Another hectic week here at Chestnut Products, I hope yours has been good. Is it too early to mention Christmas? I see lots of snowmen and nativity pictures on Facebook and Instagram, so there’s obviously a lot of interest in it…and we’re already seeing a pick-up in our mail order side. So pleeease…if you want something Chestnut for Christmas don’t leave it too late. The delivery companies are already under huge pressure with the various lockdowns, and the Christmas rush will only amplify that. This will lead to delays and all sorts of problems, so order early if you can. Gift vouchers are also available on our site, which bypasses the problem if you’re happy to wait until the New Year.
And of course, if you’re hoping for socks and hankies for Christmas that’s not a problem, this doesn’t apply to you – but probably still best not to leave it too late to let your loved ones know!
Here are some questions…

A nice easy one to start off with; what’s the best thinner to use for the Iridescent Paints? Our Reducer is the correct thinner, it dilutes the product making it easy to spray with an airbrush without affecting the colour. It’s also the best thinner for the Metallic Paints too. And when you’ve finished? Use our Air Brush Cleaner to clean the airbrush and keep it in tip-top condition. Cellulose Thinners would do much the same job but could attack some of the more delicate seals in an air brush. so the dedicated product is the better choice if you can.

A question came in this afternoon about our Liming Brush. Our caller had seen it being used in our YouTube video and wondered why it doesn’t scratch the surface of the wood. The metal ‘bristle’ on the brush is crimped and slightly springy. When used on a suitable open grained timber (ash and oak are ideal) it picks out the softer, open grained areas, making them slightly deeper. (Always work with the grain for the best results). This means that when Gilt Cream or Liming Wax is applied there’s more room for it to go into, leading to a more decorated effect. The close grained areas are much harder, and (unless you really overdo it!) aren’t affected by the springy bristles.

Back to abrasives; a common question I get is whether it’s essential to clean the work surface down with a Tack Cloth after using each grit of abrasive. The idea of this is in case any stray particles of abrasive have detatched from the cloth/paper which could scratch the surface.
I’m usually dismissive of this idea; as a rule, if your abrasive is shedding that much grit then you need a better abrasive. Plus, of course, for safety reasons, the lathe should be stopped before wiping the work with a cloth.
Grit coming away from the backing is usually caused by heat; the abrasive particles are bonded on using phenolic resin. If this gets too hot it will ‘melt’ and the abrasive is able to escape. So another important factor when using abrasive is to use a gentle touch and let the abrasive do the work. The harder you press, the more heat is generated. Keep your abrasive fresh and sharp, and don’t let it clog up. (I’ll be returning to that another week). It’s probably also worth mentioning that not all abrasive is created equally; some of the cheaper stuff uses lower grade adhesive. If you want to make sure you’re getting the best quality try to buy stuff made in Europe where you can.

That’s all the questions for this week, I’ll be back again next week with more. In the meantime, just a couple of other things to clear up…
Comment was made about last week’s ‘boat’ picture and the safety (or lack of) being shown. Rest assured, the photo was taken before our Chestnuteer Eddie took possession and it is now completely ship-shape (sorry, couldn’t resist!).
I was asked how many entries were made for the conkers competition, across all the platforms we had about 100 entries with about a third of them getting the correct answer. And it’s been confirmed that conkers are poisonous to horses (but edible chestnuts are not, which is perhaps what prompted the original entry). Correspondence on this is now closed!
One last mention of conkers though, our next Conkers LIVE broadcast featuring the amazing Andrew Hall is next Thursday. There’s no charge to join us, just click on the link and come and get in on the action.

I hope to see you there

All the best