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Old Godger's Bench Tip No.1

We all have odd ways of doing things. This is one of mine.

Mini Bell cheeses and many Edam and Gouda cheeses are covered with a red wax that is sticky and easily molded.

If you are setting up a piece for soldering in plaster make a box out of thin card and sticky tape, roll a thin sheet of the wax (use a dowel rolling pin), press it into the box then press the piece into the wax. Pour the plaster over it then let it set for a couple of hours.

I then put the set-up onto a “Mr. Coffee” mug warmer and leave it overnight.

Cut away the card. The wax peels of easily and leaves almost no residue.

Do the solder job and quench in a bucket of water - NOT in the sink, it blocks the drains! The quench will remove almost all of the plaster and the rest can be removed with a stiff brush or in the ultrasonic. Any difficult bits of plaster can be worked out with a sewing needle or pick. Really hard bits can also be removed by heating up the piece (just “very hot” not “red hot”) and re-quenching.

You can reclaim the wax by putting it into a small beaker (I use 25ml lab beakers) and melting (on the mug warmer.) The plaster that clings to the wax will sink to the bottom and the top clean wax can be poured out.

This wax is also useful in picking up small stones and removing them from the settings better than beeswax.

You also get to eat a lot of cheese!


Great tip. I never thought of using that wax. Also never tried those little babybel cheeses! They’re now on the list. Looking forward to a nice glass of wine and a little of your cheese, all in the interest of it’s useful wax covering of course.

Nice trick explaining. I have one for the beeswax, roll it in filedust, knead it, maybe a little more rolling in filedust untill you reach the perfect stickyness


Thanks, this is most useful :slight_smile:
Also for the beeswax, instead of filedust, you can use powdered graphite, works great (I do this with mineral wax mixed with some rosin instead of beeswax, works the same way)

(And I use the same mixture to lubricate sawblades and burs, it’s the best I could find for this yet)

That wax also works as a pipe thread sealant and,

Great tip, thank you!!


I used plasticine when I was a student - I don’t recall any problems long time ago now!

Dont get black fingers with graphite?:wink: