Does it seem like only yesterday you had our last Newsletter? Or is time dragging? At least this email means that another week of lock down is over. If only we knew when it was going to end. I hope you’re managing to stay well and retain some sanity – you can’t have any of mine, I lost that years ago!
We’re having a very busy month, with lots of questions coming in as well!

Last week I was talking about ways to get a more even colour when using Spirit Stain, especially on timbers like pine that are a bit patchy in their levels of porosity. I mentioned about using a thinned sealer first, or a tinted wax; someone asked if a similar effect couldn’t be achieved by using a tinted sealer, and of course, yes it can.
This is most successful with our Cellulose Sanding Sealer, which can be tinted using our Spirit Stain (as, in fact can all of our sealers and the Melamine Lacquer too). Add up to about 10% stain to tint them, which when applied will give an even colour as the stain isn’t being absorbed into the timber.

Another question came in about using Acrylic Gloss Lacquer to protect the bed of a scroll saw – does it contain silicones we were asked? Most definitely not!! Silicones are the deadly enemy of good finishing because they are very effective at stopping almost anything sticking to them. So not only are they not used in anything we make, you should take care with products you’re using in the workshop (especially spray lubricants) to make sure that you’re not spreading them around.
We did, by the way, suggest that Microcrystalline Wax would be a better choice for the scroll saw (and a lathe bed) as it will also offer some lubrication as well as protection.

Our last question this week concerns our Compatibility Chart (I’ve included the link in case you’re new around here). It says that the Cellulose Sanding Sealer can be used over the Spirit Stain, is that always correct? It is, but read on… Technically it’s correct, the sealer will adhere perfectly over a stained surface, allowing pretty much any finish to be applied after.
The only proviso to this is to say that the sealer and the stain share a common solvent, so the sealer can cause the stain to run. A careful application is usually all that’s needed, except in situations where a multicolour effect has been created; the stain can cause the colours to blend. The advice here, then, is to use the spray version of the sealer. Without the mechanical contact of a cloth or brush the stain doesn’t move, and the pattern remains intact.

So those are your questions for this week. I hope at least one of them resonated with you. I know that many of you are members of turning clubs (not forgetting carving and other clubs) and that members and committees are working hard to keep the community spirit of clubs going, with their own newsletters and challenges etc. Well done all of you! If you want to reprint any of my ramblings, or point your members at the subscribe option, please do. It’s just another way we can all stay in touch in these turbulent times.

Stay safe, stay well, I’ll see you in a week.