Dealing with the paraffin wax that we use.
OK, now that you know how we get the wax on our blanks and why, we can deal with removing it. In many cases, you simply chuck the piece up or attach it to your face-plate and turn the wax away. That is not always desirable or practical, so how do we deal with it?
Being paraffin wax, it only sits on the surface of the blank, it does not penetrate into the pores of the wood. If you will be turning the blank, you can use a paint scraper to remove the majority of it. I use one of those carbide paint scrapers, they seem to stay sharp for a long time and the wax peels off of them with just your finger.
If you are going to use the blank for some other purpose, and you want to get the rest of the wax residue off, at this point you could use some sandpaper to get the last vestiges, but beware, the wax gums up the sandpaper very rapidly.
A frequent question is 'Will this stop my blank from drying out?' The answer is no, but it will drastically slow it down. If you want to speed up drying time, you can remove the wax from all four sides, but leave the wax on the ends. Since moisture escapes 90% more from the ends than it does the sides, this will speed up drying but eliminate most of the checking and cracking that we see from raw blanks. You may get some minor surface checking on the faces.