Phew, what a week! Or, perhaps more accurately, what a Weekender! We held the 2023 Woodturning Weekender last week (it already seems like much longer ago!) and I think I can safely say it was a great success. I won’t go into too much detail about it, other than to say a quick ‘thank you’ to everyone involved, both out front and behind the scenes, you all helped make it the event that it was.
Hot on the heels of that one, we’ve already announced dates for next year’s one, more details at www.woodturningweekender.co.uk.

Sadly, I can’t remember any of the questions I was asked at the Weekender (other than ‘who on Earth told you you could sing?!’), although I hopefully answered all of them at the time.
But others keep coming in anyway, so here we go…

What finish would I suggest for a wooden honeypot and spoon? Questions like this are always problematical, as there’s no easy answer. The outside doesn’t matter too much, any hard-wearing, wipeable product could be used, such as Melamine Lacquer or Hard Wax Oil. Food Safe Finish could be used on the inside, but honey being what honey is, it will get messy and gungy very quickly. In situations like this, I think the best bet is a design re-think, and use a removable glass jar on the inside and have the wooden part as a sleeve. Food Safe Finish would be good for the spoon, though.
I offer similar advice for wooden vases; we have a lovely spalted beech one in the office which has a cut-down 500ml water bottle inside it. It can’t be seen, but it holds water beautifully, and is easier to replace, should we need to, than to get a new vase made!

Another question asked about refreshing the finish on a pen. It had originally been buffed using our Buffing Wheel Kit, but was beginning to show signs of wear. The simple answer here is to return it to the wheels; either starting from scratch if needed, or just buffing it using the C Wheel if the damage isn’t too severe. One of the great things about the Buffing Wheel Kit is that items don’t need to be remounted in order to re-polish them.
The only extra advice here is that if the wheels come into contact with metal, it is likely to turn them black. So, if the pen has metal parts to it, which is highly likely, it would be better to disassemble it as much as possible before buffing it.

Which brings me neatly to another common question, how can the wheels be cleaned? Not just if metal contact has turned them black, but also to remove any surplus compounds (usually Compound 1 – the brown one).
This is fairly easy, and there are three ways of doing this. The first is to wash them in warm, soapy water. This is a bit messy, though, and if they’re not dry when you use them you will end up having a narrow shower!
Another option is to hold a piece of coarse abrasive against the spinning wheel, effectively wearing away the top surface to expose fresh cloth. Use a scrap of timber to hold the abrasive, though, as it will get very hot.
The best option is to use one of our Mop Dressers. These serve two purposes; they dress the wheels before first use, to remove a lot of the loose threads which would otherwise end up covering the user! They can also be used to clean up the edge of the wheel, but be warned that they are very efficient at doing so, use them sparingly!

And that’s everything for this week. Oh, there was another very common question at the Weekender, about the magician booked for the Saturday evening entertainment. ‘How did he do that???’. But I’m afraid I really don’t know the answer to that one!

I’ll be back with more questions, and hopefully answers to all of them, next week.