I hope you’ve had a good week. Mine has been busy as always, including a trip to Colchester on Monday to demo to the club there. I had a great evening and I know that some of you reading this signed up as a result of it.

If you’re like me (and I hope for your sake that you’re not!) then the pdf version of last week’s Newsletter might have irked you slightly as it had a different layout. If you keep them all safe and want them all to look the same, you can download a ‘proper’ version here. I’ve amended it slightly to clarify something as well, details below…
Last week’s Newsletter prompted many of you to contact me, always great to hear from the Chestnuteers. Several commented on how useful they found it, which was great, but it raised a query for others.
In it I said about not putting the aerosol Acrylic Lacquer over the Acrylic Sanding Sealer. My apologies, I knew what I was talking about but made a hash of explaining it; I was aware this was going to be a long Newsletter and was trying to keep it as short as possible.
What I meant to say was that if you’re using the brushing Acrylic Sanding Sealer you shouldn’t put any of the aerosol finishes over it. This avoids the very small danger of them not adhering properly.
(For completeness, if you’re using the aerosol sealer you can put any of the acrylic lacquers, aerosol or brush-on, over it)
Thank you to everyone who pointed out my error.
This is probably a good time to give a quick plug for our free Compatibility Chart which tells you everything you need to know about what goes on top of what.

I often say that finishes can be temperature sensitive; the ambient temperature of the workshop can have a dramatic effect on finishing, particularly if it’s cold or, even worse, damp. Warm temperatures will speed up drying times and this can be a problem sometimes too.
Waxes are probably the least affected by temperature, but I was asked recently about the optimum temperature for application.
I’d never really thought about it before; too cold and the wax will be much harder to spread, which makes the job more difficult as you want to apply a thin coat. Too hot and the wax will be too soft, meaning you might end up with too much on the cloth but it won’t transfer onto the timber properly, potentially leaving bare patches.
I’d say that anything from around 8°c to 18°c is fine, but that’s not definitive and waxes can be used above and below those.

Another emailer asked if he could use Shellac Sanding Sealer under an oil finish and if it would give a smoother surface. Simply put, ‘no, and not really’. Oils want to penetrate the timber, so sealers (of any type) shouldn’t be used with them. Simple as that. If you’re not getting the smooth surface you want for oiling, I’d suggest using the oil to lubricate your sanding medium; this will give a much finer surface and apply a coat of oil at the same time. More will be needed for a proper finish, but it’s a good start.

So there you are for this week. The weather forecast for this weekend isn’t good where I am, I hope it’s better where you are. I spent last weekend in Maidstone, checking out some bits for this year’s Woodturning Weekender. It was very useful and I picked up a few tips that will certainly help anyone coming along. If you get our irregular bulletins on that you’ll be hearing about it soon. If you don’t get them, you can sign up via the website.

Whatever the weather I hope you have a good week and I’ll see you here again in seven days!

All the best