Welcome to this week’s Newsletter, especially if you subscribed following my demo to Martock and District Woodturners last Tuesday evening. A very nice time had by all, thanks for being a great audience.
One thing that shocked me was how few members there, had already subscribed to this weekly outpouring of information. Some had, but the majority hadn’t (or were too embarrassed to admit it). Are you a member of a club? Do you have woodturning friends? Please tell them about the Newsletter! More subscribers means more people getting the right information to help them get the best finish.
Just scroll to the bottom of any page on our website to subscribe!
And now for some questions…

I was saying just a few weeks ago about fitting the product to the project, and (probably by coincidence) I’ve had a number of emails recently about which finish to use on certain items. There may be another chart coming up soon, but in the meantime I can hopefully offer some guidance here…
(I’m using some genuine questions, as always, but twisting them slightly to give more general information).

One of the main considerations is how hard wearing does the finish need to be?
For items that need a tough, long-lasting finsh I’d recommend 2-3 coats of either Hard Wax Oil or Melamine Lacquer. The deciding factor would be the size of the piece – Hard Wax Oil is easier when finishing a large item (such as a dining table).
If it’s something like a sideboard, or a chair, something that won’t be subjected to lots of hard use (and mis-used as a table!) then a sealer and wax combination would be good for a pleasing finish that is easy to keep looking good.

Another consideration is what sort of finish is desired, gloss or satin maybe? We can cover most choices, the Hard Wax Oil comes as a Gloss or Satin finish, and for smaller items our aerosol acrylics also have the same options. If you only have Melamine Lacquer to hand you can always cut the finish back with an abrasive (something like 240 grit) to reduce the gloss level. Applying a wax over the top and only giving it a light buff will give much the same effect.
And if you’ve got a satin finish and need something brighter, you can always use the Burnishing Cream to increase the gloss level. This is best on turned items where you can use the lathe to do the hard work, but a mop on a drill can be equally successful and, if all else fails, elbow grease will do the job.

The feel of the item might also need to be thought about. Something that is going to be handled a lot needs to feel nice in the hand. Wood is, by it’s very nature, a tactile material, so where possible you don’t want to make it feel ‘plasticky’ and unnatural to the touch. A wax is a great choice here, and it can be applied over a harder lacquer (as above) to give this effect. But a wax can also fingermark when handled, spoiling the look of the item. This is where our Microcrystalline Wax comes in, as the higher melting point of this resists the heat generated when handled, leaving it looking good for longer.

This is a topic I’d like to return to in the future, if you’d like? If you have some specific uses you’d like advice for, just let me know.
In the meantime, I’ll head off for now, but just wanted to give you a date to put in your diary. We’re planning to have another Charity Quiz on Friday 12 November, taking place online on our YouTube channel. It’s been a while since we held one, so do try and join us.

I’ll see you again next week