Did you join us for Question Time last week? It was a bit of an experiment; I didn’t know if I could get the software to work how I wanted or how entertaining it would be. Well, the jury is still out on the former, I think I got away with it, but for entertainment value it was a great success. Steven Spielberg doesn’t need to worry, but if you enjoy some chat about woodturning and want to get some great tips you might enjoy wasting an hour and a bit watching us on YouTube. Link is here.
There will be more Question Time broadcasts, probably in a couple of months or so. Watch this space – and get sending your turning questions in!
Meanwhile, here are some of the other questions we’ve had..

A topic that keeps coming back at the moment is one of cold workshops. We even touched upon it in Question Time. It came back again this week, and I gave my normal advice about trying to avoid finishing when it’s very cold, and especially when it’s damp – moisture in the atmosphere will spoil your finishing quicker than anything.
So I’m grateful to our friend Stephen (aka Wooddude) who has sent us a picture of his heated spray/finishing booth…

Stephen uses this with great success, He uses the hot air gun to warm the booth before using it (but not to force dry the coatings), and keeps the hinged door closed to keep the warmth in, and protect from shavings and dust etc whilst the paint or lacquer is drying. Thanks for sharing Stephen, an interesting solution to a common problem.

Our next question concerns the gloss level of our lacquers. Our Acrylic Lacquer and Melamine Lacquer only come in a gloss finish, but on the label we say that it is possible to matt the finish down, if required, using a fine abrasive.
I was asked for more guidance on this during the week, and my answer was to first apply the lacquer as per instructions. Once dry, give the surface a light cut back with an abrasive. If using a cloth or paper backed abrasive I’d probably go for a 240 or 320 grit, used gently. This will abrade the surface and knock back the shine, without leaving a rough surface.
0000 Steel Wool will do something similar, or our NyWeb pads (use the Green) will do it too.
Don’t use too fine an abrasive, as this could burnish the lacquer further and increase the gloss. Pleasingly, I heard back from my correspondent to say that he’d done this, using a 500 grit abrasive and was very happy with the outcome.

And a slightly unusual question came in this week, I think some of you will find it relevant so I’m going to include it. On our website we state that the majority of our products – over 90% – are made in the UK. Someone asked which products aren’t made in the UK. We don’t have a comprehensive list so couldn’t give a full answer. I think that the more relevant answer is that when products that are bought in from overseas, it’s because we cannot find a realistic source for them in the UK. It’s especially frustrating when we’ve been buying something from a UK manufacturer and they decide not to produce that item anymore. The decision is rarely made on price, but if it is, it’s because the UK price is so inflated we’d end up with a product so expensive that no-one would buy it. Rather than withdraw the product we’ll use an overseas alternative – but only after making sure that it meets our standards.

And that’s nearly it for questions this week, except that tomorrow night it’ll be my turn to ask them! We’re holding another of our fun quizzes, live on YouTube, on Saturday night, starting at 7.15pm UK time. It’s mainly just for fun, but there is a £50 prize to be donated to the registered charity of the winner’s choice. Who will it be this time?
I hope you’ll consider joining us, if you need more details just let me know. Or head over to the YouTube page and set a reminder now.

Good luck if you come along.

All the best,