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Old 12-07-2016, 12:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Finishing Acrylics Complex Shapes

I'm relatively new to turning acrylics/plastics.

I've kept my acrylics shapes fairly simple due to the difficulty of getting them smooth and shiny.

Working with the little square wet sanding pads can leave grooves, lines, and ruts in the shapes.

Is there a way to get these smoother?

Thanks! Gary
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Old 12-07-2016, 12:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by gwlundgren View Post
I'm relatively new to turning acrylics/plastics.

I've kept my acrylics shapes fairly simple due to the difficulty of getting them smooth and shiny.

Working with the little square wet sanding pads can leave grooves, lines, and ruts in the shapes.

Is there a way to get these smoother?

Thanks! Gary
after sanding with the lathe on, turn it off and sand lenthways then repete with a finer grit same way. do that with all grits I turn coran and sant to 12,000 grit. ps; lite though through all grits.
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Old 12-07-2016, 12:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Those who are expert at using a sharp skew seldom need to start lower than 400 grit , so some practice may be in order . Also best , as you have apparently done , to keep to simple curves . Forget the beads and coves , unless you like to punish yourself . Wood or plastics , I think the same rules apply .
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Old 12-07-2016, 01:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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If you continue with complex curves then you maybe better to switch to the Beall buff system with the Tripoli and White Diamond wheels.
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Old 12-07-2016, 01:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Gary, I do not especially like to sand and polish, but find in my turning that I can often spend as much or more time getting to the final finish after finishing with the cutting tools. Sometimes with long detailed finials it takes special care and a long time to get the sanding and polishing done.

A very sharp edge applied with precision and skill (read practice and experience) lets the abrasives start with higher numbers, with fewer bumps and ridges to remove.

Slow down the lathe (counter intuitive right) and apply the abrasive with light pressure. Let the abrasive do the work. Clean after each grit, and never skip a grit. Learning, use the factor of about 1.5 and not more than 2.0. That is, starting at 120, next would be 180, then 320, I go with 400, 600, 1000, 2000, 4000 and then polishes

As the numbers get larger it takes less time to get through the scratches left by the prior grit.

Work thoughtfully and it will get easier to get superior finishes.
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Old 12-07-2016, 03:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I am another who uses a sharp tool to get a smooth finish before the need for sandpaper. I use scrapers and am not proficient with a skew. But either way very sharp tools with light touches will leave you with a finish starting at the equivalent of 600 or better.

I made a pen some years ago with segments of brass and silver. ANY sanding caused the silver to smear. It didn't take me long to learn to turn to an extremely smooth finish that eliminated the need for sanding before adding the CA.
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Old 12-07-2016, 07:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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These are the most complex shapes I've turned. On these, I used 320 and 400 wet; all 9 grades of MicroMesh wet; Novus 3 then 2; and finally PlastX.
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Old 12-07-2016, 09:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I've had a challenge getting into the coves on my random colored (from my excess PR Dixie cups) PR bottle stoppers. It also seems to depend a bit on the color of the PR. The darker colors, such as deep blue, for instance. The problem is that one can't do the normal lateral sanding so the high spots look good, but the deep spots less so.
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Old 12-07-2016, 12:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by qquake View Post
These are the most complex shapes I've turned. On these, I used 320 and 400 wet; all 9 grades of MicroMesh wet; Novus 3 then 2; and finally PlastX.

Your finishes look great!
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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This is about as complexed as I have to polish. I use MM 1500 - 12000 Then a friction plastic polish.



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