Well, it’s been another busy week, as we’d expect for the start of September. Which makes it a daft time for us all to be taking holidays, but as most of us want to (and can) avoid the ridiculous price-hikes imposed during the school holidays, that’s what we do. I can’t believe there hasn’t been any legislation passed about that.
Anyway, as well as lots of orders going out the door this week, I’ve also been out and about on my travels with a very enjoyable visit to Burcot Woodturners. Good to see you all!

Last week I included a question about using driftwood, and whether any salt might leach through the applied finish. It wasn’t something I’d had direct experience of, but Peter leapt to the rescue with the following information:

“A couple of years ago, I picked up a piece of driftwood off a beach and decided to try and make a lamp out of it. It was pretty wet, so I had to let it dry for a while before finishing it off. A lot of salt came to the surface while it was drying and I managed to brush that off using a wire brush. I then used a gas torch to “enhance” the charring that was already evident, and then turned it into a lamp. I used Chestnut Hard Wax Oil to finish the exterior. No more salt came to the surface once it was fully dried.”

You can see the result above, I would imagine it’s a popular talking point and looks great! Thank you for the picture and information, Peter.

Another correspondent had been asked to make some engraved wooden plaques which would be hung outdoors in an orchard. (The plaques would show the names of the trees, in case you’re wondering). What would be best to protect them? My go-to for something like this is always Finishing Oil. Easy to apply, weather-resistant and contains UV filters which will protect the finish and the wood beneath. 2-3 coats would be best, covering all surfaces, including the back to make sure water can’t get in and attack the finish from below. Depending on location, a fresh coat every year would be a good idea.

Finally, this week, we were asked for help with re-finishing an item – specifically, a turned clock. The original finish was unknown, it could be oil, or maybe a lacquer, was there any way of finding out? There are ways of testing a dried finish, but they’re time-consuming, costly, and often inconclusive. Worse yet, the testing process usually damages the finish in some way, making the repair job even harder! The simplest solution is to not worry about the original finish. As long as the finish isn’t damaged or flaky, etc (which would probably require stripping off and starting again anyway), just apply a coat of wax. Waxes will go onto pretty much any coating – oil, lacquer, polish, even wax. Much easier!

That’s everything for this week. Now, I try not to keep going on about our Woodturning Weekender, but I wanted to let you know about this. We recorded all the demos on the main stage this year, and we’re going to make them available to buy as a DVD. There’s over 8 hours of content, so it’ll be a four disc set, which we will sell at the bargain price of £15 including UK delivery (contact us for overseas rates). If you’d like to own a copy, you can pre-order yours >>>HERE<<<.  And here’s a Chestnuteer Advance Exclusive: you can click here for a short trailer of the video!
Please note, there is a minimum order to get these duplicated; if we don’t get enough orders we will have to cancel this. If this happens, all money paid will be refunded in full.

We’re taking orders until the end of September, so don’t wait too long. The DVD will be removed from sale after that, never to be seen again!

But never fear, you’ll see me again next week.