Was at a craft fair on Sunday and the two woodturning demonstrators both swore by Myland products, ive never used it, anyone have a view or is it horses for courses, about ready to replenish my stocks of polish/wax
I think the simple answer is that it is a case of horses for courses. It's one of those questions where you could ask a dozen different people and get a dozen different answers.
As I've said elsewhere, much as we'd love to dominate the world, if every turner came to us for their finishes we wouldn't be able to cope (at least not for a week or so!) so despite my initial reservations on this topic I'll be looking forward to seeing the replies.
I can, however, at least start the ball rolling with some observations. Obviously I am biased towards our products, I wouldn't promote them if I didn't have complete faith in them; I enjoy my job and feel we supply a very good product. The following is, as much as possible, factual information rather than my opinion...
One major difference between our products and most others of their type on the market is that our cellulose based products (Sanding Sealer, Melamine Lacquer and Thinners) do not contain harmful solvents such as toluene and xylene, which are potentially harmful for both the user and the environment. Nor do our waxes contain toluene.
We have also made many inroads into water based finishes, and love'em or not they are very popular.
We must be doing something right as many of the professional and enthusiast demonstrators use our products, and whilst we might supply the odd can here and there free of charge we do not sponsor anyone. If I might name drop here, we're talking of people like Phil Irons, Jimmy Clewes, Reg Slack, Yvonne Arlott, Tracey Owen, Gary Rance... I could go on and my apologies to the friends I've missed out.
We also feel that our range is probably the most comprehensive one available for turners (which isn't to say that we don't supply other woodworkers but we seem to have gravitated towards turners) and our packaging, described by one illustrious editor as the best in its market, is highly informative and (we hope) helpful to the user.
I'm sure others will come along in support of other suppliers (and no offence will be taken!) and that is fine by me. This could be a great opportunity for us to find out if we're doing anything wrong; it's very pleasing when people come to us at exhibitions and tell us how much they like and prefer our products, but we realise people are unlikely to come and tell us the opposite, so this thread could be very helpful to us!
As both yourself and Terry state, it's always horses for courses, some products will suit one turner's methods better than another.
In my case, and over many years, I have used and tested a large number of finishing products from many different manufacturers and have found through trial and error that the range that suits my work comes from Chestnut.
I have to admit an interest because I sell the products and use them in demonstrations. I do this not because they're cheap or I can buy them in the corner shop or because so many top names use them but simply because they work for me.
A lot of my work using colours and finishes is experimental and I often need input or direction from others. I have found from experience that if I ever need advice on Chestnut products, Terry is always at the end of a telephone and has always been more than willing to help. I can't say the same about other suppliers. Often I can't even get to speak to anyone with a technical background of the product they are selling.
well , I for one used to get all my polishes ,lacquers, waxes and sundries from an old London firm - James Jacksons. But since I left London and moved to Holland, I had problems importing it over to Amsterdam - due to the flammable nature of the products.
Now , that I am on the move again I have to start all over again, unless Terry and his crew export to the States ??????
Over the years as a pro finisher/restorer I've tried all firms - Fiddes,Jacksons,Morrels,Jenkins plus Cheshunt. Some make a product that suits one method of working, and some others have a product that is made for a particuler usage where no-one else makes.
So, it is donwn to horses for courses I am afraid to say, a note of warning it is an expensive learning curve, but Terry does seem to give fair advice on his products - so ask him first then see if the answer suits your method of working.
I greatly appreciate the manufacturers (of anything) who take time to follow this forum and listen/respond to members questions and concerns. I learn a lot from such folk who seem to respect the boundaries between selling and informing. I am much more likely and indeed willing to give my business to these people rather than to unknown manufacturers (ie folk who do not post here or who have no special reputation).
Of course, simply posting here is no guarantee of quality but if such people stick around, then I am more than happy to give them the benefit of the doubt and try their stuff.
If commercial postings became/become too many in the general categories then I am sure Charley could give manufacturers their own forum category to keep relevant messages and responses.
some interesting replies, many thanks to Terry for taking the time out to offer an unbiased reply, i placed my order today and stuck with Chestnut - I know if Myland offered trial packs i probably would have given them a go??, i must say that as someone new to woodturning this particular facet of woodworking has taught me more about finishing than i have gained over many years of trial and error in my day to day woodworking
Thanks for sticking with us; next time it could be you at a Craft Fair waxing lyrical about the virtues of our products to someone who hasn't used them before, the reverse of the situation you encountered!
The subject of sample packs is an interesting one, we only do those in our Spirit Stain range. We are often asked about producing smaller bottles of our products; the reason we don't is purely one of cost. A product costing, say, £7.50 for 500ml would probably cost £6.00 for 250ml. The reason being that the only real difference in 'factory gate cost' is the amount of product used. The difference in the cost of the bottle is minimal, the label and other packaging costs the same, distribution costs are the same and, most importantly, labour costs are the same - it takes almost as long to fill a big bottle as it does a small one!
We feel the 500ml size is the best place to start with nearly all of our products, striking, we hope, a balance between affordability and value!