Well I’m back from my short break, ploughing through loads of emails but feeling good for the time away. I hope you’ve had a good week too.
There’s a new programme coming to Sky History soon called ‘The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker’. It’s a bit like Masterchef without the cooking, and is hosted by Lee Mack among others. The trailers look very interesting, and it features our friend – and Chestnut fan – Sean Evelegh as one of the contestants. Sean is a very talented, enthusiastic and creative woodworker and always good to watch. If only he’d learn the right way to wear a baseball cap! I hope you’ll tune in and support him. Episode 1 is on 15 October.
Now for some questions…

Last week’s Newsletter mentioned using wax on metal and thank you to everyone who wrote in about this. It seems like lots of you use our wax on your metal work, including Keith who uses it on the cast iron bed of his bandsaw (it helps the wood slide easier) and Peter who has used it on some old keepsakes – a bayonet and metal buttons – dating back to pre-WWII and the Microcrystalline Wax keeps them looking great.
It also prompted a question as to whether we make a ‘Machine Wax’. The answer to that is ‘no, and yes’. waxes aren’t very clever really, they don’t know whether they’re being applied to timber, marble, metal, acrylics… So, following on from last week’s comments, either of our paste waxes can be used on the metal parts of machinery and will protect it and help the wood run more smoothly. The Microcrystalline Wax is probably the better of the two as it will last that bit longer. So rather than have an extra tin of wax cluttering up your workshop, use what you’ve already got!

One of our good friends contacted us last week in a bit of a fluster. He makes wooden rings, which he finished using CA Superglue. I’m not a fan of CA as a finish, but he’s got it down to an art. But he’d read somewhere that CA is toxic and can have negative health consequences when worn against the skin. Is that true? he asked. I’d certainly never heard it, and said that with the thousands of rings he’s sold over the years I’m sure he’d have heard about it by now if there was a problem. But I checked with our glue experts, who told me that the glue is not toxic (although it is classed as an irritant whilst still wet). Whilst it’s not impossible for someone to have a reaction to the cured glue (after all, some people are even allergic to water), it is extremely unlikely; we’ve never heard of a case in over 25 years.

And finally this week, a question we were asked some weeks ago but I was sworn to secrecy as the item being finished was to be given as a present at the end of September.
The original question was about using marker pens, in this case Winsor and Newton Pro Markers (and yes, it is spelt without a ‘d’), although the same advice should fit for most marker pens. The problem was that a design had been created using these pens, but the Acrylic Sanding Sealer (aerosol) applied on a test piece had caused the ink to run. I was surprised by this, if the Acrylic Sealer makes the ink run, pretty much any sealer would. I wondered if maybe too much had been applied. My advice was to try applying the sealer in very light dust coats, building up to an overall finish.This was tried, the sealer was almost floated down onto the piece’ and it worked very well.

Many of you will, I’m sure, already know that the Woodturning World lost two much-loved and respected members recently, Gordon Fisher and Mark Baker. Both of them were good friends to me and to Chestnut Products. We will be remembering them in the next Conkers LIVE, dedicating the demo to their memory. If you’re able to join us we’d love to see you there and help us remember these great stalwarts of woodturning.

We wish you well and hope you stay safe

Best regards