Have you been watching ‘Handmade’ on Channel 4? (Sunday evenings at 8, also available on catch-up). If you can get past the format and the editing-for-entertainment style, there’s some very good woodwork on display. We’re still rooting for Nathanael Griffiths, and his bee-hive lamp in the last episode didn’t get the attention it deserved, but we can’t take credit away from Wolfgang for his huge articulated lamp, it was very impressive. It’s well worth a watch – even if you have to fast-forward over certain parts!

Last week, I mentioned that we don’t get many questions about Friction Polish. Ironically, pretty much the first question to arrive after I’d said that was from someone struggling to get a good finish with it! And I’m pretty sure it was totally unconnected. The first coat looked good, but further coats didn’t help.

I suggested our YouTube video on the subject, and re-iterated the following points:

  • Use a sealer if you can.
  • Make sure you shake the bottle well.
  • Apply sparingly with Safety Cloth.

Also, I wouldn’t normally suggest more than one coat of Friction Polish. If you want to build up a deeper finish, I’d apply the following: Cellulose Sanding Sealer, Melamine Lacquer (up to three coats), and then the Friction Polish.

You can also use Burnishing Cream on Friction Polish to increase the gloss level further.

I often refer to Burnishing Cream as a ‘get out of jail free’ card if things aren’t going quite as you want them to! We suggested it recently when someone had had to sand out a run in some Ebonising Lacquer. The second coat had left a slight dimpled or orange peel effect. There are various reasons why this might have happened, sometimes it’s because the solvent has evaporated too quickly – another danger of the weather being too hot.
Anyway, regardless of the cause, what could be done? We suggested allowing the lacquer to dry completely (overnight), and then use the Burnishing Cream to recover the finish. It won’t always be sufficient to do the job, but it’s well worth a try. I’m pleased to say it worked in this case, as we were told, the next day, ‘I was very impressed and got a “coach” finish that Rolls-Royce would be proud of.’

Finally, for this week, a question about a sticky surface on a bowl after using walnut oil as a finish. The oil was applied several years ago, but never set. Could something be applied on top to cure it?
I made a couple of suggestions; a wax on top should help, or, given the age of the item, it should be possible to apply a coat of Hard Wax Oil; this would give a harder-wearing finish and also stop the surface being sticky.
This is another questions where we got some feedback, and we were told that after two coats of Hard Wax Oil the situation was much improved. Still not 100%, but it’s likely that the original might have delayed the drying time of the Hard Wax Oil, so hopefully, once this has had a little more time, it could still provide a total cure.

And that’s everything for this week. I spent an afternoon in London at the Woodturning Connect display on Thursday, hello to all our readers that I met there. It was an amazing display, I took a number of photos, and if any of them are any good I’ll try and include some in coming weeks.

All the best