Zzzz, zzzzz… just ten minutes longer? Oh, sorry! I’ve got a couple of days off, so I’m taking it easy at home. I hope all is well with you and yours.
Thank you to everyone who responded to my question about paper bags last week; lots of you shared your thoughts, so many that I really can’t answer everyone individually, sorry. But I have read every message, and all were helpful. The jury is still out on this, the feedback was mostly negative (but polite, thank you), but with enough people saying yes that I haven’t completely abandoned the idea.
But enough of last week’s questions, what’s on this week’s menu?

One interesting question came in about the solvent in Spirit Stain. The confusion was that Cellulose Thinners is listed as a potential thinner for it. The base of the Spirit Stains is ethanol, more commonly called Methylated Spirit. They’re not exactly the same, as meths has the purple tint and a bitter additive to make it undrinkable, but they are pretty much indistinguishable in all other ways.
Cellulose Thinners is a good dilutant and will thin and clean many (but not all) different materials; we list it as an option for Spirit Stain as it is slightly more commonly available and clearer than meths. However, Spirit Thinners is the perfect thinner as it is clear and doesn’t affect the drying time.
(Use meths for washing out though, as it’s cheaper).

We were also asked for a suggestion for a finish for a skittle alley. The words ‘non-slip’ were mentioned, which complicated the issue for us slightly. I don’t have much experience with skittles, but I’ve done a bit of Ten Pin Bowling in my time and the lanes there can get quite a hammering. My suggestion for this was to try Hard Wax Oil. As an oil it has enough flexibility to prevent it cracking, as a lacquer would, with the constant battering that it receives. I wouldn’t call it non-slip, though, but I’m also not sure that it is really required; I know that some bowlers like to slide up to the foul line (but not over it!), so this might not be such a problem.

Finally, for this week, I was asked if Burnishing Cream can be used on oil finishes to bring up a brighter gloss. In the main, this is a ‘yes’. Burnishing Cream works best on finishes that leave a tangible coating on the surface, such as lacquers, polishes, Finishing Oil and Hard Wax Oil. Just make sure they are completely dry first, which in the case of the oils can be a few days. Some of our oils, namely Lemon Oil and Food Safe Finish, don’t leave much of a coating on the surface of the timber. That’s how they are designed to work, so these ones won’t build to a shine with Burnishing Cream. The same practices above also apply to the Buffing Wheel system.

And those are your questions for this week. I hope you found at least one of them helpful.
As announced last week, we’ll be holding another of our fun quizzes soon, the date is now set for 1 May, I’ll be including a link in next week’s Newsletter. There will be 36 questions as normal, all connected (sometimes tenuously) to the number 100 – can you second guess me and work out the answers in advance?? I hope you’ll join in, the quizzes are always good fun and we’ll be trying to raise some money for charity too.

Have a good week, I’ll see you again next Friday