That’s another week gone then!
Someone asked me recently if the questions in our Newsletter are all genuine, wondering if we sneakily manufacture some to feature certain products. Whilst we do sometimes delve back a while for a question, they are all ones that we’ve been asked, so much so that sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ones each week as, like the BBC, we get a lot of repeats!
Hopefully we’ve got a fresh crop for you this week…

Someone who works at one of stockists asked us a question recently. They’re refinishing an old oak table and their wife wants to have a limed effect on it; what’s the best way to go about this?
During our discussion of the process he said that the oak is quite close grained, so I suggested the use of a Liming Brush.  ‘What’s a Liming Brush, why use one?’ he asked
A Liming Brush is a bit like a scrubbing brush but the bristle is a crimped metal. It doesn’t scratch the wood, but instead it picks out the softer open grained areas, exaggerating the difference between the two parts. This means that when the Liming Wax is applied, more is taken into the grain, giving a more dramatic effect.

It’s that time of year again! A caller this week has been using Acrylic Satin Lacquer with great results on Lime but tried it on some Ash and it left a white pattern on the wood. The lacquer isn’t fussy about the timber it is applied to…but it is fussy about the conditions, and the change in the weather is probably the culprit here. On a dry, sunny day you can normally spray to your heart’s content with no problems at all. When it turns cold – and especially damp – beware, this can affect your finishing. It’s not just spray finishes, but these are most susceptible to it. As the atomised droplets travel through the air they can attract moisture as well, which can then affect the drying of the lacquer. This shows up as white marks in the lacquer, usually a cloudy effect. The rule of thumb here is that if your workshop feels cold to you, and especially if it’s raining outside, the lacquer won’t be happy about it either. Wait until the workshop warms up before applying any lacquer.

And finally for this week, someone asked which would be better to give a tough, hardwearing finish, Melamine Lacquer or Hard Wax Oil?
That’s a tough call, there’s really not much to choose between them. If anything it comes down to your preferred application method and drying time.
Melamine Lacquer is great for application on smaller areas but more awkward on larger items. It can be done, but takes more time and practise. Hard Wax Oil stays wet longer, making it easier to keep a wet edge running in application and any brush marks will flow out that bit easier.
Melamine is dry in minutes, meaning that if the environment is a little dusty you don’t have to worry about dust contaminating it, whereas Hard Wax Oil takes a couple of hours to be touch dry/dust free.
The end result is much the same, so it comes down very much to personal choice and other outside influences.

That’s everything for this week, no outings or trips to tell you about at the moment, but they’ll be starting up again soon. Plans for next year’s Woodturning Weekender are progressing well; if you want to get the latest news be sure to check out our website.

I’ll see you back here next week!