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Old 09-30-2017, 02:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Y'all can bash the easy finishes that wear off, but in my area West Texas the older crowd prefers both the feel of wood and the look of wood. Years ago for a couple of shows I did an experiment, I had 2 sets of pens on display, one side was CA and the other was a simple as you can get oil finish covered with a friction polish. The people with the money were buying the latter versions. The other, I sold very few of them. Same price, same pen kits, only difference was the look and feel.

I no longer do shows, today it is my hobby, sales are by word of mouth. Since then I have mostly used 3 coats of teak oil, let that cure and finish with a coat of PSI friction polish. I also offered a sheet with instructions to wax occasionally as needed. I carry a mesquite Slimline, as simple as it gets, same finish and after about 5 years it has a nice patina showing use, but a light coat of Kiwi neutral shoe polish once a month has kept any "grunge" to a minimum.

Until a finish can let me feel the wood and doesn't look like a form of plastic, I will continue using my secret formula.
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Interesting to say the least. Sort of like the blondes vs. brunettes debate. Right now, I am using eight coats of thin CA to my wood. I'm turning several pens for a friend who will sell them for me in another city. The SW was something to experiment with. It would be hard to tell a customer in another city how to care for the wood in the future. It would be feasible at a craft show or flea market where you have personal contact with the customer. I made some Christmas ornaments last year and finished them with a wax- The Original Bee's Wax. Turned out good with no change with the wood color.
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Old 09-30-2017, 06:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogcatcher View Post
Y'all can bash the easy finishes that wear off, but in my area West Texas the older crowd prefers both the feel of wood and the look of wood. Years ago for a couple of shows I did an experiment, I had 2 sets of pens on display, one side was CA and the other was a simple as you can get oil finish covered with a friction polish. The people with the money were buying the latter versions.

Until a finish can let me feel the wood and doesn't look like a form of plastic, I will continue using my secret formula.
Dogcatcher,

It wasn't a matter of bashing easy finishes that wear off, it was letting the OP know that after a few days it will wear off. In the past several weeks I have seen this type of post at least three times in which the pen turner was surprised that suddenly the shiny finish wore off. For you, that is good, for them it wasn't expected. Different perspectives and not a diss of you. You know what you want and expect. The prior posts were informing the poster of what to expect and it is not going to be shiny long. That is not a "bash", that is a reality. You are not the first to like the wood only look. That is fine.

As for me, I started with CA finishes, had a rough time and then tried a shell wax type of finish on a purple heart that I gave away, all shiny. The gift was returned to me a few days later with most of the finish wiped off and a disappointed owner.

Some people and some sections of the country prefer one way, and some the other. And most first time users as was probably the case of the OP, didn't seem to be aware of that characteristic.
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Old 10-01-2017, 03:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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No need to get upset , the man asked for an opinion on friction polishes and I gave him mine . It was not an attack on you or your finishing process just my honest opinion from experience . I don't do craft shows so ALL my sales come from word of mouth referrals so even one unhappy customer can mean a big hit in my sales figures .
"Friction polish wares off" , no magic - just chemistry .
In my market , and I would guess many others , a beautiful handcrafted pen should be able to stand up to normal ware . Someone who's spent good money on a pen expects it to look good for more then a couple of months . You can call it patina or whatever you like , a pen that has lost it's shine and has started to absorb the dirt and oils from someones hands looks "Grungy"
When I had my website up I had a comments and suggestions page where people could add comments on their purchases and my products and could ask for features and things they would want on their pens , the one comment I never got was "I want to FEEL THE WOOD" .
People want their pen to last , looking as good as it did on day one . The beauty to us might be the feel of the wood but a non-woodworker could care less , they want it to look good and to keep looking that way .
I've had people complain about the plating wearing off the kit parts which I clearly state that it WILL wear off eventually in several places on the site and on the instruction insert . I stopped selling most kit pens because of it . Highly polished brass and aluminum will shine forever with a little polishing with some "Never-Dull" which I include with every pen , if replacing friction polish was as easy I would still be using it but its not so once the finish is gone so is the beauty .
Bottom line is if CA finish is too hard to master or is a heath risk for you then try one of the other quality finishes like poly (wipe on or dip or sprayed) or even rattle can lacquer , use a LASTING finish if you value your good reputation and don't confuse your likes with that of your customers .
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Old 10-01-2017, 08:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Make sure you give the Shellawax sufficient time to cure after you have applied it. Don't touch the finished surface for minimum of 3 weeks.

I belong to a woodworker's group and many of us use Shellawax because the CA fumes make our eyes water. If you let it cure properly, it does last a bit longer. But yes, it will wear off. The super high shine will leave, and depending on the users' oils and such on their hands, it will either keep a nice dull sheen and look quite smart for years on end (as is the way with some of our pens at the club that receive daily use) or they will develope a patina that may be off-putting to some.

I like the feel of Shellawax and don't mind the durability issue for my personal pens as I like the character of a well used pen, but I would never sell one of mine like that.

Durable finishes are your best option for selling pens. I am going to look into trying the dip method when I can be bothered with the extra effort. I haven't had much luck with CA personally.
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