Greetings from Newark, which is where you’ll find me today, working on our stand at the Midlands Woodworking Show. (To be totally honest, I’m writing this in advance, so I’m not there yet, but I will be when you get this. It’s a bit like time travel). I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there, and if you’re heading over, please come and say hello. We’ll be just inside the door waiting for you. Don’t forget, tell us you’re a Chestnuteer and we’ll give you one of our can openers. You won’t know how much you need one until you have it!

A question came in this week asking the difference between Burnishing Cream and Cut’n’Polish. Obviously, one is a creamy liquid and the other is a waxy abrasive paste. Burnishing Cream increases the shine of a coating (such as lacquers and oils), without adding anything much to the surface. Cut’n’Polish is mostly an alternative to fine sanding; it will improve the look of a coating, although usually not as much as the cream. It also leaves a coating of wax behind, which can be left as the final finish, or another coat of wax can be applied on top.

The second part of the above question, and, I think, the real reason for it, was to ask which to use in conjunction with Gilt Cream. In particular, to use to remove the surplus from a piece of ash, to leave it only in the grain. In this case, Ebonising Lacquer had been applied to the ash.
Ebonising Lacquer normally dries to a satin finish, and Burnishing Cream can be used to bring it up to a glossier look, before the Gilt Cream is applied. This process involves covering the whole item with the cream, so the excess needs to be removed to give the best contrast. As long as the cream has been allowed to dry (15–20 minutes) Cut’n’Polish can be used for this, but I wouldn’t recommend using Burnishing Cream. If you can’t wait that long, pretty much any of our oils, or waxes, can be used.
If you’re not familiar with this process, we have a video showing the process.

Finally, for this week, a question came in about bird feeders. More especially, what to use on them to protect them. Apparently, the RSPB advise against using any finish on bird feeders and the like; I tried to check this, but was unable to find a source. I advised my correspondent of this, adding that, if he wanted to use something to protect the wood (and probably make it easier to clean in the long run), I’d go for our Finishing Oil. This is not only good for exterior projects, but as it is tested for toy safety, I’d find it hard to believe that contact with it will hurt our feathered friends. An annual clean down and re-coat would probably be a good idea, making sure to allow plenty of time for the oil to thoroughly dry (about two weeks in this case) before hanging it back out again.

I finally found some time to update the Woodturning Weekender webpage; there’s still some more information to be added, but a lot of the details are there now, including the all-important link to buy tickets. Why not head on over and have a look?
I hope I’ll see you at Newark, either today or Saturday, but either way, I’ll be back here next week as always.