U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: Microcrystalline Wax

RE: Microcrystalline Wax


            Murray’s info seems accurate.  I use it as follows:


1)       First approximate the mass of your chunk of wax.

2)       In a “double boiler” (larger pot with water and a smaller pot floating in it) I heat the wax to melting.

3)       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.

4)       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 NYC.  http://www.talas-nyc.com/

5)       Let the whole thing cool down and store in a jar. 

6)       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.

7)       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 [mailto:murrayatuptowngallery@yahoo.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 11, 2006 1:10 AM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: Re: Microcrystalline Wax



Microcystalline 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 'non-normal' paraffins.

Mark Booth <boothm@mac.com> wrote:

Microcrystalline Wax Question:

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