Don’t tell anyone, but it’s the start of a long weekend, the first of two we’ll get this month. Have you got anything nice planned for it? (In the original version of this, I spoke about my plans for Saturday and realised I was a week early, so I’ll tell you about them next week!). Then some tennis on Sunday, and a rest on Monday!
I hope you’ve got similarly good plans.

Three questions as usual this week, starting with one about the nozzles on our aerosol cans. Someone had managed to break theirs, and asked if we could provide a replacement. We can do this, but the problem here is how to get them to where they need to be. We can’t send them in a ‘normal’ paper envelope – we’ve tried, and it just rips and ends up being delivered empty – with a big hole in it. By the time we pad it out so that it arrives intact, it then stops being a letter, and we have to charge parcel rates to send it out.
The best solution is to cannibalise the nozzle from another one of our spray cans – they’re all pretty much interchangeable, although of course it’s best to use one from a can of the same product. I’m typing this and trying to imagine the outcome from using a nozzle from Ebonising Lacquer on, say, a can of Cellulose Sanding Sealer…

Still with the aerosols, this is more a comment than a question, but it does answer something that we’re often asked – are our AeroGuns really worth the money? I’ll be absolutely honest and say that I wasn’t sure about them when they were offered to us. But as soon as I tried one, I was sold. They have so many advantages, and Dave summed many of them up when he wrote to me following last week’s Newsletter.

“If you have gnarled old hands like I have, one of the trigger assemblies fitted to the can give excellent results due to the control.”

And he’s right, they make life so much easier, it’s so much kinder to your hand to squeeze the trigger rather than keep pressing down on the nozzle. At the risk of picking on Ebonising Lacquer again, they also avoid the problem of ending up with a black finger/thumb after using it, by keeping your hands away from the delivery point.

Finally, this week, a question about fuming oak boxes with ammonia; a very traditional practice that has almost died out, which has a lot to do with the difficulty of obtaining ammonia itself – it’s almost impossible to find anyone who will deliver it.

That aside, I was asked if the process would affect the choice of finish to go on top. As far as I understand it, fuming wood just darkens the wood but doesn’t seal it or change it (other than the colour), so it should still accept any finish you choose. The same would apply to darkening wood using vinegar and steel wool/iron filings – just make sure the timber is completely dry before applying the finish.

I mentioned last week that we’ve been making some new videos for our YouTube channel; we’re still working through the editing and difficult process of trying to make me look good (that’s the hardest part), and we’ll be putting some of them out very soon. In the meantime, we filmed a very short one about this year’s Woodturning Weekender if you’d like to have a look.
We’re very pleased with what the Weekender has grown into over the years, it really is a great, fun event. If you’re still undecided, go on, take the plunge. You won’t regret it.

I’ll be back next week with more to tell you about, take care until then,