My thanks to the Colchester Woodturning Club for looking after me so well when I went there on Monday for a demo. An added bonus for me is that their venue is only an hour away from home, so I was able to get back at a sensible time. If you signed up as a result of my visit, welcome!
If you’re reading this on Friday, you’ll probably know that I’m in Harrogate this weekend for the North of England Woodworking Show, which hasn’t been held for a couple of years. I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of a great show, do come and say hello if you’re there!

One question that came in recently asked about how to clean up a brush after using Ebonising Lacquer. It’s not normally needed, of course, as it’s normally applied as a spray from the aerosol. But in this case, some fine detail was needed, so it was sprayed onto glass and brushed on. And sometimes, you might need to remove overspray from something (probably the lathe bed!), so what should be used? This is a job for Cellulose Thinners, it will dissolve and remove it – although be warned, it might be messy! This will also work on any of our other aerosol finishes.
In the case of the original question, the applicator was a sponge brush; the Cellulose Thinners would probably attack that, so sadly it was sacrificial.

I mentioned Rainbow Waxes last week. I’m still going to return to the main question at a later date, but a discussion in our Facebook group ‘Conkers’ raised another point about the difficulty of removing surplus wax when using it to highlight the grain in something like ash. The waxes are usually pretty good at staying where they’re put! The solution here is to use either Reducer or Air Brush Cleaner on the cloth being used to clean up. It should be used sparingly, and care needs to be taken not to remove too much, I usually do this in small areas, checking the results often, so I know when to stop. Often, it’s easier to do this with the lathe stopped.
Water can be used as well, but this still needs to be done carefully, and it can also be a bit messier.

Finally, this week, and loosely connected to the answer above, I’m often asked whether our finishes can be applied with the lathe running. In some cases (i.e. Friction Polish) this is usually done, and it can also work with the aerosols. But in the main I advise against this, as it can be messy; something borne out by a question that came in last week. A turner had applied some Cellulose Sanding Sealer with the lathe running, and it had flicked onto his glasses. How to remove it? Cellulose Thinners is the solvent, but I would worry that it could damage the specs – especially as the lenses are often plastic. Probably the best is to wait for the sealer to dry hard and see if it will just pick off.
The real answer here, though, is prevention. Don’t apply products with the lathe running, and wear ‘overglasses’ to protect your spectacles. And if you don’t wear glasses, you should still be wearing some sort of face protection – if it’s bad for a pair of glasses, imagine what it’d do to your eyes!

As I mentioned earlier, I’m at a show this weekend, and I’ll be handing out some leaflets with a special announcement – but I wanted you, my loyal Chestnuteers, to have a chance to be the first to hear…
I vowed I wouldn’t do it, but everyone (including…no… especially me) had so much fun at the last one that we’ve decided to hold another Woodturning Weekender! And this time we’re heading north!
We’re still working on the fine details, but you might want to make a note of the dates: 5&6 August 2023, and the venue is the Heywood Civic Centre just outside Manchester.
If you’ve already signed up for our Weekender Bulletins, you’ll hear more about this when details are available. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here.
I’ll be back next week to tell you how Harrogate was, and to answer some more questions