How has your week been? Mine has been a lot better I’m pleased to say; not without it’s share of problems but not quite as awful as last week! I’m sorry if I moaned a bit, I just needed to vent! A couple of games of tennis helped as well, I worked out some of the mood on a poor, defenceless tennis ball!
Enough about me, let’s do some questions…

You may recall that last week I mentioned about a correspondent who wanted to remove Tung Oil from some tables (and she’ll be doubly excited to be featured two weeks in a row!). A little update on this, after using buckets of Cellulose Thinners (which I was surprised to hear didn’t damage the grass) as much as possible was scraped off. “The colour wasn’t completely gone” she told me, “so in a kill-or-cure manoeuvre I put in the shower and covered it with household bleach, left it for half and hour and showered it off. It dried in the sun and is now back to its lovely pale colour.” Innovative if a little drastic, but it did the job!
The question then was what to put on instead? Something clear and non-glossy was required, would Lemon Oil be suitable? Yes and no – it’ll meet the requirements given, but Lemon Oil won’t offer too much protection for a table. It will offer some water resistance, but probably not enough for a coffee table. Instead, I’d go for the Acrylic Satin Lacquer in the aerosol. It should still be easy enough to apply on a coffee table, still be clear and non-glossy, but also give more protection to the timber.
There are still two tables to go and the sander is begging for mercy, so watch this space!

This one started with a really odd question; do we, or anyone else, make a Cyanoacrylate Glue in an aerosol? The answers are no, and not that we know of, in that order. I can’t imagine anyone doing so, it’d just be too dangerous (but I could be wrong about that..?)
Anyway, my question back was to ask ‘why?’. My caller wanted to use the glue to harden up some punky spalted beech. This is their normal practice but they were working on a large bowl and the glue was drying too quickly. My suggestion, as you might already have guessed, was to use a thinned down (50/50) solution of Cellulose Sanding Sealer. This would soak into the timber and make it firmer, making the final cut easier. This is, by the way, one of the few times I suggest thinning the sealer so much, and if anything, it proves my point about why it shouldn’t be done. In normal use the sealer should sit on the surface of the timber and leave a coating on top. If it’s been thinned down it will just disappear into the wood, leaving nothing on the surface and thus it isn’t sealed!

Finally this week, and aware that this is turning into a long Newsletter, I’m going to cheat and do a ‘two for one’ deal – that’s two questions with one answer.
Another correspondent asked about the problems of getting fine detail on timber when using a small CNC machine. The loose fibres and tearing makes the post-machining sanding very long-winded; would a sealer help? This isn’t too dissimilar to the last question, and although we have no experience as such with a CNC we’re pretty sure that the same answer would work. Using the sealer to stabilise the timber before cutting should make enough difference to reduce the amount of sanding required. We await news of how this went…

It’s funny, I started writing this worrying that I didn’t have enough material this week (the phones have been strangely quiet) and the CA glue question came in as I was typing, which reminded me of the CNC question. I’d already planned to update the Tung Oil story and lo and behold, another Newsletter is finished!
We’ve been asked a few times too about this year’s Woodturning Weekender. An announcement will be made very soon, most likely next weekend, if you could bear with us just a little longer please.
I’ll be off now. I hope you have a good week and I’ll be back with more questions next week.

Take care