I’ve been out and about again this week, this time making a return visit to the East Herts Woodturning Association. It was great to see a well-attended meeting and my thanks for the very warm welcome. It was wonderful to be reminded – once again – how many friends we have out in the world of woodturning. I

My first question and answer this week is really an ‘after finishing’ question. What should be done with cloths, brushes, containers etc used for applying our more volatile products (mainly the cellulose ones) after use? The can says to dispose of them according to local regulations, a stock phrase we have to (by law) include but it is, sadly, not terribly helpful. Trying to find these ‘local regulations’ is not always easy.
So informed common sense is the answer. The requirements for special disposal only really apply to product that is still wet. Otherwise, imagine how difficult it would be taking some old shelving or tables to the refuse centre! If the product has been poured into another container for application, any unused liquid should, ideally, be carefully returned to the original can. If this isn’t possible, or if it is contaminated, it should be allowed to dry before being put in the rubbish. The addition of some sawdust or shavings to soak it up will help here.
If brushes haven’t been cleaned, they should be allowed to dry thoroughly, in a well ventilated area, before being disposed of. The same will apply to any cloths used for application.

Another interesting question that came in this week concerned some Cellulose Sanding Sealer that had dried with white streaks in it. The sealer was being used on some very absorbent plywood, and had been thinned so that it soaked in and stabilised the wood. Having had experience of this sort of thing before, I politely asked for pictures of the products used. As suspected, the thinners wasn’t ours, and on further investigation, it was obvious that whilst it would work in many circumstances, it used different (cheaper and more harmful) solvents. As a lot of the solvent had been used to thin the sealer, it had affected the drying time, causing the white streaks. The real test came in applying the sealer without the thinners, which dried clear, as it should.
I was able to advise my correspondent that the quickest and easiest way to resolve this was to use more of the thinners to clean the surface, which removed a lot of the sealer but left it sticky. This dried overnight, the remainder was removed mechanically, and the job completed.
I often hear people say that they buy their thinners from ‘the car shop’ and it’s much cheaper…now you know the reason!

At last night’s demo I was talking about our new(ish) Air Purge Spray, and was asked if it’s necessary to spray it into a can of oil every time it is used. This will depend on when you next plan to use the oil – if you’re going to use it again within a day or two, it shouldn’t be necessary. But if the can is going to be sitting around for longer than that, it won’t hurt to give a quick spray. As long as you remember to only give a short, 2-3 second spray and wait 30 seconds afterwards to allow the propellant to vent away, all will be well.
I got myself muddled when answering that last night, and whilst my answer wasn’t wrong it wasn’t as clear as it should have been. (I’m blaming our new cat for that, having chosen 5.30 yesterday morning as the ideal time to wake me up for some fussing). I hope that helps clarify things.

Next Friday I’ll be heading off to the Makers Central show at the NEC, finally being held after two years. If you’re coming along please come and say hello, it’ll be great to be at a full-on show again. We’ll have lots going on, including demos from not one but three great turners – although not all at the same time, of course. And we’re having a live showcase for some of our other friends from the world of social media, bringing along some of their work to talk about it and what they get up to. Come and give us a visit, we’ll be looking forward to seeing you!

All the best