Phew! Last weekend we held our third Woodturning Weekender and I’m pleased to say it was a huge success. Thank you to everyone who attended and took part, all of the feedback so far tells me you had as good a time as I did! I’ll be writing to our Weekender subscribers separately, probably next week. Just to say, if you were there on Sunday, my hand is healing very well and I’m pretty much back to normal…

A number of questions came up at the Weekender, so I’ll use some of them here, if that’s ok with you.
One thing that came up is an old favourite, about the difference between the different types of sanding sealer. It’s something I’ve covered before, and the answer is pretty in-depth; in fact, it would take up the rest of this Newsletter! Rather than use the whole of this edition to repeat the information again, you can use this link to view it in its entirety.
Ultimately, as I explained to someone else recently, the choice really comes down to a combination of compatibility with the subsequent coat and personal preference.

The difference in waxes also came up, specifically Microcrystalline Wax and WoodWax 22.
They are both easy to use and give a bright finish when buffed. WoodWax 22 is a blend of beeswax and carnauba wax, mixed into a solvent base to create a relatively soft wax. It spreads easily and dries quickly, and can usually be buffed up within thirty seconds of application. It can be applied to bare wood, but we’d always recommend using a sealer (any of ours will work) first. The finish is relatively hard-wearing, but like most natural waxes, it only has limited water resistance; prolonged water contact will usually leave white marks.
Microcrystalline Wax is a petroleum byproduct, which is mixed into a different solvent. This gives a firmer paste wax which is slower drying. This is an advantage for this wax. It needs to be spread very thinly to get the best results, and it stays wet long enough to allow this. It should always be applied over a sealer (or other coating) and allowed at least five minutes to dry before buffing – although longer is better if time allows. Microcrystalline Waxes have a higher melting point than natural waxes, higher than body temperature, so the finish isn’t affected by handling. Another bonus is that it is very resistant to water, so if an item finished with it gets water in it, or on it, it won’t mark.

And finally this week, there was some confusion about our Buffing System, and what is included in the boxes. First of all, it’s worth mentioning that all of the items in our Buffing System are available to buy individually when you need to replace a part.
The Buffing Wheel Kit comes complete with everything to get you started – the Wheels, Mandrels for mounting in a chuck, plus the compounds and wax.
The Buffing Tree box only has the ‘three wheels on one spindle’ item; no mandrels, and no compounds, etc. This is because many people already have the 3 Wheel Kit, and don’t need to buy them again. If you don’t have them, don’t worry, all of the extra items are supplied in the Buffing Accessory Pack – or can be purchased separately if you’re mixing and matching.

And that, my dear Chestnuteers, is that, for this week. I will of course be back again next week, with more questions and at least as many answers!

Until then, look after yourself, and have a great week