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Old 04-02-2012, 03:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Unhappy HELP!!!

OK, so I am still fairly new to the CA finish to pens, and I am looking for pointers. I have tried it on about 5 or so pens so far, and only one of them makes me slightly satisfied. I am currently using a medium thick CA with a BLO/CA application placing around 5-8 layers. The problem that I am having is that the shine seems to disappear and it just looks like the wood by itself. Should I use some kind of wax/buffing composition? Should I let it sit overnight and fully cure? Trying to figure out how to get that great quality I hear from everyone that uses the CA finish.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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You may not be getting enough coats of CA on, or rather you may be sanding through the layers that you had on there. Use a light touch with the sand paper.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What Derek said plus!!..
Start with a couple to four of thin to get a good base and penetration. You'll hear arguments about BLO...many of us leave it out, many leave it in. Then move up to the med CA for several coats. At any point here, see about knocking it down with a bit of 0000 steelwool and build from there! Remember your bushing tolerances and turn the ends for your style or skill level. Wet sanding..IMHO is best...at that point you have a huge layer of CA so might as well use the MM's and a pan of H2O to bring it out and make it smooth. Next...enjoy!!!

Last edited by Jim Burr; 04-02-2012 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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From a fellow wake county turner, and fairly new to pen turning. Usually go with a coat or two of medium, and then finish of with thin ca for as many coats as you please. Found that a very light touch with your MM seems to be the trick as to not sand through the ca coats. I like to hold the mm pads by the edge and let the flex they give be the only amount of pressure they receive. Still waiting to let one sit a few days before sanding, as it is always so close to finished I have a hard time waiting. I recently switched to using craft foam, to apply ca opposed to paper towels, after reading a post about it here on IAP. Seems to allow much more ca to contact the blank and seems to take a few less coats then before...
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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If you are simply sanding through the finish it will be spotty, some dull areas some shiny. If the whole thing is dull you are either sanding the daylights out it or the BLO is dulling the finish. Try skipping the BLO and see what you get. Also, the finish sanding is best done wet, not dry. You will be happier with the result. Let us know how you over come the problem.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Practice on a scrap piece of wood. I found, when I had this problem, that I was getting a little too crazy with the sanding.

Does this happen before or after you sand?
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Thanks to everyone for the tips. I will try to leave out the BLO and see if that helps at all. Also, I have not been as vigilant as it seems I need to be about sanding with MM. That might be the issue.

The most recent piece that I have had this issue on was a piece of Lacy Red Oak. It looks (this is after a week of use) that the finish is non-existant. But I have another piece of Honey Locust that still has a shine to it; downside to that pen is there is a foggy/hazy look to it (probably from a bad HUT polish). I will definately keep y'all updated to my progress.

Thanks!
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Ok, a couple of quick question before jumping to suggestions.

Is the shine disappearing BEFORE you sand? If so, do you stop with the application before it starts to grab your applicator (paper towel or whatever you use)? Are you applying BLO before or after the CA? Have you been using all the same type of wood and if so, what is it?

I've never been a fan of BLO, but many use it with various levels of success.

Now for the questions to ask if your shine is disappearing AFTER sanding. What grits are you starting and ending with? Wet or dry sanding? Is your sand paper coming off with a white slurry or wood colored sanding dust?

Answer any/all of those and you may get some more targeted answers that fit the issue.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Fisher View Post
Ok, a couple of quick question before jumping to suggestions.

Is the shine disappearing BEFORE you sand? If so, do you stop with the application before it starts to grab your applicator (paper towel or whatever you use)? Are you applying BLO before or after the CA? Have you been using all the same type of wood and if so, what is it?

I've never been a fan of BLO, but many use it with various levels of success.

Now for the questions to ask if your shine is disappearing AFTER sanding. What grits are you starting and ending with? Wet or dry sanding? Is your sand paper coming off with a white slurry or wood colored sanding dust?

Answer any/all of those and you may get some more targeted answers that fit the issue.
To answer the big question -- both, so I will answer all questions. =) It is on different types of woods, so that might be some of my issue also. =/

Generally I stop with the application before it starts to grab my applicator (paper towles). I am applying a later of BLO on the blank, then CA for the first layer, then a dab of CA ontop of BLO (kinda stacked on my applicator) for every subsequent layer. As for my sanding habbits, I have mostly done dry sanding, but have attempted the wet sanding a few times, and haven't noticed a large difference, except on acrylic blanks. And the dust afterwards (when I actually do the MM sanding like I should) is generally white-ish.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Do you have any local penturners that you could get together with? Watch how they do it and in turn they can watch your process and maybe iron out whats going on? I use BLO on some woods and I've found that "less is more" You need very little. Just a very small drop will suffice. Too much BLO can lead to cloudiness.
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