Well, I’m back from my travels, very rested, but back into it straight away. Just one day in the office this week before I’ve headed north for the AWGB Seminar. Come and say hello if you’re coming.
My thanks to Mel for last week’s Newsletter – she’s still bathing in the glory of the fan mail she received! Thanks also to her and the team for looking after things so well during my absence.

We do our best to avoid using jargon when talking to our customers. You know, words and phrases that mean something to us, but are meaningless to others. Sometimes, though, we slip up. So I thought I’d use this week’s Newsletter to clarify a few things, some of which have been queried recently, some not-so-recent…

The word that really alerted me to the fact that I was using jargon was the word ‘de-nib’. It used to appear on the Cellulose Sanding Sealer label, and we had a number of phone calls from people asking what we meant by it, including one irate caller complaining that it wasn’t even in the dictionary!
It’s a word I’ve used all during my finishing career, but like anything, if you haven’t come across it before, it’s gibberish. To denib a surface means, as you probably know, to remove the little flecks of various rubbish that can get stuck in a coating whilst it dries. This is usually done with a very fine abrasive, and makes sure that the surface is well prepared and ready for the next coat.

I’m always amused when I hear presenters on the TV or radio refer to something as ‘inflammable’. The correct term (trust me) is flammable, and I’ve never understood why inflammable is used, as it should mean have the opposite meaning, surely?

Viscosity is another misunderstood word. It is used to refer to how a liquid flows – in fact, how resistant it is to it. So a product referred to as ‘high viscosity’ means that it is very resistant to flow, usually a thick liquid. In this case ‘low viscosity’ does mean the opposite, so a product described in this way is thin and flows easily.

Similalrly, we often describe a coating as either ‘high-build’ or ‘low-build’. The build in these cases refers, effectively, to how thick a film is left on the surface by the coating applied. This is usually dependant on the amount of solids in the coating, which will form the tangible coat once dry. Lemon Oil, for example, would be a low-build finish; it’s very thin (low viscosity) and when it dries the film left behind is barely perceptible.
Hard Wax Oil is a high-build coating; it has a high viscosity and dries to leave a thicker coating behind.

I hope that’s helped and has maybe given you a new insight into some of the terms and phrases that get bandied around.

I know that many of you like to download the pdf version of our Newsletter. These aren’t always available immediately; they have to be created manually, and if I’m not around to do it, or am simply swamped with other stuff, it can take a day or two (or longer) to get done. The same applies with the website version, so my apologies if they aren’t always there straight away. Feel free to give me a little nudge about them if the delay is too long!

I hope I’ll see you at Yarnfield Park this weekend, and if not, back here next week.