I hope you had a good Easter. As you might know, I’ve got a busy week ahead, made more complicated by it being slightly shorter than normal. On Wednesday I was with the Erewash Valley Turners, and on Thursday with the Sheffield Woodturners. I won’t have got back to the office before this week’s Newsletter is sent, so I’m writing this before going to these clubs. I’m sure I’ll have a great time, I’ll be sure to report back next week.

A mixed bag of questions this week, just how I like them!
The first one came in from overseas, I think, asking about the best finish for a toy train, which was being made for an eighteen-month old child. It needed to be child safe, hard wearing/easy to maintain, and, preferably, easy to apply too.

We have a raft of Toy Safe Finishes, which we’ve helpfully collected into one section of our website; you can find them HERE if you want to check them out. In this case, we suggested the safe option of Cellulose Sanding Sealer and Clear WoodWax 22. They meet the requirements of being easy to apply and toy safe, and we chose the easy to maintain option, which is one of the beauties of wax. It will stand up to a fair amount of abuse, a buff up with a soft cloth will normally return it to a shine, and when that fails, just apply a little more of it and it’ll be as good as new.

Another question came in, asking if it was OK to use Burnishing Cream on our Buffing Wheels. We suggested that it probably wasn’t. It would make a mess of the wheels, and probably also make a mess during use – it would flick everywhere. And the action of the wheels would probably make the Burnishing Cream dry too quickly for it to do its job; I just can’t see it working.
The only way I’d try it would be to put the Burnishing Cream on the item, let it dry a little, and then introduce it to the wheel. But I still think it would be very messy. A foam mop on a drill would probably be the best way of using the Burnishing Cream with a power driven item, this would probably stay wet long enough for it to do its work.

Our last question this week is one that we seem to get quite regularly, in one form or another. There must be a lot of car restorers out there, as we are often asked about how to finish wooden dashboards.
Our normal advice here is to use one of the aerosol acrylic lacquers – the Acrylic Gloss Lacquer is usually the one, as a deep gloss is normally required. This lacquer is hard-wearing, and highly resistant to water, so if rain were to splash onto it (especially relevant if the car is convertible, or never had a roof in the first place!) it won’t mark. Also, importantly, the lacquer has UV filters in it, something I often mention, which means it will stand up to any sunshine we might happen to have!

As well as two demos this week, I’ve got another one next week too! This one is at Chelmer Valley Woodturners, which for a change isn’t too far away, so I’ll be able to get there and back in a day. Although, who knows what joys the A12 will have in store for me that night! I’ll let you know…

Have a good week, until we meet again