Hi everyone.

Terry has gone away for a few days (well deserved but don’t tell him), and has asked me (Mel) to be the ‘Guest Writer’ for this week’s newsletter. Very much like Radio 4 having guest producers! Elevation in status indeed! Life at Chestnut continues to be hectic, and the addition of Paul as our 4th member of staff is most welcome. He has fitted in well and picking up the ropes quickly (although he hasn’t got to grips yet with the amount of coffee we drink!!). Anyway, enough from me and the factory floor, shall we have some questions?

A customer got in touch with us having made a round plinth. He had coated it with thin layers of Ebonising Lacquer but, when spraying both top and bottom, the overspray had dulled the face. Could he use Burnishing Cream to clean it off and then apply Acrylic Lacquer to really build a high gloss finish? He was on the right lines, but the need to apply the lacquer is a step too far. The Ebonising Lacquer is a finish in its own right and can be burnished to a high gloss. Applying the Acrylic Lacquer over the Burnishing Cream could lead to adhesion problems (However thorough we are there is always a chance of leaving some residue). I am pleased to report the Burnishing Cream did the job and the customer has a beautiful glossy black plinth. Burnishing Cream really is excellent at making a finish ‘pop’. I was amazed at our Woodturning Weekender 2 years ago when Phil Irons showed how he used Acrylic Satin Lacquer followed by Burnishing Cream to build a highly glossed piece of work!
Another query this week was along similar lines. We were contacted by someone who was restoring a wooden vase, but was unsure of the original finish. There was also some bare wood with no distinguishable finish at all. Could they, after sanding, use Burnishing Cream followed by, again, the Acrylic Lacquer? The answer here is, again, not something we would recommend, for the same reasons given above. We advised that the best course of action here would be to use the Cut’n’Polish abrasive wax, followed by either WoodWax 22 or Microcrystalline Wax. Waxes are good all-rounders and will bring a piece to a finish, where a previous coating cannot be determined. We await to hear the results from this one.

Finally this week, a customer ordered some Thick Superglue, and wondered if he could colour it with the Iridescent Paint. He wanted to give some interest to the crack he was looking to repair, rather than have a clear streak in his work. This is, sadly, not an option here. The Iridescent Paints are acrylic based (water), and the Superglues are moisture curing – water will accelerate the drying time. Even though the Thick Superglue is slower drying, mixing it with the paint could make it cure before it can be used. The customer decided that a better way may be to add some redwood sanding dust to the glue to improve the dried appearance. On this front, we may (emphasis on MAY) have something of interest to announce in the coming weeks, so watch this space.

That’s about it from the wilds of Suffolk for this week. Terry will be back in the hot seat again on Monday, and I shall be away for a few days. Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings today and, who knows, I might be let loose on the keyboard again one day. Hope you all have a good week, and stay safe.