Well that’s another week practically over. In fact, let’s start the weekend a little early; come and join us tonight on our YouTube channel for our demo with our good friend Philip Greenwood. It’ll be packed with tips and advice and good fun as well. And of course, it’s totally free! I’m live on screen at 7.15 (chat starts much earlier if you want to join in!) so come and join me. Just click on this link to go to the channel, and if you subscribe and click on the bell you should get notifications of all our other demos etc. as they are announced.
Let’s do some questions…

I was asked if it was possible to soak some timber in Spirit Stain, and glue the pieces together to make a blank. This is possible, but will depend on how much penetration is needed. Applying the stain by dipping is a valid method, and some wonderful segmented work has been created with it. But it’s a slow process, it takes about three weeks for the stain to fully soak into something with a 3mm thickness. The second part of the original question was whether there would be any problems gluing it up, to which the answer is ‘no’. Although the colour has changed, the wood is, to all intents and purposes, still bare, so pretty much any glue would do the job.

Another email this week asked about getting a brighter finish on finials; a light coat of our Acrylic Gloss Lacquer had been used on one, and Ebonising Lacquer on the other. The answer is the same in both cases. Ensure the wood is prepared as well as possible and sanded to a very smooth surface. Apply up to three coats of the lacquer, lightly sanding back between each coat to maintain that smooth surface. This should give a bright finish, but if more is required then an application of Burnishing Cream will do the trick. Burnishing Cream is a creamy liquid with a very fine abrasive in it; it will smooth the lacquer (and many other coatings) and increase the gloss level of pretty much anything it is used on. The top tip with this product is to use it sparingly; if the cloth used is too wet it will skate over the surface too easily; a cloth just damp with Burnishing Cream will abrade the surface and give a better result.

Finally this week, the perils of clearing garages and collecting old finishes! We were asked if a shellac sealer can go off with age; quite how old this was is unknown, as it was part of a workshop clearance, but it was getting on a bit. The problem with things like this is that you never know the full history – is it what it says on the bottle? Has it been tampered with? When was it made?
Shellac flake will last pretty much forever; it doesn’t deteriorate with age. A shellac solution (such as French Polish or Shellac Sanding Sealer) will also last a long time. The exception is for when a bleached shellac is used (for example in White French Polish). Something in the process changes it, and reduces the shelf life to about six months. After that, the liquid takes a long time (days) to dry, rather than less than an hour. The sealer in question here was displaying the same slow-drying problem, so it was probably time to get rid of it and start a fresh bottle. As a general rule, and especially with shellacs, if they are taking longer than expected to dry, they are no longer any good.

There you go, another Newsletter to file away wherever you keep them. If you keep them; great if you do, but if not they’re all filed away on our website and can be found in the link below. Just in case.
I hope you’ll be able to join me tonight, and I’ll be back here next week with another Newsletter for you.

Take care