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


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Old 04-02-2012, 05:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I eliminated the BLO from the process and haven't looked back .... Try it without ... then try it with it ... see which way works better for you.

Here is what I do ... Sand with the lathe running with 400/600/1000/1500 grit. After each grit stop the lathe and sand by hand the length of the pen, rotating the headstock by hand as you sand.
After sanding, dust the blank off and apply a little CA accelerator with a paper towel to clean the last bits of dust.
Slow the lathe down some to apply the CA glue. I prefer to drizzle it over the spinning blank, holding the paper towel underneath and making a few QUICK passes back and forth to smooth it out. Start with 2 or 3 coats of THIN. Then continue on with Medium. Occasionally hit it with accelerator, maybe every second or third coat. Keep adding coats ... 3 thin, 6 med. would be a minimum.... 10 -20 coats is much Better!!

Now, if you have a fairly smooth build of of CA you can go right to the MM pads. I use these, and cut them in half, saving one set for when the first wears out...
MicroMesh Soft Touch Variety Pack

(If things are a little rough, try just touching the spinning blank with a sharp Skew using a light touch).
After going through all the pads I follow up with a coat of Novus 2 ... wait for it to dry and then buff while spinning with a soft cloth. Next I polish with Meguiars PlastX ....applying it with a soft cloth at my lathe's highest speed applying a little pressure with the cloth between my fingers. Finally, I will sometimes but not always apply a coat or two of Renaissance Wax buffing it on the lathe with a soft cloth.

Adding this clarification: Initial sanding is done dry unless it is an acrylic or polyresin. Sanding the CA finish with the micro Mesh pads is ALWAYS done WET!

Last edited by Lenny; 04-02-2012 at 05:41 PM. Reason: adding info
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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I had never tried CA finish before I joined this sight. Finishes were what plagued me the most. I would spend days layering on coats of poly - letting them dry - sanding them back in pursuit of that perfect finish.
Then I read through the finish form and got the nerve to try. The game changing tip for me came from Padre: Using play foam as an applicator and eliminating the BLO. First try out of of the chute was probably the best finish I have ever put on a wooden pen. I will never use another finish.
(I am in awe of all of the knowledge shared on this sight...)
Try the play foam - its a game changer

Scott
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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So, overall I wanted to thank everyone! I am going to get some foam and give this another try, that's after I give it a solid try without BLO and WET sanding thru the MM pads. One last question for the group....where should I use the buffing compound and the HUT Plastic Polish? Or should I leave these out completely? And also for wet MM sanding, should I soak the pads or just add water right before I sand?

Last edited by knitewriter; 04-02-2012 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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I just went CA - sanded down with MM and finished with Novus. Couldn't be happier.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYWoodturner View Post
I just went CA - sanded down with MM and finished with Novus. Couldn't be happier.
Which style Novus do you use? And do you just apply with a clean cotton cloth or the papertowel again?
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Lots of good advice here. There is probably a Woodcraft store in your area. They have free demos that could be really helpful. I watched a demo and was still having problems. I went back later for some supplies (kinda pricey) and was talking to one of the clerks about the CA finish. We went to their shop and he turned piece of wood and showed me how he finished with CA. Helped me a lot. I still have a lot to learn but I've come a long way...
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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I use the Novus 2 and a paper towel
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knitewriter View Post
So, overall I wanted to thank everyone! I am going to get some foam and give this another try, that's after I give it a solid try without BLO and WET sanding thru the MM pads. One last question for the group....where should I use the buffing compound and the HUT Plastic Polish?

I use it AFTER applied with a soft rag after the final sanding with MM.

Or should I leave these out completely? And also for wet MM sanding, should I soak the pads or just add water right before I sand?

Some use a bowl of water, Some use a spray bottle. I use the bottle simply cause I hate bugs and other junk in my bowl.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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I recommend using paper towels or something else that will tear away easily.

Do not use cloths or rags on your spinning stuff. The rag can wrap around the spinning bit and pull your finger in with it.

Here is my process
I apply CA to desired thickness depends on if I need to build up to desired thickness to cover up an overturning error or fill a void. Typically I apply 1 or 2 applications of thin followed by 6-8 applications of medium with a shot of accelerator between medium applications. I'm going to try the foam especially if it will save me on CA. Currently using 2-3 drops on a paper towel applicatior per application.

Once I have the thickness correct (measuring here I shoot for about .001 - .005 overbuilt) I start sanding.

I dry sand with 320 just until the surface is flat and the shine has been knocked off. (this is why dry sanding here) If you see shiny strands or lines, then you still have ridges and the surface is not flat. Sometimes I need to back off to 220 if the ridges are too big (too heavy a hand on the application or lots of CA from the build-up.) Don't forget to measure where the components will meet the blank after knocking the ridges off. You may need to add more CA or sand a bit more off to get the thickness right. It's a game of give and take to get the thickness correct, at this point the diameter of the blank should match the mating part.

Once the surface is flat and the right thickness, the remaining job is to progressively remove scratches (polish). I wet sand through 600 stopping between grits to sand along the axis of the pen and wipe off the previous grit. Don't overdo it here, you're just removing scratches not removing material. Some people do this by hand without the lathe running.

Next I use maquire's scratch X 2 (It's what I have on hand for getting scratches out of the car finish and works well) I have also used brasso with good results. I just us a drop or 2 on a paper towel. If I'm going for a satin finish, I'm done.

For a glossier finish, I switch to buffing along the axis of the pen. IMHO and personal preference buffing achieves a superior shine, is much faster, and way cheaper than the MM pads. Buffing wheels and compounds were $3-4 each at sears (I spent less than $25 for three wheels and compound which will last for years) I use a shopsmith so I can mount 2 wheels at once. There are tutorials for making a buffing mandrel similar to the beall triple buff for your lathe as well. There are also some nice tutorial videos at exotic blanks. http://www.exoticblanks.com/index.ph...d=37&Itemid=66 How to #8 - Buffing
Some people only use the tripoli (brown) and white compounds. I added the blue as it is a true polishing compound is less greasy than the red and has no cutting action at all.

How I buff. I made a mandrel like the one in Ed's video to hold the blank against the buffing wheels.

I start with Tripoli (brown compound) on a sewn cotton wheel (stiffer than the flannel and provides some cutting action)
first use a cutting action pushing against the rotation of the wheel (usually the top of the wheel pushing away from you) this gets the last of the visible sanding scratches off of the pen. Makes sure all sides of the pen run against the buff. Don't push hard let the buffing wheel do the work.
Then use a coloring action moving the pen with the rotation of the wheel (the bottom of the wheel again pushing away from you)

Next use White Diamond (white compound) on a loose flannel wheel using a coloring action

Finally use the Blue Plastic compound on a loose flannel wheel using a coloring action.

Uses different wheels for the different compounds, apply compound sparingly, a little goes along way.

Buffing takes maybe 3 minutes including changing over the wheels.

This is how I do it and I like the results I'm getting YMMV.

Last edited by TerryDowning; 04-03-2012 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:51 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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I saw this vidoe and I use this technique and have been very happy with it. It's fast, I can do 20 coats in 5 minutes or less and I finish with Novus 2 and 1 and then Ren wax. One other suggestion, the paper towels get very hot so I keep a bucket of water handy and toss them in the water after I use them.
How I apply my 20 coats of thin CA - pen turning - YouTube
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