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

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:33 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Tunica, MS,
Posts: 6,352
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Some good suggestions already.

First of all, most people do use Paper Towel, so "new to turning" folks do to. I use it about 1/3 of the time but mostly use something equivalent to the foam that now seems to be gaining some popularity. (I use nitrile or rubber gloves).

The reason for "dull" after several coats is several fold.

Reason # 1 is because 80% - 90% of the CA is absorbed in the Paper Towel. NOT nearly as much goes on as one might think.

Reason # 2 is "pressure". Sanding pressure is a hugely relative term. More pressure and just a tad too much will sand off quickly what has been applied.

Reason # 3. IS Sandpaper Grit. Pens are not furniture, yet most people treat it like furniture and use far far too low a grit to begin sanding CA.

Reasons # 4, 5 . . . etc - Bad/Old CA, moisture, BLO and others. 1 in 100 or so (maybe greater or lessor odds) will have a specific problem due to those items that 99% will not, - It does happen.

Similar to Lenny, I rarely use BLO unless I want to emphasize the grain pattern in some cases. BLO is not as necessary as often perceived, and as always, the more complicated and items added in the more chances for something to go wrong.
Hank Lee

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

Last edited by leehljp; 04-07-2012 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:12 PM   #22 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Durham, NC
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Ok, so I finally got out to my shop and gave some of this a try. To start, I still used a bit of BLO before my CA application so I could raise the grain and sand with 600 then go to the CA from there. For application I used some foam (as was recommended) put on 5 coats and then sanded thru MM 12000 grit. After that did a white diamond buff and applied HUT polish as a finale. I realized where I went wrong so many times and that was that here was not as much CA on the pen as I thought, and I also (since I have no accelerant) did not allow the CA to fully cure on a few attempts. Add in some patients and time and here is the pen I turned. (was some wood donated to me by a neighbor. Unsure of the type, but great for practicing my finishing technique)
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:35 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Faith SD
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Looks good. Like any thing else, the more you do the better you will get.
Derek Oliver

Penturning - Its basically taxidermy for trees.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:56 AM   #24 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Durham, NC
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Talking Finally Achieved!

OK, so I have finally seen, done, and understand the greatness that is the CA finish. =) Here is what I did, and what helped me to achieve that glass-like finish.

First things first 0.o I went out and bought some accelerator for the CA glue. It really does make all the difference for me. Trust me, it will be worth the $13 to get it.

So, after initial rounding and shaping, I sand the blanks from 100-600 grit paper. Depending on the type of wood, I may even go finer than 600, but that is the minimum I go to.
After that I lightly coat the blanks with some Boiled Linseed Oil to bring out the grain, then run 600 grit over again. From there I apply a coat of CA to the blank, rubbing a paper towel to evenly spread it. I spray to shots of accelerant on the blank, wait a few seconds, then put a second and third coat using the same method. After the third coat I sand down with more 600 grit paper to ensure the smooth finish. From there I add two more coats of CA(same method as before), followed by another sanding of 600. Once I have the desired number of coats/ shine on the blank, I begin wet sanding with the MM from 1500-12000. Once thru the MM I apply a white wax/ buffing compound and use higher speed to ensure that mirror finish.

Honestly, it was a lot of trial and error. I didn't want to purchase the accelerant, but I am really glad that I did. It has been a long process of trial and error, but I would like to thank all of you for the pointers and tips you offered.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:53 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Rapid City,SD
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This is how I do it.
glass.avi - YouTube
Levi Woodard
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:13 PM   #26 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Maryland
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I've just begun using ca as a finish, but I find the bushings are hard to remove from the tubes.
How have others solved this?


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