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Finishing It ain't a pen till it's FINISHED!

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Old 06-25-2017, 08:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Houston, Texas
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Default EEE for CA Finish

Based on my observations over the past few months, when it comes to CA finishing folks are either in the micromesh camp or the buffing camp. I started with MM and have had results I am happy with, and haven't tried buffing. But I came across this video where I got the tip to use EEE Ultra Shine instead of MM. I decided to give it a try, and must say I am very happy with the results. I applied the CA, then sanded 400 thru 2000, then EEE, then HUT polish. The result is essentially indistinguishable from MM, in less than half the time. I am a little concerned that scratches might start to show once the waxes from the EEE wears off, we'll see. I'll probably continue to use this method on the slims that I give away at work. I just thought I would share this for others that might be looking for a little time saver.
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I use EEE every time.
bob Jackson
Elyria, Ohio
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default EEE

+1 to using EEE and Beale buffs
Mark Mayo
Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.
Winston Churchill
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Old 06-26-2017, 07:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I use Novus heavy & fine scratch remover. It gives he appearance of a deeper finish. Plus it's a lot smoother.
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The problem with EEE is that it wears off in a few days of regular pen usage. For me, it is - "what is the purpose of a shine that will wear off in a few days?" I remember the first pen in which I used EEE over light coatings of CA, and then the embarrassment of seeing the EEE wear off after I gave it to a friend. I stopped using EEE after that. EEE is good for display.

If a pen were on display and barely touched, it will work. The same for furniture polished wood - use it on occasion and wax it every week. Pens are different. I personally prefer a sheen on waxed wood rather than glossy shine that will rub off because the rubbed off spots show through in the long run.

As to MM and other polishes - here is a chart of comparison grits:

I do have some sandpaper (3M) with .5 micron that is finer than 12000 MM. Once that grit is arrived at on a pen, polish and buffing add little else. But there are differences that show up from some people - and that would be "technique" differences, not polish or SP or wax.
Hank Lee

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!
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Old 06-26-2017, 09:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have never used EEE on a pen. I did use something similar called Tripoli polish when doing sterling silver jewelry to remove scratches. This came in a bar and was applied using a buffing wheel.

I do use MM from 1500 to 12000 after using 500 grit and 1000 grit wet or dry. I use a spray bottle with two or three drops of dish soap in the water to help eliminate surface tension issues with the water. I then use a plastic polish as it appears to put the final shine onto the CA or acrylic finish.
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Sam, there are at least 40 more camps out there in the trees and brush. And there may be a lot more.

There is a general philosophical divide though, with two polar points. Those who finish to "good-nuf" and those seeking the skills to finish to the quality of $1000 + pens.

Each has to decide where they head. I have had a couple of top end pens in hand and am inching my skills that direction.
Ken Vaughan
Old Apprentice Machinist - learning a new knee in Tucson
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The EEE is basically the same as Tripoli, but more wax than abrasive. That's where the name was derived from... Triple E.

The fastest way to achieve a glass sheen, and best result, at least for me, is to sand to 220 grit. Where one starts is dependent on the surface after turning, or in some cases, cutting. After using the 220 grit, I use Tripoli on two different types of wheels (concentric and loose), and then to the white rouge on a loose or string buff.

After practice and a technique a person finds for themselves, the finish is flawless to the naked eye. This is how average people judge a finish, just by looking at it and feeling it, in my experience. And the whole procedure only takes a couple of minutes for a double barrel pen.

There is a difference in buffing and polishing.

I find the MM a waste of time and if using compounds, it's a step backward.

I'm sure you find this worth the price that was paid.
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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OK, I'll bite ! . What's the diff between buffing and polishing ?

Yeah, I know there is a diff but just want to hear it from someone; the answer might be educational to more than me.

Kids rule the world !!! .... eventually if not already !

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Old 06-26-2017, 02:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Terredax View Post

I'm sure you find this worth the price that was paid.
Thanks John. I'm going to add a set of buffing wheels to my wish list. It would have been nice if more of the "beginner" penturning videos out there would go over some of these techniques (TBC, drilling on the lathe, etc). I guess it is all part of learning, but it sure would have saved me a bunch of time and money to go straight to the best techniques.
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