First off this week, a strange request that you might be able to help us with. We’ve got a couple coming over from the USA to our Woodturning Weekender, which starts next weekend. They’ll be in Manchester on Friday 4 August and would like to see some of the surrounding area. All the tours they’ve been able to find last in excess of 8 hours (there’s a lot to see), which is longer than they want to send. Is there, they wonder, someone in the area who’d like to be their personal guide/driver for a few hours during the day? They’re more than happy to pay for this. I’d do it myself, but I’m going to be somewhat busy that day… If you’re able to help, or know someone who can, please get in touch. Just hit reply, it’ll come straight to me. Thanks!

Last week I mentioned re-polishing a bannister rail, and offered my opinion that a wax would be a good idea, and that an oil could also be used. This prompted an email from a reader who had a similar project on the go. The bannister had been polished with beeswax several times, but not for a couple of years, and they were finding the prospect of doing it again rather daunting. None of us are getting any younger! Could oil be used? I advised against this, as any remaining wax would repel the oil, leading to a poor finish. But I wondered if the choice of wax was making the job harder than it needs to be?
Our WoodWax 22 is a very soft paste wax, which transfers from tin to cloth very easily, and is ‘wet’ enough to allow it to be spread on long pieces quickly.
It dries quickly, and should be buffed after about 20–30 seconds. This gives a great finish with the minimal amount of work. It’s obviously not just for bannisters, it’ll work just the same on any woodwork.

Another customer this week called to ask why they were getting white marks in their Acrylic Gloss Lacquer finish. We asked a few questions, and quickly ascertained the probable answer.
The weather is very changeable at the moment, going from hot to cold to showers to… who knows what next! The conditions outside can affect your finish; a cold workshop is also often a slightly damp workshop. The spray can pick up moisture in the air as it travels from the nozzle to the intended surface; this moisture is likely to affect the appearance of the finish, often showing up as white marks where the lacquer has been prevented from adhering to the surface properly. If your workshop is cold, it’s probably best to save your finishing for a warmer day.

And finally, we had a call from someone making a plaque from oak, which had been engraved using a CNC router. It will be a decorative item, but how best to finish it. I was in favour of keeping it simple. First of all, a coat of one of our aerosol Sanding Sealers. A succession of light coats would be best, which will build into one coat without pooling in the cut grooves. One that has dried, a de-nib using a NyWeb pad (to get into all the grooves) would be ideal. After that, a coat of WoodWax 22. The danger here is that the wax could build up and dry in the cut-outs. (As the beeswax has been bleached to make it clearer, this could dry white and stand out – not desirable). This is easy to avoid, and as in the first question the wax should be polished quickly so that any surplus wax is removed, leaving just a thin coat – always a good outcome for finishing. A good way of doing this is to use one of our Polishing Brushes; For cost reasons I suggested the Hand Polishing Brush unless more similar projects were planned.

That’s everything for this week. I’ll be back in seven days, although I’ll be halfway to Manchester, to get ready for the Weekender. If you’re attending, you’ll be pleased to know that preparations are going well!

Until next week