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Old 09-04-2017, 06:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Cocobolo Pen Finish Problems

So far this is limited to Cocobolo cuz it's the first and only pen I've turned. Beautiful wood.. but it has pores and grain line "cracks" which are just voids in the wood.

I glued up the drilled blank, turned it and sanded it thru 600 grit (dry) Then I applied about three coats of BSI medium CA. (I probably should have started with thin..) When I started wet sanding with micro-mesh, I noticed the whitish slurry from the CA filling the pores and vein lines... argghhh. So, I've sanded down and the white gunk is gone... but there are still pores, etc in the wood. I'm guessing that is just the nature of Cocobolo and similar woods.

So, I tried adding a few coats of Lacquer Sanding Sealer to try to fill those pores and will start sanding that down.. and possibly add another coat and sand.. BUT, I'll wait for your help here.

Next part of the question.. I would like to have a glass smooth finish with the pores filled and wet sanded down to 12000 grit. Before I do that though, I'll have to add a final type of finish.. which begs the question...

What kind of durable finish can I apply over this sanding sealer? Can I apply CA over it.. or will it have to be something like a Deft Poly that is comparable with it? If CA.. no problem.. I guess I will add a few coats of thin, spritzed with accelerator, sand again to 12000 and then possibly a few coats of medium, followed by sanding. IF CA is not advisable.. what do you experts suggest as a final finish. To be redundant.. I would like to build up the surface to fill those pores, sand smooth and buff.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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My first similar experience was with wenge and padauk, both with fairly open grain. My approach is to apply CA, maybe a few coats of medium. Then when dry/cured, turn back down to wood using a skew. The pores should be mostly filled. Apply CA, sand 400 thru 2000, if there are still little pore holes then repeat CA and sanding. Once completely smooth, do a few coats of thin CA in case the aggressive sand left a spot with very little finish. At this point do your normal sanding, micro mesh, or buffing.

There are some old threads about using Sanding sealer, it looks like CA should go over the top. But in the last 5 years or so, there hasn't been much discussion about it.
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Grain filler, then CA. You can get very unique looks by dyeing the filler too. Try putting mirror gloss finish on a wenge drum lol
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Try sanding the wood with 320 grit, building some dust in the sandpaper. Add a drop of thin CA to the dust and sand again - the dust will fill the pores and give you a smooth surface for sanding. You may need to do it more than once to fill all of the pores.

Once the surface is smooth, add the finish of your choice.
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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cocobolo does not like lacquer, in my experience.

I'd wipe it down with acetone to get rid of the oils, and then do multiple thin coats of CA to fill the grain, before doing my final coats and polishing.
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I agree with Andrew in the above post. . First wipe with acetone. . I would not use a lacquer or sealer.

I put on multiple coats of CA .... like about 12-15 ... about 8 coats of thin and then go to 3 - 7 of medium applied lightly ... not thick coats .

Do all that before sanding. . You should be able to tell when you have successfully filled the pores and "grain cracks".
Check before you start to sand.

Blowing compressed air when you are sanding is not a bad idea in case there is still an unfilled pore or crack.

As Dehn0045 indicated, it is sometimes good with porous woods to stop turning before you reach the final size, apply CA, and then turn again. . It doesn't take much longer doing that and you can often fill pores and cracks more completely in that way.
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Last edited by magpens; 09-04-2017 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I find applying medium ca with a foam applicator fills voids much easier than using paper towel. My theory is it has more of a squeegee effect where the paper towel pulls it out.
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Thanks all. I have a few good options to work with. I have about 15 cocobolo blanks to experiment with.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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In my years of using Cocobolo, I never used any "finish". After wet sanding with sandpaper through 2000 grit, and micromesh through 12000 grit (using alcohol or mineral spirits) I would wind up with a "jeweler's finish because Cocobolo is just that dense.

I think you may have some defective blanks.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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In my years of using Cocobolo, I never used any "finish". After wet sanding with sandpaper through 2000 grit, and micromesh through 12000 grit (using alcohol or mineral spirits) I would wind up with a "jeweler's finish because Cocobolo is just that dense.

I think you may have some defective blanks.
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