I'm assuming all the finishing materials (sealers, lacquers, oils etc.) used on the Brilliant Finishes DVD are U.S products and I won't be able to get them in my country. Is this true?

While that is partially true, I do not teach that you must use product A or product B to achieve this level of brilliance or gloss in your finishes. I teach the fundamentals of finishing which means a good solid foundation prior to the final finish and how to achieve it. If you have access to CA glue, cloth backed sandpaper (professional grade) , shellac flakes, friction polishes like Crystal Coat or Shellawax or a compatible product you will achieve the finishes you see on the DVD: Brilliant Finishes. The information on the DVD is based on solid tried and true techniques that can be applied to any brand of product that is used by professionals in the industry. (e.g. stay away from cheap sandpaper). More importantly the DVD will teach you how to “see” and what to look for during each stage of the finishing process and how to find and repair the flaws.

I just bought your DVD and I live in the UK and the DVD won't play in my computer. Do you have a solution?

I have sold many DVD’s to woodturners in the UK and abroad. Everyone seems to be playing them on computers and I have never had a complaint about compatibility. (Although customers have complained about windows 10  not having a native media player that handles DVDs. A simple solution is to download and install a free player called VLC media player. You can download it from this site. I am in no way affiliated with VLC media player but I do use it on my own system and it works fine.

As I sand my pen with copper inlay, I'm getting a gray matter building up on the maple blank. What is happening?

The gray matter is caused by the normal sanding process. Copper dust is being sanded from the copper inlay and smeared into the adjacent maple and collecting into the grain. This generally happens when you sand under power with wet/dry sandpaper going across the grain. You can easily fix this problem by stopping the lathe and sanding with the grain. If you see this at 1200 grit and it is hard to remove try going back a grit to 1000, then sanding again with the grain through all the finer grits. All the gray matter will sand away and you will be left with clean wood.

How do I keep my peppermill looking like new? How do I care for my saltmill? How do I clean my mills?

The best way to protect and clean your peppermill and or saltmill is to wax it occasionally with an automotive-type paste wax. I recommend any paste wax with carnauba. It is a very hard wax and wears well. By waxing your mills, the thinner-based wax not only cleans the surface  of your mill but also adds a layer of protection which beautifies and improves the glossiness of your peppermill or saltmill.

How do I protect wood from smoke/resin buildup when laser engraving for metal inlay?

Shawn Hartel was kind enough to share this metal inlay tip:

When laser engraving, it’s always best to mask the area with tape before engraving, to protect surrounding wood from smoke and resin buildup surrounding the cut. 
Leave the tape on for metal inlay powder filling!  Then, just before using the glue, slowly remove the tape and tamp down the metal inlay powder now residing directly over the engraved areas. The tape prevents the metal inlay powder from getting all over the wood surface (and down into the pesky pores and fibers you don’t want it in, and it conserves metal powder to boot. 
Just something I discovered that I thought you might like!

-Shawn Hartel
Huntingtown, MD

Hey Shawn,

Thanks for sharing your technique. I love it!