It’s been a quiet week at Chestnut Towers and I’ve had a chance to catch up with a lot of different jobs, still loads to do of course but I think there’s light at the end of the tunnel. And of course it’s all about to kick off again as we head into September and the shows and exhibitions start up again. I hope we might see you at one of them.
Meanwhile, as the song says, ‘there are more questions than answers’…although I do my best to keep up!
Last week I mentioned our YouTube channel, great to see many of you heading over there, and a few people have queried the video about ‘Decorating an Ash Vase‘ in which, if you haven’t seen it, I use Gilt Cream to highlight the open grain of the Ash. To clean up and remove the surplus Gilt Cream I use Cut’n’Polish in the video. Where people have copied this technique they’ve removed nearly all of the Gilt Cream. What’s gone wrong?
It’s hard to be precise, but there are a few things to look out for. It might be that the Gilt Cream hadn’t been left long enough to dry. It only needs a few minutes normally, but I’d possibly suggest leaving it a bit longer if you’re using the Cut’n’Polish to clean up.
It might also be that too much Cut’n’Polish was used, it is abrasive and it’s quite easy to be a bit too liberal with it. This doesn’t matter in normal circumstances but it could well make a difference in this technique.
And the other factor, that someone else pointed out, is that the timber itself might not have enough grain to hold the Gilt Cream. It does need to be Ash or Oak for the best effects, and even better if the grain is opened first with a Liming Brush as in the video.
If you’re still struggling after all this, then don’t use Cut’n’Polish for this part of the process, use one of our oils instead. Lemon Oil, Hard Wax Oil and Food Safe Finish are all very good for this.

Talking of Hard Wax Oil, someone else asked: on the can it says that ‘a very smooth surface can be achieved by applying the oil with a fine abrasive’. What does that mean?
The idea here is to use the oil as a lubricant for the abrasive; it stays wet long enough to allow this and the sanding action of the abrasive is improved by using the oil. This also cuts down on the dust generated.
There are two popular ways of doing this. I normally apply a small amount (and only a small amount is needed) of oil to a fine abrasive; our cloth backed abrasive in 320 grit is good for this, or a Red or Orange NyWeb. Net Abrasive isn’t so great as the oil will just go through it. I then sand as normal and the oil on the abrasive does its magic.
The other alternative is to apply the oil to your work and then sand it almost straight away, whilst the oil is still wet. Be sparing again with the oil or it can get messy, and with this technique you can use pretty much any abrasive of 320 or higher.

Our final question this week concerns the mandrel supplied in the Buffing Wheel Kit; will it fit a Supernova chuck? The answer is yes, it’s designed to fit pretty much every chuck we can think of in one way or another. The Large Mandrel (the better one to use on the lathe) is stepped at 18mm and 25mm, either section can be used to mount it. As long as the jaws on your chuck will close to this you’ll be fine.
The kit also includes the Small Mandrel and this fits into a Jacob’s Chuck so this is another option.

That’s all for this week folks; a long weekend looms and we’re supposed to have some good weather. We’ll see…
Whatever the weather I hope you have a good one and I’ll be back here again next week.

All the best