The most useful grafting-wax for varied uses is known as "French mastic" or Lefort's liquid grafting-wax. For a long period the composition of this wax was a trade secret in Europe and America. It is made by melting one pound of white resin slowly. When hot add one ounce of beef-tallow. When melted take away from the fire and add slowly, with constant stirring, one tablespoonful of turpentine and five ounces of alcohol. During recent years we have used wood alcohol, which seems to answer the purpose well where alcohol is not readily obtainable in the prohibition States.
The liquid wax is used for all indoor grafting and can be used for top-grafting in the open air if a strip of white cotton cloth is wrapped over it while yet soft to prevent melting or cracking. In indoor and outdoor grafting it works best by keeping it soft by the flame of a small kerosene lamp under the dish. The dish is set over an opening in the top of a small iron box with a door in the side for setting in and caring for the small lamp. The finger does the work of crowding the wax into the cavities best and does away with the danger of getting the wax too hot.
In the South, a favorite grafting-wax for outdoor use is made from resin, pitch, tallow, and red ochre. The proportions are three pounds white resin, one and one-half pounds of pitch, and eight ounces of tallow. The tallow is melted separately and poured into the hot resin and pitch slowly with constant stirring. While yet hot, add the ochre slowly by stirring. This mixture is worked by the hands before using like the old-fashioned grafting-wax. It also needs the warming stove under to keep it soft enough for use.
The wax used for the winding thread in root-grafting is made by melting six parts white resin, two parts beeswax, and one part of tallow, with enough wood alcohol to make the mixture about like syrup when in a warm room.
The use of linseed oil in making grafting-wax is now abandoned, mainly on account of its modern adulterations or processes of manufacture.