with. I knew an old collector that use to put Ponds hand cream on rusticated pipes to bring out the luster. I cringed but also felt they were his pipes and he was entitled to do what ever he chose.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
24,932
27,689
Carmel Valley, CA
Im pretty sure Renaissance wax is made with petroleum distillates which you want to avoid on a smoking pipe.It is great wax for many applications, but IMO, not a smoking pipe. I cannot speak of the other two waxes mentioned.
What dangers have you observed for those using same? Or something you read? Or deduced? (Besides unpleasant odor)