CA Clouding?

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xCykax

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I have had this problem on one other pen recently while applying a CA finish. Any ideas what my problem is?


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xCykax

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Jack,that sounds almost like you've sanded through the CA finish. If it was just cloudy CA you wouldn't feel any difference.

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That may be possible. I applied two more layers after I had noticed that spot and it still remained however.
 

Dehn0045

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sanded through. The wood appearance will change in the area that you sanded through even if you just reapply CA - different amount of contaminants/oils, penetration of CA, sanding grit, there are a zillion factors. Some woods/materials it's not noticeable when you reapply, others you can't not see it. One option is to turn away all of the CA and start over on the finish.
 

Dehn0045

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Also, this is one topic that comes up about once a week, so you're not alone. There are some pretty lengthy threads about various factors - search "sanded through CA" in the search bar if you want to dig a little deeper. Not trying to discourage asking questions, just that sometimes you get less details when a topic has been recently covered
 

ramaroodle

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I might disagree with the other responders, but what do I know?

If you applied more CA then that light spot should have blended right in. Secondly, that looks like a patch. If you were sanding on a spinning lathe that spot would go all the way around the blank. You'd be hard-pressed to sand or apply CA on a spinning lathe and leave a patch in the middle of the blank, much less one that doesn't go all the way around even if you tried. That looks more like a chemical got onto the blank to me. It is either on the blank or caused the CA to cloud. If you used micromesh and sanded through the CA then the wet MM might have caused water to get absorbed into the bare spot and caused the clouding. JMHO
 
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mick

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Jack,that sounds almost like you've sanded through the CA finish. If it was just cloudy CA you wouldn't feel any difference.

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Jack, couple of more thoughts. 1. Did you clean the blank off with denatured alcohol after sanding? It could have raised the grain just in that spot. Would have left a high spot. That might be the reason it didn't go all the way around. 2. Did you polish after sanding through the grits? That can cause the coats you put on to fix the problem to not blend in.
The only way to completely solve it would be taking the finish down to the wood and reapply finish.
Just throwing things out here, maybe help solve a problem before next tine.

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egnald

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Greetings from Nebraska.

I have had this happen by sanding through the CA down to the wood in spots. Logic would have us believe that sand-through would go all the way around and not be just in one spot and this is true unless for some reason the blank is turning out of round (wobbling), perhaps due to a bent mandrel?

I also noticed the dark areas on both the upper and lower bodies near the center ring that look kind of like smudges. On light colored woods such as this it can be indicative of sanding across the bushings smudging metal from the bushings onto the wood. When turning light colored wood, I am very cautious about sanding near the bushings and try not to sand on the bushings.

The rest of the finish on your pen looks good though. The Cigar is one of my very favorite kits. I like the size and with both an upper and lower blank it shows off a lot of wood - which is the star of the show.

Regards,
Dave (egnald)
 

jttheclockman

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First of all not enough info is given to answer your question. Everyone is guessing or using the old standby answers. Lets start at the beginning. What type wood is it?? What CA are you using?? Are you using an accelerator and if so is it made for the CA you are using?? Is it a spray can or mist bottle?? Are you using any oils under the CA?? I noticed black marks near the centerband. That is either from sand dust from the bushings or water has turned black spots. I ask these questions because you said you had this appear in other blanks and if so what woods were they?? You say it has a matt feel to it, is this after it was polished?? Did you wet sand with MM?? When did this patch appear first?? Could it be a defect in the wood. ??? Tell us your routine in applying CA and finishing, including amount of coats.

Answer these questions and we can get closer to the correct answer. To me it looks like moisture under the finish.
 

leehljp

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Pure "sand through". I know you are amazed that this happens but unless you use calipers to measure your CA buildup, you cannot know for sure how much CA build up you have. Some people will add 10 coats but have very very thin buildup and sand through.

Also, it is occurring on one side. This is a sign of either one of two things: Using a mandrel with a very slight bend or bushing out of round; So, when you sand it, you are sanding more on one spot than the others. There is more to it than that, but that is the general reason.
 

1080Wayne

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Agree with Hank on this . Being turned turned on a wood lathe does not guarantee the result is truly round . Headstock/tailstock alignment may not be perfect , mandrel may be bent , bushings may not be round , uneven wood hardness , changes in the wood grain - one or all can contribute to less than perfect roundness at a spot on the piece . Tools not razor sharp exacerbate wood hardness and grain problems .

Probably not possible to lay down a perfectly uniform finish thickness on anything not exactly round , so best approach is to build finish thickness a few thou over component diameter , then sand down to that . What matters is that there be finish everywhere , not that it be uniformly thick .
 

Dehn0045

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That may be possible. I applied two more layers after I had noticed that spot and it still remained however.

Is the spot "unchanged" or just "still visible"? In my experience, sand-thru spots will typically become less noticeable after reapplying CA but often don't disappear completely. At a minimum the dullness and slightly rough texture should be gone, this is typical for sand-thru spots that I have encountered. More recently I have been using a skew to prep, I find that when I break through the CA with a skew it is less noticeable after reapplying CA than when I break through with sandpaper.
 

jttheclockman

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Is the spot "unchanged" or just "still visible"? In my experience, sand-thru spots will typically become less noticeable after reapplying CA but often don't disappear completely. At a minimum the dullness and slightly rough texture should be gone, this is typical for sand-thru spots that I have encountered. More recently I have been using a skew to prep, I find that when I break through the CA with a skew it is less noticeable after reapplying CA than when I break through with sandpaper.
Just a little finishing note here that you may or may not know or maybe others are not aware of. When you prep a project for any kind of finishing, you go through a series of sanding grits to get to the grade you finally start adding finish. Weather you stain, start with shellac, or lacquers or even CA. The blank or project now takes on a look and color. Now if you so call sand through a spot and do not strip back down to bare wood again and just try to patch or match the color of original blank, it will be impossible. Why you ask the reason is the grain is now not the same as it was when it was bare wood and the grit of sandpaper you used to complete the sanding job. That section now soaks up finish differently than the original. Now you use a skew to take down the spot is not the same a sanding grit. I hope this explains trying to match the patch with just adding CA will not get close to original color. CA does add a hue to woods even clear woods. Even waterbased finishes will change the color of light colored woods. You will not notice it as much as with oils but it does. As in this case something else is happening and we do not have enough info to diagnose well.
 

Dehn0045

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As in this case something else is happening and we do not have enough info to diagnose well.

So we don't have enough information to diagnose, but you know for sure that it is not due to sanding through?

Also I'm confused because your explanation here seems to suggest that sanding through will result in a spot that cannot be completely resolved by simply reapplying CA (which is what happened here). In the prior post (#15) you suggest that it cannot be due to sanding through because the spot has remained after reapplying CA. Both cannot be true, so maybe I am misinterpreting. I was trying to get more info from xCycax regarding the appearance of the spot before/after reapplying CA as I think this is the next most valuable piece of information. But I'm still convinced that the spot is due to sanding through.

By prepping the blank with a skew prior to CA (no sanding) , and clean the blank dry (no DNA or other liquid), then the risk of a noticeable spot due to breaking through the CA is less. I typically use woods with a lot of color variation, so often times spots that are slightly different color do to this aren't noticeable unless you know exactly where to look. Obviously I try to avoid breaking through the CA, but it does happen from time to time.
 

jttheclockman

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So we don't have enough information to diagnose, but you know for sure that it is not due to sanding through?

Also I'm confused because your explanation here seems to suggest that sanding through will result in a spot that cannot be completely resolved by simply reapplying CA (which is what happened here). In the prior post (#15) you suggest that it cannot be due to sanding through because the spot has remained after reapplying CA. Both cannot be true, so maybe I am misinterpreting. I was trying to get more info from xCycax regarding the appearance of the spot before/after reapplying CA as I think this is the next most valuable piece of information. But I'm still convinced that the spot is due to sanding through.

By prepping the blank with a skew prior to CA (no sanding) , and clean the blank dry (no DNA or other liquid), then the risk of a noticeable spot due to breaking through the CA is less. I typically use woods with a lot of color variation, so often times spots that are slightly different color do to this aren't noticeable unless you know exactly where to look. Obviously I try to avoid breaking through the CA, but it does happen from time to time.
Sam I tried to explain about sanding and adding CA that the color could be different. I have no idea what happened as I said I have not enough info to make any decision on what happened. This just does not look like a sand through. That would have to be a huge bump in the blank to have that happen on one side like that. No blank is going to be out of round like that Can not happen.

The OP just does not tell us when it happened. He said when he applied CA. That means nothing. Not sure how many pens they have done and what experience they have. We would all be guessing that is all I am saying.
 

leehljp

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Just a little finishing note here that you may or may not know or maybe others are not aware of. When you prep a project for any kind of finishing, you go through a series of sanding grits to get to the grade you finally start adding finish. Weather you stain, start with shellac, or lacquers or even CA. The blank or project now takes on a look and color. Now if you so call sand through a spot and do not strip back down to bare wood again and just try to patch or match the color of original blank, it will be impossible. Why you ask the reason is the grain is now not the same as it was when it was bare wood and the grit of sandpaper you used to complete the sanding job. That section now soaks up finish differently than the original. Now you use a skew to take down the spot is not the same a sanding grit. I hope this explains trying to match the patch with just adding CA will not get close to original color. CA does add a hue to woods even clear woods. Even waterbased finishes will change the color of light colored woods. You will not notice it as much as with oils but it does. As in this case something else is happening and we do not have enough info to diagnose well.

John: On the Bold highlighted above, you are 100% correct. I have done it and I guess I have good eyes, and you too, but many people do not notice the slight bit of difference. You, a few others and I DO. It is noticeable!

My "surmise" is that he is not familiar with the amount of, or lack of - CA buildup. This is quite common with those just starting off. Even those experienced with a hundred pens or so and gauge their success on "numbers of coats" don't know how thick or thin the CA layer(s) IS/Are. I know how to add a dozen layers of CA and not have as thick of a buildup on a blank - as I can apply in one layer for my normal method.

4 - 6 - 10 - 12 layers of CA doesn't tell anyone anything. That is purely subjective from one individual to another. And In some cases 12 layers can be sanded through in 2 or 3 seconds. Re-applying over the dull spot will cause the same thing again when he sands it the next time.

One way or another, that is more or less a high spot. John, you noticed metal filings on the end; I went back and looked again and saw that also. He is sanding with the bushings on and maybe even getting some from the chisel. I'm fairly certain that he is using a mandrel and with the plethora of things that can cause it, is causing some kind of out of round (out of concentricity) that is causing the high spot.

Mandrel wobble caused by:
1. pulling the tail stock up too tight.
2. just a smidgen too loose of a tail stock
3. using the wrong type of live center in the tail stock - it needs to be a 60° live center.
4. ever so slightly dull chisel will cause the user to add just bit more pressure to cut/turn to size, causing a wobble, and a high spot
5. applying a tad too much pressure in sanding will force the mandrel to wobble and create a high spot.
6. bent mandrel - does it roll evenly on a smooth surface?

Also involved: some commercial made bushings may be .001 or so off center; Some bushings may have the mandrel hole .001 or .002 too large and cause a wobble.

Cures for the above: Experience and practice, And Turning Between Centers -TBC.

Cures for knowing how much or how little of CA is applied with 1 or 12 coats: Use a good set of calipers.
 

jttheclockman

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Hank sometimes you would like to be just standing there next to them and seeing every move and with experience you can tell right away what went wrong. But looking at one simple photo it is impossible. Just like guessing wood types from a photo of a small 3/4" blank. Too tough to do. If that is a high spot from an OOR blank It would be a first for me. The blank looks like it is square to the components on the cap. OOR would show discrepancies. The bottom blank need to be spun down further to match components better. But as you say calipers are a friend in pen turning for sure.
 
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leehljp

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Hank sometimes you would like to be just standing there next to them and seeing every move and with experience you can tell right away what went wrong. But looking at one simple photo it is impossible. Just like guessing wood types from a photo of a small 3/4" blank. Too tough to do. If that is a high spot from an OOR blank It would be a first for me.

John, I could be wrong but I think I have about a 60% chance of being right with a single spot. I have been there and done that too many times before I started using TBC. BTW. The idea of re-applying CA over a sand through - for me - it really shows up on Bethlehem Olive Wood (BOW). Not so much of a sand through but using a scraper to re-size an end. It shows. I learned that I have to take it ALL off and re-start.
 
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Lucky2

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Jack, I've had this happen a few times, when I first started turning pens. And I was getting pretty discouraged with it, I was going to give up on using CA glue for a finish. But a friend of mine gave me a solution, he paints cars, and told me that it looked like oil from a fingerprint. He gave me a small bottle of prepaint, and he showed me how to use it. I'd never heard of the stuff,nor did I know a thing about it. It is what auto body shops use, to wipe a vehicle down just before painting it. It removes all contaminants, including finger prints which usually can screw up a paint job. I've used prepaint on all of the pens that, I have turned since learning about it. There is caution needed though when using this product, but they are about the same as you would if using paint thinner. This product does evaporates very quickly, so, it takes very little time to use. On some pens, I only use the prepaint before I start the finishing process. Other times, I will use it between every layer of CA glue. Good luck, I hope that you do find a solution to this issue.

Len
 

ramaroodle

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As I said before I think there is something on that blank that doesn't play well with CA. If it's a fingerprint it's not a regular fingerprint but a finger that had something on it.
 

xCykax

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Is the spot "unchanged" or just "still visible"? In my experience, sand-thru spots will typically become less noticeable after reapplying CA but often don't disappear completely. At a minimum the dullness and slightly rough texture should be gone, this is typical for sand-thru spots that I have encountered. More recently I have been using a skew to prep, I find that when I break through the CA with a skew it is less noticeable after reapplying CA than when I break through with sandpaper.

I believe that it happened with a skew. the spot was unchanged.


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xCykax

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Jack, I've had this happen a few times, when I first started turning pens. And I was getting pretty discouraged with it, I was going to give up on using CA glue for a finish. But a friend of mine gave me a solution, he paints cars, and told me that it looked like oil from a fingerprint. He gave me a small bottle of prepaint, and he showed me how to use it. I'd never heard of the stuff,nor did I know a thing about it. It is what auto body shops use, to wipe a vehicle down just before painting it. It removes all contaminants, including finger prints which usually can screw up a paint job. I've used prepaint on all of the pens that, I have turned since learning about it. There is caution needed though when using this product, but they are about the same as you would if using paint thinner. This product does evaporates very quickly, so, it takes very little time to use. On some pens, I only use the prepaint before I start the finishing process. Other times, I will use it between every layer of CA glue. Good luck, I hope that you do find a solution to this issue.

Len
Do you think mineral spirits would work?
 

jttheclockman

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"cryptic" ?🤔
If you can follow this go for it. I will stay out of these things because now we are talking about a skew to polish a blank. Who does that. ?? Now we added mineral spirits to do what??? Take the spot off. Strip the blank down and start again is the best answer I can give. Unless there were PM's going on behind the scenes I can not follow any of this. Just tried to help.
 

Dehn0045

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now we are talking about a skew to polish a blank. Who does that. ??
Nobody said anything about using a skew to polish - maybe I missed that. I personally use a skew immediately after CA application to get a smooth surface prior to polishing. I'm not the only one that does this. If the spot appeared after prepping the blank in this way then it seems pretty likely to me that the spot is due to removing all of the CA in that spot (analogous to sanding through). It's reasonable to me that this is what was being referred to, not very cryptic given the context, IMHO.

Now we added mineral spirits to do what??? Take the spot off.
Given that this was a direct response to @Lucky2 comment about using prepaint to remove oils from the blank prior CA application it seems pretty reasonable that he is asking if mineral spirits can be used in a similar fashion as the prepaint that was referred to by @Lucky2 . Often it gets recommended to use denatured alcohol for that purpose, I haven't seen mineral spirits recommended but I can't say it won't work either. Again, not super cryptic.
 

jttheclockman

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Sam glad you cleared that all up. I hope the OP gets the answers he is looking for as I said I am out of this. I did not follow it and lost interest. Good luck. To me it is cryptic. Never heard of anyone saying they use a skew after they did a CA application to smooth out. That is a first for me. If it works for you and many others there are so many ways to get a finish. If the OP said that is what he does than maybe that is the reason for the spot. I did not see him say that. Sorry. Using mineral spirits contains water so be careful when doing this because it needs to completely dry before the CA application or else more cloudy spots will pop up. DNA will flash over quicker. I am not going to break down every post here that makes me think it is cryptic.

Have to say I would have love to known his procedure to finish pens if he said this happens to other pens blanks too.
 

ramaroodle

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Hmm...Interesting comment about the skew. I use my skew as the final turning tool for a smooth 400 grit like result but never occurred to me to use it after applying CA. What's that all about?🤔
 

Dehn0045

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Hmm...Interesting comment about the skew. I use my skew as the final turning tool for a smooth 400 grit like result but never occurred to me to use it after applying CA. What's that all about?🤔
Rather than using sandpaper as the first step prior to micromesh, I use a skew (as sharp as I can get it) -- got this idea from @leehljp . I don't like dry sanding because I end up using a lot more paper than wet sanding. However, when wet sanding I believe that the slurry tends to remove more material from low spots than from high spots. This is a little counter-intuitive but I believe that the slurry is actually doing a lot of the abrasive action, and there is more slurry in the low spots. Dry sanding this doesn't happen quite as much, but I have still had trouble getting perfectly cylindrical (within 0.001 to 0.002). When you use a skew you don't have this problem, I use a scraping cut with an extremely light touch. Once I remove the last of the low spots I check diameter, leaving no more than 0.001 over fitting diameter for final sanding/polishing. After the skew I'll wet sand and MM (if I still need to remove a little material I start with 1k grit, otherwise I can go right to 3k grit and skip the first few MM pads). Process works for me, it can be time consuming, but I tend to be happy with the result.
 

ramaroodle

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Rather than using sandpaper as the first step prior to micromesh, I use a skew (as sharp as I can get it) -- got this idea from @leehljp . I don't like dry sanding because I end up using a lot more paper than wet sanding. However, when wet sanding I believe that the slurry tends to remove more material from low spots than from high spots. This is a little counter-intuitive but I believe that the slurry is actually doing a lot of the abrasive action, and there is more slurry in the low spots. Dry sanding this doesn't happen quite as much, but I have still had trouble getting perfectly cylindrical (within 0.001 to 0.002). When you use a skew you don't have this problem, I use a scraping cut with an extremely light touch. Once I remove the last of the low spots I check diameter, leaving no more than 0.001 over fitting diameter for final sanding/polishing. After the skew I'll wet sand and MM (if I still need to remove a little material I start with 1k grit, otherwise I can go right to 3k grit and skip the first few MM pads). Process works for me, it can be time consuming, but I tend to be happy with the result.
Thanks for the details. Will give it a try.
 

jttheclockman

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Again I will post this sanding tip here in case someone can use it. When sanding with either dry paper or even wet paper, wrap it around a block of wood. I use a piece about 3" wide and about 8" long. Just because the blanks are not that long. I do this also when doing other types of woodworking but use larger blocks. Now when you sand you apply even pressure on all parts of the blank and any high spots will sand down first before the low spots. When you see the blank entirely dull you know it is properly sanded. As opposed to using your fingers and sanding that way. What happens is your fingers conform to the deformities in the blank and you just keep sanding in the same spots till you have sand through. Try it it works well.

As I said this is the first time I ever heard anyone using a skew to take down a CA finish. But if it works why not. I just do not put enough coats of CA to allow for this and never allow ridges to form. That is an indication of too much CA applied at one time. Light coats and 1 or 2 passes with the paper towel and walk away.
 

ramaroodle

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Yes JT. I too use a solid piece of wood with different grits on each side. I have found that sanding with fingers doesn’t take slight undulations out of the blank as you said.

I also agree with your technique of applying CA and have carried that over to my technique when using GluBoost. I learned it from Tim at Woodnwhimsies videos and it always echos in my head every single time I apply it. “Get on it and get off it”. Simple as that. Then walk away or give it a little spritz if you like accelerator. You build up ridges after more than 2 passes as the glue starts to thicken and dry.

PS. Using a skew on CA doesn’t seem right to me but to each his/her own. If I get through turning without a catch or destroying the blank the stress is over. I’m not putting a metal tool on my smooth turned and sanded blank. (and God forgive if I get a catch). I’m no skilled enough with that tool to do that unless I screwed the finish and am removing the finish. If I sanded through the CA then I will usually just sand/skew it all off and start over.

I’ve stopped using micro mesh almost entirely. If I’ve got a good smooth finish some .0000 steel wool and EEE gives me
the same results before using plastic polish.
 
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ramaroodle

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It might, but I've never tried using it. A gallon of prepaint is around $18. or so, and , I was told it worked the best.

Len
I have found that I have the best results when after sanding I use compressed air to clean it and don’t let any chemical touch the blank and get between the bare wood and the CA. CA seems finicky sometimes and unpredictably reacts with stuff differently and really pisses me off.
 
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