It’s nearly the weekend again, which, for me, means a trip down to Kent to give a demo to Kent Woodturners, who meet at a lovely location in Aylesford. I’ve met many of them before, and I’m looking forward to seeing them again. Then on Saturday evening, I’m looking forward to having a meal with a good friend who has helped us out hugely in the last year.

Lots of questions coming in this week, starting with this one…
Why do some of the products we sell come with a ‘clik-lok’ cap, and others don’t? To give them their correct title, these are referred to as ‘Child Resistant Closures’. In some cases, such as the plastic bottles we use, it also requires us to specify we need a bottle with a CRC Neck, as the cap locks into this.
The main criteria for whether such a closure is needed is whether anyone can come to harm by coming into contact with it without taking the necessary care and precautions. Being hazardous during storage (ie a liquid that is flammable) isn’t a consideration.
Some of our products can cause irritation – although they current safety pictogram for this suggests they will also eat through a metal girder! Whilst prolonged skin contact isn’t advisable, the main danger here is the damage caused by getting them in your eye.
You might wonder why some of the products we supply in plastic bottles use CRC closures. Only some of them do, but as mentioned above, the neck of the bottle is different on the non-CRC version, so we use them universally rather than stock two types of bottle.

I’m pretty sure I’ve covered this next question before, but it’s a good question worth mentioning again; what’s the difference between a varnish and a lacquer? The terms are often used interchangeably, but this isn’t really correct. When I was training, the company that I was working for produced both lacquers and varnishes, and the difference was explained to me by one of the Woodfinishing Chemists. A varnish is a solid dissolved in a solvent. Once applied, the solvent evaporates, leaving a coating of the original solid behind. A lacquer is usually a resin which is mixed with a solvent to make it thinner/easier to apply. After application, the solvent evaporates and the resin ‘sets’ to form a new coating.
Lacquers are usually quicker drying and give a harder, tougher, coating.

And finally, for this week, I was asked if it was ok to leave a Cellulose Sanding Sealer as a finish, rather than apply a lacquer, wax or polish over it.
I don’t consider this ideal, as a sealer isn’t (in my opinion) tough enough to be left uncoated. It will provide a good degree of protection and, depending on what it has been applied to, will last a fair amount of time. But if it was something that would (or even could) get a lot of use, water splashes or hard knocks, then a tougher coating on top would be advisable.

I’ve mentioned a couple of times in the last week that my hand has healed well. I injured it at the Woodturning Weekender (and it was my own fault!), and I’m pleased to say it’s pretty much fully recovered; another couple of weeks and I reckon it’ll be completely back to normal. If you didn’t see my gruesome video about it last weekend, you can see it here.

And then, I’ll be back next week with more questions and answers!