Finishing Stabilized Blanks

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Mark Hulette

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I have tried a few of Bill B's wonderful pen blanks and have been extremely pleased with their quality. However, I've not been pleased with my finishing technique (sand from 100-800 grit then use Behlen's). I don't believe I'm doing these beauties the justice they and the pen recipients deserve.

I've got a special pen project I'm getting ready to start and would like to give it the best finish I possibly can.

Here's the question: How do you finish stabilized blanks to a high gloss?
Thanks for your help!
Mark
 
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kennosborne

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I finish Bill's blanks using the following technique:
[*]Sand with normal sandpaper 180, 240, 320<br />[*]Apply a coat of thin CA glue<br />[*]Resand with 320<br />[*]Sand with Micromesh 1500, 1800, 2400, 3200, 3400, 4000, 6000, 8000, 12000<br />[*]Apply 1-2 coats of Mylands Friction Polish<br />

I know others have many other techniques, but this is the one I like with Bill's stuff <b>to produce a high gloss</b>.
 

Daniel

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At 800 grit you have barely gotten past preparing the wood to start being polished. I use the same steps that Ken listed above only replace the mylands with Crystal Coat.
Nothing wrong with Mylands i just don't have it. when I first started making pens I did not have the Micro Mesh, but I did notice that the blank did not even start taking on any polish until I reached 600 grit. even then I sanded to 1500 grit, the nasty black wet dry stuff. this still didn't begin to touch what Micro mesh does. and it works best with the stabalized woods. I will put a picture of the best finish I have gotten to date in my album and let youknow when it is up. strangly it is not a stabalized piece of wood though.
 

Scott

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I'm with Kenn and Daniel on this issue. I go all the way through the Micro Mesh, then Crystal Coat. Lately I've been doing some with CA finish, which is even glossier.

Scott.
 

Mark Hulette

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Frankfort, KY, USA.
Originally posted by Scott
<br />I'm with Kenn and Daniel on this issue. I go all the way through the Micro Mesh, then Crystal Coat. Lately I've been doing some with CA finish, which is even glossier.

After applying the Crystal Coat, do you apply any wax? Bill B suggested using Reneacance(sp) Wax to really cap it off.(No pun intended[:p]) Comments?
 

Scott

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Hi mark,

Yes, I use Rennaisance Wax, but you have to forgive me, I don't really think of it as part of the finish. I use the Rennaisance Wax after assembling the pen, as a protective coat on the whole pen, metal parts included. It is great stuff! I highly recommend it!

Scott.
 

Daniel

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I'm with Scott on that one. the Rennaisance wax protects the pen from finger prints and what not. the crystal coat or Mylands i would consider the final finish. I selected Crystal coat because of comments I have read that it is specifically for acrylics. and I consider the Stabalized Burl nore of an acrylic than a wood. although neither way to look at it is entirely correct because it is a mix of both.
 

txbob

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Jan 7, 2004
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Fredericksburg, TX, USA.
Hi Mark,
I don't add a finish as such, thinking that the stabilizing material in the blank is finish enough. Like everyone else, I do add a coat of Rennaisance wax.

Two alternatives to Micro Mesh, and I don't claim that they're as good or better, but they both give a nice finish. First an inexpensive approach. Go to WalMart and buy a can of auto rubbing compound and a can of polishing compound. Red and green cans, a couple dollars each. Sand through 400 grit, then with the blank spinning on the lathe put a small dab of rubbing compound on a clean cloth and "sand" the blank with it, moving back and forth quickly. Stop the lathe and do it lengthwise to remove any circles. Repeat with the polishing compound and you're done. Well, add a coat of Rennaisance wax. Inexpensive, materials available locally.

I prefer to use the Beall buffing system with red rouge and white diamond. Buff with red first, then white, wipe down the blank with a clean rag, and apply Rennaisance wax. I use 4" buffs in my drill press, spinning at 3600 rpm, holding the blanks by hand.

If it's 40 below outside and you're snowed in, buff the blanks with a little toothpase. There's lots of ways to get a nice shine.

Keep on turning,
Bob in TX
 
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