Did you see Philip Greenwood’s live demo for us last week on our YouTube series Conkers LIVE?
You missed a treat if you didn’t, it was exceptional. That’s not just me saying it, we’ve had rave reviews from everyone, and the demo has even led to Phil getting a booking for a remote demo from a club in the USA. Nice one Phil!
You can still catch the demo here if you’re quick.
And now… it’s Question Time…

A question that’s come up before, from time to time, concerns our Spirit Stain. Sometimes, you want to stain part of a creation one colour, and another part in a different colour – or no stain at all. How can the stain be prevented from bleeding all the way through and affecting the other side? There’s no foolproof answer on this one, but what normally works is to use a sealer. To get the best result, (and this goes against my normal advice), thin the sealer 50/50 so that it soaks in. This creates a barrier under the surface, meaning that the stain can still soak into the top of the wood, as it is meant to, but not go any further. If it’s possible to treat both sides in the same way this can only help as it will provide a double wall. As I say, it’s not foolproof but it will work in most cases.

Another question that came in was asking which is more durable, French Polish or Friction Polish? That’s a hard call really, as they’re very similar really. French Polish is the traditional meths/shellac mix; Friction Polish is a modified form that makes it possible to apply a slightly thicker coat on (or off) the lathe. It’s the slightly thicker coat of the Friction Polish that gives it the edge. It will be just a little more hard wearing, although it’s still not ideal for something that is likely to get a lot of handling, or to regularly come into contact with water. A lacquer or oil would be much better for that.

And finally this week, a call from a user of our Buffing Wheel System, asking for advice about buffing the inside of bowls. The Dome Buffs are, generally speaking, the best way of doing this. The large wheels can be used, but they will make contact with the edge of the bowl and will try to rip it out of your hands. The question here, though, was relating to some natural edge bowls, where the Dome Buffs would have trouble getting into all the different areas and there would again be a danger of it catching on the sharp edges of the bowl. The answer in this case would be our Dome Brush for Drills. This uses a flexible bristle to do the buffing, and this won’t catch on the edge, making for a much safer experience – but, as we’re still working with running machinery, some care and attention is still needed of course. .
We’ve got an unfinished video showing the Dome Brush in use on the lathe – unfinished because there’s a tiny reshoot we need to do and we haven’t been able to get the film crew back during the various lockdowns. However, we’re friends and I don’t mind you seeing it. Click this link to see it, it should start at the section about the Dome Brush but you can watch it all if you’d like!

I’ll be emailing some of you again on Sunday with details of our next Conkers LIVE demo, if you haven’t signed up for our bulletins yet, just head over to the Conkers LIVE webpage and pop your details in. In the meantime, have a great week and I’ll be back again on Good Friday with more questions and answers.

All the best