Welcome to the last Newsletter of 2022. Christmas is now just around the corner, we’ve got another week to go before we close for the year, but we’ll be back again in January with more of the same.
But before that, we’re planning another of our Twixmas Quizzes! We’re still writing the questions, but if we finish in time it’ll be at 7.30pm on Thursday 29 December. You’ll probably have had enough of turkey and TV by then, so why not join us? It’ll be on our YouTube channel, it’s free to enter, and it’s always fun! Use this >>>link<<< to join us. You can bookmark it now, if you want. Have pen and paper handy for your answers.

Finishes have many purposes. They make a piece look complete, and add a decorative coating that can enhance the overall piece, highlighting the grain or other features. They can also offer protection as well; such was the case this week when we were asked for a recommendation for a finish to use on a decorative newel post top. I remember, as a kid, using such things as a pivot to change direction when going upstairs, so I know these can get a lot of use and abuse. Including suffering the indignity of having coats put on them.
A lacquer is probably the best option, and just in case wet coats are hung on them, I favour the Acrylic Gloss (or Satin) Lacquer, as this is more resistant to moisture. This should allow for many years of maintenance free service.

I’ve written at length before about the difficulties and, indeed, the vagaries surrounding the use of the term ‘food-safe’ in relation to coatings, and we’re always cautious about any such claims we make about our products. A question came in this week asking if WoodWax 22 could be used on a fruit bowl. We advised against this on two counts; WoodWax 22 isn’t really hard-wearing enough for this, and because of this it hasn’t been assessed for food contact. Our Microcrystalline Wax would be a better choice here, as it is capable of withstanding a lot of handling and being cleaned with a damp cloth. It has also been assessed for food contact and found to be suitable for this use.

On the subject of food safety, we’ve amended the advice we give to people making cups and goblets. Our Food Safe Finish can be used on them, it will seal and protect the timber without affecting the taste of the contents; it won’t, however, make the item waterproof. In most cases it will make it less likely to leak in the short to medium term, but at some point the wood itself will fail and will allow the liquid inside to escape. There’s no way of knowing for certain when this will happen, users just need to be aware that timber is a porous material, so a leak is almost inevitable at some point.

And that’s if for the questions – apart from the quiz, of course!
I’d like to wish all the Chestnuteers out there a very Merry Christmas, and to thank you for your support and encouragement through the year. I think 2023 will have some surprises for all of us, let’s hope there are more good than bad! If I don’t see you before, I’ll see you then!

All the best