Hello again.

Last time I was telling you about my forthcoming visit to the Axminster store in Nuneaton – that’s been and gone now and what a great day it was last Saturday, thank you to everyone who came along and made it all worthwhile, and for the staff at the store for helping make it happen and for looking after me so well.
I also gave a demo at the Ely Guild of Woodturners on Wednesday, another great evening and wonderful to see so many familiar – and new- faces.

I’ve had a number of requests recently, but in spite of them I’m going to continue sending out the Newsletter! But seriously…
To those of you asking me to produce a book based on the Newsletters – and thank you for this compliment – it’s something I hope to do. It will take a while though, so don’t expect anything for months yet!

And now at last we come to the questions…
I was asked last week for a suitable finish for a gear knob being made for the renovation of a sports car (sounds fun!). Such a finish will need to be hard wearing due to the amount of handling it’ll get, and also water resistant for perspiring hands and also if the driver gets caught in a shower beforehand. A gloss finish was also required and this very neatly directed me to the combination of our Acrylic Sanding Sealer and Acrylic Gloss Lacquer aerosols. Easy to apply, especially on a small area, giving a great finish that will tick all the other boxes too. You might not be restoring a sports car, but this finish will also be great for other items being handled a lot (salt and pepper mills spring to mind)

An emailer this week questioned the wisdom of using a blow torch to dry a lacquer, as he had seen in a demo. We wouldn’t recommend this. Many of our lacquers have highly flammable solvents in them, the aerosols have extremely flammable propellants in them. Putting a naked flame anywhere near them isn’t a good idea. And even putting the danger element aside, if you get carried away with the blowtorch then it’ll strip the lacquer – that’s what it’s really for after all! If you really need to accelerate the drying time then a hair dryer can be used, but still with care. Sometimes it’s only when something goes wrong that you stop and examine the procedure and realise that it wasn’t a good idea!

Finally for this week I was asked about a finish for skittles. As per the gear knob earlier they need to be tough and hard wearing, possibly even water resistant if they are used outdoors; but a lacquer wouldn’t be a good choice in this case as it can be too hard. Because the skittles are going to get bashed regularly a degree of flexibility would be better for them, to move with the knocks and and dents the wood might suffer. An oil would be good for this, either the Finishing Oil if a sheen is needed or the Lemon Oil for just protection without a shine.

A weekend off for me this week, I seem to spend half my life driving up and down the A14 (the closest thing East Anglia has to a motorway, currently subject to major roadworks and awful delays) and I’m really not going to miss it!
The next week the final push to be ready for Makers Central taking place at the NEC on 11-12 May. It’s going to be busy!!

See you next week!