Well, it’s a new month, I hope it’s started well for you. We’ve been pretty busy as always. I made a lightning visit up to Derbyshire this week to give a demo at the Derwent Woodturning Club. I’ve been to so many clubs over the years that I don’t always remember their names, but I usually remember the venue. This was definitely my first visit, and I’m grateful for the warm welcome I received. I’m hoping that some of you out there are reading this for the first time, as a result of my visit. If so, welcome!

We start with two questions of a slightly ecclesiastical nature this week. I was contacted by someone doing some work in their local church. The first question as about the best way to clean and finish the pews; they’d been collecting dirt and grime for many years, and needed a good clean up and a refresh. A mixture of linseed oil and turps had been suggested, was this a good idea to shift the dirt? It would almost certainly work, but was, I felt, a little over the top. As it was planned to put a finish over the top anyway, I didn’t see a need to use the linseed oil at this stage. And just for cleaning, it would be cheaper to use white spirit. Used with something very finely abrasive (our White NyWeb would be ideal) would help remove the dirt.
For finishing the pews, our caller had some of our Finishing Oil and was going to try that; it’s a good choice, it’ll be quick and easy to apply, and as long as enough drying time (at least overnight) is allowed before the pews are used it will be fine. I did recommend a test be carried out first, though, to ensure it would stick to any residue of the original finish still remaining, although it was felt there wasn’t much of this.

The second questions as if we had any suggestions on the best way to clean up the marble headstones in the church. Obviously, this is difficult to answer without seeing how marked the headstones are, and also I don’t know what the desired ‘look’ for them is. But as a good, general cleaner for a hard surface, I suggested removing any loose dirt and debris, and then trying our Burnishing Cream. This should remove most stubborn marks, and bring the marble to a bright finish. As you might know, it works great on acrylics and resin, as well as lots of finishes, and marble would be no exception.

Finally, this week, we were contacted by someone who had been soaking some scrollsaw cut shapes in water. They’d been sealed with our Acrylic Lacquer, but still showed signed of water damage. Could we comment?
Our first thought was to wonder why on earth the shapes were being soaked in water! Apparently, it’s part of the CE/UKCA test for toys, to check that contact with saliva won’t make the coating come away from the timber.
The lacquer had stood up very well to this abuse, but the problem lay in the fine cuts and holes drilled in the shapes. It was impossible to access these properly to apply the lacquer, and the water had been able to soak into the timber. The water damage hadn’t got through the lacquer, it was underneath it. However, as the lacquer hadn’t delaminated, we felt (in our unqualified opinion) that it had passed the test.

That’s everything for me this week, I hope you have a good weekend and I’ll be back with more next week. Don’t forget to send in your pictures (with a bit of information about them) to be featured in our Newsletter, it’s a random draw but yours will come up one time!

All the best