Hello again! Here we are with another Newsletter. I’d like to thank the Kent Woodturners in Aylesford for such a warm welcome (not just the weather!) and an enjoyable day there. It was a lot of fun and a beautiful setting.
I hope you’ve had a good week, there’s a long weekend ahead and I hope you get chance to get out into your workshop – unless you have something even better planned!

A mixed bag of questions this week, but that’s nothing new. You might know already that we advocate buffing or burnishing our Melamine Lacquer. We were contacted by someone this week who had used it on an electric guitar (we’re keeping up the rock’n’roll theme from last week!). Can they, they asked, buff after three days? The answer is yes, the lacquer will be hard enough. At demos I often use the Burnishing Cream on the lacquer after about 20 minutes (it depends what else I’m talking about!). But if you can leave it longer, it allows the lacquer to harden, and it will give an even better result. Three days is ample. You probably can’t leave it too long (the Buffing System is, after all, great for rejuvenating items that are months or even years old). However, after about a week the lacquer is practically fully cured, so there’s not much point waiting past that.

Another question from a regular reader wanting to touch up the textured rim on a bowl. It had been stained blue, but without any protection over it the colour had lost its vibrancy. The problem was how to apply the stain without filling in the textured areas, which were still the original colour of the wood.
Our Spirit Stain is very thin, and wants to find its way into every nook and cranny. So I think the best method here is to use a ‘dry-brushing’ technique. This is where the brush is dipped in the stain, but brushed practically dry on a different surface before it is applied. Enough will still be on the brush to give a colour to the timber, but not enough to make the surface wet enough for the stain to run.
If the worst happened and the stain did get into the texturing, all is not lost. A quick application of Liming Wax will highlight the textured areas beautifully. Just wipe it on, wait a couple of minutes, then wipe the surplus away. It will stay in the grooves and highlight them perfectly.

And the last question for this week asked if our Spirit Stain can be used on floorboards – or is it only for turned work?
We’re very happy to be (apparently) the number one finishing choice for most turners, but our products can also be used on almost any type of woodwork. So whilst the Spirit Stain can be used on a large area such as floorboards (and we’ve seen some great examples), a degree of care is needed. The stain is very quick drying, and any overlaps are liable to show. The way around this is to apply the stain liberally, almost to the point of creating pools on the wood, then quickly wipe off the surplus with a clean cloth. This will ensure an even coat. This is a great tip even on smaller large items (you know what I mean!).
One last thing with the floorboards is that a suitable sealer/finish of some kind will be needed. From our range I’d suggest the Hard Wax Oil in either gloss or satin.

And once again, I’ve run out of question space for this week… but there are still more questions to answer, and I’ll be back again with three more for you.
My roamings continue next week when I’ll be returning to SECB Turners (Suffolk, Essex, Cambs Borders in case you’re wondering). It’ll be great to see some old friends there.
If I don’t see you there, I’ll be in your inbox next week. It’s a squeeze, but I’ll manage it somehow.

All the best