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Ric5 01-26-2013 10:38 PM

Slight cracks in ca finish.....
I just started to use CA to finish my pens... when i look close at the finish I see some slight chase cracks below in the finish... I do about 8 to 10 layers. I use accelerator about 10 inches away I put the CA on with a paper towel.
Any suggestions??
I also need suggestions on which companies that you guys use for self centering Drill jig and pen press to purchase. Who has the best prices on these items.

Thanks for the feedback!

Dalecamino 01-26-2013 10:49 PM

It would help if you could post a photo of these cracks. I can't help on the self centering vise.

Tom T 01-26-2013 11:04 PM

Not sure about cracks.
I have a vice from WC and a pen press. It is the press with the big black knob on top. Not the sectioning one. I am happy with both. But they are the only ones I have used.

BURLMAN 01-27-2013 09:17 AM

What kind of accelerator are you using? There was a recent thread here about cracks when using Stick Fast accelerator, which I think was traced back to a change in formula at the manufacturer.

BURLMAN 01-27-2013 09:20 AM

Look at reddwil's post on page three of this forum.

Denis McCarthy 02-01-2013 10:27 AM

Hello Ric

In regards to your topcoat finish cracking, can you tell us what type of wood and its dryness state. If the wood that you used for your turnings was green, or moist, I can see the finish cracking due to this. Also keep in mind that CA, or cyanoacrlate, was not designed to be used as a wood finish. Alot of guys are using it for that however, with mixed results. You may want to look into alternative wood finishing methods. There has been quite a bit of talk regarding its durablity. Some nice pictures would be interesting to see.

Take care

NotURMailman 02-01-2013 10:33 AM

I have this pen press:
Spring Loaded Heavy-Duty Pen Assembly Press V4 at Penn State Industries

No problems with it, had to make a few extra spacers out of particle board, but that's no big deal.

As far as drilling, I would suggest using your lathe.

mikespenturningz 02-02-2013 10:31 AM


Originally Posted by NotURMailman (Post 1497282)
I have this pen press:
Spring Loaded Heavy-Duty Pen Assembly Press V4 at Penn State Industries

No problems with it, had to make a few extra spacers out of particle board, but that's no big deal.

As far as drilling, I would suggest using your lathe.

This is the same press that I use. I love it! I also made some extra spacers... Great press. I use my lathe for drilling and would suggest that you should check into that option for drilling!

wood-of-1kind 02-08-2013 03:08 PM

use "light" application of thin CA applied with a clean "bounty" towel or equivalent. Apply and "stroke" back and forth a few times. I prefer to wait (say 30-60 seconds) before applying another top CA layer. When I reach say, 5 coats, I will go through the MM series and that usually gives a nice shine. Finally top it off with Plast-X Lens cleaner(wax) or equivalent product and buff off.

If my CA build up is a bit rough or shows high ridges, then I sand back with 1000 Grit dry/wet sandpaper and then start over with my CA build up process. This works for me but others will have their own preferred method(s). Try something new and do not be afraid to experiment.:smile:

leehljp 02-08-2013 10:06 PM

Cracks: When there are lots of varibles, trying to isolate a single cause is very hard to do, especially from people outside the shop where it occurred. Picts do help sometimes.

Sometimes causes: Cold as in NY
humidity and cold
green wood, or humidity swings
Accelerant in conjunction with any of the above.

The problem with any of these and accelerant is that 6 or 7 of 10 will have no problem. And those with no problem will assume that it is not the accelerant when it could be - that said because Accelerant CAN cause or be a catalyst for cracks. While accelerant works most of the time, it is a varible that has to be factored in with the others.

For me, I know how to use it and I use it sparingly. Keeping finishes simple cut a lot of variables out, and it also makes the finish more predicitable. The two or three minutes accelerant saves is not worth it over the long run for me. I have made pens on two continents, in hot and humid and cold and dry as well as cold and humid.

Humidity swings will cause some woods to move;

CA inside the tubes and then mounted can cause cracks. Most of the time it will happen when pen parts are pressed together, but sometimes it doesn't happen until a few days after putting the pen together.

There have been a couple of times when people have asked about what seemed to be cracks only to find out that it was the grain and the way it showed through the CA.

If you can, post some picts.

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