Doctors Woodshop Friction finish mini review

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IAP Activities Manager
Staff member
Jul 5, 2009
Fort Myers FL
I stumbled across a thread on the forum where one of our members used this product for his pens. I decided to order a cross section of the products and recently had a chance to try the Walnut oil friction polish on a pen.

I sanded the pen blanks from 320 down to 800 grit. Although 400 grit is probably all thats needed I like the extra steps.

You have to shake the bottle and then apply 1 apx. a pea sized drop to a paper towel. I use the blue ones. I did three coats. I apply a drop to the towel and then rub it back and forth until heat builds up in the paper towel and then I do it all over again. The last step was a small coating of the microcrystal wax with the blue paper towel. Then a wipe or two with a soft cloth to buff it.
Now, IT will not replace ca for the deep glass finish possible with a ca finish. It cannot be used to build up thick layers of polish to hide blemishes like ca.

It does how ever produce a high gloss finish. I have tried Poly finishes, ca finishes and Plexiglas finishes. The latter of which I have never produced anything usable. This finish is quicker than Poly finishes and easier. I don't use Poly much anymore because the can of Poly dries up before I have a chance to use most of it and is an expensive waste of Poly. Ca has both its advantages and disadvantages. The walnut oil will make your fingers sticky if you get it on them but it wont glue your fingers together.

If you have an allergic reaction to CA this is a great alternative. Its quick and it has a great finish. I will continue to use and recomend these products in addition to the ca finishes I now use.
A couple of pictures of the pen I used it on.


I also plan to try the walnut oil/carnuba wax/ shellac mixture recomended for pen turners on the web site.
I feel its a very cost effective finish at $12.00 for the 16 oz bottle. As little as you have to use it will last a very long time.

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I read the the same thread and was intrigued. Bought some of the products but haven't used it yet. Some of the early reviews were it produced a more "natural" finish that the reviewer thought was preferable to the plastic look of ca. As I said, I haven't tried it yet but hope to soon. Plan to use it my PITH pen.

Thanks for the evauation.

Less pressure and heat and it probably woud give you softer shine. I let quite a bit of heat build up. It does not discolor or change the color of the wood so depending on the look you want you might have to use BLO to enhance the grain on some woods. The feel is not as plastic as ca but the high gloss finish is slick to the touch.
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I received three samples from my local Woodcraft Store. 1) High build friction polish, 2) Walnut oil & Wax & 3) Walnut oil microcrystal wax. I have used the friction polish and was not happy with it. I applied four coats and polished after each coat. The shine was almost dull! I also used the walnut oil & wax. This is a product I will definitely use again and buy it. I used it on an ash bottomed box with a birds eye maple top & a cherry flower vase. Two coats and a beautiful shine! The thing I liked about it is it highlighted the grain (as does BLO) but did not darken the rest of the wood (as does BLO). Have no tried the walnut oil microcrystal wax as of yet.
... I have used the friction polish and was not happy with it. I applied four coats and polished after each coat. The shine was almost dull!
How did you apply it? Allowing heat to build is key to getting a gloss shine out of these types of products.
Recently I have had some customers ask about a more natural finish. So I seen the earlier thread and decided to order a bottle that was recommended for pens. I hope to get it this week and give it a try. I will post again after I try it.
I know it will not replace the duribility of CA but this will give the customer another chose . I will also explain that it will not hold up like the CA.
I wondered why you used the high build fric. polish when Doctor's Woodshop Walnut Oil/Carnauba Wax & Shellac is recommended for pens. I have been looking over these products and could not decide on which to choose.

Thanks for your input and thoughts on these products.

I just wanted to try it on a pen to see the results for myself I will use the oil/wax product on the next one. In fact i will spin a blank ad do one of each in the different finishes.
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I contacted the owner by email and asked about the two different products etc. Here is his reply.

"The Walnut Finishing Oil (DOC-106) is the recommended sanding lubricant for all projects. It not only makes sanding easier but because it is a polymerizing oil, it will act as a sanding sealer as well as a friction polish in it's own right if your just buff it to let it harden.

For finishing pens, I recommend two products. The High Build Friction Polish (DOC-103) can be used to add many layers, building a depth of finish some penturners desire. It is a good idea to give the surface a few minutes (no more than 5 minutes is needed) to harden between coats. The High Build Friction Polish should be top coated with a paste wax like DOC-102, Walnut Oil Paste Wax, to give a hard Carnauba surface. The Walnut Oil/Carnauba Wax & Shellac Woodturning Finish (DOC-104) combines the Shellac and Wax step into a single finishing step. As with the HBFP, a few minutes between coats is recommended. This product can't be layered as deeply as the HBFP but it gives a harder finish, even with just two or three coats. More than three coats don't add significantly to the durability or appearance of the finish. Both of these products and be restored by a quick buffing or reapplication of the wax top coat as needed.

Walnut Oil and Wax Woodturning Finish (DOC-101) is a food safe bowl finish that produces a durable satin finish and is not recommended for applications where a high luster finish is desired."

I did not long enough between coats as per his recomendation and will try it again. Nor did I use the walnut oil as a sanding sealer and lubricant. I will try that next time.

I use these products and really like the finish that I get with them. Depending on the item I use a different combination and the results are a really nice finish. I have been sanding with walnut oil for a while and then read the thread on here and bought these products and really like the results. It truly provides a very nice finish. The microcrystaline is similar to renaissance Wax with out the strong odor and toxicity.
I got mine fairly quickly earlier this month.
I like it
got the shellac and the sanding oil.
You need to really finish your work before using the shellac but its a quick and beautiful shine with out the smell and mess of CA.
I was doing 3-6 coats of thin CA, micro mesh then several coats of the woodcraft water based finish before wood doctor.
but if your pen is finished really smooth wood doctor just takes three coats to get the same shine.
I've read about this line of finishes and it sounds really good. I figure once I use up a large bottle of Shellawax I've still got after 3 years, I'll give his stuff a try.
I have been using the walnut oil/shellac/wax mixture for some time now and love it.
Where I want a CA finish I have started using the walnut oil in place of BLO and it works just as good.
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