Avoiding paper towels

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mkemmet

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I admit, I've been using small pieces of paper towels to apply CA and finish. I've read here that nitrile gloves, finger cots, or small piece of plastic bag are much more effective. Please elaborate.
 
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bsshog40

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Well I know that the nitrile gloves, finger cots, etc... are to keep the CA from sticking to your fingers as the CA soaks thru the blue paper towels.
 

TonyL

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I have found all to have +'s and -'s . Any safe way to apply smooth coats of CA has a good change of a excellent finish with little sanding. I am now using the PT that is typically found in motorized bathroom dispensers. I even bought the dispenser. The "best" was what works best for you. If one is able to control the volume of CA - the craft foam and little pen part bags are likely to waste the least amount of CA because it is not absorbed into the towels.
 

Dehn0045

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Paper towels have a pretty high water content, this water initiates CA polymerization. So a paper towel will both soak up a lot of CA and cause it to react faster. Nitrile, finger cots, wax paper, craft foam do neither. I switched to craft foam after about 150 pens, one of the better changes I've made. I have tried plastic baggies and wax paper, but I didn't like the lack of control I had with these methods.
 

WriteON

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I admit, I've been using small pieces of paper towels to apply CA and finish. I've read here that nitrile gloves, finger cots, or small piece of plastic bag are much more effective. Please elaborate.
Get a feel for it and the CA will go on smoothly and neatly. White paper towels work fine. Never wear gloves, jewelry while using the lathe or any thing that turns. I do not use or like THIN CA. Medium for me. Welcome aboard!!

I don't wear any kind of gloves around turning machinery.
Ditto ditto ditto.


If anyone is uncomfortable using CA try Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil. It has to dry between coats but it hits the spot. Beauty durable finish.
 
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jttheclockman

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It is all just a method and there is no right or wrong way to do things just different. As far as paper towels absorbing more yes but when you put on a glove tip or plastic bag you are not using all that is on the bag either so enough with that nonsense too. I use blue shop towels to put my CA on and do one to 2 wipes back and forth and done. Rip another small piece off for next layer and so on This is my tried and true method that works well for me and has been for whatever time I have been doing pens. I find I get more even application than with those plastic bags. Again my opinion as all other have given their opinions. Find something that works for you and stick with it and you will keep getting more proficient at it. Yes experiment if you chose and that is how you find what works for YOU!!! Happy finishing. :):):)

By the way welcome to the site and this being your first post. Hope you stick around and any questions ask away.
 
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MRDucks2

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I have found, through careful trials and research, that I can screw up a good CA finish with every method mentioned. And get a great finish with each one. I am searching for the consistency I desire, which will most likely come from practice and experience from any one of the methods. None are a magic wand for CA finish.


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mmayo

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I have enjoyed the kool aid of: plastic bags, craft foam and various blue towels. I am somewhat embarrassed to say that the blue towel wins. I buy 16 oz of CA so the amount a towel steals is not a factor. If I have less bad stuff happen with any method - I’m in. I want quality, low sanding, no ruined blanks after lots of time in them and smooth glossy finish.

I’m happy with four coats of thin, quick spray of accelerant, 12 coats of Pen finish CA (thicker than thin and thinner than medium) with quick sprays after each. Wait for curing, sand, buff and press it together. With high end or tough grain I give more coats maybe 20. They are easy, consistent and sell.

Your mileage may vary...
 
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KLJ

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I think I have tried everything mentioned here except the craft foam, and the shop towels has been the best for me. At one time I had some thick white ones that I liked better than the blue but since can't find them anymore its all blue. As for removing what might get on my fingers, 100 grit sandpaper for that.
 
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I get the best finish applying CA to a nitrile gloved finger and applying at 500 rpms. Towels truly are terrible applicators if you look at them objectively. :) I gotta say I chuckled at the no wearing nitrile gloves around a lathe bit... They're skin tight and if by some chance caught they'd just rip. Very different than say wearing work gloves around a router or similar...

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wouldentu2?

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Is this what you mean by Craft Foam: https://tinyurl.com/y79up6vl
Yes, I use the white but any color should work. It comes in different thicknesses. I measured mine and it is .075 thick. I cut it into 7/8" strips. I apply 1 drop for each half of a slimline at 1100 rpm and move it back and forth quickly 7 to 10 times removing it before it gets tacky. I only use thin CA.
 

mkemmet

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Do you find it necessary to wear nitrile gloves when applying or is that a waste? Thanks for the in-depth reply, it is greatly appreciated.
 

Woodchipper

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I have used Tru-Oil on gunstocks and it looks great. Need to be patient to let it dry and lightly sand it between coats. It is basically a treated (?) linseed oil.
 

MRDucks2

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DO NOT use these!
IMG_0957.JPG
They can get stuck, blister, if so endowed wrapped around the blank. Or if like me, you can bruise your chin and catch your cheek on the chuck while your eyelids are fluttering around in the dust collector intake.

Just having some fun


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wouldentu2?

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Do you find it necessary to wear nitrile gloves when applying or is that a waste? Thanks for the in-depth reply, it is greatly appreciated.
I use no gloves and do not get any CA on my hands, the 7/8" wide foam and the 1 or 2 drops eliminates this, another plus of this is there is only a small amount of sanding involved.
 

mmayo

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Do you find it necessary to wear nitrile gloves when applying or is that a waste? Thanks for the in-depth reply, it is greatly appreciated.

The gloves are not a waste to me. The first application of thin CA can get very hot. As for safety on the lathe - there are many more dangerous objects than my gloves. They rip very easily.
 

mkemmet

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wouldentu2?,thanks for the great responses. Just a few more questions. If you're cutting your strips to 7/8" wide, what length are you cutting them to? Can you use both sides of the foam or are you use each piece for one application. For instance, can you use one side for on application and the other for the next? Thanks, Marlen
 

Curly

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Saskatoon SK., Canada.
DO NOT use these!
View attachment 182921
They can get stuck, blister, if so endowed wrapped around the blank. Or if like me, you can bruise your chin and catch your cheek on the chuck while your eyelids are fluttering around in the dust collector intake.

Just having some fun


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Tung oil or Tongue oil? I can never remember.
 

Woodchipper

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If the paper towel gets hot before I use it for additional applications of CA, I drop it in a can of water. I fold the towel so I have four corners to apply CA. By counting the paper towels on the floor, I can tell how many coats I have put on a blank.
 

wouldentu2?

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wouldentu2?,thanks for the great responses. Just a few more questions. If you're cutting your strips to 7/8" wide, what length are you cutting them to? Can you use both sides of the foam or are you use each piece for one application. For instance, can you use one side for on application and the other for the next? Thanks, Marlen
I cut them to about 7" long because it feels comfortable. Many times I use the same exact spot for the whole pen, kind of depends on if there is a stain or dust on it ( some of the red woods are messy on the first coat). I have used all four end surfaces before cutting off about 1 inch from the end. This method never gets hot. Glad to help.
 

kruzzer

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Fort Myers, Fl, USA.
I read somewhere, don't know if it was on this forum but Viva non print paper towels are a good choice. They are suppose to contain a high amount of cellulose (sp). don't know ii its true buy I have used these exclusively and have had good success. I also use a finger out of a plastic glove for soak through.
 

WriteON

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DO NOT use these!
View attachment 182921
They can get stuck, blister, if so endowed wrapped around the blank. Or if like me, you can bruise your chin and catch your cheek on the chuck while your eyelids are fluttering around in the dust collector intake.

Just having some fun


Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app
Tung oil or Tongue oil? I can never remember.
Try Birchwood Casey TRU-OIL. You will not be disappointed. As for tongues...it's that time of year to touch your tongue to a pole in frigid weather.
 
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leehljp

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I am probably one of the ones advocating gloves or foam or the little bags that parts come in way back when. I lived overseas and CA was bought in 1 oz bottles at three to four times the price that was available in the US. And I saw how much was wasted through absorption in PT. I learned how to use CA frugally through use of nitrile gloves or those little bags or a cut up plastic butter tub top.

I did not waste as much that way and I found out that it went on smoother than with paper towel and it caused a much smoother finish than I was getting with PT.

From reading some of the other posts above, I am gathering that others got different results, meaning it is up to the individual if it works well or not.

For me, I saved CA and got better results using the foam, the bag, gloves or the nylon like plastic.
 

Bryguy

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Jun 9, 2013
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New Hampshire
I have found that a drop of BLO on the paper towel makes a significant difference in the ease of application of the thin CA. I always use a plastic bag so that if it gets too hot the I can get my finger away from the towel.Not much worse that hot curing CA stuck on your finger! (been there, done that)
 

Woodchipper

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If you are concerned about paper towel lint, try coffee filters. They are lint free and are dirt cheap. They are used by a multitude of custom fishing rod builders. That is how I learned about them.
 

MRDucks2

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I have found that a drop of BLO on the paper towel makes a significant difference in the ease of application of the thin CA. I always use a plastic bag so that if it gets too hot the I can get my finger away from the towel.Not much worse that hot curing CA stuck on your finger! (been there, done that)


A few years ago I used some of the newer HOT CA on a project for the first time in years, not realizing it was as hot as some of the specialty stuff used in the RC Car world a few decades ago.

It seemed to be doing well, got a little extra on my finger which I absent minded lay wiped on my thin T-Shirt. As I continued working I got this searing burning pain on my belly. Looked down expecting a super fire-ant (lived near Houston at the time) only see the finger wiped t-short spit smoking against my skin.

I began to pul the shirt away, only to find it attached and getting hotter. Moment of truth, I tugged the material and pulled away the patch of skin.

Showed that scar to my grandkids to warn of the dangers of super glue.

Much worse than a finger.


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ramaroodle

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Seattle
I have found, through careful trials and research, that I can screw up a good CA finish with every method mentioned. And get a great finish with each one. I am searching for the consistency I desire, which will most likely come from practice and experience from any one of the methods. None are a magic wand for CA finish.


Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app
+1 Amen!

I just tried switching to craft foam from paper towels to see what all the brouhaha was about. Screwed that up until I learned how to apply it. Now I get the same results with both but they have to be used with a different technique. Can't say one result is any better than the other but I probably do use less than half as much product with the foam but the paper towels seems an easier application.
 
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MRDucks2

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One other key point in my CA trials. Turn a 6-7 inch piece of pine down to barrel size and practice. I have found on a piece that size, I can trial a couple of different methods and compare them, then turn it all off and try again.

I did this initially to learn but have decided to do it again as I go 1-3 months big on wood then 1-3 months bug on resins. I generally fail to get the finish I want on the first couple of wood pens when I go back.

Scrap practice is a lot easier than learning I forgot something, the CA is different, the temp is different or the humidity had changed and things do not work like they did 60 days ago.


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sbwertz

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I do not use or like THIN CA. Medium for me. Welcome aboard!!
Thin CA is great for stabilizing punky spots in a blank. Soak it with Ultra Thin and it will smoke like mad, but then you can turn it. Also for inlay, I put in a little medium, then the fill, then a drop or two of Ultra Thin on top.
 

MDWine

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Some time ago, the BLO trick was touted as the best method.
Obviously, the best method is one where YOU are in control and can produce the finish YOU want!

It all boils down to practice with the method of your choice.
 

vtgaryw

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Milton, VT
My applicator hand (right in my case), I can just use the blue paper towels. The biggest reason I wear gloves (latex, not nitrile) is because the hand I hold and squeeze the bottle with is the one that gets covered in drips from the bottle.

-gary
 

KenB259

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Michigan
It is all just a method and there is no right or wrong way to do things just different. As far as paper towels absorbing more yes but when you put on a glove tip or plastic bag you are not using all that is on the bag either so enough with that nonsense too. I use blue shop towels to put my CA on and do one to 2 wipes back and forth and done. Rip another small piece off for next layer and so on This is my tried and true method that works well for me and has been for whatever time I have been doing pens. I find I get more even application than with those plastic bags. Again my opinion as all other have given their opinions. Find something that works for you and stick with it and you will keep getting more proficient at it. Yes experiment if you chose and that is how you find what works for YOU!!! Happy finishing. :):):)

By the way welcome to the site and this being your first post. Hope you stick around and any questions ask away.


The Method described above is the exact way I do it and I have never had a problem with it, works great for me. I totally agree, whatever works for you is what you should do. If you’re happy with your results, then don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong.


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