We’ve got something (hopefully) exciting for you today… This week we’ve got a special guest, Nathanael Griffiths, to write this week’s newsletter!  Over to you, Nathanael…

Thanks, Terry!  This week, I’ve been spending a few days with the team here at Chestnut Products to film some social media content (coming your way soon) for the Chestnut socials.  As of writing this, we have not yet filmed anything, so wish me luck!  Let’s jump straight in with this week’s featured image.

The first question is one I get asked quite regularly during my demos: ‘How can I stop the glue joints raising, and causing a ridge in my finish when creating segmented pieces?’.

Due to specialising in segmented work, I have had to deal with and solve this problem myself many times.

A lot of the problems stem from the wood moving (especially on larger pieces) in different heats/humidities. This can cause the PVA glue to slightly raise above the surface of the wood. It can then interfere with the finish and will leave a slight ridge that can be felt when running your fingers over the project.

The first thing to do is to ensure you are using very dry wood (8-12% moisture content is ideal). If possible, store your wood in a similar setting to where the finished project will be displayed (for at least a few weeks before you start working on it) as this will help eliminate wood movement in the finished piece.

I like to do as much of the work as I can in a warm environment; avoiding large temperature changes and humidity differences stops the wood from moving and allows the glue to dry properly. I bring my projects into the house overnight to stop them from getting too cold/damp.

Once the piece is turned and sanded, I like to raise the grain with a small amount of water.  This will raise the fibres of the wood and the PVA glue. Once the water has fully evaporated, the project can be re sanded to remove the raised grain and glue joints.

When choosing a finish, I like to chose something that will flex with any wood movement, this tends to be in the form of either an Oil or a Wax.  A personal favourite is the Hard Wax Oil, as it is easy to apply and dries to a hard-wearing finish that can be built up to a high gloss.  I use 3 coats of the Gloss Hard Wax Oil, sanding back lightly with the Orange NyWeb between coats.

All the same techniques above also apply when laminating wood for turning, just being careful you have the wood grain orientated in the same direction between the glued pieces.

Phew, that was a long one!  Thanks for sticking with me.

The next question should be a bit shorter, and it’s another one I get asked during my demos: ‘How do I get a high gloss finish from my wax?’.

When applying the wax, you want an even coat all over. My technique is to use a Safety Cloth to apply the wax, turning on the lathe and building up some heat through friction.  The heat will soften the wax and allow it to be spread evenly across the surface of the piece.

Once the wax has fully set, it’s time for buffing.  It’s important not to generate too much heat (via friction), as it will remelt the wax and go dull.  All you need is a light touch using the same piece of cloth you used to apply the finish with. All going well, you should be left with a beautiful deep gloss on your project. My wax of choice is the Microcrystalline Wax because it is slightly harder than the alternatives, but the same techniques still apply with all wax types.

A big thanks to Terry, for letting me host this week’s newsletter, and I’m sure he’ll be back next week for some more questions.

I’m very excited to be attending the Woodturning Weekender this year, so if you want to meet me along with a massive amount of other incredible turners, then you can book your tickets here: www. woodturningweekender.co.uk

That’s all from me!