You’re a wonderful bunch! A very sincere thank you to everyone who replied to last week’s Newsletter with your own stories of woodturning post-chemotherapy, following on from Tim’s story. All the replies have, with permission, been forwarded to Tim. I’ve said it before, I’m sure, that I think the word ‘community’ is over-used, but I think there’s a real feeling of camaraderie among woodworkers, and it’s wonderful when everyone gets together to help and support each other. Thank you.

Last week I included a question about smoothing the insides of captive rings, which culled a few responses and different ideas, which I’m pleased to pass on, in the hope they will be useful to others.

Ash tells me: I find wrapping abrasive around the inner shaft on a stationary lathe is best. Keep the work still, but manually rotate the rings over the abrasive covered shaft to clean up the inner surface. Swap to a finer grade(s) to finish off nice & smoothly.
John says: I’ve always used a strip of 120-grit sandpaper rolled around the stem and stuck down with double-sided tape.  With the lathe spinning, the ring almost sands itself, needing just a finger touch to disrupt its regular orbit and even out the effect.  By angling the ring, the inside ‘corners’ can also be smoothed.  Watch the direction in which you wrap the abrasive – in the wrong direction, it’ll try to unwrap itself.

Like I said earlier, it’s wonderful when we all work together and help each other!

Another question came in about using our Spirit Stain, asking the best way to get an even colour. This can be a challenge over larger areas, although in this case it was a small area that was difficult to get to. The answer is to be a bit more generous with the stain.
It is very quick drying, so if you don’t have enough on the cloth or brush you won’t be able to cover the whole area, and the resulting overlap caused by a new application can be visible. Apply more stain in the first place, to the point that it’s almost puddling on the surface. Then, with a clean cloth, wipe it down to remove the excess. This will leave an even colour. A second coat might be required to achieve the required depth of colour, just apply it in the same way.

We’ve had a couple of occasions recently where website customers have placed orders, and have accidentally ordered the wrong thing, or missed something off their order. If we are told quickly enough, we can usually make adjustments, but we do try to get orders out as quickly as possible, so this isn’t always possible.
When we first started doing mail order, we used to check orders. If someone ordered, for example, an incompatible lacquer and sealer combo, we’d check with them. If they’d ordered two 500ml bottles of the same product, we’d ask if they’d prefer a 1 ltr bottle. Or, if they’d ordered some buffing wheels, we’d check that they had the appropriate mandrels. (I included that for Tim in Cornwall, thanks for the kind comments about the Newsletter).
We quickly learned not to do this. There were always good reasons for the way orders had been placed, so we stopped checking.
So, if you’re placing an order online, and you’re not sure, please drop us an email, or give us a call, so that we can make sure you’ve got everything you need. We do like to help where we can.

I’ve been asked when our Twixmas Quiz will be this year. It’ll be online on our YouTube channel as always (you can still view previous years quizzes there if you want!), on the evening of Thursday 28 December. I’ll be providing a link soon so that you can join us. And I hope you will. Join us, that is.

I’ll be back next week