Happy New Year! I hope you had a good Christmas, and welcome back to the Newsletter. Thank you to everyone for their kind comments after the last one, and my apologies to those of you sitting by your inbox last Friday waiting for your weekly dollop of knowledge in vain. But we’re back now, and I want to say it’s better than ever… but really it’s just the same. I hope you’ll be sticking around though.

Our first question of the year takes us back to an old favourite, our Buffing Wheel System. We’ve been asked whether it is possible to use it in conjunction with Cut’n’Polish or any other abrasive pastes (apparently there are some around). It’s not something we’d really thought about before, and we don’t think it’s something we’d recommend. The action of the wheel is likely to drag the abrasive in the wax before it has time to break down, causing scratches in the wood. It could also melt the wax and cause it to leave unsightly smears. And the abrasive particles could contaminate the wheel, causing scratches even when used with a compound.
Which brings me to another point; the compounds supplied are very mildly abrasive in their own right, so it does the job required of the Cut’n’Polish, so it makes sense to just use the Buffing System in the way it was designed!

Another question this week asked, in a round about way, if it mattered how long Finishing Oil was left between coats. We suggest around eight hours, to allow it to dry, but what if it’s left longer? Does it matter? Well, not really. The next coat will still adhere, pretty much regardless of the gap between coats. It’s not really ideal, though, because the longer it is left, the more chance there is of unwanted contamination settling on the surface of the dried oil which could affect how well the next coat performs. That doesn’t only apply to oils, of course; it’s always safer to take a finish to completion as quickly as the project allows.

Lastly, for this week, I was discussing with a caller about colour matching a stain and trying to offer some tips. Among the things I said to consider is that the stain needs to be allowed to dry completely before you get an accurate representation of its final colour. And that can change another shade or two when a polish is added over the top of it, so always take a sample of the timber you’re going to use to the final finish, just to be sure.
There’s so much more I could say on this subject, but my final tip for today is, where possible and if appropriate, to check the colour in the place where the item is going to be used – if you’re matching, say, a kitchen cupboard door, check the sample in the kitchen. This is because different lighting can also affect how the colour is seen – you may have seen this where something, often an article of clothing, looks one colour in the shop, but a different shade in daylight. So it’s worth bearing this in mind when colour matching.

And that’s Newsletter 1 of 2023 complete! Other than to cheekily deal with another question that we’ve been asked a couple of times. I know for certain that I answered this a couple of weeks ago, but we’ve been asked again if we’re having another Woodturning Weekender this year, as the last one was so good (I’m paraphrasing, not adding that for effect!). The answer is yes, it’ll be in Heywood (just outside Manchester) on 5-6 August. Details will follow!

I’ll be back next week