I hope you’ve had a good week. Did you see our announcement regarding the Woodturning Weekender? In case you missed it you can catch up on all the news on the Weekender webpage. Interest has been high already, so if it’s something you’d like to join us at please be sure to register.
There was also a lot of interest sparked by the comments last week about the toxicity of yew. Some very interesting correspondence, including a link to an expert source in the shape of an article by one of the biochemists at Kew Gardens. If you’d like to read it, and find out what the Romans knew, just click here.
Meanwhile, it’s time for some new questions and answers…

This one came up a couple of times this week, probably by coincidence. What’s the best finish for coasters, I was asked, to give the maximum protection. When answering questions like this I’m always careful to point out that no finish is indestructible, and with enough abuse any of them will show signs of damage. There are a number of finishes that will give a high degree of protection. The Hard Wax Oil, and Melamine Lacquer (brushing or aerosol version) are very good, but my favourite would be the Acrylic Gloss Lacquer. There’s really not much in it, but this will give the most protection, being a very tough lacquer indeed. It is also slightly quicker to reach maximum durability, as it is a purely air-drying lacquer, whereas the Melamine Lacquer also chemically cures, which can take a couple of weeks to take full effect.

I mentioned the other week about cleaning Cyanoacrylate Superglue up, and using DeBonder to break a joint, without actually breaking it. I was asked, as a follow-up, if this would help in removing a spill from some clothing, and also if the glue would re-stick after using the DeBonder. I’m dubious about how well it would assist in getting glue off of fabric, and also whether it would do more damage – it’s a solvent after all. Using it would be very much ‘at your own risk’! With regards to the second part of the question, my understanding is that the DeBonder ‘kills’ the adhesive element of the glue completely, meaning that the glue is rendered useless after application. So, if you want to reglue something that you’d debonded, you’ll need to make sure that all of the DeBonder has been removed, or it will never stick!

Finally for this week, we were asked about how to clean the Buffing Wheels when they’ve been contaminated with another timber – in this case, Padauk. The advice is much the same as for when there’s a build up of compound on the wheels. They can be washed in warm, soapy water (which could be more effective in this instance), taking care to make sure they are fully dry before being used again. The other option is to use a coarse abrasive, such as an 80 grit (mount it on a scrap of wood, it will get very hot!), held against the wheel as it spins . This method will wear away the top surface, just a small amount, to expose fresh cloth underneath.
The very best method is to use one of our Mop Dressers, which will clean them up very quickly – but use it sparingly, they are VERY efficient!

And those are your questions for this week. I’ll be back on YouTube next week for a Conkers LIVE session with our old friend Les Thorne. Les is a great demonstrator who’s worked with us many times over the years. You might have seen him alongside us at Yandles and in Harrogate, among other places. We’re looking forward to working with him again. This all happens on Wednesday evening, click this link to be transported to the YouTube page and you can set a reminder.

Hope to see you there, and if not, I’ll see you here – next week.

All the best