Tying wax

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Chris Johnson, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Posts: 1,795
    Bellingham Wa.
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    I was watching Dave McPhail tie the other day and he had a small patch of wax on his right index finger. Throughout the video he rubbed the wax on his thread. What type of wax does one use, and is it helpful?
  2. Jack Devlin Active Member

    Posts: 1,211
    Western Washington, Puget Sound area
    Ratings: +982 / 1
    IMG_1433.jpeg
    Hi Chris,
    Being in the UK, I would say that Davie more than likely uses VENIARD tying wax, a fairly hard wax. It comes in a small disc. He just breaks off a small piece, puts in under hot water a bit, and then sticks it on his finger. A convenient way to apply wax and the way I was taught a long time ago.
    Is wax helpful? Yes. But you will find lots of varying opinions and preferences out there. A tying wax will help to hold materials in place and keep the thread from slipping on the hook and on the materials. There are other types of wax like dubbing wax for holding dubbing on the thread. You probably know about that. Many threads today are pre-waxed but I never find that quite adequate.
    Davie is a great tier and I always look forward to his videos. They are so well done.
    Jack
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  3. S Fontinalis Active Member

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    i use cobblers wax, much like Davie, on my finger as i tie.
    Cobblers wax is much more sticky, provided you get the recipe right
    I make it, when its good it looks like this.
    [IMG]

    poorly made cobblers wax look like this and is utterly useless.
    [IMG]
  4. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Posts: 1,693
    Outer Duvall
    Ratings: +249 / 1
    Fontinalis

    Utterly useless? Please explain. Too hard? Not sticky enough?
    I ask only because I have some very dark wax that looks like yours and is very useful as a thread wax so I'm not sure that wax can be judged on color alone.

    TC
  5. Dave Evans Active Member

    Posts: 552
    E. WA / N ID
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    Is there a source for this in the US?
  6. Norm Frechette Active Member

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    Norwich, CT
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    scoop out a small blob from your existing wax tube, warm it up in your hand and stick it to your finger and be just like davie :)

    or just use saliva when dubbing :cool:

    or get a wax toilet ring from the big box hardware store and pinch off a small blob, warm it up in your hand and stick it to your finger. youll have enough wax for quite a long time ;)

    sources, search for a usa dealer

    https://www.google.com/search?source=ig&rlz=1G1TSNACENUS400&q=veniard fly tying wax
  7. Mark Walker Active Member

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    So. Cal.
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  8. S Fontinalis Active Member

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    Too sticky due to too much rosin. The one you have likely has pitch in it to give it the dark color

    The 721 wax on this page is identical to the one I made
    http://greatfeathers.com/materials/cement-wax-epoxy/handmade-north-country-spider-wax.aspx
  9. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Posts: 1,693
    Outer Duvall
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    Got it. Thanks for the reply.

    TC
  10. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,494
    Seattle, WA
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    As a formerly avid cross country skier, I have a sack of old tubes of ski wax in hardnesses that vary from very hard to soft and sticky. After experimenting with a range of them, I found the one that worked in a way that I like a wax to work for dubbing, and will have a life-time supply in that one tube.

    That said, I like the toilet bowl wax ring...

    D
  11. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,202
    Willamette Valley, OR
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    I heard Wonder Wax was made from the same stuff used for toilet sealing rings. They went out of business because they sold their product in such a large size, no one ever depleted a tube... I know I didn't. When you sell a product in the lifetime supply size, you have no returning customers.
    Builder likes this.
  12. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,245
    Moses Lake, WA
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    Interesting!! I have an old tube of Wonder Wax and will check this out.
  13. Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Posts: 1,795
    Bellingham Wa.
    Ratings: +320 / 1
    Thanks for all the ideas guys, I'll give them a try.
  14. Jack Devlin Active Member

    Posts: 1,211
    Western Washington, Puget Sound area
    Ratings: +982 / 1
    Hi Dave,
    I'm don't know who carries VENIARD products in the US. The last time I bought the wax along with some other VENIARD products I ordered from one of the UK fly shops. Lakeland I think???? Possibly the Deschutes Angler in Maupin, Oregon might be able to get it as I have ordered VENIARD Arctic Runner from them.
    There are other (good) commercially prepared tying waxes out there. I think LAGARTUNS is available here and there are some American tying waxes. Even a disc of beeswax from Ace Hardware would work for general tying.
    I have always liked and used VENIARDS or made my own which can be a fun project. Some beeswax, castor oil, and resin are the ingredients. Some time back, someone posted some good wax recipes on WFF and there was a pretty interesting "wax" thread that went on for a while. I'll see if I can find the thread for you.
    Also, maybe you might do a google search and look for someone who carries VENIARDS in the US.

    Jack
  15. Dave Evans Active Member

    Posts: 552
    E. WA / N ID
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    Thanks Jack, appreciate it. I had googled it before my other post but didn't find anything, so I replied here in case someone knew of somewhere. My home shop carries Veniard stuff so I will ask Poppy. This would not be for dubbing because like Richard, I used to be a skier so have a lifetime supply. I am looking for something to use with silk. I have found recipes to make it and may give it a go. If my spouse can put up with my feather dying experiments she can certainly understand a little resin and beeswax! Dave
  16. Jack Devlin Active Member

    Posts: 1,211
    Western Washington, Puget Sound area
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    OK Dave,
    When we talk of tying waxes there is definitely more than one type; thread wax, dubbing wax, and wax for silk etc. Have fun.
    Jack
  17. S Fontinalis Active Member

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    Be careful of the resin, it's HIGHLY flammable and smells strongly of pine when heated up...
  18. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    Outer Duvall
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  19. Jack Devlin Active Member

    Posts: 1,211
    Western Washington, Puget Sound area
    Ratings: +982 / 1
    Tim, thanks.
    I found this in my notes:

    Tying Wax.

    70% Rosin (ordinary violin bow, pitcher's mound, rosin)
    20% Beeswax
    10% Castor Oil

    Dubbing Wax

    50% Rosin (ordinary violin bow, pitcher's mound, rosin)
    10% Beeswax
    40% Castor Oil

    TC
    I believe it is your post, yes?
    Jack
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  20. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Posts: 1,693
    Outer Duvall
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    Yes that's it. The previous post I linked to also includes a finger wax.

    TC