How has your week been? It’s certainly turned colder where we are, I hope you’re keeping warm. Thanks for all the emails last week and the positive reaction to our Question Time idea. I can now confirm that the first one will be held on 22 January 2021 and will feature Emma Cook, Richard Findley and David Lowe. We’re hoping it’s going to be fun as well as informative, so make sure you send your questions in for the panel to help with. You can just hit reply and send them, they’ll come straight to me.
On the subject of questions…

Just sometimes, I feel like a detective when I’m dealing with questions that come in to me. It’s a case of asking the right questions, digging for the answers and then deducing the cause of question – and knowing enough about the product to provide the answer. It also makes it fun!
This happened during the week, someone was using WoodWax 22 and reported that it was drying as soon as they put it on the wood, making it impossible to buff.
It’s not really possible for this to happen; the solvent has a specific drying time and that is pretty constant. I checked the process used prior to applying the wax, which all seemed normal, and the application method which was paper towel. Not ideal, but not in itself, a problem. More information was needed.
The user reported that the wax had turned liquid during the hot summer; could this have caused this? The answer to that one is no, as long as the lid is kept on, the wax will set back to its normal consistency. What was the temperature in the workshop now? “About 4 degrees c” came the answer. That’s pretty cold; it’s the temperature a refrigerator runs at! And that was the problem.
The wax was too cold, and as a result too hard. It wasn’t drying as soon as it was applied (and the timber was probably cold too, which wouldn’t help), it was just too stiff to spread. I asked if the paper towel was tearing up as soon as it was used and the answer, as expected, was yes. In this instance, the wax needed something stronger and slightly abrasive to help spread it in a thin film. I recommended one of our NyWeb pads (Orange or White would be best) and this should do the job. And it did!

An easier question that came in was whether Melamine Lacquer can be used on brass. It’s not something I’d recommend, as the lacquer could have difficulty adhering to the metal surface and come off fairly easily. As the brass item in question was a handle I felt that the lacquer could delaminate very quickly. A better option would be our Acrylic Gloss Lacquer; this is formulated to be far more multi-purpose and will work on metal as well as wood, and will even retard the tarnishing process of the brass.

Another question this week was about Liming Wax. The can suggests that it’s best to apply a clear wax on top of the Liming Wax -why? In a liming wax, the wax part mainly acts as a carrier for the pigment (which, incidentally, is titanium dioxide).
It won’t really add much of a shine to the wood, so applying a wax on top will certainly increase the gloss and will give added depth to any background colour used (or even just the natural colour of the wood). Importantly, it will also offer some protection to the limed areas. Constant/regular handling can cause the bright white of the liming wax to become grubby and discoloured, and in extreme cases it can even be dislodged. So applying a clear wax on top (WoodWax 22 is ideal for this) will keep it looking good for much longer. An even higher degree of protection, should it be needed, can be achieved by applying a coat of Hard Wax Oil on top – but, for best practice, a lacquer shouldn’t be used.

There you are for this week. I’ll be back in seven days…and if you like questions I’ll be turning the tables between Christmas and the New Year. It’ll be my turn to ask and your chance to answer when we hold another FUN quiz. We did one earlier this year which was very well received, and by popular demand we’re doing it again. More details soon!
And don’t forget our Question Time; please start sending in your questions for that too.

All the best