Hello Chestnuteers!

I hope you’ve all had a good week and haven’t been blown away! A quick thank you to the good people at Coombe Abbey Woodturners for looking after me last week when I gave a demo there, it was a very enjoyable evening and a lot of fun. I hope you’re enjoying the Newsletter folks!

A question I’m often asked, but I don’t think I’ve included it here before, is what speed I run the lathe at when using the Buffing Wheel Kit. It’s quite important to remember that speed is not the issue when using the buffing wheels, anything upwards of 600rpm will do the job. At that speed it will take longer to achieve the shine you want, but it can be useful when buffing thin walled items as there is less pressure against the timber. Less heat is also generated and this can be an advantage, and of course as all the wheels are unstitched they will deform more so if you’re working on an intricate or shaped piece this can help too.
The maximum speed for the wheels is 1500rpm, I usually have the lathe running at around 1100rpm when I use the Buffing Wheels, it does the job perfectly and I feel comfortable using it at that speed, which is probably the most important consideration.

I often speak about compatibility (time to mention our Compatibility Chart for anyone new here) and this week I was asked about stains; should water-based stains be used with water-based finishes etc? We prefer Spirit Stains because they allow us to use extremely fade resistant pigments for long-lasting colours, and they are pretty much compatible with any of our finishes, although a degree of care is needed if using Cellulose Sanding Sealer, Melamine Lacquer or Shellac Sanding Sealer over them (aerosol versions are fine and recommended). Water based stains are fine under most finishes as well, but not always as long lasting. Oil based stains are rare these days and best under shellac finishes.

Another call today was about a vase made from a monkey puzzle tree which had been finished with Finishing Oil but kept oozing a resin. We’ve not had this one before and the caller had used the timber many times before without this happening, but as I said, that’s wood! You never quite know what it’s going to throw at you next.
We decided that the solvents in the oil were reactivating a resin in the wood and this is what was coming out. Our caller asked about sanding it off and applying a sanding sealer and wax combination, but wasn’t sure if the sealer would react with any of the Finishing Oil that hadn’t been removed. It wouldn’t react as such, but there’s a real danger it could prevent the sealer from adhering properly. The better bet was to go on with just the wax and allow the oil to act as the sealer. WoodWax 22 is best when no ‘proper’ sealer has been used and if a harder wearing finish is needed Microcrystalline Wax can be applied over the top.

This weekend sees me in Peterborough with the Village Turners, I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends there. I’ll be at the Midlands Show in Newark next week, of which more later, but I just wanted to mention that at these and any future shows and demos I’m attending we’ve worked out a way to make tickets for our Woodturning Weekender available. So if you want to pick one (or more) up in person we can now do that.

If I don’t see you there, I’ll see you here…next week.