I’ve been out and about on my travels again this week. It’s great to see and hear of clubs opening up again! I’m very busy playing catch-up on demos, trying to cram the best part of two year’s missed demos into this year, as well as handle new ones. I don’t think it’s going to be possible!
Watch out, here come the questions!

Can Microcrysalline Wax be used to finish a bowl with gold leaf on it? I’m not 100% sure about this one; we know how the wax performs on timber, and it should adhere ok to a gold leaf, but a test piece would be a good idea. One concern is that the buffing process could cause the leaf to delaminate, but that’s more to do with how well it is stuck on that anything else. A coat of Acrylic Gloss Lacquer could be used over the whole item (before waxing!), it should stay in place, but again, a test item would be prudent.

Melamine Lacquer is a high build finish which makes it a very thick liquid. This isn’t usually a problem, but we were asked this week about brushing it, and what ratio of Cellulose Thinners to lacquer to use for the best results. That’s a really difficult question to answer as there are so many variables at play here. Thinning the lacquer will make it easier to brush on large areas, and being thinner any brush marks will flow out better. I’d probably start at around 20% thinner to 80% lacquer, but type of brush, size of area to cover and the temperature in the room could well mean that an adjustment is necessary.
A brush application will apply a slightly thicker coat, which will compensate for the lacquer being thinned.

Whilst we’re on the subject of thinning lacquers, and I’m going to add sealers to that as well, you should know by now that I don’t normally recommend this. It’s not usually needed, and in the case of sealers, habitually over-thinning it will prevent it from doing its job properly. The need to thin it 50/50 is a myth.
However, we were asked a question recently, the answer to which provides an exception to this rule. Our emailer was turning some spalted beech which was very soft, could they use Cellulose Sanding Sealer to harden it? The answer is yes, (Melamine Lacquer could also be used), but to get the best result thin the sealer or lacquer by 50%. This will help it soak in to the wood, making the fibres below firmer and easier to turn.

And once again we reach the end of another Newsletter. Thanks as always for reading to the end (assuming you have!), I’ll be back again next week with more questions, and more answers.
We’re really getting started on our advertising for our Woodturning Weekender at the moment, hopefully you’ll be seeing more details about it soon. It’s shaping up to be our biggest yet, if you haven’t seen all the details about it you can find them on the Woodturning Weekender website.

Have a great week, I’ll see you again next time