WEEK COMMENCING 19 NOVEMBER 2023

Hi

I’d like to say a very heartfelt thank you to everyone who reacted to last week’s Newsletter – the one where I told the story of how Chestnut Products came to be. I was quite nervous about posting it, as I prefer to write about the products, not about me, so I was very pleased that so many people found it interesting and worth reading. It generated the most feedback in some time.
Thank you once again, especially if you took the time to write back.

There are some questions that come in that I don’t have experience of, and can’t answer; sometimes I’m grateful for that. One such came from our regular contributor Tim Bacon – you might remember his pictures of wooden food from previous Newsletters.
Tim has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment for some time, now finished, thankfully. He wrote to me recently with some more pictures for our draw, and mentioned that It was interesting tuning his latest project due to the after-effects of chemotherapy. This is apparently similar to Neuropathy, causing odd feelings in both feet and hands. This resulted in him not being able to feel the texture of the wood finish and the exact position of the tool on the tool rest; it also affected his balance as he couldn’t feel his feet!

Tim was interested to know if any other woodturners have this problem and how they cope with the side effects of chemo. If you have any insights, please let me know and I’ll pass them on.

Another question recently asked about our NyWeb pads; rattles with captive rings had been made, and a method of smoothing the inside of the rings was needed; can NyWeb be supplied in coarser grits?
We don’t, but I have seen versions of NyWeb which are coarser, but they tend to lose their flexibility. That’s not helpful, especially in this situation, as that is a lot of the reason for wanting to use them! My suggestion was the Net Abrasive or Cloth-backed Turners’ Abrasive, cut into thin strips, which could be threaded through the rings and used to sand the insides. These are available in 80-400 grit options.

Many weeks ago, I included a piece about security when shopping online, and in particular the ‘s’ in ‘https’ standing for ‘secure’. I don’t want to make this a regular feature, but it was another article that got a lot of reaction and was found useful by many of our readers. I was reminded of it again this week with an email from a Chestnuteer who had sadly had their email account hacked. This is very distressing and the potential for real harm to be done is very frightening.
We all need to take our online security seriously, which apparently means not using the same password time and time again. How to remember them all? A Password Manager is a helpful tool for this; you only need to remember a master password, and the app will remember all the others, and even generate secure passwords for you.
Even better than that (but best used in tandem), is to switch on 2FA where available. Not a relation of Sweet Fanny Adams, this is two-factor authentication – if you log on from a computer that the website doesn’t recognize, it will challenge you to enter a PIN which is sent to your phone. This simple precaution would have saved many of the Facebook and Instagram accounts that have been broken into over the last couple of years.

That’s all for this week. Have you been following Handmade on Channel 4? This Sunday is the last episode, (spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it yet), and we’re so happy to see Nathanael Griffiths in the final! Well done!
We’ve enjoyed watching his work, often well outside his comfort zone, sometimes built without a plan (!), but always a great end result. I know the series was filmed over a year ago, but Nathanael has steadfastly refused to tell me the final result, so I’ll be watching on Sunday with bated breath and fingers crossed. I hope you’ll join me.
Whatever happens, well done mate, I’m really pleased for you; just getting on the show and surviving this far has been a great achievement.

I’ll be back again next week

Terry