It’s Day Two of a very long weekend – in the UK anyway. Congratulations on 70 years Ma’am. (I know she doesn’t read this, but I hear you’re on good terms with her, Terry, so perhaps you could pass that on for me?)
However you’ve chosen to spend this weekend, I hope you’re enjoying it. I’m off to the south coast for a demo at West Sussex Woodturners on Sunday, I hope I’ll see some of you there.
Now we can delve into the mailbox…

A question came in recently about a good finish for some wooden keyrings. Regular readers will know that I think it’s very important to fit the finishing product to the project, and this is a prime example. Something was required that would handle and knocks and scrapes a keyring might suffer.
There are two approaches here; the first is to use a hardwearing lacquer – such as Melamine Lacquer or Acrylic Gloss Lacquer – which will be very tough and able to withstand most types of abuse. These lend themselves very well to items of this size.
The other option would be to go for something like the Hard Wax Oil, which is similarly hardwearing, but slightly more flexible. This means that if the keyring suffered a very hard knock, hard enough to dent the wood, the oil would move with it, whereas the lacquer could crack.
I think that cracking the lacquer would be very hard to do on something so small, but the choice is there. Much will also depend on how quickly the items are needed – the lacquer will be much quicker.

Another recent question was about white marks appearing in the open grain after using Hard Wax Oil and Burnishing Cream. This combination is perfectly acceptable, and the Hard Wax Oil is a red herring. The culprit is partly the Burnishing Cream, and it wouldn’t matter which product it was used on; the other part of the problem is the ope- grained timber. During application, tiny amounts of the Burnishing Cream can become trapped in the open grain areas and when it dries it can leave a white residue. There are, of course, various ways to cure and avoid this. A wipe over with meths will remove the white marks – a short bristled firm brush might be needed if the marks are particularly stubborn. Prevention is always better than cure, though, and if experience tells you that this is likely to happen, just use the White NyWeb in place of the Burnishing Cream. It’s not quite as effective, but it will certainly burnish the surface, giving a higher gloss level.

The final question this week concerns a problem someone was having when using Acrylic Satin Lacquer to protect a design painted onto a bowl. A fingernail rubbed across the surface was leaving a white, milky scuff mark. Would a different lacquer be better? The answer here was probably not, because that’s not the problem. We were also told that three coats of Cellulose Sanding Sealer had also been applied, and that was almost certainly the issue. There are many potential problems with applying too many coats of sanding sealer, all connected with the sealer being a little softer than the lacquer and multiple coats will cause a lack of adhesion. This is not always visible from the outset, but any rough handling – or in some cases just the passage of time – can bring these out.
It’s always best practice to only apply one coat of sanding sealer.

And that’s everything for this week, I hope you’ve found it helpful.
As well as my trip to the south coast, I’m also attending the open day being held at DJ Evans in Bury St Edmunds on Thursday, from 9.00-430, so if you’ve nothing better to do, and find yourself in the area, do come over and say hello, it’ll be good to see you.

Meanwhile, keep the questions – and pictures – coming in, and I’ll keep answering them. Enjoy the weekend