Hi Terry

We’re all systems go at base with the final push to get everything ready for the Woodturning Weekender. After each one, people always ask me if it was a success. That’s tough to answer, as it depends on how you judge it. My method of measuring it is simple; if all the visitors are smiling during the day, and have had a good time, then it’s a success. Because that’s why we do it, to give something back to our friends and customers and, really, to have a bit of a party. I know lots of Newsletter readers are joining us, I’m looking forward to seeing you.

I hope you won’t mind, I’m returning to a few questions today that I know for certain have come up in the past, but which have come up again recently. It never hurts to have a reminder, and it’ll be new information for new readers…
The first one concerns a question we get asked a lot – what finish can be used on goblets/tankards/drinking vessels?
The simple fact of the matter is that, apart from a food safe epoxy, there’s nothing we know of that is going to make any of these permanently waterproof – and, importantly, which is also food safe.
Very often, these items are to be used for a ceremony – they seem very popular at weddings. Some time ago, we modified the advice we give on this.
Our Food Safe Finish can be used; it will increase the water resistance of the vessel, and won’t affect the taste of the drink. However, we cannot guarantee how long this will hold liquid. It will eventually fail and the vessel will leak. Whether that’s in six days, six weeks or six years, it’s impossible to say. Much will depend on the timber, the thickness, and how it is cared for.
It’s still currently the best option, although it’s not a perfect solution.

Another emailer is thinking of investing in an HVLP spray system. In case you don’t know, this stands for High Volume Low Pressure. Conventional spraying uses high pressure compressed air, which, when discharged through the small aperture of a spray gun, atomizes the paint/lacquer, creating a mist which is sprayed as desired. HVLP does something similar, although the air is at much lower pressure, but there’s a lot of it being forced through a similar sized hole, which increases the pressure at that point, and voilà, the material turns to spray. (That’s oversimplified, but you’ll get the point). The question was, will our lacquers spray through such a system?
The answer is yes they will, some thinning may be required, usually about 10% with the relevant thinners. It’s worth bearing in mind, as well, that the turbines creating the airflow rely on electric motors, which can cause sparks. So if using a flammable material, the motor part should be located away from the spray area, preferable in a different room. The hoses on HVLP set-ups normally allow for this.

And finally this week, a question came in asking whether a wax or an oil would be best for a particular job. Unwittingly, the answer was in the question, as it also said that a Shellac Sanding Sealer was going to be used first. This meant that an oil wouldn’t be suitable; oils need to penetrate into the timber to achieve a good bond and provide the protection they’re designed to give; if the surface is already sealed, there’s nowhere for it to go and it won’t be able to adhere or do its job properly. Using oils is one of the very few times that I don’t suggest using a sealer as well.

And that’s about it for this week. Still no demos to tell you about, but then I’ve got two in one week – how did that happen!?
Anyway, don’t forget, the weekend starts here, or so many of my readers tell me – the arrival of the Newsletter signals to them that the weekend has arrived, so whatever you get up to, I hope you enjoy it.
I’ll be back here next Friday, don’t be late!