WEEK COMMENCING 24 MARCH 2024

Hi

Happy Easter! It’s a long weekend, although I know for many of our readers it’s always a weekend for them. Whichever category you fall into, I hope you have a good one.
If you’re at a loss for what to do with yourself, and if you haven’t already, why not check out the Woodturning Weekender details? Now that we’ve added a livestream option it’s more available than ever. We’d love to see you there!

An interesting question this week, asking for a comparison between our new Wipe-On Poly and Melamine Lacquer.
I think the Poly is closer to the Acrylic Lacquer, being water-based, to I’ll try and include all three.

Melamine Lacquer is quicker drying, meaning that a second or even third coat can be applied in less time, and the item can be used (carefully at first) sooner. Acrylic Lacquer and Wipe-On Poly are slower drying; usually touch dry in five minutes, can be handled carefully after 20 minutes, but should be left for two hours before overcoating.
All three products cure to give a harder-wearing coating. With the water-based ones this is termed as ‘cross-linking’, but that’s just for information; the end result is the same, a tough, resilient finish.
It’s easier to clean the brushes etc with the water-based products, and, of course, there’s virtually no smell to them.
The major difference between the Poly and the Lacquers is that the Poly is more flexible. That’s not to say that the lacquers are brittle, but they don’t have a lot of give to them. And if you’re making something that’s going to get a lot of knocks, the Poly will last longer. Plus, this flexibility means you can apply extra coats if necessary. We suggest a maximum of three coats by brush, and up to five coats by cloth (because this usually means lighter coats are applied).

An email this week about our Buffing Wheel Kit. The user was getting white smears over his work; did he need to replace the wheels?
I guessed that this was happening with the B Wheel, and it’s usually a sign that too much of the compound is being applied to the wheel. There’s a video about using the Buffing Kit on our YouTube channel (plus loads more) which I pointed him in the direction of.
The good news for him was that the wheel was salvageable. Our Mop Dresser will clean the wheel very efficiently, or some 80grit abrasive on a scrap of wood (because it’ll get hot), held against the edge of the wheel as it spins, will clean the top surface away to reveal fresh cloth.

Finally, for this week, I mentioned recently about using Ebonising Lacquer on a landing net used for fishing. An avid reader Chris contacted us, unhappy with this advice. He volunteers at a local chalkstream restoration group, and raised concerns about any toxins that might leach from the lacquer into the water…which is a very valid point I hadn’t considered when answering the question. The greatest risk here is probably from microplastics, which is a very hot topic in the manufacturing world at the moment. So, whilst Ebonising Lacquer would stand up to the use, the greener option would be to leave the wood natural.

Well, I’m off to enjoy the long weekend. However you choose to enjoy yours, I hope you have a great time, and I’ll see you back here next week.

Terry