Another busy week here, the Autumn rush has started in earnest, so it’s all hands to the pumps! I managed to get out for a demo as well, though, at Waveney Woodturners. I had a great evening there, I’m always well looked after there (as I am at most clubs, to be honest).
It’s not long until Christmas now (is it safe to mention it?), if someone close is struggling for ideas on what to get the woodturner in their life, might I (cheekily) suggest a ticket for the Woodturning Weekender? It’s a great event, takes up no room in the house, but the memories will last for years!

We don’t often get questions about Friction Polish. It’s a relatively simple product that gets on with its job, quickly and simply. Yet we had two questions about it this week in very quick succession! The first was to ask if it dried clear, to which the answer is a definite yes. Friction Polish gives a fantastic gloss finish but makes no discernible difference to the colour of the timber.
Conversely, we were also asked if we do a tinted version of it, when a colour change is needed to enhance the colour of the timber beneath. Such things used to be available (not from us), but this is the first time we’ve been asked for it in thirty-plus years! The best solution here is to tint the standard version using our Spirit Stains, to get the desired colour. The options here are almost limitless!

Another interesting question came in recently about the viability of making and finishing wooden buttons for a hand-knitted jumper.
With situations like this, I always think it’s important to manage the expectations of the person commissioning the task, and the limitations of using timber for this. Making sure they last, and stay looking good, will rely a lot on how the garments are cared for. Handwashing would be best, to limit the wear and tear on the buttons and the exposure to water. It would normally be cooler as well.
As a finish, I’d go for either Acrylic Gloss Lacquer or Hard Wax Oil. Both are hard-wearing and water-resistant. The oil is slightly more flexible, and thus able to withstand any knocks they might get.
Importantly, any holes in the button will need to be coated as well; if water is able to penetrate any exposed areas it will, of course, cause the timber to swell and this in turn can cause a finish to be pushed off the timber.

Both of these products are toy safe, and shouldn’t cause any adverse reaction is the button is next to the skin.

This isn’t a question we’ve been asked – yet! I’m including this to try and prevent being asked. You might notice that the shape of our 500ml tins has changed recently, depending on when you last bought one. They are a bit squatter, roughly 10mm shorter than the older versions. They are also marginally wider (not enough to notice until you try to slot them into the gap left by an old tin!), so fear not, they still contain the full 500ml!
We’ve made this change following repeated supply problems from our original tin supplier. The new tins are slightly cheaper as well, which will help us limit any future price increases, so it’s a win/win.

Did you watch ‘Handmade’ on Channel 4 last week? Didn’t Nathanael do well? A well deserved ‘Woodworker of the Week’ award and, in my opinion, he was robbed in the veneered card mini-challenge.
The next episode is on Sunday at 8pm; let’s see how far Nathanael can go! And, he’ll be at next year’s Woodturning Weekender as well, come and meet a new star!

Meanwhile, I’ll be back again next week.

All the best