where to buy paraffin

zuzu70(z4-5 WI)August 8, 2006

I need about a pound of paraffin (not for jam, for my husband's woodworking project), and I haven't the slightest clue what kind of store would carry it. Can anyone point me in the right direction?


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malonanddonna(z7 NC)

Around here, most grocery stores carry it and a few other canning supplies near the spices. I also just spotted paraffin at a local Ace Hardware store along with the canning supplies.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 3:57PM
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My local True Value Hardware store has it, right along with canning supplies.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 5:30PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

All of our local stores that carry canning jars, pectin, etc. (hardware and grocery) have blocks of paraffin. You'd be surprised how available it is.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 8:13PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Just to scratch my bump of 'satiable curiousity, what sort of woodworking project requires a pound of paraffin?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 8:45PM
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zuzu70(z4-5 WI)

Hi gardenlad,

It's actually halfway a garden project. We are going to use 4"x4"x8's to edge three sides of a 60'x5' raised garden. The paraffin gets mixed with mineral spirits and linseed oil to create a solution that we'll coat the wood with; it's supposed to penetrate the wood and make it less susceptible to rotting...supposed to last up to 20 years. I didn't want to use pressure treated lumber because I know the stuff has creosote and/or arsenic in it which can leach into the soil.

We're planning on double-decking the 4x4s, so that it's 8 inches tall (well, okay, really 7 inches cuz a 4x4 is really 3.5x3.5). My husband is planning on spiking the bottom layer in the ground with 12" spikes and then countersinking 4" deck screws into the top layer to fasten it into the bottom. We'll putty the countersink holes so they don't collect water.

I'm very much looking forward to the expanded garden. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Alternatives to treated lumber

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 10:54PM
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In case your local hardware store doesn't have it, a crafts store like Michaels will have it in their candle making section.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 11:54PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Why not just use heart redwood, which will last minimum 10-15 years buried, even in wet or acid soil? It might turn out to be cheaper compared to lumber+linseed oil+mineral spirits, etc. 2x6 redwood with stainless fasteners.

If you do decide to treat the wood, don't throw rags in any bucket or closed container (garbage can, etc.) or store in garage or shed. Linseed oil and mineral spirits together are susceptible to spontaneous combustion.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 12:46AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Just thought. Another less expensive option impervious to rot or pests is composite decking (plastic) made from recycled milk jugs which comes in standard dimension - 2x6 and maybe 2x4 (not sure on that). Saws like wood, same fasteners.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 12:53AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Hmmmmmmm. I always thought that was a surface finish. A mix like that is used to create a hand-rubbed finish on furniture, gunstocks, etc. Didn't know it would penetrate deeply enough to withstand 20 years of outside weathering.

I assume he knows the paraffin has to be shaved or grated?

FWIW, arsenic is no longer used in pressure treated wood.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 7:32AM
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zuzu70(z4-5 WI)

The recipe calls for melting the paraffin in a double boiler. Do we still need to shave or grate it? Thanks for the head's up.

What is used in pressure treated lumber now, instead of the arsenic?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 11:37AM
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malonanddonna(z7 NC)

The new pressure treated lumber is called ACQ and is treated with an alkaline copper. The only downside so far is a chemical reaction between the copper and the zinc used in ordinary fasteners that causes the fasteners to corrode more quickly. This can be solved by using galvanized, stainless steel or triple zinced fasteners instead.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 1:08PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Yes, the paraffin should still be shaved, or it takes two days longer than forever to melt. And be sure to work outdoors; even with a double-boiler set-up that mixture is an incredibly flamable solution, just waiting to burn.

I may be misremembering, and I don't have my wood finishing books handy, but I'm thinking you don't need to heat it. The shaved paraffin should disolve in the mineral spirits without heat, and then you add the linseed oil to that mixture.

I'm also with Carol. Given the amount of wood surface you need to treat, using this mixture could become cost prohibitive real fast.

You're talking about 260 linear feet, which is bad enough. But each of those 4 x 4s is equal to 10.6 square feet. Just how far does that paraffin--linseed--mineral spirits mixture stretch? So, before getting started, do some cost comparisons between doing it yourself; buying treated wood; and buying redwood. You might be surprised by the outcome.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 4:12PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

You also may want to think about the width of the bed.

I just built 2 new raised beds this year with old railroad ties....inside measurment is 4' x 8' and I can barely reach the center of the bed to weed, harvest, etc.

I am 5'5" tall. I can do it, but boy it's hard on the back and I've got a 7 1/2" width board to "kneel" on and they are about 14" tall (2 ties high). I usually end up sitting and twisting to pull weeds, better than the bending.

The beds that are only 30" wide are much easier.
Just for pondering..........


    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 4:37PM
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I was getting jars at our local Kroger store and saw paraffin right by the canning supplies. I almost bought some to make Mounds (the coconut candy)...Decided not to this time....But I had always wondered where you would get it, now I know.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 10:49PM
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smokey98042(z8 WA)

Here is something to consider: What I did was to use a treated 2X4 for ground contact, then used untreated landscape timbers for the rest. I then lined the whole thing with Aluminium Flashing. This way there is no earth contact to any of the untreated wood so no termite problem.
The landscape timbers we use around here (Western WA.) are actualy plywood cores that have been flatenend on two sides.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 11:01PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Old railroad ties are usualy trated with Kreosote. This is nasty stuff that should be avoided. Virtually evry single wooden telephone and electric pole set out before 1965 is also loaded with this stuff. Not advisable to use the ties as a raised bed, unless they are made from a newer preservative process which would be a bit safer.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 12:58AM
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Hope you are fine and your business is booming !
Glad to know you are on the market for Paraffin .
We are one of the leading manufacturers of Paraffin for so many years in China ,so the cost and the quality we controlled very well .
Please email me directly ,let's talk details .
Hope to cooperate with you in near future .
Awaiting for your soon and kind reply .

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 4:39AM
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