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Old 03-11-2018, 07:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Finishing brown mallee

Hey gang I'm looking for suggestions on finishing brown mallee burl. The first pen I made looked great but after 2 weeks the CA is separating off in huge bubbles. I'm sure it's due to the oil in the wood but what other options are there for a good shinny durabnle finish?
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I finished one with CA a week ago and nothing untoward happening so far. I did clean thoroughly with denatured alcohol first, so fingers crossed I don't have the same problem. I'll post here if it does start to separate.

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Old 03-11-2018, 07:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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If you goal is durability : wet sand it, wet micromesh it, buff it, linseed oil it, let it dry and write with it. Every time one will use the pen, the finish will become better and better with the skin contact. It works well with very hard woods such as Bmb.

Quite the opposite, if you use a varnish, lacquer or CA, the best day is right out of the lathe, then using the pen will spoil the finish little by little.
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre--- View Post
If you goal is durability : wet sand it, wet micromesh it, buff it, linseed oil it, let it dry and write with it. Every time one will use the pen, the finish will become better and better with the skin contact. It works well with very hard woods such as Bmb.

Quite the opposite, if you use a varnish, lacquer or CA, the best day is right out of the lathe, then using the pen will spoil the finish little by little.
I'm not sure if Jeremy sells his pens but high gloss is always the best seller and a shiny finish is what he is aiming for. What you suggest will never achieve a high gloss.

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Old 03-11-2018, 08:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremymc98 View Post
Hey gang I'm looking for suggestions on finishing brown mallee burl. The first pen I made looked great but after 2 weeks the CA is separating off in huge bubbles. I'm sure it's due to the oil in the wood but what other options are there for a good shinny durabnle finish?
Sorry Jeremy but Brown Mallee Burl has no natural oil I have found,I have handled thousands of these with no problems to speak of. I am selective and throw in the bin cracked,weird blanks,wasting time with poor blanks takes several times those rippers.

First examine your technique in finishing. I have a mate down the road from me a pro burl gatherer and wholesaler,one time he allowed me to sell a couple of thousand for him at my cost to members of the U Beaut Forum. I discarded any sus blanks,ie size ,shape imperfections, sold the lot in three weeks,not one complaint ever.

It is a delight to turn.Trust you have success.

Peter.

Had a quick look back in my album, This is Brown Mallee Burl resting on an offcut of Brown Mallee.
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Old 03-11-2018, 08:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have used Mallee many times over the years and no problem with finishing.

The situation that you described sounds like you may have waxed the blank and then added a thin coat of CA. Using paper towel to apply CA works great, but until you get accustomed to it, the paper towel will absorb about 90% and the build up of CA will be only superficial.

Early on for me, I did put a couple of coats of CA, sanded it smooth and waxed it. Truth is that I sanded the CA off and the wax on top made it look like it was covered in CA. Then in a week or so, the wax came off and it looked terrible. I learned at that time to build up coats of CA.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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That BMB is SOOOO hard ! ... and then you have Coolibah ... try that one !!!
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Peter, thanks for posting in this thread and also for the picture of your pen.

That pen is exquisite !! . But you didn't even tell us how you finished it !!

Please ..... !!
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I have used Mallee many times over the years and no problem with finishing.

Using paper towel to apply CA works great, but until you get accustomed to it, the paper towel will absorb about 90% and the build up of CA will be only superficial.
I also use blue paper shop towel. . And indeed, it does absorb a lot of the glue ... unless you can think of a way to stop that from happening.

I hope that reporting this is appropriate here and not a hijack of the thread, which is about ... well ... finishing.
I will toss out one of my trade secrets and see what the response is.

I fold the paper towel up into multi-layer strips, then I cut the strips apart, then I unfold each strip until it is only double-thickness and cut it into thirds. . This results in double-layer sections about 1 1/4" by 3 3/8" in size.

Remember that this is a double-layer of paper towel, not multi-layer.

In my final step, preparing for CA application, I put household "Scotch" tape (that name not being used as a trade name anymore, but a generic name now) ... it is more correctly called Invisible Tape ... totally covering one side of my double-layer piece of blue paper towel ... about 3 overlapping strips of tape.

The other side of the paper towel "Band-Aid" is used to spread the CA. . The tape prevents excessive absorption of CA through and by the paper.

And when I am applying the CA, I put this double-layer, taped piece of blue paper towel UNDERNEATH the pen blank, which is on the lathe, mounted between centers, with the lathe turning under power at extremely slow speed (like 30-60 RPM).

I drizzle the fine CA onto the top of the pen blank, and spread the CA with quite rapid back and forth motion of the paper towel piece.

There really is very little absorption of CA into the paper towel ... largely because there is very little paper compared to the way I used to do it with the multiple layers of paper ... thanks to the physical support and impermeability of the "Scotch" tape. . My fingers stay cleaner also. . No gloves.

I use both ends of the paper towel "Band-Aid" section, then cut off the glue ends and get two more applications out of it.

I have several sections ready to be used so that I can keep applying CA for about 10 minutes before getting back to the first section of towel.

Maybe someone will benefit from this. Maybe someone can improve on my method. . I know many people now use hobby store thin foam sheets. I haven't tried that but plan to do so imminently.

I apply 8-10 coats of CA and then sand smooth. . Compared to my previous method, the pre-sanding quality of the surface is much better, less sanding is required, and instead of starting the sanding process with 180 grit, I can now start at 240 or sometimes even 320. . I have been very happy with the results and my finishing process goes much quicker.
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Just to add to my earlier comments I apply all my CA using just one only of those very small plastic bags that the smaller pieces of the pen kit come in. Just about fits my finger. I always clean first with denatured alcohol, then at about 500 rpm I apply a layer of ultra thin CA which soaks well into the wood, followed by about six layers of medium CA. Using the bag method non of the CA is lost and it deposits a really thick, smooth layer. As always there is a learning curve but you soon get the hang of it after a few attempts.

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