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A 'Boring' wax idea

I don’t have a regular lathe. When I have to turn a wax I use a #30
handpiece clamped in a drill press vise. Works OK, not ideal, no
tailstock, no tool rest. I cut 3 samples of wide bands, 8-10mm to
show for approval of final width. It was laborious to try to get a
uniform fingerhole, where the surfaces are parallel, no taper. On
something that wide its a consideration since the outside
configuration is dependant on the inside dimensions. Without a tool
rest its all freehand, accuracy not so good because you can’t see or
measure the far end of the hole. I used various cutting tools but it
was hit or miss, and missing three times is a pain. So I land the job
and have to make a good wax.

Then I remembered I still had a set of carpenters’ spade bits in my
toolbox from when I did the fitout 3 years ago. Why I kept that in my
jewelers’ toolbox I dunno, too lazy to bring it home maybe. This
thing cut like a dream, self centering, pretty close to needed finger
size, no chattering, waste wax not nearly as messy. Because it has a
long shank you have something substantial to hold onto and just
eyeballing the alignment got me within 1/4 size side to side. I’d
call that parallel enough.

Great, I’m a human tailstock.

Hey Neil,

Then I remembered I still had a set of carpenters' spade bits in
my toolbox from when I did the fitout 3 years ago.

Good save, but have you considered the ‘matt wax mini lathe’ ? In my
opinion its a lot less trouble. I don’t know how much they cost now
days because I bought mine 10 yrs ago, but it will do that job in a
flash. Of course, some of us old carpenters just like to get every
last dime’s worth out of our spade bits don’t we?

Good Will To All
Kevin Knoch


Just in case you might be interested in another tool, I will put in
a plug for using Matt Wax’s reamer, which is settable to any ring
size (altho you need a magnifying glass to see the sizes) and pretty
easily cuts out a hole of the appropriate size from a wax ring blank.
It is actually pretty much like your spade bits in its’ function.
Costs around $50. I will tell you that I also use a wooden mandrel,
marked with ring sizes and having a steel ridge on it to bore out
ring waxes, and that works pretty well too, and costs a lot less!