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How Do You Melt Your Wax For Wax Seals?


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32 replies to this topic

#1 CharlieTurtle

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 17:49

Is a lighter the only way, or will simply dipping the end of the wax into boiling water suffice?


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#2 h.farmawi

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 17:53

put the wax on a spoon and apply fire under it


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#3 AndrewC

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 18:26

Blowtorch. Does dipping in boiling water work? Never heard of that.


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#4 Oggie

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 20:57

I remembered a post with the title below on the Ink Nouveau blog (May 21, 2010). Brian Goulet says he tried a lot of different ways to melt wax for seals and ended up with a $6 lighter.

Ink Blot #10: New Wax Seal Lighter

#5 Fabienne

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 21:28

Lighter.



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#6 kiavonne

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 21:30

I've used matches, cigarette lighters, fireplace lighters, melting pieces of wax in a spoon over flame, and a creme brulee torch.  All work.  Most will have soot drip in with the wax, a quick swirl from the end of the wax stick will "blend" it in before setting the seal.

 

I have not used boiling water.  I assume the premise would be as a double boiler, letting the wax melt in another container over the water, then pouring the wax onto the document for setting the seal.  There are actual melting pots made for this purpose, but I haven't used them.  I don't think dipping a wax stick into boiling water will work, really, but you can always experiment and find out.


Edited by kiavonne, 08 April 2014 - 21:33.

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#7 Warnick

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 21:55

I use this micro torch:

 

http://www.atelierga...s/lighters.html



#8 stonezebra

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 22:13

I use a birthday candle attached to a small plate and heat the wax over it. (I have a lot of these little candles.) Cheap and easy. I find the wax is ready to use when it begins to drip on the candle.



#9 ysgrifbin

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 11:48

An egg poacher (such as this). Keep a good quantity of wax in one of the cups and, when needed, soften it over smmering water in the pan beneath. Use a spoon or tiny ladle to dispense melted wax onto the documents to be sealed.

Unused wax can stay in the cup for the next time.

We chill the (brass) seals in the refrigerator before sealing, to ensure a clean impresion.


Edited by ysgrifbin, 09 April 2014 - 11:50.


#10 Chris

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 13:11

My wax must be unusual - it has a wick that you set fire to :thumbup:

 

But you still need a lighter or match.



#11 sharonspens

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 03:09

Thank you for this post. I received a seal and stick of wax a couple of months ago, and have been trying to figure out how to use it. I tried using a regular candle, and ended up with wax from both the candle and the wax stick on my documents. Hadn't thought to try a lighter, since I don't have one around. Duh.

 

And I like the idea of chilling the seal first.


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#12 AndrewC

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 03:57

My wax must be unusual - it has a wick that you set fire to :thumbup:

 

But you still need a lighter or match.

I remember when all sealing wax had a wick in the middle of it. Ah, the good old days. I can't seem to find those, and I like Atelier Gargoyle wax (which flexes so it goes through the post office machines) so I use my blow torch from when I did creme brulee on the dessert station. (Those little torches are okay, but take too long when you need to burn the sugar on 12 at a time.)


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#13 Shangas

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 04:08

I've always used a cigarette-lighter. Matches don't last long enough. 


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#14 RudyR

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 06:20

I use an alcohol lamp. I place the lamp on its side on one of the facets with the wick above the area that will get the stamp. The alcohol I use is at least 90 proof to keep the soot down.


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#15 BillZ

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:46

I use wax from here. They have two versions. One is like a glue stick that requires a heat gun to melt. I have two of those. They also have the wax with the wick in the middle. I use the gun when I have written several letters/cards at one time. I use the wick stick if it's only one.
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#16 csmorris

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 01:11

Disposable Bic lighter has always worked for me.



#17 Moose22

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 06:59

I remember when all sealing wax had a wick in the middle of it. Ah, the good old days. I can't seem to find those,

 

Those are EVERYWHERE. Nostalgic impressions, letterseals, all over the ebay, on a zillion etsy stores. I even saw some in Michael's once.

 

That said, I hate the wicks. They just make it harder to easily melt the wax. I use a little blowtorch like the one the alert gargoyle people sell. Same one I use to shrink heat shrink and light cigars.



#18 Chris

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:43

My wicked wax always gets blackish bits in it but I look upon those sooty swirls as the waxy equivalent of shading ;)



#19 sargetalon

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:53

I use a wand style candle lighter.  Works really well.


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#20 pendragondragon

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 05:04

I use my creme brulee torch. It works great for me and is super fast. And it's a nice use for the torch that doesn't end in me consuming 1200 calories.



#21 LostArk

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:34

Alcohol lamp & specialty spouted spoon. I use denatured alcohol so no soot is deposited on the spoon. 



#22 lapis

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 18:56

I use my creme brulee torch. It works great for me and is super fast. And it's a nice use for the torch that doesn't end in me consuming 1200 calories.

+1 on that!


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#23 highlander1307

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 22:48

Triple burner cigar lighter.  Never heard of boiling water and been using wax seals for 37 years.



#24 wikeh2004

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 00:30

I understand that one current method is to use sealing wax sticks that are melted in a hot glue gun. The wax stamper has to be chilled to work right and prevent sticking.

 

Here's a how-to: http://www.atelierga...axes/howto.html



#25 bogiesan

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:14

Is a lighter the only way, or will simply dipping the end of the wax into boiling water suffice?


212F isn't enough to melt wax quickly. But let us know how that works for your experiments.

http://touch.artofma...y-and-how-to#12

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when I have used sealing waxes for formal documents or for effect, I've used the cheapest wicked product I could find at a local craft store. The wick produced a good deal of soot in the drops but these enhanced the image. With some practice, you can get the soot to kind of go where you want it to and, depending on the image in your seal, you can get a cool shadow effect.

The new crop of hot glue gun sealing waxes are fun and easy but the product does not offer the traditional tamper-evident protection of hard wax.

Google the topic, it's got a fascinating history and there are many products available.
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#26 AndrewC

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:49

Regarding soot; Trimming the wick shorter can help keep soot down, and holding the stick so the wick is higher than the stick can also help. IIRC. I remember experimenting with this a million years ago.


Some people say they march to a different drummer. Me? I hear bagpipes.

#27 Chris

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 12:27

AndrewC - thank you.

Farewell oh sooty swirls...



#28 Moshe ben David

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 08:12

An egg poacher (such as this). Keep a good quantity of wax in one of the cups and, when needed, soften it over smmering water in the pan beneath. Use a spoon or tiny ladle to dispense melted wax onto the documents to be sealed.

Unused wax can stay in the cup for the next time.

We chill the (brass) seals in the refrigerator before sealing, to ensure a clean impresion.

 

even signet rings?


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#29 kiavonne

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 10:08

With my signet jewelry, I just create a quick moisture barrier, I wouldn't put it in the fridge or freezer; then again, I would only be making one impression at the time.  Gold gets quite warm  when making a seal.  I haven't tried my titanium ring yet, though.  For my desk seals, I wouldn't feel comfortable putting my good seals in the fridge; however if I was making several impressions, I might use an ice pack or a moist towel to set the seal on in between each impression for creating the moisture barrier.


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#30 ysgrifbin

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 15:39

 

even signet rings?

No, I do not recommend keeping jewellery in a refrigerator. I would second Kiavonne's suggestion above, though, to put the seal on something cool between applications if you are doing several documents - an ice pack works very well in my experience.