The Midlands Woodworking Show at Newark, last weekend, was an absolute blast! Thank you to everyone who came and said hello, either after braving the weather on Friday or changing their plans to come on Saturday. It was great to see you, thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed putting faces to names, and it was good to meet Ian (aka Rev.O.Lutions) who, if there had been a competition for it, would have won the ‘Hoodie of the Show’ prize.
The many kind comments about the weekly Newsletter were very much appreciated, thank you.

So I suppose I’d better tell you about some of the questions we’ve had in…
First this week was one regarding using a lacquer on a plant pot. Normally this would be a straight forward ‘no’, as we wouldn’t consider the lacquers to be water-resistant enough for the task; a glass or plastic liner of some description would be much better. But in this case, the plant was a succulent, and would only be given a tablespoon of water per month! I reckoned that this would be fine; the soil would be pretty much dry, and the lacquer would be able to cope with this without problems.
The next part of the question was ‘which lacquer’, and frankly, in this instance, there’s nothing to choose between the Acrylic Lacquer and the Melamine Lacquer. It really does come down to personal choice.

A question that comes up quite often is whether a sanding sealer should be used underneath Ebonising Lacquer. I’m a great fan of sanding sealers, they do a complex and important job. In the case of the aerosol lacquers, they are also great at making sure the lacquers adhere to the timber properly; it’s extremely rare, but just once in a while some timbers will resist the lacquers, but the sealer acts as a barrier and makes sure everything stays where you want it.
But I’m one of the culprits here; when I demonstrate the Gilt Cream over Ebonising Lacquer technique (I mentioned the YouTube video for it recently), I rarely use a sealer first. This is because I want to keep the grain as open as possible, so that the Gilt Cream will stay in there and give the beautiful highlight effect. Using the sealer wouldn’t prevent this completely, but leaving it out, on this process, does help give a more dramatic effect.

We get quite a few archers contact us; many like to make their own bows (often longbows) and ask for recommendations on how to finish them. The finish needs to be hard-wearing, weather resistant and, importantly, flexible. The bow will be bent during use, of course. Finishing Oil is the best choice here; it meets all of the requirements, and one of the great things about an oil is that if it does get damaged, it is very easy to repair the finish.
Anecdotally, another bowman (who I saw at Newark) tells me that he uses Microcrystalline Wax on his arrows and he reckons it helps them fly further! He plans to test this theory properly, we look forward to hearing the results.

And that’s me for this week. It’s been a frustrating few days at the office, we’ve installed a new telephone system and it’s been a real headache. Hopefully it’ll all be sorted by the end of the day today!
Did you know the telephone system in the UK will be changing from analogue to digital soon? For something so important it doesn’t seem to be publicised very much! There’s no need to panic about it, but if you’re contemplating buying a new phone for home, you should check it out! You can find out more here.

I’ll be back, as always, next week.