I was very sad to hear, at the recent Newark show, that our long term friend and customer Robin Storey, of Lincolnshire Woodcraft Supplies, passed away recently. Many of you will, I’m sure, have met Robin; he was a regular at many of the major woodworking shows, county shows and craft fairs. He was also the founder of the business, which in later years he ran from a small unit in Burleigh Park, having moved from Stamford town centre. Robin sold the business a few years ago, and semi-retired; he was still very much involved in helping the new owners get set up. We’d dealt with Robin since nearly the beginning of Chestnut Products, and had spent a lot of time with him at shows. We will miss him hugely.

I try very hard to keep the Newsletter true to its aim; that of supplying information and assistance. I don’t see it as a promotional/selling opportunity, but this week I want to focus on one product which has generated a lot of questions recently. These are all genuine, relating to our Buffing Tree…

The first question was, strangely, the hardest to answer; how long does the Buffing Tree last? The only part that really wears on the Tree is the wheels; the contact with the item being polished will slowly wear down the fabric. This is inevitable, of course. How quickly this happens depends on how much use the tree gets! As such, it’s impossible to even give any guidance on this, but based on the amount of wear showing on my demo kit (admittedly the slightly larger Buffing Wheels, but the principle is the same), I’d expect the wheels to last several years. Has anyone out there managed to wear one of the wheels down to even half of its original size? How long did it take? Please do let me know!

Another question asked was about getting replacement wheels for the tree. We don’t sell the parts individually; it isn’t meant to come apart, and is, to a point, disposable – albeit after several years. We appreciate this isn’t ideal. At first, we tried to find a way to make it possible to adapt the existing Buffing Wheel Kit into a Tree, but this wasn’t possible. Then we tried to design the ability to dismantle it into the Tree, but this would have required a lot of extra work and machining. The extra cost would have driven up the price, making the tree too expensive (in our opinion). Not only that, but the extra cost wiped out any savings made, especially as many users may never have the need to refurbish it!

Finally, and this is something we talked about a lot with customers at the Newark show; why does the Buffing Tree only include the ‘3 wheels on a spindle’ and not the mandrels, compounds etc as well?
The answer is relatively simple; creating the Tree was a bit of an afterthought! We were asked for one, and to be honest, I never really saw the point. But enough people said about it, so we made a prototype and I tried it, and understood straight away. The simplicity of moving from one wheel to another was surprisingly useful (I can’t think of a better word to describe it!).
We realised that a lot of people would buy a Tree to use alongside the Buffing Wheel Kit, so they would already have the mandrels and compounds. Putting them in the box would have meant having to buy the same things twice, which would be crazy. So, the Tree is supplied without any of the fixings.
We do have a Buffing Accessory Pack as well, which contains all the fixings, in case they are needed. The Pack is cheaper than buying all the items individually.

That’s it for the Buffing Tree and questions, for this week at least. Next Wednesday sees me taking a trip to the south coast, but I won’t be taking my bucket and spade. I’ll be demonstrating to South Downs Woodturners instead – probably a better use of my time. I hope I’ll see some Chestnuteers there; I’ll see everyone else next week!