Jennifer Williams


This article was written on 06 Oct 2012, and is filled under Fixing Tools, Tutorials.

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Cleaning wax off files

Before: a roughing file loaded with wax. After: a usable file.

Wax carving is fun, until the files start to get gummed up with wax.

In the studio, since many of the tools here are shared, our files and burs require occasional cleaning that a file card just can’t handle.

Lighter fluid dissolves some of the wax.

Here is one way to clean a really waxy file:

Start by covering your work surface, this process is messy.

You need:

-lighter fluid
-a small metal container
-an old toothbrush
-some tooth picks
-a sturdy brass brush


The tooth brush flicks little bits of wax all over!

Put a small amount of lighter fluid in a container just big enough to dip a tooth brush in. You will need very little lighter fluid to clean with, just enough to dampen the toothbrush. Scrub the file.

Almost clean!





Then run the brass brush back and forth across the file, removing the last of the wax.

This process works really great for cleaning burs as well. To clean your burs, you can dip them directly into the lighter fluid. Most junk will come out with the brass brush.

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