It’s me again!

I’m pleased to report that I had a fantastic time up at Turner’s Retreat last Saturday, great to see so many of you there and to be able to make new friends as well and get people on the right path to good finishing. Thanks also to the good people at Turner’s Retreat for looking after me so well, as they always do.
Great also to talk to so many people as excited as we are about our Woodturning Weekender, if you haven’t got your ticket yet there’s no time like the present!

One visitor at the show thanked me for my advice regarding finishing wooden pens. I recall that my recommendation was one that he hadn’t been given elsewhere, and he was very pleased with the outcome so I thought I’d share it here.
And it’s quite simple really. After normal preparation apply a single coat of Cellulose Sanding Sealer. Allow to dry and cut back with a fine abrasive, then apply a couple of coats of Melamine Lacquer. Cut back between coats using White NyWeb to burnish the lacquer. Leave for 24 hours if possible then use Burnishing Cream on the lacquer to increase the gloss level. Finally a quick coat of Microcrystalline Wax if you need to prevent finger printing on the pen, ideal for example if the pens are going to be on display and picked up for inspection.

High gloss finishes are popular on certain items and I’ve been asked how to achieve this recently. Our Acrylic Gloss Lacquer will give a bright finish out of the (aerosol) can, but if you want even more depth and shine it can be built up by applying more coats, although a little extra work is needed to get the best out of it.
Normally I wouldn’t recommend using more than three coats of lacquer, but for a deeper gloss you might need to apply five or six coats; it’s important to sand back quite vigorously between coats in this situation, to remove some (but not all) of the previous coat before applying more. This ensures that the cumulative weight of the lacquer doesn’t cause the earlier coats to crack under its own weight.

And lastly for this week I was asked about the difference between Burnishing Cream and Cut’n’Polish. Both, after all, perform a similar function.
Cut’n’Polish smooths back a coating and applies a layer of wax, meaning that only a wax should be applied on top if required. It can be left as a finish in its own right, but it won’t be very hardwearing.
Burnishing Cream doesn’t add to the existing coating, it merely burnishes it to a higher gloss finish. Thus, for example, a Melamine Lacquer would still be the final coating on the wood and would retain all of its wearing characteristics.
Waxes and Friction Polish can be applied over Burnishing Cream.

So that’s this week’s three questions, I hope you found them helpful. It just leaves me to report on a very pleasant day at Yandles on Tuesday for their ‘Focus on Finishing’ day, a friendly and intimate day where I had the assistance of Gary Rance demonstrating alongside me. That was a real pleasure and I’m looking forward to working with Gary again at Harrogate in November. A special thank you to Paul J who took the time to come along and give me one of his creations to thank me for assistance rendered over the phone last year. Thank you Paul.
I’m looking forward to a weekend at home, I hope you have a good one too and I’ll see you back here next week.

All the best