I had loads of fun last night doing a Q&A session for Emma Cook’s Team Tiny. If you joined us on YouTube, thank you, and if you’re here as a result of it, welcome! I might even do another one next year…
Thanks to Emma for organising the session and for inviting me along, and, of course, to everyone who asked a question.

I’m almost taking the week off this week! I’ve had a few emails arrive recently that have contained some very useful information, and I’d like to pass some of them on to you in this week’s Newsletter…
Last week I talked about the perils of trying to finish in a damp atmosphere, and that waiting for a warmer day is usually best, where possible. This prompted a response from Ash, offering the following extra information:
Damp atmospheres are always problematic, but even a red hot workshop is not necessarily dry. Heating does at first appear to help, but a de-humidifier is the proper solution. A fan blows air over a cooled plate, which airborne moisture condenses onto. Droplets run down into a collecting tank and the now dried air is of course returned to the room. Even mild heating will cause moisture in the workshop to evaporate and enter the atmosphere. A de-humidifier uses less power than, say, a fan heater; but a combination of the two, even on a low setting, will give excellent results.

I promised some more information about Row’s bowl, and his technique for finishing it. I’ve reproduced his technique here pretty much verbatim:
An interesting hint or tip that some may not have heard of for waxing timbers like burrs which have holes and inclusions, is to use an air sprayer. After traditional sanding sealer application (Chestnut of course!) apply the wax as normal, making sure that each hole, crack or inclusion is liberally covered. I always use Microcrystalline wax. At this stage do not allow the wax to dry but immediately apply compressed air, with the lathe switched off, to each hole. I now use a small compressor, but in the past, when this has not been available, I have successfully used a car foot pump (or even a bicycle pump) fitted with a small nozzle such as a football adaptor. Blowing each hole for some time moves all the wax into every conceivable gap. If you keep blowing then all the wax will appear to vanish, but in reality you end up with a ‘polished’ area in the hole that conventional polishing will not achieve. Using this method avoids having lumps of white wax you can’t remove from the finished piece. At this stage the rest of the bowl will be ready for conventional wax polishing.
Row also added the following information, based, I assume, on experience…Warning – unless you also want to wax shirts, trousers, ears and all items between make sure that you cover up well and stand in an appropriate position. After the first attempt you will know what I mean!

One of the advantages of using a wax, which I always try to mention, is that if the finish gets damaged it is very easy to repair it. A lacquer or polish might need to be removed, even if only partially. But as long as the damage is superficial then a wax usually needs just a little more wax applied and worked in. In some cases just a buff-up is needed.
An example of this came our way from Frederick, another avid Chestnuteer. He sent us these pictures of a cherry bowl, finished sometime ago using sealer and wax. The marks look like water damage to me, but I was assured that this was unlikely.
The actual cause of the damage is still a mystery; the bowl had been in direct sunlight, but it’s hard to see how this could have been the cause.
Anyway, a quick buff very soon had the bowl looking as good as new, much to Frederick’s delight.

My thanks to all of my ‘guest contributors’ this week!

We’re now on the countdown to the Harrogate Show; it won’t be long now and I’m looking forward to, I’m sure, seeing lots of you there. We’ve missed so many shows over the last couple of years, it’ll be good to get back to Harrogate and see some old friends.

But before that, I’ll be back here next week as normal.