Did you stay at home for the Weekender? If you did you’ll know that we had a few issues with YouTube but in all it went very well and everyone enjoyed it, huge thanks to our demonstrators Emma Cook and Stewart Furini for coping with everything we threw at them! And there’s some exciting news (well we think it is) at the bottom of this Newsletter.
Before that though (building the suspense!) let’s get at those questions…

I was slightly confused by this question until I got the context. Someone was asking about buying NyWeb and whether to buy one sheet or a pack of 10 – ‘How long does it last?’ they asked. That’s tough to answer of course, but they were comparing it to a standard sheet of abrasive. NyWeb is thicker and doesn’t clog in the same way that a sheet of abrasive paper does due to the non-woven webbing. Plus, the abrasive is impregnated throughout the pad, so as the top surface wears away fresh abrasive is always being exposed, keeping the pad sharper for longer.
Bottom line; most people buy the pads singly and they last a very long time!

A somewhat unusual question here; our correspondent’s wife is training in Taekwondo and tempers her hands (for board breaking) on an off-cut of timber (sounds painful to me, but I’m not going to argue!). Our correspondent wanted to make something more attractive and personal for her to use, and wanted to know which wax to finish it with. I asked for more information and as I suspected, the block would be left outdoors, exposed to the elements. Which would make wax a bad choice for finishing as it doesn’t really fare well in exterior use. A lacquer would be too hard and could crack, so I suggested the use of Finishing Oil instead. It is flexible enough to withstand the pummelling it will get and also able to stand up to a lot of weathering.

A different question had the same answer; one of our Chestnuteers is carving a tree stump  and asked how to treat it once it’s finished. Finishing Oil is the best solution here once again. It’s suitable for outdoor use (it will probably require re-coating every 6-12 months depending on exposure) but once again that flexibility is what makes it so suitable. The stump isn’t completely dry and is likely to move slightly. Finishing Oil is able to cope with this (unlike a lacquer which would probably crack). The same is true for any wet turning, although items which are going to be indoors can also have a wax used on them as this will also provide a good flexibility.

Now, some actual news in the Newsletter…
Following on from the popularity of the Virtual Weekender we’ll soon be launching ‘Conkers Live’. Conkers is our Facebook group and we’re taking it into the world of live streaming. We’ll be hosting demos by some of the turners we’ve worked with in the past – and those we’ve been wanting to work with – to give live interactive demos for us. These will be free to watch and take part in, and will be longer than the Weekender demos to allow a bit more depth and detail.
We’re still working on the who, when and how, but we’ll keep you posted. I’m also open to suggestions (or offers) of who you’d like to see. I hope you’ll be able to join us for them.

Meanwhile, I’ll see you again in a week’s time