We’re starting the build up to, you know, Christmas, here. It’s December, I think it’s safe to mention it! If you’re planning on ordering from us, please do so early. The delivery companies always struggle at this time, apparently they didn’t know it was coming. And they all seem to be getting worse.
I’m out and about again this week, but this time I’ve been invited to Waveney Woodturners for their end of year party, so it doesn’t really count as work! Do come and say hello if you’re there as well.

Looking through my list of potential questions to feature in the Newsletter, I came across one from a while ago, asking how Cellulose Sanding Sealer can be used to make turning a piece of spalted beech easier.
Cellulose Sanding Sealer (or Melamine Lacquer) can be used as a wood hardener to bind the timber together, binding all the loose material together to make it more solid. This will allow it to cut better, giving a better finish off the chisel. For best results, thin the sealer up to 50% to allow it to soak in better. This is about the only time I suggest thinning the sealer.
Of course, this isn’t foolproof, so proper precautions should still be taken in case the wood comes apart whilst the lathe is running.

Food Safe Finish continues to be a source of questions. We heard from someone today making lap-trays, trying to determine if it was safe to use on them. We feel the point is a little moot; we wouldn’t consider the Food Safe Finish suitable for this application, as it wouldn’t be hard-wearing enough. And we’d also question the need for the finish to be food safe. We’d expect anyone using the tray would be using it as a personal table, and would still be using a plate or other form of crockery on it, rather than eating directly off the tray. In which case, either Melamine Lacquer or Hard Wax Oil would be a good choice for a finish.

A slightly strange question to end with this week, which sort of follows on from the item in the last Newsletter about maintenance. We were asked for the best way to clean some adhesive tape residue from a surface coated with Melamine Lacquer. Would Cellulose Thinners be suitable? It would probably remove the adhesive, but it would also attack the lacquer, as it is the solvent for it. Very often, the solvent for a finish will affect it even after it is dry, so it’s best not to apply it to the surface (unless you want to remove it, of course!).
I suggested either white spirit, which should clean the sticky stuff away without attacking the lacquer, or, and here’s a strange thing, our Lemon Oil is great at removing adhesive. I’m not quite sure what it is in it that does the job, and I only discovered it when I spilt some on a labelled tin, but it certainly makes short work of it! Use it sparingly, just in case it attacks the finish, but it should be fine!

We made it onto Gordon Giltrap’s website! Gordon performed a special and exclusive gig for us at this year’s Woodturning Weekender, and he mentioned us on his website here. (Scroll down about halfway). It looks like he enjoyed looking at the displays on show as much as everyone enjoyed his musicianship!

That’s all from me for this week, I’ll see you again in seven!