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Subject: Furniture waxes

Furniture waxes

From: Melvin Wachowiak <wachowiakm>
Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Marianne Webb <mariannw [at] rom__on__ca> writes

>It has come to my attention that Goddard's Cabinet Makers Wax which
>I have used in the past now contains silicone.  This applies to both
>the new spray version and the standard paste wax.  This has
>initiated much discussion locally about commercially available waxes
>that are safe for use on historic furniture.  I would like to know
>what other furniture conservators are using or recommending to the

A number of years ago, in response to this type of question, I
investigated the requirements of better protective polishes for
conservation. This led to the formulation of polishes suited to the
needs of the museum conservator, as well as those caring for
antiques and objects of high value.

In 2000 and 2001, I was awarded two US patents, for which I assigned
rights to the Smithsonian Institution. All developmental work was
done at the Conservation Analytical Laboratory (CAL, later SCMRE,
now Museum Conservation Institute). I can humbly assure you that
these polishes have been thoroughly tested, and use the most stable
and highest quality ingredients.

The Smithsonian Institution has just signed a licensing agreement
and is awaiting the final test formulations to begin sales of
several products. Using the following reference information, you may
get the complete patents, with sample formulations.

    Wax-resin surface polishes
    United States Patent 6258882

    Emulsion-containing surface polishes
    United States Patent 6156108

While we eagerly await the distribution of the products in 2007, you
can make up your own polishes using the patents as guidance. As long
as you do not make it for sale, you are welcome to test your own
formulation skills. Lab equipment is minimal, and ingredients are
not difficult to obtain.

Melvin J. Wachowiak
Senior Conservator
Museum Conservation Institute
Smithsonian Institution
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD 20746-2863
Fax: 301-238-3709

                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:32
                 Distributed: Sunday, December 17, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-20-32-006
Received on Tuesday, 12 December, 2006

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