Finishing Carbon Fiber Pen?

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Chewy3939

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Mar 6, 2013
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I've just turned a carbon fiber pen blank and I cant polish it to a high gloss finish as I usually do for the life of me. I had some dificulties turning it so i needed to sand it down alot, so i started 150 grit and worked up through 800. I then finished it using a full set of Micro Mesh and then CA Gloss Polish. This is my usual acrylic procedure so i have no clue why it isnt polishing up. I can only get a semi gloss/matte. Any tips? Am I doing anything wrong? Anyone else experienced this?
 
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theidlemind

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Mar 13, 2010
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Berea, Kentucky 40403
Hopefully it was cast in PR and not alumilite?
And OMG, 150 grit? Skew and 400 grit or straight to micro mesh is what I do.
Are you sanding up and down the blank as well as radially?
Was your micro mesh dirty?

Grab a magnifying glass and look very closely for scratches the could be reflecting light and giving a dull finish.
And post up a very, very close up picture.
 

BeSquare

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Dec 3, 2012
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Arlington Heights, IL
Another thing to watch the first time I made a PR blank I actually turned it to far and got just down to the carbon fiber and could never get a good finish on it without building it up with CA a bit like a wood blank.

Won't make that mistake again!
 

Chewy3939

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Mar 6, 2013
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I got the blank from CSUSA so I would hope it was cast in PR. Yeah 150 grit was just to take off material because I was using a roughing gouge at first which I now realize was no where close to the right tool for the job. I only I wet sand CA and acrylic with the micro mesh so I think its pretty clean. i also wipe off excess after each grit, change the water I'm using if it gets dirty at all, and yes I do sand side to side. My prior project to this was an acrylic cigar pen and it turned out great so I don't think that is the issue. I just don't understand how I use the same process, excluding the 150 grit, but I sanded it down flat and even at 400 which is where I usually start, so it shouldn't have made a difference, and get a completely different result. Would plastic polish help even though CA Polish worked great on my last project?
 

BeSquare

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Dec 3, 2012
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Location
Arlington Heights, IL
I got the blank from CSUSA so I would hope it was cast in PR. Yeah 150 grit was just to take off material because I was using a roughing gouge at first which I now realize was no where close to the right tool for the job. I only I wet sand CA and acrylic with the micro mesh so I think its pretty clean. i also wipe off excess after each grit, change the water I'm using if it gets dirty at all, and yes I do sand side to side. My prior project to this was an acrylic cigar pen and it turned out great so I don't think that is the issue. I just don't understand how I use the same process, excluding the 150 grit, but I sanded it down flat and even at 400 which is where I usually start, so it shouldn't have made a difference, and get a completely different result. Would plastic polish help even though CA Polish worked great on my last project?
Actually if you used CA polish that may be why. If its the product I'm thinking of its slightly milky in color? If that is it, Thea product is basically ultra thin CA with a very fine white powder in it. It helps with filling ultra small grain lines in wood and things like that and then needs to be buffed after that. But it's always turned out slightly satin for me. I hope that helps.
 

le_skieur

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Sep 29, 2010
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291
Location
Ca
I usually wet sand from 220 to 800 grit and I finish with Novus 3 and 2. That give me a nice clear shine without any scratches.
 
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