This time last week (give or take a few hours!) I was thinking about heading down to Mytchett to see our friends at the Surrey Association of Woodturners. A thriving club with some great facilities, I really enjoyed getting back into the demo circuit. I know lots of the members there are regular readers, thank you all for your hospitality and all the help packing and unpacking.

Our first question this week concerns the best way of cleaning an airbrush. Keeping any form of application equipment clean and working well is very important, especially when it’s an expensive one!
Airbrushes are usually used with our Spirit Stains or Iridescent Paints. In both cases, we’d recommend flushing through with water first to remove any ‘loose’ debris, then a flush through with meths to get rid of anything a bit more stubborn. Finally, a quick run through with our Air Brush Cleaner will seal the deal, and leave the brush lubricated and ready for its next use.

The same question also asked about whether the Spirit Stain would attack the seals in the airbrush, as some contain a warning about using solvent based products. This is more to do with the airbrush than our products, so I wasn’t really able to provide as full an answer as I wanted. My best guess is that meths – which is, to all intents and purposes, the solvent in the Spirit Stain – won’t affect the seals. White Spirit and Cellulose based products could, causing the seals to swell and possibly distort. But I’m handing this one over to you, Chestnuteers; can you help me, and my correspondent, out with any information about your experience with airbrushes. Feel free to name brands that you’ve had success with!

A question that comes up every so often, especially at shows, is how to clean excess compound off of our Buffing Wheels. I’m particularly guilty of putting too much on, especially because I demonstrate the method of application every time. This means I nearly always end up with more compound (usually Compound 1) on the wheel than I use during demo. I’m of the opinion that it can’t do much harm having a lot of built-up compound on the wheel, the action of using it will soften it up before it can do any damage. But if you want to clean it up, there are a few options.
You can wash the wheels in warm, soapy water. This is probably my least favourite method, and they’ll probably take quite a while to dry.
The next option is to hold a coarse (ie 80 grit) abrasive against the wheel as it spins, and literally wear away the surface until you have cleaner cloth. Just remember that the abrasive will get hot, so attach it to a piece of wood, don’t hold it in your hand!
And, of course, we can supply a Mop Dresser; a two-handled brush with a wire bristle, designed to clean and dress the wheel. This is a very efficient way of doing the job – if you chose this option, use it sparingly, it works very quickly!

I’m back on the road again next week, visiting – for the first time, I think – the good people at the Derwent Woodturning Club for another of our demos. These are always good fun and I never know exactly what direction they are going to take, which makes it all the more enjoyable.

Meanwhile, I’ll be back here again next week with more of the same