Since Hampshire Sheen started in 2015, it has grown at a busy, but just about manageable pace for me to keep up with. And that was generally fine until September 2019 when doing a record check, I discovered I’d made ten thousand pots that year! It was then I decided to think about the possibility of outsourcing the manufacture of the tinned products. Check out this video I made to celebrate the 10,000th pot:
From the video, you can see just how labour intensive it is to make large amounts of product in order to keep up with demand! By the end of 2019, 14,000 pots of Hampshire Sheen products had been made. Phew!
The Journey to Outsourcing
After the discovery of 10,000 pots record, I spoke at length to my Chief Labeler and Bottle-Filler Phil who, since joining the company has become a deeply trusted friend and colleague. He’s generally the second person to hear my latest ideas, offers a superb listening ear and comes up with possible objections and problems. You need someone like that in an organisation!
We went through the pros and cons and decided that outsourcing would be a good move if it was financially viable
Oddly enough, about this same time, I was approached by a specialist wax blending company here in the UK who expressed an interest in meeting and discussing my product range and how they could help.
I went to meet the company in November and was treated to a tour of their manufacturing facilities and their laboratory which was very impressive indeed. They were almost as keen as me to move things forward, but I needed to do a lot more thinking and working things out. I didn’t want to take a loan, credit card or overdraft to get going so managing the money side was important.
In making the decision, there were some important things I needed to ensure before taking the plunge:
- The outsourced products must be exactly the same as Hampshire Sheen customers are used to using;
- The cost needs to be roughly same so I can keep the prices the same for everyone in the supply line;
- A promise of absolute secrecy in safeguarding the recipe;
- The products must be made in the UK;
- The products must be in the same custom tins;
- Food Contact and Toy Safety compliance across the distribution network.
After more communication and reassurance from the potential manufacturer, I excitedly received the samples of the Original, High Gloss, MicroCrystalline and Gold products using the same quality waxes from the same supplier as I do.
In testing them out (including leaving the lid off for three days in the workshop), I was over the moon with the performance of the ‘new’ products. They apply in just the same way as those I made and produce the same quality finish. Excellent.
The decision was made
Food Contact and Toy Safe
Not only do the ‘new’ versions of the perform in exactly the same way as when I was making them, but they comply to food and toy safety regulations. This, for Hampshire Sheen is huge.
This is important as food and toy safety questions are some of the most common I get asked. Until now, my official answer has been ‘I don’t know as I don’t have the chemical or scientific background to declare it’.
Our new manufacturer has over three decades of experience of blending specialist waxes and employ qualified chemists and they have a much deeper knowledge of waxes then me. With all of this knowledge and know-how, they are more than happy to confirm compliance to those all-important regulations. In one wonderful email, I was informed that the Gloss, Original and MicroCrystalline products comply to the necessary regulations for food contact and toy safety in:
- The UK
- South Arica
The Gloss Finishing Wax is already in some stores, and the MicroCrystalline will be distributed from around 17th February. Check with your nearest distributor for the new stock.
Boldly Into 2020
Just before Christmas 2019, I took a leap of faith and placed the first order for the outsourced Gloss product. When it arrived, the first tins started quietly going out to retailers.
In January 2020, the order for the MicroCrystalline product and Gold was made. See below for info about the Embellishing Waxes.
Buying in months worth of stock in advance is very expensive as I’m sure you can imagine! And what do you do when you spend a lot of money? Well, on the one hand, you save some money somewhere and on the other, you bring in more staff!
My wife Natalja had been thinking about leaving her workplace for somewhere new for a few months toward the end of 2019, so I suggested she come and work part time at Hampshire Sheen. She jumped at the chance of coming to work with hubby to find out how I run the business on a day to day basis.
Being the first to hear all my ideas and ramblings about work at home, by joining the company, she is now hearing them day in day out (poor girl!) as she takes responsibility for shipping whilst liaising with Phil about what needs to be filled, labelled and restocked.
Here are all of the products in the current range of Hampshire Sheen finishes. To find your nearest stockist, click HERE.
Hampshire Sheen Food & Toy Safe Finishing Wax
Our new manufacturing company is making the much loved Gloss Finishing Wax for us now to the exact same recipe as turners around the world have been loving for nearly five years. With their decades of chemical experience, we can now say that this wax meets food contact and toy safety regulations in the UK, EU, USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia.
Using high quantities of carnauba and microcrystalline waxes, this product is an extremely hard wearing finish, outlasting a beeswax based finish many times over.
By applying in light coats, your finish can be brought from a lustre, right the way up to a bright gloss with a warm and tactile ‘Pow’
Gloss Finishing Wax is available in 130g lever lid pots.
Hampshire Sheen Microcrystalline Wax
Microcrystalline Wax is a perfect overcoat to almost every finish under the sun.
Both Fingerprint and water resistant, our wax is a natural feeling product and comparable to the market leader of microcrystalline waxes and is both food contact and toy safe.
Not only is this an ideal protective finish for your woodwork, it can also be used to protect metals, leather and other media. Just a little of the product goes a very long way, so use it sparingly!
Did you know? There are loads and loads of different types of microcrystalline waxes, and not all of them are suitable for use on wood.
Hampshire Sheen Clear Gloss Lacquer
Our brand new clear gloss Spray Lacquer has been formulated to be strong and flexible. It can be used for both internal and external projects, and is best used on decorative items. Fast drying and high gloss; Use on metal and other media; Weather resistant, light proof and UV resistant; Scratch and impact resistant; Excellent surface hardness and good elasticity. Perfect for wood projects; Can be mechanically buffed. Each 500ml can comes with two nozzles – one with a flat spray pattern, and the other has a round spray pattern.
Hampshire Sheen CarnaCrystalline Wax Stick
This is a unique turners stick featuring both Carnauba and Microcrystalline waxes to produce an ultra glossy and hard wearing decorative finish, particularly on spindle work.
It goes on smoothly (it applies more nicely than a carnauba only stick), buffs wonderfully and lasts for ages.
The CarnaCrystalline stick is approx 31g.
Hampshire Sheen Pen Turners Overcoat Wax Stick
The latest stick product has been produced mainly for pen turners who enjoy the benefits of a microcrystalline wax on their turned pens, be them made from wood or other products. It applies over any finish the turner favours to give a fingerprint resistant, glossy shine. It goes on smoothly, buffs wonderfully and lasts for ages.
The Turners Overcoat stick is approx 31g.
Hampshire Sheen Toy and Food Safe Danish Oil
The Danish Oil we produce and meets UK and EU regulations for food and toy safety when fully cured. It is thinner, more penetrating and less smelly that other Danish Oils as our product contains only pure Tung Oil and no artificial varnish, resins or other vegetable oils.
The solvent used used to aid drying is dearomatised white spirit, which is less irritating to skin and lower in odour than traditional white spirit. It is completely biodegradable.
– Easy to apply; – Over 50% Tung Oil; – Food and Toy Safe when dry; – Odourless when dry; – Nourishing, deeply penetrating and protecting; – Will not chip, flake or peel; – Naturally water resistant. – Supplied in 500ml lacquered tin cone bottles and double sealed.
Hampshire Sheen Pre-Thinned Cellulose Sanding Sealer
Hampshire Sheen developer Martin tried lots of different sanding sealers and has discovered this cellulose sealer and thinners mix to be our most suitable for both standard work, and for work with added colour or texture.
Brilliant for Use Over Coloured Woods.
This is our preferred sealer for use over the Intrinsic Colour Collection, or other water based wood stains. Note that is common for a little of the added colour to be removed from the surface when using this product. See the Intrinsic Colour Collection for specific usage advice.
For best results, we recommend the use of the range of Hampshire Sheen finishing products. Hampshire Sheen Cellulose Sanding Sealer is also suitable for use with lacquers, varnishes, sprays, paste waxes and other finishing products. Available in 500ml cone top bottles.
Hampshire Sheen Original – Discontinued
The original recipe for Hampshire Sheen brings a protective glow to your pieces. The product warms the looks of wood, whilst the carnauba and microcrystalline waxes add a lustre to wood whilst making it splash and fingerprint resistant. Easy to apply, Original will make a great addition to your collection of preferred finishes. For use on decorative wood only.
Sadly, to make way for the foodsafe range, the Original product is no longer available. When it runs out in our retail stores, it will be gone. Sorry.
Hampshire Sheen Embellishing Waxes
These embellishing waxes add that something extra to open grained woods such as Oak and Ash or tight grained woods with added texture. Currently, there are eight to choose from: Gold, Silver, Bronze, Black, White, Electric Blue, Green and Purple.
To overcoat them, a light application of our Microcrystalline Wax will be great for an even brighter, tougher finish. The carnauba and microcrystalline waxes are tough and hard wearing. For use on decorative wood items only.
Intrinsic Colour Collection
belonging naturally; essential.
Our collection of 12 of water based wood dyes are in a range of mature shades that bring a level of atmosphere and depth to your work. In use, they afford you a longer working time than alcohol based stains and dyes, allowing you to move the colour around for perfect application and blend.
They sink deeply into the wood and preserve the appearance of the figure in the wood, releasing the hidden subtleties and enhancing medullary rays and ‘chatoyance’.
If you’re just getting started with colouring, then the sample box will be a good place to start. It contains 15ml of each of the 12 colours which will be enough to give you a good idea of how they work.
You will that you use more of some of the colours than the others. The most popular are the Black, Ruby, Flame and Honey.
When it’s time for a top-up, the 250ml individual bottles are your next stop. They have wipe clean polypropylene labels and contain enough dye to colour many pieces. Below are the current bottles and colours…
In several coats you can build up a deep, pure black shade.
A dark orange, on the orangey side of brown.
A warm brown, the colour of drying mud. Sounds bad, but makes a great undercoat or accent colour.
A bright yellow-orange. Add luxurious fire by blending with Burnt Orange and Ruby.
Rich green, quite dark, a lot like Jade. A great accent colour and blends well with Straw and Honey.
A glorious yellow. Superb as a bold single colour or a ‘wash’ overcoat.
Deep blue with a hint of purple. Add to quilted figure and catch the purple glint as you turn the piece.
(previously known as Straw): A rich yellowy-green. Very pear-like, one of the brightest colours and mixes well with Stone Blue to create a luxury green.
Sumptuous Purple. Looks quite Royal, lending an air of expense to your work.
Darkish red, Ruby adds a deep and opulent shade which blends superbly with Burnt Orange
(previously called Stone Blue): A fairly bright blue. Mixes magnificently with Midnight Blue.
Nearly pure white, this colour is perfect for turning the other colours into pastel shades for even more creative options.
*Colours shown are for reference only. Accurate colour rendition may vary from device to device. It is recommended you test the colours before committing them to your work.
Basic Application of Colours
Easy to apply using towel, brush, sponge, airbrush or any other method, you can let your imagination run wild – particularly with airbrush techniques. Try using an alcohol spray to create streaks, or use making tape for a more art-deco feel.
For the absolute best results and depth of colour, use more than one coat, or and add a black or earth undercoat for an even more dramatic effect. The downloadable video guide available (here) goes into depth about using the colours in a variety of techniques.
When you’re done applying the colours and they are dry, ensure you seal the piece properly. For the best surface, it is recommended you use a cellulose based sanding sealer, but any good quality sealer will provide a suitable surface for your final finish.
Coloured pieces generally look better with a gloss finish. The shine refracts light and enhances the added colour and figure in the wood.
For the highest possible shine, use our Clear Gloss Lacquer or several coats of our food and toy safe Gloss Finishing Wax.
Below is a YouTube playlist of showing Martin Saban-Smith (the creator) and other creators using the colours on their woodturning projects. There are various ways to apply the colour, and these videos show many of them. You can find more videos on Martin’s channel by clicking (HERE).
Lightfast? No colour is 100% lightfast. They will all fade in time. The pigment manufacturer has given me assurance that they are light fast for at least as long as a normal household paint. To increase the lifetime of the colours, keep finished pieces out of direct sunlight and consider using a UV filtered finishing oil underneath the final finish as an additional layer of protection.