Finishing with Superglue and Boiled Linseed Oil 1

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  • Latex or nitrile gloves for the hand you use to apply the Superglue (CA) to the blank.
  • Thin (preferred) or Medium Superglue.
  • Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO).
  • Paper Towel.
  • Small plastic baggie from your pen kits.  Put a small bit of paper towel in the baggie to give it some bulk.
  • Dust collector, fan or breathing protection.  Do not breathe the CA fumes.  The fumes are damaging to your lungs, and you can develop a sensitivity to the fumes and CA in general.
  • Apply wax to the end of the blank, and to the bushings to prevent gluing them to the blank.  Optionally, you may use cone shaped delrin bushings for CA finishing.  These will fit all tube sizes and the CA will not bond to the delrin.


Your blank should be sanded to at least 2000 grit.  The finish you get on the pen will only be as good as the surface under the finish.  A sanding regime is detailed here.


To get good at this technique practice, practice!, PRACTICE!  Turn a pen blank down until it is just round.  It will much larger than the bushings, but that is OK.  Sand the blank Apply the finish and critique the finish.  Even continuous coverage?  No bumps or grooves?  Apply MicroGloss, Novus, or other plastic polish to the blank.  If you see areas of shine and areas that are dull, the CA didn't coat the blank evenly.  Now use your gouge or skew to remove the finish from half of the blank, sand that area of the blank; vary your technique slightly and apply the finish again.  Better of worse??  Remove the "worse" side and refinish that side.  Repeat this process until you get a good even coat of CA ten times in a row!  If you decide to change something about the technique, change only one thing at a time.


Put a glove on the hand you will use to work the CA.

Roll up the paper towel into a roll about 3/4" across.

First lay a bead of BLO across the paper towel.

With the lathe running low speed (less than 400 RPM), apply the CA to the entire blank with a wiping motion.  Use the baggie to smooth the CA into a thin film.  Immediately move to the BLO soaked spot and rub this into the blank with the same wiping motion.  The blank will initially become dull.  Continue to rub the BLO spot on the blank with a back and forth motion until the blank resumes a shiny appearance (1 to 2 minutes).  CA is not paint and must be worked onto the blank until it is cured.

Move to a new spot on the paper towel, and repeat the process until you have applied 4 to 6 coats of CA to the blank.  

CA may not harden if the temperature is below 60 degrees or so.  Warm the blank with a hair dryer while turning the blank by hand.

Last Step[edit]

Leave the blank to harden for at least an hour before doing anything else to the blank.  Now you must decide whether you want a gloss finish, or a softer satin matte finish.  Most people will prefer a satin matte finish on wood.

For a satin matte finish, use 0000 steel wool to knock down the shine on the pen.

For a gloss finish, use MicroGloss, Novus, or other mild abrasive.   Micromesh will give you an acrylic like shine.