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Old 10-07-2017, 09:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't count the coats. I put on for thickness and use caliper to measure and make it match with the fittings. If one wants the pen to feel smooth from the turned blank to the nib or center band, it is not about how many coats you put on, it is about building up so that you can sand down to a perfect transition from clip end or center band or nib. The "number" of coats are irrelevant if you want a perfect fit and shiny finish.

Don't you just hate it when someone upsets the apple cart!
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by leehljp View Post
I don't count the coats. I put on for thickness and use caliper to measure and make it match with the fittings. If one wants the pen to feel smooth from the turned blank to the nib or center band, it is not about how many coats you put on, it is about building up so that you can sand down to a perfect transition from clip end or center band or nib. The "number" of coats are irrelevant if you want a perfect fit and shiny finish.

Don't you just hate it when someone upsets the apple cart!
This right here. After reading how Mr leehljp did it this way several months back, I actually started turning my barrels about .002 under then build up with CA and sand back down. When I get to .002 over I know it's time to move to higher grits then polish. I've gotten several pens that measure +/- .000 by my calipers, something I never thought I could do, and the depth of shine is amazing. In fact, I'm not happy if I'm off by any more than .001 these days. It still takes me a bit of time, but the results are worth every second spent.

So, thanks leehljp, your method has made me a penmaker!
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Are you using bushings when you under turn? Just wondering if you ditch the bushings when you get close in your process.
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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I am new to all of this, and have been here reading for several days, and it seems to me everyone that use CA, puts on x number of thin and y number of medium. Is that many coats necessary?
My kit came with high friction polish so I would sand, clean, and polish the blanks; then I would apply a couple of thin coats of CA to seal the polish.
Please educate me.
Thanks!
When I first started turning pens, I used Carnuba wax and buffed it with a paper towel. I soon discovered that it didn't last very long. I watched a tutorial on how to apply 20 coats of CA and was extremely pleased with the results. I have settled on 16 coats of medium CA applied at low speed with spritzes of Accelerator in between. I the sand laterally at high speed with wet Micro Mesh going through all 9 colors (grits). I have found this gives me great depth, wetness, and chatoyance. I has seen some of my pens that have been in constant use for 3-4 years and still look perfect.

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Old 10-08-2017, 06:39 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Are you using bushings when you under turn? Just wondering if you ditch the bushings when you get close in your process.
Yes, you are right in your "wondering".

First, I turn between centers. My sizing is done by calipers, not the bushings. IF one turns to size by bushings, then the bushings must be considered "consumables" as you will sand down the size or nick it with the scraper/skew and after 10 to 30 blanks, the bushing will be undersize.

I use bushings to hold the blank until it is round and then turn until it is close to the bushing size. At this point I remove the bushing, and rely on the calipers to get to where I want it to be in size. I do turn under size by .002 or .003 and build up CA until it is +.003 to +.005 and sand down for a smooth finish and even transition to the nib-cb-finial/clip end.

BTW, the "undersize" figure is arrived at by measuring the nib end, center band and finial/clip end, I write these down and then measure the blank as I turn - to fit. Then build back up.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:02 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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To join the thread; There isn't any set technique with CA, everyone has a slightly different technique.

My learning curve involved turning the blank down just round, not to finished size. Apply finish to the blank, then sand or turn off half the blank and vary the technique on that half of the blank. Better or worse? Sand or turn off the worse side and vary technique again. After twenty of so iterations, you learn just how to apply the finish you want. then complete the pen.

Lee's Comment on calipers is spot on. Never trust bushings! A cheap digital caliper is all you need. The caliper is the gold standard. Put the caliper on the fitting (NOT BLANK) and press the "Zero" button on the caliper. Now put the caliper on the edge of the blank. I aim for -.000 / +.003 on the blank. YMMV
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:28 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Hackberry two coats CA no sanding after each coat. Works for me. Zebra Wood one coat CA no sanding after.

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Old 10-08-2017, 09:38 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Also, buy good CA glue. Starbond or Mercury.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CREID View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodchipper View Post
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I have no technical reason for 8 coats.
I put at least eight coats. My grandfather always said, Little bit good, whole lot better.
My Grandfather always said "I cut it 3 times and it's still too short".


I like that one!


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Old 10-09-2017, 06:54 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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I've found that in the world of woodworking, finishing is like some sort of dark art that very few truly understand. For instance, the assumption that more is better... Thick finishes can be more prone to cracking in many cases. I'd finish every pen with my hvlp gun and poly if it efficient but it's not. So, I ditched the paper towel applicator years ago in favor of a gloved finger to get more CA on the pen. No more than 5 coats and it's plenty glossy.
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