For that Gloss look on plastic pens

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flarud

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Joined
Jun 18, 2020
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5
Location
Deltona, FL
Howdy,, I've only been turning pens for a few months now, I have made a couple hundred mostly plastics. I use sandpaper up to 600 then switch to the wet MM up to 12,000 with no other steps prior to assembly. I stop the lathe between each grit and sand horizontally and by the time I get to 12,000 the blanks look amazing... while still wet. When they dry they still look really good but I would like to have that "wet" look when the pen is assembled. I would think that by using a polish of some sort applied by a rag,, that it would be a step backwards from the 12,000 grit piece of MM. I mean what could be finer than 12,000!? I would rather not use CA as a finish,, I'm not even sure if that would be a step backwards as well. So is there a way to achieve that wet look after sanding to 12,000?

Thanks for any help,
Barry
 
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Jehster1

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Nov 11, 2019
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50
Location
Washington DC
I switched from MM to Zona paper (wet) and it jumped up the shine factor but the biggest jump for me was when I started finishing (use after Zona) with the Beall buffing system but I only do the Tripoli and White Diamond as the Carnuba knocked the shine back down for me.
p28 lr ProX Deco.jpg
p38 lr.jpg
Sedona FP Sandra.jpg
 

EricRN

Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
195
Howdy,, I've only been turning pens for a few months now, I have made a couple hundred mostly plastics. I use sandpaper up to 600 then switch to the wet MM up to 12,000 with no other steps prior to assembly. I stop the lathe between each grit and sand horizontally and by the time I get to 12,000 the blanks look amazing... while still wet. When they dry they still look really good but I would like to have that "wet" look when the pen is assembled. I would think that by using a polish of some sort applied by a rag,, that it would be a step backwards from the 12,000 grit piece of MM. I mean what could be finer than 12,000!? I would rather not use CA as a finish,, I'm not even sure if that would be a step backwards as well. So is there a way to achieve that wet look after sanding to 12,000?

Thanks for any help,
Barry
I use Hut’s ultra gloss plastic polish after micro mesh. Three or four coats buffed with a microfiber rag. Then three or four thin coats of microcrystalline wax applied and buffed with a microfiber rag. That seems to leave a pretty good shine to my eye.
 

Greg DeLong

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Long Island, NY
Howdy,, I've only been turning pens for a few months now, I have made a couple hundred mostly plastics. I use sandpaper up to 600 then switch to the wet MM up to 12,000 with no other steps prior to assembly. I stop the lathe between each grit and sand horizontally and by the time I get to 12,000 the blanks look amazing... while still wet. When they dry they still look really good but I would like to have that "wet" look when the pen is assembled. I would think that by using a polish of some sort applied by a rag,, that it would be a step backwards from the 12,000 grit piece of MM. I mean what could be finer than 12,000!? I would rather not use CA as a finish,, I'm not even sure if that would be a step backwards as well. So is there a way to achieve that wet look after sanding to 12,000?

Thanks for any help,
Barry
Howdy,, I've only been turning pens for a few months now, I have made a couple hundred mostly plastics. I use sandpaper up to 600 then switch to the wet MM up to 12,000 with no other steps prior to assembly. I stop the lathe between each grit and sand horizontally and by the time I get to 12,000 the blanks look amazing... while still wet. When they dry they still look really good but I would like to have that "wet" look when the pen is assembled. I would think that by using a polish of some sort applied by a rag,, that it would be a step backwards from the 12,000 grit piece of MM. I mean what could be finer than 12,000!? I would rather not use CA as a finish,, I'm not even sure if that would be a step backwards as well. So is there a way to achieve that wet look after sanding to 12,000?

Thanks for any help,
Barry
I started using a product called magic juice and it is a step polishing compound.there are six polishes and its just apply and wipe till dry. My acrylics look greatin my opinion. i also add renaissance wax as a final bit of protection. Magic Juice is available at Stadium Pen Blanks
 

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TonyL

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Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
7,709
Location
Alpharetta, GA 30004
I think there is some "light reflection science" behind the answer as to why things shine and/or darken when wet. I started to read the explanations but have to start work.

Here's a the millionth and one way to approach it.

I do the sanding thing to 2000 +
Polish with tripoli (I know this step is supposed to be a waste because I have already sanded beyond 600 grit, but I do it any way.)
Polish with white diamond (probably also redundant, but I do it any way).

I then use two finer compounds that Menzerna makes (Caswell also has their own line).

I recently started apply 5 coast of CA to protect the acrylic finish. However, I found that it did improve the shine a little - an unexpected benefit.

I also have to repeat the sanding/buffing process though.

I then added a synthetic wax.

I always state that I have seen beautiful finishes from turners that don't go through half the "trouble" that I do. I tip may cap (pun intended :)) to them. If you find something that really pleases you; I hope you share it. Happy turning.
 

Chasper

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Joined
Mar 22, 2007
Messages
1,956
Location
Indiana
In my experience, if a resin pen doesn't shine like wet before applying a surface wax, It won't shine like wet after a few weeks of usage. If you want the pen to look good after long use, it needs to look that way before adding a surface wax.

Polishing compounds with multiple micro fine grits that will make the surface smoother/slicker will get you there, but a coat of wax over a polished surface will disappear over a short time. I follow up wet micro mesh with buffing on a cotton flannel wheel, something like white diamond for the first buff and Caswell Plastic-Glo P22 for the second buff.
 

More4dan

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Joined
Mar 17, 2016
Messages
1,953
Location
Katy, TX
My sanding routine is basically the same as yours with similar results. I’ve used polishing liquids after the MM wet sanding to good effect, but a few minutes on the buffer with a scratch less rouge gives the best results.


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jttheclockman

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Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
13,910
Location
NJ, USA.
Never did get all googly eyed over super shiny because it does not last. I never start sanding below 600 and usually start at 800 if need be. I go through MM and then follow up with polish 2 products. Have doing this since I started pens because this is what was being tauted at the time and it works well. I am very very happy with my finishes.

https://micro-surface.com/index.php...ss-liquid-abrasive-type-1-cleaner-polish.html

https://micro-surface.com/index.php/products-by-type/micro-finish/micro-finish-polish.html
 

leehljp

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Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,387
Location
Tunica, MS,
I haven't used the flame method yet, and it usually is reserved for translucent acrylic/plastic/resin/ but it does produce a look that is wet. Experience is needed before applying it to a valuable turned blank.

As mentioned above WAX is temporary. it wears off quickly.

CA may not be the best for you in your situation but saying that "it may be a step backward" can bring the defenders out. I can point to numerous pen over the years with wet look done with CA. It is not CA itself but the end user and his or her experience/technique that limits it. The same can be said for the flame method or buffer methods.

That said, sometimes it is the resin or "plastic" as your title notes. Some types are more prone to shine an some are not. Just remember, polish/wax elements will wear off; the long term resulting finish is only as good as the finish up under it.
 

flarud

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Deltona, FL
Thanks to everyone for their input and helpful tips!
JT, I assume that you use the two polishing products while the blank is still on the lathe? What kind of applicator do you apply it with?

Thanks again everybody!
 

ramaroodle

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Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
468
Location
Seattle
Call me lazy but I stopped using micro mesh. I sand the blank to 400 or 600 depending on the material regardless if it's wood or acrylic. Then I apply a few coats of GluBoost, sand to 800 or use .0000 steel wool then polish with EEE paste then polish with Plastix plastic polish. I can't tell a difference between that method and using MM. Plus the GluBoost means that the shine will last.
 

TonyL

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Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
7,709
Location
Alpharetta, GA 30004
I haven't used the flame method yet, and it usually is reserved for translucent acrylic/plastic/resin/ but it does produce a look that is wet. Experience is needed before applying it to a valuable turned blank.

As mentioned above WAX is temporary. it wears off quickly.

CA may not be the best for you in your situation but saying that "it may be a step backward" can bring the defenders out. I can point to numerous pen over the years with wet look done with CA. It is not CA itself but the end user and his or her experience/technique that limits it. The same can be said for the flame method or buffer methods.

That said, sometimes it is the resin or "plastic" as your title notes. Some types are more prone to shine an some are not. Just remember, polish/wax elements will wear off; the long term resulting finish is only as good as the finish up under it.
I tried the "flame polish" method. This is really an overstatement. I basically took a propane torch and heated/somewhat melted the blank.. It wasn't pretty. As I said, I wouldn't say it was a method. It was closer to what I did as young teen with matches (boys like to burn stuff) :)
 

ramaroodle

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
468
Location
Seattle
Call me lazy but I stopped using micro mesh. I sand the blank to 400 or 600 depending on the material regardless if it's wood or acrylic. Then I apply a few coats of GluBoost, sand to 800 or use .0000 steel wool then polish with EEE paste then polish with Plastix plastic polish. I can't tell a difference between that method and using MM. Plus the GluBoost means that the shine will last.
I should also correct the steps I use in this situation. If it's an acrylic blank I will use EEE paste and plastic polish then remove any residue from these with DNA before applying CA so that the bare blank is polished before sealing it in CA then repeat the polishing process again.
 

leehljp

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Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,387
Location
Tunica, MS,
I tried the "flame polish" method. This is really an overstatement. I basically took a propane torch and heated/somewhat melted the blank.. It wasn't pretty. As I said, I wouldn't say it was a method. It was closer to what I did as young teen with matches (boys like to burn stuff) :)
We used to have a thread with a link, OH I found it, the bottom 2 links.




 

jttheclockman

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Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
13,910
Location
NJ, USA.
Thanks to everyone for their input and helpful tips!
JT, I assume that you use the two polishing products while the blank is still on the lathe? What kind of applicator do you apply it with?

Thanks again everybody!
I do use both. Use the blue bottle first and finish with the red polish bottle last. As I said I have been doing this for years and like my results. Working on 4 pens right now. When finished spinning and polishing I will be posting.
 

egnald

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2017
Messages
64
Location
Columbus, Nebraska, USA
Hi All - just adding my 2-cents worth. On plastic blanks and wood blanks finished with thin and medium CA (which is plastic) I used to use a satin and a gloss plastic polish from Stick-Fast following my normal regimen of sanding to 800 using dry sandpaper, followed by wet micromesh. However, on the CA blanks I would occasionally wind up with a microscopic pin hole from a deep grain pore or some kind of microscopic bubble in the CA finish which was essentially undetectable until it got filled with the plastic polish which turned it into a frustrating nasty tiny white spec.

Since then, I follow the same sanding regimen, but skip the plastic polish and buff with the blue rouge (from PSI) on a 6-inch spiral sewn cotton wheel followed by a dry buff on a 6-inch loose flannel wheel on a Rikon Low Speed (1750 RPM) Buffer. I get the same nice and glossy results and no more white dots!

Regards,
Dave (egnald)
 

TonyL

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Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
7,709
Location
Alpharetta, GA 30004
We used to have a thread with a link, OH I found it, the bottom 2 links.




Thanks! I am going to give it a shot. I saw the first two, but not the third.
 
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