Alternatives to CA finish on wood

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EricRN

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May 16, 2019
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i own several of his products. it's an alternative finish, in general.
I’m a fan of Drs as well. You can build up a pretty nice shine and it doesn’t leave the wood feeling plasticky. Won’t satisfy people who are after an ultra smooth high gloss finish with a glasslike shine, but for a lustrous satin finish, drs is as good as they come. I use both drs and ca. Both have their place and appeal to different customers.
 

DrD

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+1 to Tony and Eric. I have been wet sanding my wood blanks with Walnut oil and finishing with several coats of Pens Plus and a final coat or two with Ren Wax.
 
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Wipe on Poly. I use a blue shop towel to apply it, very lightly, and apply like a friction finish. Final coat goes on and then wait 24 hours to apply last coat. I usually do around 4-6 coats. After a full cure I lightly buff it.
 

walshjp17

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As many woodturners know, using sanding sealer followed by an abrasive paste (e.g., Yorkshire Grit, Acks, DIY) and a polishing paste (e.g., Yorkshire Grit Microfine, Acks Polishing Paste, DIY) works really well on bowls, hollow forms, spindles, etc. There is no reason this process can't be used on wood pen blanks. In fact, this is what I do on many of my wood pens. For an extra bit of shine, add several coats of OB Shine Juice (or similar).
 

leehljp

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If one is prepared for the differences, alternatives work well.

Most other finishes other than CA take longer to cure. In general lacquer, followed by some polyurethane will dry to touch in 30 minutes and cure in 24 hours or so. Building up a few layers will take longer. For anyone used to the speedy cure of CA generally has withdrawal pains with the time tables. But It can be worth building up patience. An alternative for speeding up the process is do several pens - which make the 24 hour process more productive while waiting for 4 to 10 to cure instead of just 1.

Waxes work well too, but waxes wear off and need to be replenished on a regular basis. Unsuspecting buyers will love the satin shine and feel of wax, but will be disappointed 3 to 5 days later when the wax wears off. For one accustomed to waxes, it will not be a problem.
 

Pierre---

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Urushi!
Warranted 2000 years, waterproof, swearproof, acidproof, anything between ultra gloss and satin.


IMG_1203.JPG
 

Pierre---

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Japanese lacquer, made from the sap of urushi tree. You apply thin coats and let them dry before polishing - or not.
Check manupropria or Teodor works on this forum.
 

BryanMurphy

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I recently started using gunstock oil. It doesn't seal like a lacquer or a poly, but I have never had any ware issues on any of my guns stocks before.
 

monophoto

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I have looked several times and cannot find Yorkshire Grit.

There are similar products from other suppliers - Ack's Sanding Paste, Dr. Kirk's Trippleee, EEEUltrashine, etc. Or you can make your own - it's basically a blend of beeswax, mineral oil, and an abrasive powder. Some people use diatomaceous earth (from the garden center) as the abrasive, or you can buy abrasive powders from on-line suppliers
What are the alternatives to a CA finish on wood? Mylands? Wood Turners Finish? Hut Crystal Coat? Something else?

I use either a shop-made lacquer-based friction polish (equal parts of lacquer, lacquer thinner, and tung oil), wipe-on polyurethane, or water-based polyurethane (floor finish). Traditional shellac-based friction polishes generally aren't tough enough to withstand continuous handling that pens get.

Generally, I just wipe them on, let the finish cure, buff, and reapply. Polyurethane (either the solvent or water variety) are actually very tough, can build to a fairly thick coat and buff well - they just take longer to apply than CA.
 

FGarbrecht

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Japanese lacquer, made from the sap of urushi tree. You apply thin coats and let them dry before polishing - or not.
Check manupropria or Teodor works on this forum.
You forget to mention the rash 😭. Urushiol (present in urushi lacquer and poison ivy) causes a fantastic itchy rash. I can show you pictures of the rash I got if you want. Urushi isn't easy to get currently, best quality comes directly imported from Japan, and Japan Post is not shipping to the US now due to COVID. It's worth the expense and itchiness (wear gloves) because the incredibly beautiful finish can't be gotten any other way IMHO.

P.S. Pierre forgot to mention that the Satinwood pen in his first post above is finished with multiple layers of transparent urushi which gives a beautiful glow and depth that is unmatched.
 

shastastan

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Wipe on Poly. I use a blue shop towel to apply it, very lightly, and apply like a friction finish. Final coat goes on and then wait 24 hours to apply last coat. I usually do around 4-6 coats. After a full cure I lightly buff it.
A customer posted his favorite finish on PSI. His is 50-50 Deft/lacquer thinner. I gave it a try because I soon learned that the wax finishes wear off. This worked out well for me because I didn't have to wait overnight for drying. I must have got the mix wrong on my last pen because the finish was more like satin than gloss. I decided to try a very light coat of wipe-on poly and let the pen dry overnight. That fixed the problem and now the pen has a nice finish. I do use wipe-on poly to finish bowls and other stuff. I use gloss and apply at least 3 coats over 3 days. The 50-50 mix dries in just a couple of minutes with the lathe speed at 28k rpm. I then hand buff for 2 minutes with the lathe going. Now I'll have to see fi I can to do it with wipe-on poly.
 
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A customer posted his favorite finish on PSI. His is 50-50 Deft/lacquer thinner. I gave it a try because I soon learned that the wax finishes wear off. This worked out well for me because I didn't have to wait overnight for drying. I must have got the mix wrong on my last pen because the finish was more like satin than gloss. I decided to try a very light coat of wipe-on poly and let the pen dry overnight. That fixed the problem and now the pen has a nice finish. I do use wipe-on poly to finish bowls and other stuff. I use gloss and apply at least 3 coats over 3 days. The 50-50 mix dries in just a couple of minutes with the lathe speed at 28k rpm. I then hand buff for 2 minutes with the lathe going. Now I'll have to see fi I can to do it with wipe-on poly.


I think you'll find the WOP finish is easy to work with. I do a three to four coat finish over multiple days, let it get good and dry and then use my Beall system to buff to a very high luster. Go easy on the buffing wheels and don't use too much pressure, you'll cause heat issues. I see your handle is Shastastan. Where in Shasta are you? I've climbed Mt. Shasta a whole bunch of times and reached the summit three times. I was a lot younger then. Last try was 16 years ago. My father in law lives in Redding in an assisted living facility, he's 97 now.
 

mark james

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I have used Wipe On Poly (Regular as well as Spar Urethane) applied with a cotton swatch, under a heat lamp and slow speed spinner; can reapply in about 60 minutes depending on room temp and humidity). I appreciate the slight 'flex' in this finish, especially with segmented blanks with 30, 40, 50+ glue joints. For kitchen tools (measuring spoons, cheese cutters, etc...) the spar Urethane is great.

But more recently I have gotten very pleased with Glu Boost (A CA finish) for pens.
 
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