When this email lands in your inbox I’ll probably be lying awake in bed trying to work out what I’ve forgotten to arrange for our Woodturning Weekender because after over a year of planning, today’s the day! Well it’s the day for getting everything set up and then in the evening our very informal get-together for guests. I hope we might see you there.
I’ll try and collect some more questions while I’m there, in the meantime let’s go with these:

I had two similar questions this week, about reviving the shine on some old turned items. On the first one the items were ones that had been given to the caller, so the main problem was that we didn’t know which finish had been used on them. The only safe option in this situation is to use a wax – and that will achieve the desired effect very easily and quickly. If you’re able to remount the item to buff it so much the better, but even if not either the WoodWax 22 or Microcrystalline Wax can be buffed to a lovely shine quickly and easily (well, with a bit of elbow grease). Whatever has been used on the timber before the wax will adhere to and won’t react against.

The second caller has a Buffing Wheel Kit (I did suggest to the gent above that this would be an option) and wanted to know whether he needed to re-apply Cellulose Sanding Sealer on his items prior to buffing. As they’d already been finished some time ago with wax it wasn’t advisable (in fact it could be disastrous!) to apply more sanding sealer. As long as the surface is sound, the existing coating isn’t peeling or scratched etc, then it should be fine to just re-polish using the C Wheel and your chosen wax – either Carnauba or Microcrystalline. If the surface is grubby or has minor scratches, then I’d give it a rub over with a Green NyWeb pad to remove at least some of the wax, and then go through the three wheel system to get a great finish. (Anyone who has seen one of my demos will probably recognise this as the technique I employ on the bowls I use in my buffing demonstrations).

Another wax question, well more of a comment really. A caller was telling me about using an oil followed by Microcrystalline Wax on a burr; all was fine to begin with but after a while white specks began to show. On a rough surface like a burr this is to be expected (it can happen on very open grain timbers as well) and it is caused by a build up of wax. Most waxes are bleached at some point in their life and when it dries in concentration it dries white; what it looks like in the tin is what it will dry like. WoodWax 22 isn’t bleached so heavily, so this isn’t such a problem, but Microcrystalline Waxes are naturally white so there’s no getting away from it.
The solution is to be rigorous with your buffing, and a stiff bristled brush is great for this as it will pick out any surplus wax, giving a great finish. We obviously sell brushes for this purpose, the caller was using an old toothbrush (actually, he didn’t say it was old but I hope so!) to do the job and that’s ideal too.

Now it’s time for me to hit the road to Spalding for the Weekender. I know that many of you are coming and have already bought tickets, and others are paying on the door. I hope we’ll see you there, it’s going to be a lot of fun as well as inspiring and helping your turning.

All the very best