Chamois failed experiment

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qquake

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I get a decent polish on my acrylic blanks, but if you look close, there are always micro scratches. I tried some buffing pads my detailing friend uses, but they weren't any better. So I decided to try lambskin chamois. I figured if it's good enough for a Ferrari, it should be good enough for a pen, right? If anything, it left worse scratches. My regimen is wet sand to 500, then Novus 3, Dr. Kirk's, PlastX, and finally Meguiar's swirl remover. Could speed have anything to do with it? I usually turn and polish at 2000 rpm. Slower? Faster?
 

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TonyL

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I tried all of these and then another 10 or more. Until I was able to turn only very thin, shallow tool marks (heavy radial scratches), I never achieved the level of finish that I was looking for (invisible with a 20x loupe). I saw videos recommending the elimination of low spots by ensuring that material was completely covered with "saw"/acrylic dust before proceeding to the next finer grit. I was doing that, but still was not satisfied. After buying a microscope , I saw that the sanding dust was accumulating in the fine tools marks. This is just my experience. I attend many shows/craft fairs and most pens that I see have fine radial scratches (I never say anything of course). Apparently, it doesn't hurt sales and the turner is quite happy.
 

eharri446

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I have used it, and still do. I can not say that it will improve on what you are already using, because I can not see the really tiny swirl marks that it leaves. I do however, wet sand up to 600 or even 1000 grit then use all of the Micro Mesh grits with water. Then I go to the plastic polish.
 

TonyL

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105 cuts the most, then 205 (I called Meguiars and asked them). I only use it now if I am going to use MM.. But I only use MM when turning M3 and Trustone.
 

qquake

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I tried all of these and then another 10 or more. Until I was able to turn only very thin, shallow tool marks (heavy radial scratches), I never achieved the level of finish that I was looking for (invisible with a 20x loupe). I saw videos recommending the elimination of low spots by ensuring that material was completely covered with "saw"/acrylic dust before proceeding to the next finer grit. I was doing that, but still was not satisfied. After buying a microscope , I saw that the sanding dust was accumulating in the fine tools marks. This is just my experience. I attend many shows/craft fairs and most pens that I see have fine radial scratches (I never say anything of course). Apparently, it doesn't hurt sales and the turner is quite happy.

I can't see the scratches from very far away, but I know they're there. Nobody I've ever made a pen for has mentioned scratches. Or maybe they see them and are just being nice. Must be the OCD in me coming out.
 

TonyL

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I also tried
I can't see the scratches from very far away, but I know they're there. Nobody I've ever made a pen for has mentioned scratches. Or maybe they see them and are just being nice. Must be the OCD in me coming out.
I don't think people/customers re as "fussy" as turners are. No one is paying me any more for my pens because they can't find a scratch with a loupe. It is what I call "finished" (for my tastes). Naturally, after I go through all of that, I take the pen and throw it on my desk or one of my dogs walks around the house with it. Here is Willow holding a carbon fiber cigar pen. I guess she jumped on my desk or it fell on the floor (not a good thing for dogs). My wife scolded me for that.
Willow 9 months Holding Cigar Pen.jpeg
 

nobdyspecial

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After I wet sand up through 12000 MM, I use HUT ultra gloss polishing compound applied with a microfiber cloth, and then buff at high speed with a clean portion of the cloth. I haven't looked at the scratches with a loupe, but the results were far superior to before I started using the cloth (when I applied the HUTs with just a paper towel.) This also had the benefit that I no longer had to mount my buffing wheel, which took too much time to be worth it.

 

qquake

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After I wet sand up through 12000 MM, I use HUT ultra gloss polishing compound applied with a microfiber cloth, and then buff at high speed with a clean portion of the cloth. I haven't looked at the scratches with a loupe, but the results were far superior to before I started using the cloth (when I applied the HUTs with just a paper towel.) This also had the benefit that I no longer had to mount my buffing wheel, which took too much time to be worth it.


I wondered about micro fiber, but was concerned about the fibers.
 

qquake

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I tried it again with microfiber. This time I used Novus 3 and 2, Kirk's, PlastX, and Swirl Remover. I think it's actually better.
 

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GraiDawg

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I am pretty convinced the scratches i see are due to the lighting, i recently added one of those magnifying lights to my set up and with that I dont see the lines that i spend hours redoing my finish. Also stadium blanks magic juice as a final polish works wonders. still undecided on Eddie stones diamond polish but that might just be me.
 

Woodchipper

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I use Hutt for final polish on synthetic materials. Use a square of an old terry towel to apply. I don't use a magnifying glass or loupe as I don't think customers will use one.
 

qquake

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I am pretty convinced the scratches i see are due to the lighting, i recently added one of those magnifying lights to my set up and with that I dont see the lines that i spend hours redoing my finish. Also stadium blanks magic juice as a final polish works wonders. still undecided on Eddie stones diamond polish but that might just be me.

I don't understand how more light would reveal less scratches. I have 4ft and circular fluorescents above my lathe, and a 4ft fluorescent and 4ft LED behind the lathe. They definitely reveal the micro scratches that I'm trying to eliminate.

I had never heard of Magic Juice before. There are six grades of it. Seems like a lot of trouble.
 

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qquake

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I use Hutt for final polish on synthetic materials. Use a square of an old terry towel to apply. I don't use a magnifying glass or loupe as I don't think customers will use one.

I used to use Hut Ultra Gloss polish years ago, but haven't since my friend recommended PlastX.
 

TonyL

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Cute dog! Golden retriever?
Thank you, yes. She is our 5th golden; first female though.

Separately, those scratches are too deep for most polishes to remove. They are like 240 to 320 grit scratches. I would:
start sanding from 240 at 800 to 1000 rpms (don't want to heat-up the acrylic.)
wet sand or dry sand through 2,000 (600, 800, 1000 or 1200, 1500, 2000...HD Lowes has plain old Norton's or 3M)
The run through your MM (1000 rpms wet).
At this point you should not have any visible scratches unless you examine very closely or with a loupe.
Then hit with 105 and 205 or a plastic polish. Get a cheap 10x lighted loupe. I have 3 (LOL).
Make sure your clothes are clean (no trapped dirt). I keep mine in a sealed plastic tub. I use once and discard.

You can get to where you want to go...it will just take a little experimenting. :)
 

TonyL

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I wondered about micro fiber, but was concerned about the fibers.
It is not the cloth. I have plenty of MF clothes. I will send you one if you want. I used to detail cars. MF is fine, but it is plastic...it won't hurt anything. I bet dollars to donuts it is your turning and sanding. You are asking too much from polish. Send me your barrels. I will pay for a SFRB and send back.
 

pshrynk

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I also tried

I don't think people/customers re as "fussy" as turners are. No one is paying me any more for my pens because they can't find a scratch with a loupe. It is what I call "finished" (for my tastes). Naturally, after I go through all of that, I take the pen and throw it on my desk or one of my dogs walks around the house with it. Here is Willow holding a carbon fiber cigar pen. I guess she jumped on my desk or it fell on the floor (not a good thing for dogs). My wife scolded me for that.
View attachment 231732
She's just getting ready for autographs.
 

Chief TomaToe

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Perhaps you have already tried this, but are you performing any sort of final abrasive step laterally on the surface? Meaning, polishing in the perpendicular direction of the radial scratches.

I also MM up to 12,000, but I always have very fine scratches around the blank. To remove these scratches, I take it to the buffing wheel and buff it up and down the blank as opposed to around the blank. After this buffing stage there are no scratches detectable by the naked eye, assuming I did my MM routine well enough.
 

leehljp

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In my opinion, you are not using enough 6000, 8000 and 12000 MM. I do see the scratches that are deep enough which "finish" sanding will not get out, at least in the techniques that you are using.

Something I rarely see related to this is "technique". One should spend more time with each successive use of each MM grit. I would also say that you use too course of a grit to begin with, and each succeeding grit does not take out the original grit's cuts into the finish. I am basing this on looking at the picts in post 18. Couple this thought with the paragraph below:

Another suggestion is to go to TBC. Look at the ends; when you get to the ends, it looks like you are instinctively trying to avoid the bushings, and in doing so, you are not finish sanding the ends to the same extent that you are the middle parts. With TBC in finish sanding, you can spend as much time as you want on the ends and not have to worry about the bushings. Use the bushings in TBC to get close to size, and use a set of calipers for perfect sizing, then take the bushings off for finish.
 

TonyL

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I tried it again with microfiber. This time I used Novus 3 and 2, Kirk's, PlastX, and Swirl Remover. I think it's actually better.
given the scratches are relatively deep, keep using the novus 3 until they are more shallow, them proceed to novus 2. they will eventually come out.
if they, you will have to sand
 

ed4copies

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Part of my "spiel" is to point out you have run out of people to give your pens to, when you see your dog has one in every paw!!

I will amend it, and add your photo for a touch of humor!!

THANK YOU!!!
 

EricRN

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After I wet sand up through 12000 MM, I use HUT ultra gloss polishing compound applied with a microfiber cloth, and then buff at high speed with a clean portion of the cloth. I haven't looked at the scratches with a loupe, but the results were far superior to before I started using the cloth (when I applied the HUTs with just a paper towel.) This also had the benefit that I no longer had to mount my buffing wheel, which took too much time to be worth it.

This is my method. There are always some thin hairline scratches by the time I’m done with MM12000 that I can see with my naked eye. Three or four coats of Huts applied with a microfiber rag and buffed in between at high speed with a clean part of the rag takes those scratches right out. I hit it with three or four thin coats of Renaissance Wax, also applied with microfiber and buffed in between with a clean part of the rag. This leaves it looking like glass to my eye. I don’t put it under a loupe or a magnifying glass, but it sure seems to shine.
 

More4dan

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From MANY hours hand sanding knife blades I've learned the secret to eliminating scratches. You MUST sand in opposite directions between each grit. That doesn't mean turning the lathe to spin in reverse. Sand along the length with every other grit as you go. You also have to remove all scratches left by the previous grit before moving to the next higher one. If you only sand radially, you can't see that you've removed deeper scratches before moving up grits. If the scratches that are opposite to the direction you're sanding don't come out, you have to back up a grit or two and repeat. Nothing is as fruitless as sanding with too fine a grit "hoping" those scratches will eventually come out. It's quicker to just back up a few grits. Same goes with plastic polishes and buffing. Work it in both directions and finish with a "scratch-less" compound for the final finish.
 

nobdyspecial

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From MANY hours hand sanding knife blades I've learned the secret to eliminating scratches. You MUST sand in opposite directions between each grit. That doesn't mean turning the lathe to spin in reverse. Sand along the length with every other grit as you go. You also have to remove all scratches left by the previous grit before moving to the next higher one. If you only sand radially, you can't see that you've removed deeper scratches before moving up grits. If the scratches that are opposite to the direction you're sanding don't come out, you have to back up a grit or two and repeat. Nothing is as fruitless as sanding with too fine a grit "hoping" those scratches will eventually come out. It's quicker to just back up a few grits. Same goes with plastic polishes and buffing. Work it in both directions and finish with a "scratch-less" compound for the final finish.
This was the key for me, when I finally got a really good shine on my pens. Specifically, I'm most diligent at the 600 grit abranet level, as that seems to be the tipping point where elimitating deep scratches has the most impact. After that, I can wet-sand with 1000, 1500, and 2500 automotive and then with 6000 and 12000 micromesh, finishing with HUTs polish. Once i started being thorough at the 600 grit level, the results were amazing.
 

More4dan

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Here are a couple of examples. Sanded dry through 220 and 320 then wet at 500 then wet with MM through 1200-12000 following up with Pink rouge on the buffer.

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I always start sanding lengthwise with the lowest grit, and as said above, most critical has been the 500-600 grit sanding. Also try doing this lengthwise to make sure you get all the turning marks sanded out.

Danny
 
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