I hope you’ve had a great week. Yet another show, Makers Central, has been postponed for this year and we’ll be making an announcement about our own Woodturning Weekender on Sunday via our irregular, dedicated bulletins about it. No doubt I’ll be mentioning it again here in the coming weeks. In the meantime, there’s some questions knocking at the door needing answering..!

This one started out as an unhappy question: why doesn’t Lemon Oil contain lemons? To explain, a can of Lemon Oil had been purchased based on the qualities of lemon to care for woodwind instruments. I explained that the word lemon in the title referred to the odour of the product and that it is based on lemongrass oil, which gives a protective oil. I’ve never tried, but I don’t think lemons would make a very good woodfinish.This has a happy ending though, our correspondent used the Lemon Oil anyway and reported back saying “I use oils on my woodwind instruments to make them sleek and assist the passage of air. Your lemongrass oil works the best.” I like to think that most of our customers are happy with their purchases, and it’s always great to get another convert!

Someone else contacted us who was returning to woodturning after a break of twenty years. That was a long cup of coffee! He had some of our End Seal that had turned to a paste, could it be returned to its original liquid form? In technical terms, we would describe that bottle as ‘Past It’. Most of our products will last several years, even the Acrylic Sanding Sealer and Acrylic Lacquer, but I think this bottle had had its borrowed time and was now ready to be retired. With water based products like the End Seal (and the aforementioned acrylics) it’s also important to protect them from frost; if they are allowed to freeze even partially then it will ruin them and sadly they will not simply thaw out and return to their original state.

And finally for this week, here’s the first in what I hope will be a very infrequent series; questions that I couldn’t provide a definitive answer to. One of our regular users, and a Chestnuteer, contacted us about a piece of yew he was working on. He done his normal process but when he applied Microcrystalline Wax as a final finish it wouldn’t give a good shine, it was a bit dull.
Given that you only need to look hard at yew and it comes up well, this was a bit of a mystery. We looked at all possibilities, including the wax not having enough time to dry, drying too quickly in the hot weather, too much being applied, all the usual suspects, but none of them gave the solution. Our customer was about halfway through the tin and it has worked perfectly up to that point and continued to do so on other pieces. The only conclusion we could reach was that there was something in this particular piece of yew that was somehow preventing the wax from coming up to a gloss. Quite how that could be is a total mystery to me. I wonder if anyone else out there has had a similar experience?

And that’s the end of another Newsletter. I hope you’re still keeping safe and well. There are many great live demos on YouTube at the moment, we’ve enjoyed Emma Cook’s recently and hope to catch her again this Saturday, and then Stewart Furini on Sunday. And possibly Chris Fisher later on Sunday. One day we’ll be able to get back to proper shows and club demos, but until then these offer a great opportunity to see some great turning. Say hello if you see me in the comments list at one of them.

Until next week,