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Old 09-08-2015, 08:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help Applying CA over contours and V cuts

So I have been trying to put some contours and V cut details into my turnings. On any turnings that are straight, its easy to apply CA and everything goes smooth. When there is any shape at all, I usually have to apply the CA in two or three parts and I get overlapping, if I have a small V cut into the wood and apply CA it fills the V.

Then I find myself sanding too much to overcome for the overlap or filling of the V. I have ruined a few nice pieces trying to finish them. I think that I sanded off too much CA and when I applied the plastic polish everything looked like junk. Then I had to sand everything back down to wood and start over but it never comes out the same.

Is it something I am doing wrong, the way I am applying the CA or will it just come with experience? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 09-08-2015, 08:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I not sure what you use to apply your CA but I would recommend trying craft foam. The CA won't soak in as fast and allows you more working time.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I use the Blue Shop paper towels from Lowes and Thin CA, I do have some medium and thick CA too. When I use medium or thick CA, it gives me more working time but streaks more. I usually keep the speed around 500rpm, is that too slow?

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Old 09-08-2015, 08:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would try something other than CA. CA builds up too quickly and tend to want to fill in gaps. Something that uses friction to create the finish requires less coats and will allow you to use different techniques to get into the small crevices before it dries.
I've used a concoction equal parts shellac, boiled linseed oil and alcohol. It does tend to darken the color of the wood a bit but goes on easily and friction polishes in just a couple coats.

Last edited by Mortalis; 09-08-2015 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Use thin CA and apply sparingly in light coats combined with boiled linseed oil, walnut oil, or some other finish oil...

I use a stain and seal product by Minwax (natural color). I apply this to the wood during the finishing process ... with some still on my paper towel applicator, I put a nice little bead of CA on it and I work it into the little crevices first, making sure that it doesn't try to flow out anywhere (lathe spinning on slow speed). I apply more Minwax and then add more CA in small batches till I have my initial base coat complete ... the combination dries VERY quickly (about 5 seconds).

After that, I may add a thicker coat of pure CA on top, in the larger, more easily accessible areas, but I always go small when I'm coating the detail areas ... I don't like to lose my details.
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Old 09-08-2015, 03:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have recently modified my CA finish technique and it would probably work well on irregular & V-shapes.

I sand most woods to 600, then burnish with shavings. I may go up to 2400-3600 micro mesh on open-pore woods. Then I clean it with DNA and let it dry for a few seconds. I usually apply a coat of Myland's sanding sealer & sometimes wipe a very light coat of teak oil if I want to darken the wood slightly.

Then I put just a drop of thin CA on a folded white, Bounty paper towel. It does soak in some, but I just want the towel to be damp with CA, no actual puddle. Then 2 or 3 quick swipes across the blank while it's spinning. If there were V-grooves, I would just fold the towel into a triangle shape to apply a CA coat to the sides of the groove.

I let the blank spin for 15 seconds or so, then repeat the process for a total of 3 or 4 coats. With such light coatings, there is no need for any further sanding. After applying the final coat, I let the blank spin for about 3-5 minutes. Then I rub a white HUT carnauba wax bar back & forth against the blank while it's spinning, then buff that off & done.

I do all this at 2200 rpm. I don't have buffing wheels, so I just use a small wad of dry paper towel for my buffing.

This technique is similar to one that Monty (Mannie Steglich) demonstrated to a group of us at his shop a few months ago. It's simple & quick and virtually fool proof. It may not give an "encased in plastic or glass" look of a high-build CA finish, but it does give a nice CA shine.
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