Well, we’ve had five working days this week, and it’s still been a struggle to get everything done. I had a great evening at Ely Guild of Woodturners on Wednesday night. It was great to see the club inducting so many new members. I hope this is being repeated around the country and other clubs are faring well. They’re a great source of information and experience, all willingly shared. If you’re not a member of your local club, you should go along and see for yourself. You’re sure of a friendly welcome from like-minded people.

A question this week from someone stepping outside their comfort zone… They were making some pieces that would be used outdoors – specifically, some fairy doors. What could be used to finish them, to help protect them?
Normally for exterior use, our go-to is Finishing Oil, but whilst this is great for outdoor furniture and large sculptures etc, it’s not as decorative as it could be. Enter our Acrylic Gloss Lacquer. This contains those important UV filters, needed to protect the coating and the work beneath it, and it is hard-wearing enough to stand up to a lot of weathering. As with any outdoor finish, it should be checked periodically for signs of wear, and extra coats applied as and when needed.

Another question came in, asking how to remove Melamine Lacquer. We’re not quite sure why this was needed, and it’s not an easy task. Some paint and varnish strippers will soften it enough to remove it, and even Cellulose Thinners will soften it to make a lot of removable by scraping it. But in many cases, the best way is mechanically. If it’s a turned item that can be remounted, then a chisel will do the job, if not, it’s a job for good old-fashioned abrasive. Whichever option is used, it’s going to be time-consuming and probably quite messy, be warned.

I’m embarrassed that sometimes things go across my desk (or computer) and get read, and not always followed up quite as properly as they should be. I was reminded of this at this week’s demo, when I was asked whether PVA or End Seal was better at slowing down the drying of a piece of green wood. Obviously, I’m going to opt for the End Seal, but some time ago one of our Chestnuteers prepared a report for us, comparing the two, and the results were very interesting, and came down in favour of the End Seal. I read it with interest, it was very detailed, but I neglected to do much with it. Part of this was because I was hoping for a further update on it, but mostly it’s because other things came along and demanded my attention. I’m going to contact the author this week and ask if we can publish these results on our website, I’ll let you know what happens.

And that’s all the questions for this week…but if all goes to plan, it’ll be my turn to ask the questions soon, when we host another of our online general knowledge quizzes! The planned date is Sunday 25 June, put it in your diary now, I’ll be sending further details soon.
Before then, I’ve got another demo coming up, this time heading over the border into Norfolk, going to Kings Lynn Woodturners. It should be a good night!

I’ll be back here next Friday