Well what a blast it was at Harrogate this year! It was great to meet so many Chestnuteers, thank you to everyone who came and said hello, and for the really good feedback given. It really does make it all worthwhile.
I hope I got a chance to speak to you if you were there, but it was incredibly busy and if we didn’t get chance I’m sorry to have missed you.
On to the questions…

A question last week concerned touching up an already finished item. The piece was too irregular to sand back to bare wood, and our correspondent wasn’t sure if they’d put Melamine Gloss Lacquer or Acrylic Gloss Lacquer on it. What should they use?
Our advice in a situation like this is to use the Acrylic Gloss Lacquer. It’s much safer and won’t react if the previous coat was the melamine.
But if you use the Melamine Gloss Lacquer and the previous coat was acrylic, the solvents in the melamine spray could attack the acrylic, causing it to pickle and the whole thing end up in a mess!

Another emailer asked about using Melamine Lacquer on pens and how long to leave it to dry before the pen was used. He asked if seven days was enough time and strangely, it is! Let me elaborate…the Melamine Lacquer dries very quickly, within five minutes, but after that a chemical reaction takes place and the lacquer cures, making it much harder wearing. This reaction takes about three weeks in total, but most of it – around 90% – occurs in the first week after application, so after seven days it’s about as tough as it’s going to get and perfect for a pen. They also asked about applying a wax over the lacquer, this can be done as soon as the lacquer is dry as it won’t affect the curing process.

(Here’s one that I know I’ve covered before, but as a number of people pointed out to me at the Harrogate Show they’re seeing these questions for the first time and a little reminder never hurts!) What to do when your Gilt Cream gets hard and dries out? Add a little white spirit to the cream in the jar and allow it to soak in. This will soften the cream and bring it back to its original texture. Add just a little at a time, it’s easier to add more than it is to try and remove it!

And that’s it for another week. I’m having a weekend off (hooray!) although I do have a few more demos coming up before the end of the year.
Many of you I know will be busy with craft fairs and the like at this time of year and I hope they are going well for you
I’ll be back again next week and look forward to seeing you then.