The weeks seem to fly by at the moment! I think it’s because we’re so busy at the moment. Which isn’t a complaint, of course, although some time to stop and breathe would be nice!

You might have seen on our Instagram feed during the week that I helped our good friend Gordon Angier celebrate his 90th birthday, at the garden party organized by his wife Jane. Gordon is a great carver and turner, and also one of our longest-serving customers and it was great to see him. I hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did, Gordon!

We had a call today from someone wanting to put a lacquer on top of a previously applied oil. Regular readers would have already checked the Compatibility Chart before asking this question, of course, and found that we don’t recommend it. But I always think it’s helpful to understand why things are the way they are, I feel it makes it easier to remember.
Oil is a relatively soft finish – it’s usually hard-wearing, but it achieves some of this by being flexible. (Waxes are often the same). Lacquers are much harder, often with little to no flexibility; that’s why they can crack and craze when timber moves. An oil doesn’t provide a firm enough foundation for a lacquer, and should it move at all, it will cause the lacquer above to crack. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s a very real danger. Is it worth taking the chance? I think not.

An email this week from someone who was making a tiller for a barge, asking what to put on it to finish it. A marine varnish was suggested, as it was used on the rest of the barge. And I think that’s probably the best option, as it will stand up to pretty much anything that gets thrown at it. It might not be the most attractive finish, but it’s certainly functional, and should contain those all important UV filters for outdoor use, extending its longevity and protecting the colour of the timber beneath (relevant as Purpleheart was used). An a bonus question, we were asked if any of our products could be applied before delivery to keep the tiller looking good. Cellulose Sanding Sealer would be our suggestion here, easy to use and should be compatible with the varnish.

Finally, for this week, an email from a customer saying his that in his very old tin of WoodWax 22 the wax is shrinking slightly and coming away from the sides. Should he discard it, have any essential oils been lost?
Fear not, there’s still life in the wax yet! Some of the solvent has been lost (no oils are used in the wax), but as long as the wax is still soft enough to transfer onto a cloth, no remedial work is required.
It will be a bit harder to spread, so some extra work will be required, and it should be buffed it up quickly (within a minute of application) to remove any surplus wax whilst it is still soft enough to come off easily. More delay than that will allow the wax to dry hard, and buffing it will be much harder.

And there we are, for this week. I reckon I’ve mentioned some elements of the questions above before, but hopefully some of these were new points about them. And, of course, if you’re one of our newer readers, they’ll be new to you anyway!
I’ll be back next week with another Q&A session for you.

Have a good week