How are you? Did you join us for our YouTube broadcast with Andrew Hall last night? I hope you did. I haven’t seen it yet (I’m time-travelling again, in my world the broadcast is tomorrow night!) but I know it’s going to be great. We’ve got one more Conkers LIVE broadcast this year, on Monday 14 December. If you haven’t caught any of them yet you should make the effort. Access is easy, just go to our YouTube channel, and it’s completely free to watch.

A question came in about our Buffing System; how to convert the single wheels in the Kit to the ‘all on one spindle’ style of the Buffing Tree? Sadly this is not possible. We tried to come up with a way of doing this, but the wheels were designed to be as flat-fronted as possible, for safety, and this means that there’s nothing to connect to. It’s not possible to adapt the wheels retrospectively, and besides we feel that the main wheels we sell are slightly too large (8 inch) to be used in this way – there could be too much stress on the central bar. The wheels on the Tree are 6 inch in diameter, and this should work better.
The Buffing Tree is supplied without the mandrels and compounds etc for this reason though; many people already have the kit with these items in it, and we didn’t think it was fair to make people buy even more of them!
(Thinking about it more, even if we had come up with a conversion process it would probably be costly and fiddly, I can’t imagine anyone would want to keep switching them from individual to all in a row..?)

People sometimes ask what is the best all-round finish, but I don’t think there is such a thing really. I’m a great fan of sanding sealer and wax as a quick and easy combination, but sometimes a brighter or harder wearing finish is required, as was the case this week when someone asked about a finish for a pine table they are renovating. Lots of pine tables will have had a wax topcoat, maybe a sealer if they were lucky. As this table had been sanded to remove any previous finish I suggested using our Hard Wax Oil. It’s brushable and has a long enough drying time to be easy to apply and allow brush marks to flow out, and once dry will be hard wearing enough to cope with most things that are thrown at it (almost literally!)

Toy Safety is something that comes up often, as regular Chestnuteers will know. We’re proud of our record on toy safety, with many of our products tested and approved. We were asked for one of the test certificates recently, which we were happy to send out, proving that the product in question (funnily enough it was Hard Wax Oil, but we have a long list of toy safe products) complies with the regulations. We never make a claim for a product that we can’t back up with some type of proof; all of our toy safe products are certified, and you should make sure that other manufacturers of any finish you’re using for toys (and nursery furniture) can also provide the necessary back-up if ever required.

I wonder if I’ve answered one of your questions there? A question came in recently that I couldn’t answer, as it was more about turning technique than finishing – and I make no secret of the fact that I’m not a turner. (I enlisted the assistance of Richard Findley to provide the solution by the way). It got me to thinking; without shows taking place I’m sure some turners are struggling to get help with their turning techniques.
So Conkers LIVE has spawned a spin-off series, Question Time! We’re going to assemble a panel of turners ready and willing to answer your turning questions, maybe even give a quick demo if needed. It will be on our YouTube channel, and absolutely free, of course.
If you’ve got a suitable question please send it in, marking your email CLQT (Conkers LIVE Question Time) and leave the rest to us. More details will follow, we’re planning to hold the first CLQT in January 2021.

I look forward to hearing from you

All the best