Last week I was talking about Ethanol and comparing it to meths, and said they were the same thing – instead of saying they were pretty much the same thing and, to a large extent interchangeable. It’s a small detail, and thanks to Martin for (politely) pointing out my error. There’s enough misinformation on the web without me adding to it, however accidentally.
I’ll try and get these ones right…

Actually, this first one is probably going to be contentious as well… I was asked recently why we don’t make dyes for wood, only stains. Whilst I usually refer to Stains to keep things simple, (we supply Spirit Stains after all) this is another case of terms that are pretty much interchangeable, and back when I was training in woodfinishing labs, the chemists there would refer to stain and dye to refer to the same thing – and if anyone knew what was what, they did. The terms were hijacked slightly so that a stain became something like a tinted microporous coating for exterior use, and a dye reserved for something that colours wood. I’ve seen stuff on the web saying that it’s all to do with how much the colour penetrates and other factors like that, but it’s a red herring. Traditionally, they’re the same thing.

A relatively new woodworker contacted me about the best way to finish a blanket box. He’d had experience with various finishing methods and was talking about using one of our lacquers on it. We had a chat about it, and this is a great example of choosing the product to fit the project. Certainly, a lacquer could be used, but it’s probably overkill for a blanket box and there are other choices that would be easier to use. If the blanket box was going to double up as a coffee table then a harder wearing finish (such as a lacquer or an oil) would be necessary, but that wasn’t the case here. I suggested a simple Shellac Sanding Sealer (others could be used, this one has a great balance of being quick drying without being too fast!) and a couple of coats of WoodWax 22 afterwards. Easy to do, almost impossible to get wrong, and gives a great finish at the end which is more than hard wearing enough for a blanket box – and easy to repair should someone be heavy handed with it.

And finally for this week, a question returned from Question Time (still available to watch on our YouTube channel – and we’re still keen to do another one if we can get enough questions).
Someone asked about making sure that the three legged stool they were making was going to sit level; Richard Findley came up with an ingenious answer. The project has progressed, and is now at the finishing stage. The stool has both pyrography and painted designs on it, and a low gloss finish was desired.
The easiest and best way forward here is to use our aerosol finishes. I suggested the Acrylic Sanding Sealer, followed by a couple of coats of the Acrylic Satin Lacquer. These have a very slight edge on the cellulose based products as these also have a UV filter in them which will protect the patterns from the ravages of sunlight. A Microcrystalline Wax could be applied over the top for a smoother, more tactile feel, but fidgeting bottoms (this is a child’s stool) are great at buffing waxes, so it could still end up looking glossy!

I think that’s a good place to leave it! But first, the details of our quiz…
The quiz will be live on our YouTube channel on the evening of Saturday 1 May, during the Captain Sir Tom Moore fundraising weekend. The theme of the weekend is the number ‘100’, so all the questions will have a connection to that number. It’s been hard, thinking of 36 questions around that, so be warned, some of them will be tricky! If you want to try and guess what I’m going to ask, and swot up in advance, feel free!
The quiz will, as always, be free to enter, and we’ll be making a donation of £50 to the registered charity of the winner’s choice. As it’s a special weekend, if you would like to join us and put something in the pot you can do so here. If you’d prefer to donate to your favourite charity that’s fine by us.
You can find the quiz here, feel free to pop over now and set a reminder. I’ll be reminding you again when I return with more questions next week.

See you then I hope