Hi there

Monday this week was, apparently, National Hammock Day – sounds a good idea in this heat, are you managing to get out into the workshop at all?
My trip to Norwich went very well, a good evening with Norfolk Woodturners, good to see you all.
Let’s get to the questions…

Picking up from last week, a couple of people took me to task about using an air line to blow dust away to clean a surface after sanding. This will make the dust airborne so there’s a potential for it to be breathed in (you do wear a dust mask at least, don’t you?) so this practice is very frowned upon, don’t do it! From a finishing point of view, the dust could later settle on your finished piece before the coating dries and make a mess of it, so that’s another (lesser) reason not to do it. That’s one of the advantages of quick drying finishes, they’re dust-free (ie dust doesn’t stick to them) very quickly.

We were asked last week about the difference in adding White to a Spirit Stain and diluting it. It’s a little difficult to describe; adding white (although as long time Chestnuteers will know it’s better to add the base stain to the white rather than the other way round) will make the stain lighter, more pastel. So our Blue will become more of a sky blue.
Adding thinners (Spirit Thinners is best, Cellulose Thinners can be used and at a push you can use meths) will weaken the colour, giving a wash effect. It will be more translucent, allowing more of the original colour of the wood to show through.
Both options have their merits and uses, it all depends on the effect you want to achieve.

I’m sure I’ve covered this one before but it was asked again yesterday, so it bears repeating. Gilt Cream; our caller had had a jar dry out and go solid, what can be done? This is relatively simple, add some white spirit to the jar and leave it for a couple of hours. The solvent will soak into the cream and return it to a useable consistency. It won’t need too much, start off by adding just a little, more can always be added if needed.
This raises the question of why this happens, and we do our best to prevent it. The lids are stuck in place pretty much as soon as they are filled and we’ve adjusted the formulation slightly to include slower drying materials which will reduce the drying out in the jar. Sadly though, the product is designed to dry – you don’t want to apply a Gilt Cream and it never dries! As a result, there’s always a chance that it will dry out in the jar as well, the good news is that it’s very easy to reactivate it.

And finally for this week, and a little off topic for our normal finishing, we were asked about a suitable coating for bare metal parts of lathes etc to prevent rusting. Silicone sprays are available but one needs to be careful with these as any accidental residue transferred onto timber can play havoc with your finishing. They can also leave a sticky residue which can be problematical when sanding.
Other proprietary products are available, but we’ve had reports of people using our Microcrystalline Wax with great results, a thin coating will protect the metal and also act as a lubricant for those parts that need to slide!

That’s everything for this week, we’re now going all out getting the last bits ready for the Woodturning Weekender, and wishing we knew what we haven’t thought of!
This time next week we’ll be on our way there to get everything set up, you can still buy tickets right up to the night before, but we are calling time on the barbecue at midnight on Sunday 28 July, so if you want to come along to that part you need to get your skates on!

I’ll be back!