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Old 10-09-2017, 08:09 PM   #21 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: France
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Four heavy coats can do nearly the same as twenty thin ones.
I would say that the number of coats is not the only important factor, others are what you want to obtain (high gloss, satin, sealing), and the thickness of your coats, which depends of the pressure you use to apply CA. That's why it is very variable among turners.

I like fine coats to avoid sanding too long, so I have a heavy finger, and I try to make my coats as flat and smooth as possible. I need fifteen coats at least to get a deep high gloss finish without sanding through.

Others are happy with very thick rough coats with a light finger: a friend of mine uses only four heavy coats and have the same result I can obtain, after a a good sanding time before polishing.

If you only want to seal the grain before applying another finish, one or two coats are enough.
Kit less, create more.

Last edited by Pierre---; 10-09-2017 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:28 PM   #22 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hamilton, ON, Canada
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Thanks for putting into words what ultimately I've been learning to do!

Last edited by MPVic; 10-09-2017 at 08:30 PM. Reason: Message sent to wrong person.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:35 PM   #23 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hamilton, ON, Canada
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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!
Hank: thanks for putting into words what I've been trying to learn the last 8 months - it helps greatly so I don't get hung up on "numbers".
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:56 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Location: Oklahoma
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Another reason is wood type. If you're using something with deep pores like ash, oak, etc, if you want a completely smooth barrel, you need to put on enough coats to fill the pores.

I also turn between centers using the bushings to get me close. Once I'm slightly oversized, I removed the bushings and continue turning until I'm where I want to be, reinserting the bushings to check size (I think I'll start using my calipers after reading Lee's process. It seems to make more sense.)

I sand with 220 and 320, then apply 3 - 5 coats of thin CA depending on the wood/pores. I level with 1000 or 1500 grit (depending on severity of ridges) and then apply 3 more coats. Final level with 1500 grit and move on to 3200, 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000, 12000 micromesh. Sometimes I finish up with polish, sometimes I don't.
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:48 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Location: Hellertown, PA, USA.
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I do not use , every time, paper towels. I started using the packing material you find in your electronics. The smooth side. The paper towels dry the c/a to quick and it gets hard.With the packing material there is no chemical reaction and it stays wet, and you can smooth the c/a out. You can use it over a few times, i am still working on some i got a year ago or more. Carl
Carl, Hellertown,Pa
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