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


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Old 01-14-2010, 11:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Question Finish dulled in 5 minutes.

I am very new to pen turning, I have only turned one pen so far, I've got about $100.00 worth of products coming mail order tomorrow.

Here's my problem:

I turned a Tycoon pen, used purple heart, which after I had the blanks cut and tubes glued in I was told purple heart doesn't make a very appealing pen. Anyway, I turned it, sanded it to 400 ( it was all I had at the time but now I have micro mesh to 12000 ) I used EEE Ultra shine paste wax, then topped it off with a couple coats of HUT Crystal Coat. It looked very nice.... until I assembled the pen - it turned dull within 5 minutes.

What did I do wrong? What are some of the methods you use to finish a wood pen? I have turned a spare blank and used CA glue to finish it with good results, but did not buff the pen - I'm still in the equipment buying stage and haven't bought a buffer yet.

I really want to get the finish down and I'm not looking to take any shortcuts. I've heard of using steel wool but don't know what to expect - I've read that it can ruin your finish. I'm just looking for a tried and true method with repeatability that I can use. I know the finishing method will be different for Acrylic/plastic pens.

I'm trying to avoid buying many types of finishing supplies and using the old "Hit or miss" method to figure out what works best.

Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Great avatar, Did you put the wax finish over a ca finish or just a wax finish on the blanks. Just wax over a wood blank looses its shine quickly. There are 3 or 4 other finishing types most used CA. CA with BLO (boiled linseed oil) Poly /Lacquer finishes and melted plexi glass. There are tutorials on doing them in the library. Im still trying to master the melted plexi glass method but get great results from poly. I havent tried ca methods yet.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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It was just wax over the blanks - EEE Ultra shine and then HUT Crystal coat. I did one experiment with CA that came out pretty good. Would probably be better if I buffed it though I think.

I'll have to check out the CA with BLO ( I was wondering what the heck BLO was in everyone's posts)

The melted plexiglass sounds like it would be difficult, maybe I'll hold off on that one until I have one of the other methods perfected!

Thanks for the mention of my avatar! LOVE Married with children, and sometimes I have the same amount of luck as Al Bundy.

Thanks for the reply,

Terry
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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You need to seal the wood or the wax is absorbed by it. basically resulting in just what you describe. I use a CA slurry to seal wood blanks. I have yet to find a wood that it does not work well with but then again I am learning more every day. I have recently learned that a CA finish is not the best choice for all woods as it may very well develop problems even years later. But so far every pen I have sealed with CA has kept it's glass like properties to the finish. problems under the CA or at least fogging and cracking are another matter.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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The library has many threads on finishes. Everyone has their preferred method. I use EEE if the grain needs some fill, but it seems to dull quickly as a finish. I like Mylands friction polish on a bounty towel, just a couple of drops and then buff with towel at pretty high speed and it will really start to shine, then coat with CA. Same can be done with BLO and CA. Then determine how many coats you want. Try that!
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
You need to seal the wood or the wax is absorbed by it. basically resulting in just what you describe. I use a CA slurry to seal wood blanks. I have yet to find a wood that it does not work well with but then again I am learning more every day. I have recently learned that a CA finish is not the best choice for all woods as it may very well develop problems even years later. But so far every pen I have sealed with CA has kept it's glass like properties to the finish. problems under the CA or at least fogging and cracking are another matter.
How do you make a CA Slurry? CA seems to be pretty popular, I'll have to invest in some accelerator, since my practice run took a day and a half to build 4 coats.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sberger View Post
The library has many threads on finishes. Everyone has their preferred method. I use EEE if the grain needs some fill, but it seems to dull quickly as a finish. I like Mylands friction polish on a bounty towel, just a couple of drops and then buff with towel at pretty high speed and it will really start to shine, then coat with CA. Same can be done with BLO and CA. Then determine how many coats you want. Try that!
Steve
Do you use a buffer? I'm trying to maximize my dollar to equipment ratio to keep the little lady happy. If I buy things and then learn a method that doesn't use that equipment anymore I'll be living behind our house with the coyote.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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A CA finish is the way to go. I don't use a buffer I find you can get a great shine just by wet sanding with micromesh. I would advise not using Boiled Linseed Oil yet I find it just complicates things and can slightly dull the finish. Do 4 coats of CA then wet sand with micro mesh then 4 more and micro mesh again and the results will be great. One more thing, wipe the blank with acetone before you do the CA. BLO= boiled linseed oil
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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When you wet sand with MM the CA dust will mix with the water and form a slurry.
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Regarding a buffer for CA finish, if you are sanding to 400, then I would recommend getting some MicroMesh. These are pads with uniform grits down to 12000. I use them to wet sand my CA finishes and they look like glass. They can also be used on acrylics and such.
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