If you’re reading this having signed up after watching my demo last night, welcome. If not, (and you’re still welcome, of course), I gave a Zoom demo last night to the Huddersfield and District Woodturners, talking about our products and playing clips from our videos showing how they are used. And of course, I was answering questions about them… talking of which…

Last week I returned to the question of cooling pewter after melting it, and if it was a good idea to put it in the fridge to speed the process up. Pewter comes in different grades, with different melting points. However, the general opinion is that putting any of them in the fridge isn’t a good idea for food safety reasons. The heat of the pewter will raise the temperature in the fridge which could cause other food to go off quicker. Hopefully that’s the last word on this!

Among the many things turners make, a popular line is razors – the head parts are available as kits and the handles are turned and added. Which has led to the question of what is the best thing to finish the handles with?
It’s cheating, but this would be an ideal use for our Acrylic Blanks, which apart from a shine up with Burnishing Cream would require nothing to protect them in use. If the handle is made of timber though, it will benefit from a water resistant coating over the top of it. The best option would be our Acrylic Gloss Lacquer. It will stand up to a lot of water exposure, and is hard wearing enough to cope with all of the handling. If you’d prefer to stay away from an aerosol finish, then the Melamine Lacquer will offer the most protection.
It’s worth noting though, that using a razor usually involves a lot of water; it’s a big ask for any finish to stand up to that long term, so it’s best to be prepared, if using timber, for the finish to fail eventually.

Sticking with Melamine Lacquer (and I don’t mean using it as a glue!), I came across someone recently struggling to apply it evenly. I often say that it is the most finicky product in our range, and does take some getting used to, so practice really is the key here.
This chap was applying it by cloth over a medium sized area, which was always going to be problematical. The fact that, as I write this, we’re having a bit of a heatwave, won’t help either, as it will speed up the drying time. Unless you’re working on a very small piece, it’s usually best to apply this product with a brush. A brush can be loaded better, so the product stays wet just a little longer, giving more time to work with it. Adding some Cellulose Thinners (about 20%) will also extend the drying time and make the process easier.
The easiest method of application is to spray it, and if you don’t have suitable equipment then it does of course come as an aerosol as well. But great results can be achieved with a brush, so it’s worth persevering.

And that brings me to the end of another Newsletter. Thanks for reading this far, I’ll be back again next week with more of the same. Until then, take care.

Best regards