Soap Flake Finish for Finishing Press?

A demonstration screw and ‘nut’ that have been given a soap flake finish.

The photo doesn’t show very much but this wood finish has intrigued me since I first read about it in Fine Woodworking a few years ago. It seems that in Scandinavian countries it is not uncommon to finish wood with soap flakes! Usually this is done for light colored woods like Beech. I followed the directions and finished this Hard Maple screw and nut this way. The wood is prepared as usual before a ‘regular’ finish. Then a thick paste of soap flakes and water is rubbed into the wood with a cloth pad and after drying all of the extra is buffed off. It’s very easy. The screw turns incredibly smoothly with the aid of this finish. The finish doesn’t seem like it would rub off. It might be good at ‘shedding’ glue or paste if it was used for a finishing press. Is it conceivable that this would be a good finish for some wooden binding tools? It is also easy to maintain and re-apply. It would reduce the labor of making a press quite a bit. The soap flakes used are as basic as possible without any perfumes or additives.

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