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Old 12-18-2018, 08:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Avoiding paper towels

I admit, I've been using small pieces of paper towels to apply CA and finish. I've read here that nitrile gloves, finger cots, or small piece of plastic bag are much more effective. Please elaborate.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well I know that the nitrile gloves, finger cots, etc... are to keep the CA from sticking to your fingers as the CA soaks thru the blue paper towels.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't wear any kind of gloves around turning machinery.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Craft foam available at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Walmart etc... is by far the best method to apply CA. Its cheap, does not absorb the CA and leaves a near perfect surface. Give it a try you will love it.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have found all to have +'s and -'s . Any safe way to apply smooth coats of CA has a good change of a excellent finish with little sanding. I am now using the PT that is typically found in motorized bathroom dispensers. I even bought the dispenser. The "best" was what works best for you. If one is able to control the volume of CA - the craft foam and little pen part bags are likely to waste the least amount of CA because it is not absorbed into the towels.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Paper towels have a pretty high water content, this water initiates CA polymerization. So a paper towel will both soak up a lot of CA and cause it to react faster. Nitrile, finger cots, wax paper, craft foam do neither. I switched to craft foam after about 150 pens, one of the better changes I've made. I have tried plastic baggies and wax paper, but I didn't like the lack of control I had with these methods.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mkemmet View Post
I admit, I've been using small pieces of paper towels to apply CA and finish. I've read here that nitrile gloves, finger cots, or small piece of plastic bag are much more effective. Please elaborate.
Get a feel for it and the CA will go on smoothly and neatly. White paper towels work fine. Never wear gloves, jewelry while using the lathe or any thing that turns. I do not use or like THIN CA. Medium for me. Welcome aboard!!

Originally Posted by Woodchipper View Post
I don't wear any kind of gloves around turning machinery.
Ditto ditto ditto.

If anyone is uncomfortable using CA try Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil. It has to dry between coats but it hits the spot. Beauty durable finish.

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Old 12-18-2018, 09:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It is all just a method and there is no right or wrong way to do things just different. As far as paper towels absorbing more yes but when you put on a glove tip or plastic bag you are not using all that is on the bag either so enough with that nonsense too. I use blue shop towels to put my CA on and do one to 2 wipes back and forth and done. Rip another small piece off for next layer and so on This is my tried and true method that works well for me and has been for whatever time I have been doing pens. I find I get more even application than with those plastic bags. Again my opinion as all other have given their opinions. Find something that works for you and stick with it and you will keep getting more proficient at it. Yes experiment if you chose and that is how you find what works for YOU!!! Happy finishing.

By the way welcome to the site and this being your first post. Hope you stick around and any questions ask away.
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have found, through careful trials and research, that I can screw up a good CA finish with every method mentioned. And get a great finish with each one. I am searching for the consistency I desire, which will most likely come from practice and experience from any one of the methods. None are a magic wand for CA finish.

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Old 12-18-2018, 11:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have enjoyed the kool aid of: plastic bags, craft foam and various blue towels. I am somewhat embarrassed to say that the blue towel wins. I buy 16 oz of CA so the amount a towel steals is not a factor. If I have less bad stuff happen with any method - I’m in. I want quality, low sanding, no ruined blanks after lots of time in them and smooth glossy finish.

I’m happy with four coats of thin, quick spray of accelerant, 12 coats of Pen finish CA (thicker than thin and thinner than medium) with quick sprays after each. Wait for curing, sand, buff and press it together. With high end or tough grain I give more coats maybe 20. They are easy, consistent and sell.

Your mileage may vary...
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Last edited by mmayo; 12-18-2018 at 11:32 PM.
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