Well, here we are again! Back in a bit of a lockdown, that is. In case you’re wondering whether you’ll be able to get supplies to continue with any wood working projects you have on the go, we’ll be staying open. As long as we can get the raw materials to keep the products flowing, we’ll continue to send them out, working in as safe an environment as we can. Luckily with so few of us here anyway that’s quite easy to manage.
Now, to the questions!

I was talking about the Aerogun a few weeks ago, and we had another question about it this week. Our caller wanted to buy some Ebonising Lacquer and some Acrylic Gloss Lacquer and asked if he could use the same Aerogun on both – to which we answered yes, of course you can. ‘But how?’ he asked. I realised his confusion (at about the same time as he realised his mistake I think). The Aerogun clips on the top of the aerosol and effectively does the work of your finger, depressing the nozzle to make the can spray. The lacquer does not go through the gun as it would with a traditional spray gun. Our caller realised where he was going wrong and feared it was a daft question, but I feel that if he was confused by it others could be, so it’s worthy of inclusion here.

An emailer asked about a finish for a gear knob, wanting something tough and hardwearing, able to hold up well in a vehicle. I suggested our Acrylic Gloss Lacquer for this as it fits the bill on all counts. It can also be buffed, once dry, which was another criteria mentioned. The lacquer will be able to cope with wet and sticky hands, and any of the general use and abuse a gear knob might get. Up to three coats on top of the Acrylic Sanding Sealer aerosol will give a great finish for this – and similar – jobs.

And finally this week we were asked about a finish for stairs. Not for the treads, but for the hand rail and spindles. Our caller had been recommended our Melamine Lacquer, which would give a great finish but would be, in my opinion, difficult (but not impossible) to apply to the hand rail and get a good finish. I also felt that there should be no need to use something quite so hard wearing for this purpose. Instead I suggested a Shellac Sanding Sealer (the slower drying time makes it easier to apply on bigger areas) followed by a coat of WoodWax 22. The caveat was that it might require a top-up coat of wax every year to keep it looking at its best.
Our caller felt that it was unlikely that the owner would apply the wax when needed and the staircase could end up looking shabby. In the end we agreed upon the Satin Hard Wax Oil which would give the desired sheen, be easy to apply and give a high level of protection.
This was a great example of matching the product to the project; finding a finish that is easy to apply over the area whilst still giving the protection and look required.

And that’s if for this week, but there’s still one important bit of business to take care of – the great conkers conundrum! Why did someone recently collect over 50kg of conkers, what were they going to do with them??
We had loads of answers; I’m not saying that the ones following aren’t potential uses for conkers, but they’re not the answer in THIS case:

  • To add to horse feed (makes the coat shine and aids digestion)
  • Put one in you bed to keep bed bugs away (I’d be worried if I needed to!)
  • For making decorations
  • Science experiments (conkers in a bonfire will explode apparently)
  • Good luck charm (a conker on a necklace is said to bring good luck)
  • A treatement for hemorrhoids (don’t want to know how they are used!)

And the most popular answer was ‘to keep spiders away’, which has been shown to be a bit of a myth, although one person did say that they work very well on his boat (although, assuming the boat is afloat, could the spiders even get there in the first place? And if they’d somehow swum out, would a mere conker make them turn around and swim back??)
Anyway, the correct answer is that conkers contain saponin which can be used, among other things, to make washing detergent which is exactly what these were destined to become. If you want to know how, or even to try it (and do let me know if you do!), you can read about the lady in question and her process in this blog post.
The winner of the £25 voucher will be announced next week. Thank you to everyone who entered, I’m sorry you didn’t get a personal reply, I was a bit taken aback with the number of guesses, but they did all get read!

I’ve taken enough of your time for one week, I’ll see you here again in seven days.

All the best