How has your week been? I hope you’ve had a good one. It’s been another busy one for us, I’m looking forward to a long Bank Holiday Weekend! I hope you are too, and you can find some time for your hobbies.
It’s time for some questions..!

The Buffing System is a regular source of questions. This time I was asked about whether it can be used in conjunction with Burnishing Cream to polish epoxy. The short answer is ‘probably yes’, but the long answer is that there shouldn’t be any need. Whilst they can be used together, they aren’t really designed for it. The normal compounds that come with the Buffing System will be fine for polishing epoxy. As an alternative, or as a final finish for the item, Burnishing Cream applied on a cloth will be fine. (If the item can’t be mounted on the lathe and spun, then using the C wheel/dome with the Burnishing Cream would be fine, but I probably wouldn’t bother).

A couple of people have contacted me recently about the dangers of fire and materials that will self-combust. One of these correspondents was the aptly named Ash, a retired firefighter. Ash particularly made the point that the flames from some products (meths-based ones) can be invisible and thus, extremely dangerous. He supplied the following information about hydrocarbons and fire, which I have, with permission, reproduced here:

Hydrocarbons consist entirely of hydrogen & carbon albeit combined in a bewildering variety of ways, hence the differing properties.
Aliphatic Hydrocarbons (e.g. methylated spirits) have an invisible flame and do not give off smoke. They may be miscible with water and can be extinguished with water in event of a fire.
Hydrocarbons-Aromatic ( e.g. petrol, engine oil, etc) have yellow flames and black smoke. Not miscible with water, may not be extinguished with water.

Ash also mentioned oils, where the cloths used can be subject to spontaneous combustion, adding…

I have worried about applying oil over a bed of shavings, so it is perhaps best to clean up first, or oil a bowl away from the working area.
(Application cloths are, I believe, the greater danger, but this is still a good point).

Finally for this week… I often say that the purpose and use of Sanding Sealers is very misunderstood. Some recent comments have made me conclude that this is still the case… A sanding sealer should be applied once you have finished sanding the timber, not after each grit. The purpose of the sealer is to seal the wood, bind the loose fibres of the timber together and provide a solid base for the next coating. Only one coat of sealer should be applied. Its function is not to make the sanding easier – although if you’re working on a spalted or punky piece of wood it can be used in that way. In that case, though, it’s acting as a hardener, more than a sealer. If you want to know more we have a helpful video about it on our YouTube channel.

Talking of our YouTube channel, that’s where I’ll be tomorrow night (1 May) hosting our fun quiz. It all starts at 7.15pm, and lasts for around a couple of hours – but the time flies. It’s all for charity (you can donate if you want), for full details hop over to our YouTube page and set a reminder. I hope I’ll see you there.
And we’ll be back again later in May with another Conkers LIVE demo, but more about that next week.

All the best