Woody/luthier-type dudes - how to de-wax a board?


Senior member
I bought a piece of "granadillo" offa Ebay to make a few trial steel guitar "sitar" bars - it's a bar with a flattish spot, the commercial ones are junk but I'm going to do a few wood mockups to make sure I have the (varying) radii right  before I go crazy on some delrin, poly, steel who knows. The 1.5" X 1.5" X 13" stick I got is all covered in wax... How to do? I have denatured alcohol, hot water, rags, a BiC lighter, I'm just wondering if any of you KNOWLEDGEABLE guys have the secret, cool, jiffy dewaxing method set aside. This is the guy who wants me to make him one, BTW:


He has an actual gig playing "Indian" music at an Indian restaurant in New Orleans now, I guess he figures to pad the account between regular gigs. These are a few of my round ones:



big bob

Senior member
not sure if I'm spelling this correct kerosine, like for a lantern, will take allmost all of it off, then sand..

I would avoid watter as it will expand the wood, and I would avoid heat as it will drive the wax deeper into the grain..

you might also consider scraping most off and then sanding ..


Senior member
Water won't work obviously.  Naphtha will definitely work.  Try the alcohol, worst thing that happens is nothing


Active member
Denatured alcohol will work and won't raise the grain. I used it to take 80+ years of wax off the trim in my house.

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Turpentine is what is recommended.  Kerosene and Naphtha will also work.  The heavier organic solvents should work best.  As always, try a couple of drops in a corner and see what works best.  Unfortunately there are several kinds of wax, and which solvent will work best on the particular wax you have is going to be a bit of an experiment.  That being said, turpentine is a good starting point.  I would have a lot of towels ready, and as always beware of fumes.