Wax combs are great and useful, especially when you’re short on wax and need to rough up the wax surface a bit to give some traction on your board. The annoying thing is, they’re kind of a pain to remember sometimes, and they’re a bit big to be comfortable in my boardie pocket when I’m sitting on the board.
I decided- for fun- just to whip up a simple, small wax comb that could be used on a key chain or hooked inside a board short key loop.
I used polymer modeling clay that hardens by way of a home oven. There are many polymer clays like this in craft stores, and many I’ve used over the years. For this type of project and use, I tend to be partial to FIMO brand over others like Sculpey. FIMO tends to become harder and more durable after baking, which is good for this type of use- the drawback is that FIMO can be hard to work into shapes, so I’ve used FIMO soft, which is easier to get started like Sculpey is.
I gathered some tools, which included a green silicone baking sheet (great to use with clay as a modeling surface, keeps the sides flat, and can go directly into the oven), a plastic cutting knife (you can use a pen knife but NOT on the silicone sheet), a straw, and a pattern of the size I want the comb to be made from cardstock- I ended up cutting the one in the picture smaller for the key chain size comb.
|Tools for making the wax comb|
I ended up using two colors of clay for a bit of trippiness- blue and white. I mixed these together by rolling them into cylinders and twisting, then balling the whole mass together and heating the clay up with my hands to make in easier to work with. I didn’t want to overwork the colors together or I’d end up with light blue clay instead of distinct blue and white swirls.
I flattened the mass out by hand, flipping it over to press it against the smooth surface of the silicone until it was about 1/4″ thick. Don’t roll out the clay too thin or the finished comb may end up a bit more brittle, and could possibly break. I even used the straw as a mini rolling pin which worked very well.
|Using the straw as a rolling pin|
Once I got the size big enough, I laid the template over the clay and used the plastic knife to cut the rectangle out.
|Cutting out the rectangle shape|
From there, I began to sawtooth cut one of the long edges for the comb part. This where you can get creative, having as many or as few teeth as you want. Just remember that the teeth need to be distinct so that you can cut through the wax on your board, and the teeth may need a little shaping with the knife tool to give them a pointed shape before baking, but you can clean up things after baking by sanding.
|Pre baked comb- needs a little more shaping on sides and teeth before heading into the oven|
I also gave the little comb an attachment hole by using the straw hole to poke through the clay.
This clay required baking at 230 degrees for 30 minutes in the home oven, but your clay may be different, so please note the instructions!
After letting the clay cool sufficiently, I sanded each edge using my wheel sander, but 80 grit garnet sandpaper also works great to smooth out the edges. I even sanded a sharp bevel into the top edge to use as a wax scraper so there would be two uses for the comb. I also used the sheet sandpaper to fine sharpen each tooth to better define in between, and get rid of some of the excess clay.
|Key chain comb next to full sized comb|
This makes a handy little tool to have on a key chain or in a pocket. It’s actually nicer on your board than the hard plastic, and doesn’t leave scratches in the glass like the hard plastic combs or wet sand can. but still works just as well (tested and approved!). Plus, it’s just more comfortable to surf with in a pocket. Be creative with colors, or go simple and solid.