Hi Terry
Well it’s all go at the moment! I’m back from Sweden, and had a great time there. Thanks to our hosts at SweDendro for looking after us so well, and to all my fellow travellers for being such good company. I put a few pictures up on our Facebook group Conkers if you haven’t already seen them.
I’m on the road again next week (details below), but before that I’m a guest ‘earworm’ on Stephen Kearvell’s livestream YouTube tonight (Friday). I’ll be there talking about finishing, Chestnut Products, our Weekender and anything else that comes up. Do come and join us if you can, it’ll be fun.
Now, in preparation for tonight, let’s do some questions!
I’ve mentioned our Air Purge Spray a few times, it’s something new and a bit odd, and still a little bit misunderstood. We were asked this week why we don’t recommend it for use with Cellulose Sanding Sealer and Melamine Lacquer. It’s not something we’d thought about really; it would be okay to use with them, but it wouldn’t really achieve very much. The spray is really for use with oils such as Finishing Oil, Hard Wax OIl, Danish Oil etc which go off very quickly in a part used can (they react with the air trapped in the can and start to solidify). Cellulose Sanding Sealer and Melamine Lacquer don’t react in the same way – they are mainly air drying so all the time the solvents can’t escape from the can, they will stay in good condition for a long time. Although we can only guarantee them for a year, we’d expect you to get a good 2-3 year’s life – and more – out of a can. Although if you do, you’re not doing enough!
A similar question came in about our Acrylic Lacquer and Acrylic Sanding Sealer. These have a ‘best before’ date on them, but importantly, this is not an expiry date. Even an unopened bottle of this product will start to thicken with age, eventually becoming (after a long time) an unusable gel.
We were asked about any problems with using product past its date – and there are none. As long as the lacquer or sealer is still liquid enough to be applied (water can be added if it’s a little thicker than normal) then it will be fine to use. We keep a minimum stock of this product, refreshing it every 2-3 weeks, so that every bottle that leaves us has a minimum 12 month shelf life on it, although we’d expect it to be good for another 6 months at least, usually longer.

Still with sealers, we were also asked this week why we recommend only ever one coat of Sanding Sealer. There are a couple of reasons for this, the first one being that one coat really should be enough! Our sealers all have a good build and will do the job required (sealing the open pores, binding the fibres together etc) in one go.
Importantly, when using the Cellulose or Acrylic versions, more than one coat of sealer could lead to a crazing effect if a lacquer is applied on top (not relevant to Shellac Sanding Sealer as a lacquer shouldn’t be used over it). This is because the sealer is, in relevant terms, softer than the lacquer and the second coat of sealer can cause a slight movement; the lacquer above doesn’t have enough ‘give’ in it to allow for this, so it will crack.

I’d love to be able to tell you to use more sealer – but please don’t!
And that’s everything for this week, except to mention that I’ll be down in Stockbridge, Hampshire on Monday evening for a demo to Test Valley Turners. A welcome return there, I’m looking forward to seeing lots of friends there and making some new ones too.
I hope you have a great week, I’ll be back here next Friday.