Hello again

I hope you’ve had a good week. Ours has been, as always, very busy. I try very hard to make sure that our weekly Newsletter is about adding extra information rather than trying to sell stuff, so please don’t take this the wrong way…but as we head towards Christmas (I mentioned it last week and I got away with it so I thought I’d risk it again!) the whole UK Delivery system seems to go into meltdown, so if you’re thinking of ordering from us (or anyone for that matter!) can I urge you to do so early to avoid the risk of last minute problems later?
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get onto the information!

I was asked about any tips for using Melamine Lacquer recently; it is one of our more finicky products and takes a bit of getting used to. Patience and practise are the best tips, but as well as that, ambient conditions can make a difference. Cold weather will have an adverse effect in how the lacquer flows out, so a warmer environment is always preferable. If working on a large area thinning the lacquer slightly (20%) will help brush/cloth marks flow out as well. A light cut back between coats is always good, to ensure a smooth surface. There are a couple of cheats available as well to get the best finish; you can apply the last coat using the aerosol version, Melamine Gloss Lacquer. Spraying will nearly always give you a better finish and being the same product there are no compatibility concerns. And if all else fails use Burnishing Cream on the last coat to get the best possible shine.

Another query involved Ebonising Lacquer not sticking to the surface it was being sprayed onto. To be honest the caller was quite irate and convinced that the product itself was at fault. We never say never about such things of course, but all of our lacquers are produced in large batches so if there was a fault it would affect all of them and we’d soon know about it, and this was the only report we’d had.
We were at a loss to understand what was happening and we couldn’t replicate it, until we tried varying the spraying distance. Spraying from too far away allowed the lacquer to dry before it reached its target and it was then possible to just brush it off. So if you should find yourself having similar issues (and a particularly hot day can cause this too) try moving the can closer. The simple solutions are always the hardest to find!

Finally, I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about polishing dense timbers such as African Blackwood and that a sealer isn’t always needed. it was suggested to me that other less exotic timbers such as Yew and Laburnum could also fall into this category. My correspondent buffs these timbers with Microcrystalline Wax and cautions that these timbers can be prone to heat checking so lower buffing speeds and less pressure will still give excellent results.

So there you are for another week. I hope there was at least one nugget in there that rang a bell with you.
I am going to give a quick mention about our Woodturning Weekender, tickets are going well for this so if you’re thinking about it please don’t wait too long. Spaces are limited! Tickets are sent by email so no need to worry about the Christmas post.

Meanwhile, I hope you manage to stay warm and dry this week and I’ll be back in seven!