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Ideas on homemade wax pen

I am wanting to build a wax pen, the type with a built in wax
reservoir; Or would like to get any ideas on how to form wax blends
into sticks that would pass through a regular glue gun, (to cheap to
spring for a Matt Gun)

Thanks for any assistance.

There was a wonderful article in Lapidary Journal written by Sara
Sanford a few years ago with explict directions for making a wax pen
with a built in reservoir. I made one, and it works beautifully.
Sorry I don’t recall the date of the issue, but if you contact
Lapidary Journal (now Jewelry Artist), they should have back issues,
or at least the article for sale.

Alma Rands

The tool described is a tjanting from batik fabric dyeing. you can
buy these from Dharma trading:

My daughter does batik. A BABA I need please buy item.

Jesse (Baba)


Someone wrote about this awhile back. I saved his post because I
wanted to try it. I never got to making one and the directions were
a bit convoluded for someone who knows nothing about wiring etc. It
sounds great though, so here is the old post written by someone
named Tim. I’d like to give him credit, but I don’t know his last
name. Perhaps someone can add some illustrations if they understand
Tim’s directions better than I do when it comes to adding the dimmer
switch. I’d still like to give this a try.

Augest D.
Cry Baby Designs

Tim wrote:

You need a new glue gun, and only ever use it for this purpose. I
used a light dimmer to cut down the power, I can't remember the
exact setting, I think it was less that half normal. Extend the
nozzle with a bit of silver or brass tube, this lets it cool
down nearer setting temperature, I used some with an I/D of about
0.9mm, again experiment, I used about an inch. The wax will
swell a bit when it comes out, keep a diameter consistent by
stretching slightly as you extrude. Use matt red extruding wax,
the diameter is exactly the same as glue sticks. it's rather
rubbery though if you want to rework it. (Why doesn't somebody
invent the perfect all purpose wax!) Adolfo Mattiello's book
'Wax Modelling' has all the details, Rio Grande stocks it. I just
could not afford the Matt Gun at the time, I am sure it is much
better. He is the expert. On checking my glue gun was an old
one, I just think you know whatyou are getting if it is clean.

My daughter already had her tjantings so I never made the LJ one but
I do use these for wax work:
Item number 38593

These are the cheapest ( this is the sale price) for this purpose. I
have burnt some up so usually buy another every time I see them at
this price. I have a few of them.

They would also be the base for a homemade electric tjanting.

You can use various light dimmer arrangements to cut the heat level
down - The easiest thing to buy is a ready made in cord dimmer for
table lamps from Home Depot.

I usually do larger than jewelry scale work and make up some special
tips for smaller or bigger work.


I have a Matt gun, which I use a lot. The only drawback with it is
that I am limited to the Matt waxes. I also have a set of tjantings
which I use with an alcohol lamp, and I like them very much. I can
use various kinds of wax with them, some of which flow more thinly
than others. I also have an old Vigor electric wax pen with a
reservoir. I tend to burn my fingers on it, and it’s always getting
clogged. There is no perfect wax pen that I’ve found.

Janet Kofoed

so here is the old post written by someone named Tim. I'd like to
give him credit, but I don't know his last name. 

Tim here!

You can get replacement dimmer switches to replace ordinary on/off
light switches ( or at least you can here in the UK).

If you mount one of these in a box, and a power point socket next to
it also in a box, all on a slab of wood, your power cable goes first
to the dimmer switch, then to the socket, you can plug your glue gun
into the socket and adjust the power going to it until it runs cool
enough.If this is not clear find an electrician and get them to wire
it up for you.

You can run other appliances through it to reduce their power, they
cannot be too small or too largethough, it should say on the
instructions when you buy the dimmer switch, probably between about
40watts and 400 watts

regards Tim Blades.

Hi Tim!

So glad you posted again and now we know who to thank. Thanks for
adding the additional info. This is great and it is very clear to me
now how the process is done.

Augest Derenthal
Cry Baby Designs