MARK & MURRAY,
Murray’s info seems
accurate. I use it as follows:
First approximate the mass of your chunk of wax.
In a “double boiler” (larger pot with water and a
smaller pot floating in it) I heat the wax to melting.
Then move the whole thing far away from flame as the solvent
you area about to mix in is VERY flammable. The hot water in the larger
pot keeps the wax liquid for a while.
While the wax is liquid stir in Naphtha also known as Benzyne
in a ratio of 3 or 4 wax to 1 of Naphtha. DO NOT CONFUSE BENZYNE WITH
BENZENE OR WITH GASOLINE AS THE EUROPEANS OFTEN CALL GASOLINE BENZINE. I
used to get the Microcrystaline wax and Naphtha or Benzyne from Talas in
Let the whole thing cool down and store in a jar.
Apply this to the surface of a silver-gelatin print and
CAREFULLY polish until the greasy look is gone. You will need to use a
few changes of polishing cloth. I got a large bag of cotton scraps from a
local t-shirt manufacturer.
Living in the moist, mold and fungus laden tropics, I usually
wipe all of my prints with a tincture of Thymol before waxing. The prints
stay in great shape for decades this way.
Well, I hope this helps.
From: Murray Leshner
Sent: Saturday, November 11, 2006
Subject: Re: Microcrystalline Wax
Petroleum waxes derived from short residues (vacuum
distillation residues) or by processing tank bottom wax or sucker rod wax.
Typical grades would show a much finer crystal structure than paraffin waxes
and the ability to form smooth mixtures with oil or solvent. The lower melting
grades (e.g. in range 135-145 degrees F) are very flexible and adhesive, and
contain a wide range of molecular types including a high proportion of
I would like to learn more about the use and practice of
microcrystalline wax in print quality? Is this process limited to
certain types of emulsion? How is the wax obtained? Method of
application and uses? It seems that Bob Kiss makes use of this
process in his work. I would like to learn more. Thanks for the
~ Mark Booth