Glossy finish on wood

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ndep

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I am trying to achieve a high gloss finish on a wood pen. My procedure thus far is:

(a) make a little puddle of BLO in a rag
(b) put some medium CA in the puddle
(c) apply to the pen blank at 3600 RPM.
(d) repeat the above steps 5-7 times.

The above gives me a nice satin finish, but not a high gloss finish. What should I do differently?
 
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Joebobber

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Personally i do 2 coats of thin and 2 coats of medium. Then sand it and stop the lathe and cross sand, then micromesh. But when applying the ca you want to go around 800-1000 depending on how comfortable you are applying ca. You don't want to sand it too hard either, ca sands real easy and if you burn through it it will wreck it and you have to take it off and start over otherwise you will get lines. I use Stickfast but glu boost is best.
 

egnald

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Greetings from Nebraska.

There are many different methods, applicators, brands, and regimens that are used to apply CA and get a glossy finish. I started to put a detailed step-by-step to document the regimen that works for me. Although it still needs some refinement and more pictures to show how I make my paper towel applicators, etc., I attached a preliminary copy.

As others have already recommended, I would skip the Boiled Linseed Oil, unless you want to use it specifically to enhance the grain in the wood. I have never used it by itself, but if I were going to try it I would likely make a 50-50 mix of Boiled Linseed Oil and Denatured Alcohol and apply it like I would a friction polish. The heat from friction should help drive the alcohol off and help the oil dry a little faster. Then I would follow up with my standard CA regimen. (Although it may seem dry, Boiled Linseed Oil can take a month or more to fully polymerize).

Regards,
Dave
 

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jecinco

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I use Glueboost thin, apply 3-4 light coats with a blue shop cloth waiting about 30 seconds between coats then a quick spray of the accelerator and repeat this process three time. After the last accelerator i wait about 5 minutes then used to go thru the micromesh sequence from 1500 to 12000 (all dry) then a polish with Novus 2. recently tried the Dr. Kirks scratch free and scratch free polish 1, 2 and 3. Give me a better finish with no scratch marks and a very high gloss in about 1/2 the time of the MM. Just my 2 cents....
 

Joebobber

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I use Glueboost thin, apply 3-4 light coats with a blue shop cloth waiting about 30 seconds between coats then a quick spray of the accelerator and repeat this process three time. After the last accelerator i wait about 5 minutes then used to go thru the micromesh sequence from 1500 to 12000 (all dry) then a polish with Novus 2. recently tried the Dr. Kirks scratch free and scratch free polish 1, 2 and 3. Give me a better finish with no scratch marks and a very high gloss in about 1/2 the time of the MM. Just my 2 cents....
Yeah dr kirks is pretty good stuff!
 

jrista

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I use Dr's Woodshop Pens Plus (kind of like a friction polish, but with the same high grade microcrystalline wax (Cosmolloid 80H) in Renaissance Wax), with a couple base coats of Dr's Woodshop Walnut Oil first, then 2-4 coats of PP (liberal first coat, minimal just to touch up dry/dull spots if they appear). Last few pens, its been the fastest finish I've been able to apply, matter of 5-10 minutes with sufficient friction polishing (high rpm, moderate pressure):

crochet-hook-set-4-jpg.320955


Make sure you don't touch the finish until it is fully dry, which takes a number of hours (I usually leave them overnight, but it usually doesn't take that long.) Touching the finish before its dry will dull it.
 

leehljp

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To get a good glossy finish, you need to have build up of CA/Glu-Boost. Use calipers and measure your finished blank. Then measure the build up of CA/GluBoost. Make it thick enough so that you will not sand it off or sand through. 2 coats or 10 coats, it doesn't matter; what matters is how much you put on and how much is built up.

IF your finish is rough, use a sharp scraper or carbide insert tool and gently touch the spinning blank and smooth the CA/Glu-Boost until it is level from one end to another. Then start with no less than 600SP and work up. If using MicroMesh, start with 3600 and work up. Too course of SP or MM will add deeper scratches that require extra sanding to get out.

You have to have enough CA/Glu-Boost thickness so that you do not sand through when sanding or turning. The rest is using fine SP/MM to bring out the shine.

BLO is "iffy" to some, and not necessary for glossy shine.
 

jrista

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To get a good glossy finish, you need to have build up of CA/Glu-Boost. Use calipers and measure your finished blank. Then measure the build up of CA/GluBoost. Make it thick enough so that you will not sand it off or sand through. 2 coats or 10 coats, it doesn't matter; what matters is how much you put on and how much is built up.

IF your finish is rough, use a sharp scraper or carbide insert tool and gently touch the spinning blank and smooth the CA/Glu-Boost until it is level from one end to another. Then start with no less than 600SP and work up. If using MicroMesh, start with 3600 and work up. Too course of SP or MM will add deeper scratches that require extra sanding to get out.

You have to have enough CA/Glu-Boost thickness so that you do not sand through when sanding or turning. The rest is using fine SP/MM to bring out the shine.

BLO is "iffy" to some, and not necessary for glossy shine.
I'm surprised BLO and CA work together at all... I would have figured the BLO would increase the risk of CA separating from the blank?

Given that CA is basically acrylic, in the end you should be able to finish it to a glassy shine like any other acrylic blank, which has only ever required some wet sanding and buffing and/or polishing for me. All my acrylic pens have a super glossy, glass-like shine to them.
 

leehljp

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I'm surprised BLO and CA work together at all... I would have figured the BLO would increase the risk of CA separating from the blank?

Given that CA is basically acrylic, in the end you should be able to finish it to a glassy shine like any other acrylic blank, which has only ever required some wet sanding and buffing and/or polishing for me. All my acrylic pens have a super glossy, glass-like shine to them.
BLO was often used as a finish by itself way before CA (I think). When CA came on, there were opinions and ideas about its use and what it did. I used it on occasion way by when for amber colored woods to bring out the grain, but did not find it helping in the CA department. However, once something is learned by most people, it is hard to dispel the notion. BLO has been around in the finishing department with CA for as long as this forum has been going on.

I have often said/quoted an old truth: "People will continue to believe the first thing they heard about something even when later confronted with evidence to the contrary."

BTW, BLO does hinder CA's adhesion when used on oily woods.
 

jrista

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BLO was often used as a finish by itself way before CA (I think). When CA came on, there were opinions and ideas about its use and what it did. I used it on occasion way by when for amber colored woods to bring out the grain, but did not find it helping in the CA department. However, once something is learned by most people, it is hard to dispel the notion. BLO has been around in the finishing department with CA for as long as this forum has been going on.

I have often said/quoted an old truth: "People will continue to believe the first thing they heard about something even when later confronted with evidence to the contrary."

BTW, BLO does hinder CA's adhesion when used on oily woods.
Oh yeah, Linseed Oil has been in use as a finish since the dawn of time. BLO has been around ever since we figured out how to use heavy metals to dry oils, I guess. I know its one of the staple finishes (personally, I don't like how it yellows wood, but...linseed oil in some form or another is the basis for most of the popular finishes, including Danish oil, Tried and Tru, and many more; I guess Tung oil is the other popular finishing oil), but it IS an oil...and being an oil, I can't imagine it helps CA bond to the wood.
 

leehljp

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Oh yeah, Linseed Oil has been in use as a finish since the dawn of time. BLO has been around ever since we figured out how to use heavy metals to dry oils, I guess. I know its one of the staple finishes (personally, I don't like how it yellows wood, but...linseed oil in some form or another is the basis for most of the popular finishes, including Danish oil, Tried and Tru, and many more; I guess Tung oil is the other popular finishing oil), but it IS an oil...and being an oil, I can't imagine it helps CA bond to the wood.
Sorry, I was referring to BLO specifically in connection to a pen making finish (mostly in conjunction with CA), which was in the original post. BLO has been tied to pen finishes by quite a few since I have been here.
 

jrista

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Sorry, I was referring to BLO specifically in connection to a pen making finish (mostly in conjunction with CA), which was in the original post. BLO has been tied to pen finishes by quite a few since I have been here.
Ah, I see. How exactly does that work? In my experience, any time I've ever mixed anything with CA, it instantly cures. How in the world has anyone mixed CA and BLO in the first place? Special glues?
 

leehljp

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Ah, I see. How exactly does that work? In my experience, any time I've ever mixed anything with CA, it instantly cures. How in the world has anyone mixed CA and BLO in the first place? Special glues?
It is not a matter of how it is done, it is a matter of the history that it has been done since I have been here. I personally don't do that, preferring straight CA/GluBoost. But it has been done by different ones since I have been on this forum since 2005. And the OP did too. It is / has been understood by some groups - that is the way to do it.

When you quoted me above, your question seemed directed to me as to why I would do that. Please note: I do not do that, nor did I personally suggest it in my posts. But some people do. I learned long ago, not to question someone else's preferences if it worked for them consistently. That is what makes the world go round! šŸ˜Š
 

jrista

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This is an interesting explanation:


Still doesn't quite explain HOW to properly combine BLO and CA. I've watched a half dozen or so videos now...some put BLO on the wood first, then CA. Some put CA on first, then BLO. Some seem to alternate CA and BLO layers. Some seem to mix the BLO and CA together directly, then apply "really really fast".

It seems as though the BLO causes the CA to cure faster, but slower at the same time... One explanation I found that was interesting was that to combine BLO and CA, you need to use the slowest curing CA you can get your hands on:


This explanation, I'm not entirely sure I understand... I can't quite tell if he is putting all of his layers of CA on, then BLO? And somehow the BLO is making its way through to the wood? Or is he putting a coat of CA on, followed immediately, before the CA cures, with BLO?

In any case, it seems like the BLO DOES help accelerate the curing of the CA...which I suspected. I hadn't considered the need to use the slowest curing CA you could find to make the combination viable, though...

I suspect the guy's answer from the second link here, is correct...that if you put BLO on first, before the CA, you are compromising the bonding of the CA to the wood. It makes sense that if you DO put BLO on first, it would HAVE to be cured before you put on the CA. I am not sure how it works if you mix the CA and BLO together first, or immediately follow a "wet" coat of CA with BLO and polish it in... If the first link is accurate, then it sounds like the BLO and CA actually do cross-link with each other...which is rather interesting.
 

jrista

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Another interesting post, from the same guy who wrote the response in the first link above:


So, BLO and CA crosslink together to create a new type of finish, a co-polymer of linseed oil triglicerides and CA molecules. At least...that seems to be the assumption. I guess no one has actually studied it really...
 

jttheclockman

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Jon not to be negative Charlie here but you are mixing so many finishes within this thread and is not fair to the OP. What you do and what others do is their preference and it has worked for you so stick with it. Now Boiled linseed oil is different than linseed oil and also polymerized linseed oils so do not mix finishes when you say have been around for so long. Not true. People tend to use BLO for different reasons and weather it crosslinks or not I am not a scientist.. What some people do is use it to pop grain and give some warm color to woods. CA is clear and will tint the wood very very little if at all. Then there are those that use BLO to enhance the drying time of the CA so they mix the 2 and with heat from friction the coats will dry faster. At the same time it also popped the grain. Yes I would not use on oily woods because the whole idea for a top coat finish is to not have a film of oil under the finish when applying. To me it is a waste of time using. But again there are so many finish techniques not only with CA but with all kinds of top coats.

To OP lose the BLO and practice using CA. There are a ton of threads here and also utube videos how people apply CA as a finish and if you want also how to apply CA and blo.
 

jrista

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Jon not to be negative Charlie here but you are mixing so many finishes within this thread and is not fair to the OP. What you do and what others do is their preference and it has worked for you so stick with it. Now Boiled linseed oil is different than linseed oil and also polymerized linseed oils so do not mix finishes when you say have been around for so long. Not true. People tend to use BLO for different reasons and weather it crosslinks or not I am not a scientist.. What some people do is use it to pop grain and give some warm color to woods. CA is clear and will tint the wood very very little if at all. Then there are those that use BLO to enhance the drying time of the CA so they mix the 2 and with heat from friction the coats will dry faster. At the same time it also popped the grain. Yes I would not use on oily woods because the whole idea for a top coat finish is to not have a film of oil under the finish when applying. To me it is a waste of time using. But again there are so many finish techniques not only with CA but with all kinds of top coats.

To OP lose the BLO and practice using CA. There are a ton of threads here and also utube videos how people apply CA as a finish and if you want also how to apply CA and blo.
I am trying to figure out why people use BLO and CA. I approach things from a scientific basis as much as I can myself. I think a lot of the time, over time, people lose the original reasons why something is done. I think that is the case with BLO+CA...I think there are a lot of ways that people apply it, and I've read a ton of posts on this now, and a LOT of people stopped bothering with BLO in their CA finishes because they had problems.

Based on what I've read, I believe, if you go back far enough in time, that there was a very SPECIFIC reason why people combined BLO and CA, and a specific WAY it was applied to achieve a viable result. That goes back to, 2005, 2006...so we are talking 16-17 years ago, and maybe farther back than that. I think the underlying scientific reasons why some very smart individuals started using BLO and CA together as a finish have largely been lost in the modern day pen turning community, and I think that has lead to the wide range of ways people use the two together. In my poking around, few people can actually explain why they use BLO and CA together...they just do, and everyone seems to have their own approach. Thankfully, the IAP forums keep all their posts around, and I can dig into content from well over a decade and a half ago to see what people were doing then...and some of them have very explicit reasons why they combined the two. Since the OP was asking why his results were satin rather than glossy, I've been sharing some of the information I've been finding.

There was only one post where I mentioned many finishes, the rest since then has been about BLO+CA, in the topic of the OP.
 

jrista

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FWIW, THE reason why, as far back as 2002 at least (as far as I can tell: http://web.archive.org/web/20020810044317/http://www.michaeldresdner.com/dres10.shtml), people combined CA and BLO for two key purposes:

1) The BLO DOES cause the CA glue to set faster (as is much the case with anything you blend into CA glue, which is why I was confused earlier in the thread!) Go back a literal 20 years to 2002 (which based on some things I've found, was close to the dawn of people using CA as a pen finish), and BLO was a great "accelerator" for CA glue! Because BLO acts like an accelerator, those who seem to truly understand the BLO+CA finishes usually recommend using a very slow setting CA glue, to give yourself time to properly apply the finish. One of the more informed approaches I came across was this:


2) The BLO and CA seem to cross-polymerize with each other, the fatty acid molecules of the linseed oil combining with the synthetic molecules of the CA to create an entirely different kind of finish, one that (according to the people who really seemed to know what they were talking about and doing) was more flexible than CA but just as durable, and highly glossy.

Many of the resources I've come across proclaim that because we now have "proper" CA accelerator spritz or sprays, we no longer need BLO, because the only reason it was used was as an accelerator for the CA. IMO that is only half correct, as the other reason people used BLO was because it created the copolymer finish that was highly glossy, and more flexible than CA, making it a bit more resilient.

To the original poster:

One of the things I've found to be consistent among those who get a very high gloss finish with BLO+CA, is they sand their blanks to the point where they are already shiny before applying the finish. In the link above, he micro-mesh sands his wood to 12000 grit before ever applying any CA or BLO. I have found the same fundamental to be true in my own explorations of finishes...when the wood shins on its own, then the subsequent finish is more likely to support a highly glossy result. If I stop sanding at 400 or 600 grit, then it is often a lot harder to get a super shiny result.

There are also two ways I've heard of the BLO+CA finish being applied to high gloss results. Either with a dollop of BLO in a paper towel, followed by a dollop of CA, which is then immediately and quickly applied to the spinning blank...or with two separate rags or paper towels, one with CA, one with BLO. The CA is applied first, quickly followed by the BLO, with both being applied simultaneously, with the BLO coating the CA and reacting with it to create that copolymer. In either case, the CA is the first to touch the blank, but the BLO follows very quickly and as far as I can gather, is blended into the CA while the finish is being applied. The BLO accelerates the CA. The result of each coat should be a smooth, shiny finish.
 

jttheclockman

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I am trying to figure out why people use BLO and CA. I approach things from a scientific basis as much as I can myself. I think a lot of the time, over time, people lose the original reasons why something is done. I think that is the case with BLO+CA...I think there are a lot of ways that people apply it, and I've read a ton of posts on this now, and a LOT of people stopped bothering with BLO in their CA finishes because they had problems.

Based on what I've read, I believe, if you go back far enough in time, that there was a very SPECIFIC reason why people combined BLO and CA, and a specific WAY it was applied to achieve a viable result. That goes back to, 2005, 2006...so we are talking 16-17 years ago, and maybe farther back than that. I think the underlying scientific reasons why some very smart individuals started using BLO and CA together as a finish have largely been lost in the modern day pen turning community, and I think that has lead to the wide range of ways people use the two together. In my poking around, few people can actually explain why they use BLO and CA together...they just do, and everyone seems to have their own approach. Thankfully, the IAP forums keep all their posts around, and I can dig into content from well over a decade and a half ago to see what people were doing then...and some of them have very explicit reasons why they combined the two. Since the OP was asking why his results were satin rather than glossy, I've been sharing some of the information I've been finding.

There was only one post where I mentioned many finishes, the rest since then has been about BLO+CA, in the topic of the OP.
Well if you look back that far you will see so many different ways just ordinary CA was applied. Then there was the push for flex CA , then the push for UV finishes, and now the glubost thing happening. Within all these materials used is methods and how they are applied and it is just a matter of choice and there is no right or wrong way. The use of different CA's may have an effect with the use of blo because not all CA is the same. Such a difficult thing to zero in on. Just goes to show we have been here a long time talking pens and hope this continues and new ideas keep coming on board.
 

jrista

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Well if you look back that far you will see so many different ways just ordinary CA was applied. Then there was the push for flex CA , then the push for UV finishes, and now the glubost thing happening. Within all these materials used is methods and how they are applied and it is just a matter of choice and there is no right or wrong way. The use of different CA's may have an effect with the use of blo because not all CA is the same. Such a difficult thing to zero in on. Just goes to show we have been here a long time talking pens and hope this continues and new ideas keep coming on board.
I am not saying there are wrong ways. However, I do believe some individuals in the past had very, very specific reasons for combining BLO and CA, reasons that I think were lost to the modern pen turning community. I agree with you that different CA formulations may agree better or worse with BLO though... Several of the videos I watched earlier seemed to use either TiteBond or Hot Stuff CA glues with BLO (and not arbitrarily, but because they worked better!), one used Mercury Flex.
 

jttheclockman

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Regardless of the way the CA is applied isn't the gloss the result of the polishing?
Has alot to do with it. But certain CA and finishes just do not produce a great shine as opposed to others. Tough to compare shines due to finish, way it was polished and materials used to polish. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
 

jrista

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Regardless of the way the CA is applied isn't the gloss the result of the polishing?
For a pure CA finish, yes.

Based on what I found last night, BLO+CA, done right, should be very shiny right out of the gate. The BLO, while copolymerizing with the CA, also helps it flow better, and it is supposed to provide a much smoother surface right off the applicator as well. Some sand it between coats, others do not, but in the end, after the final sanding, most buff, and most who seem to know what they were doing with BLO+CA always said it produced a shinier finish than CA alone.
 

farmer

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Glass like Finishes .
You guys should set some kind of parameters or expectations that a finish needs to meet.


First is the thumb nail test .
Jam your thumbnail into the finish hard then see if your thumb nail leaves a dent then wait a few seconds and see if the dent is still there .
If it is then whatever nice and polished finish you did will be prone to getting scratches and the finish will dull after time.

Second is the finish brittle, do a finish on a test piece wood then drop the wood on the concrete or hit with the edge of a piece of steel.
What you want is a finish that does dent but doesn't shatter or chip .

Third is Color of the finish ,,, IS it clear ,turns yellow , blue or what ever other colors ?
How long does the finish last ?

Quality of the finish ,, Do you like it, how does your finish stack up to other turners.

Time and money
How much time are you willing to take on the finish.
How much money are you willing to spend setting up part of your shop just to do a finish ?

How many pens do you have to make per day or week or month to make a profit ?

Then there is safety, allot of finishes are toxic.

Personally I don't use CA for a finish anymore .. but when I did i had my lathe rotating about 100 rpm's
I think there is allot better finishes then CA or friction polishes for wood projects .
I don't use Acrylic or casts or stabilized woods .
I only do wood or bone/antler.

Good luck
 

jrista

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First is the thumb nail test .
Jam your thumbnail into the finish hard then see if your thumb nail leaves a dent then wait a few seconds and see if the dent is still there .
If it is then whatever nice and polished finish you did will be prone to getting scratches and the finish will dull after time.

I think this is a bit of a flawed test. Acrylic is very hard, can't be dented by your fingernail, but will definitely scratch over time. CA is the same stuff in the end, basically, and will definitely scratch over time.

One of the reasons I like Pens Plus is I've had a keychain for about a year, now, or maybe 10-11 months, sits in my pocket with keys constantly. Its got some dents, and a couple of scuffs, but overall it is STILL quite shiny and new looking for the most part.

There are different kinds of scratches. Plastics/resins scratch in certain ways...after a while, that scratching can look horrible. Pens Plus will dent, and maybe get some light scuffs in certain areas, but in my experience it doesn't scratch the same as plastics or resins, which can look very unsightly after a while. Pens Plus is also repairable very easily, but so far in my experience, it seems to hold up quite well over time. I've had a pen for about 8 or 9 months finished in Pens Plus that has no scuffs, scratches, dents or anything else, despite near daily use.

There are different aesthetics to scrataches. Plastics and resins IME scratch "poorly" and over time the quality of the finish degrades in a rather unsightly manner. A pure friction polish (i.e. shellac and oil based) will react with sweat and degrade, dull, and lose the shine that makes it nice. Pens Plus, thanks to the microcrystalline wax, wears quite differently than your average friction polish.

The one finish I haven't really tried yet is poly. While poly would most likely introduce a yellow color cast to the wood, I think it would be another strong contender for a durable finish that wouldn't scratch in an unsightly manner like CA or resins.
 

jttheclockman

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The one finish I haven't really tried yet is poly. While poly would most likely introduce a yellow color cast to the wood, I think it would be another strong contender for a durable finish that wouldn't scratch in an unsightly manner like CA or resins.

Use waterbase poly. It is clear then. You can also use waterbased lacquer. Many finishes on the market today but again they all will scratch including Pen Plus so please do not say it does not scratch because you have it in your pocket. Try not to mislead people in the finish catagory. These questions get asked many times and there is no perfect finish.

The Op started out wanting to improve the shine. This was the goal. Not sure if they are even reading this any more.
 

farmer

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I think this is a bit of a flawed test. Acrylic is very hard, can't be dented by your fingernail, but will definitely scratch over time. CA is the same stuff in the end, basically, and will definitely scratch over time.

One of the reasons I like Pens Plus is I've had a keychain for about a year, now, or maybe 10-11 months, sits in my pocket with keys constantly. Its got some dents, and a couple of scuffs, but overall it is STILL quite shiny and new looking for the most part.

There are different kinds of scratches. Plastics/resins scratch in certain ways...after a while, that scratching can look horrible. Pens Plus will dent, and maybe get some light scuffs in certain areas, but in my experience it doesn't scratch the same as plastics or resins, which can look very unsightly after a while. Pens Plus is also repairable very easily, but so far in my experience, it seems to hold up quite well over time. I've had a pen for about 8 or 9 months finished in Pens Plus that has no scuffs, scratches, dents or anything else, despite near daily use.

There are different aesthetics to scrataches. Plastics and resins IME scratch "poorly" and over time the quality of the finish degrades in a rather unsightly manner. A pure friction polish (i.e. shellac and oil based) will react with sweat and degrade, dull, and lose the shine that makes it nice. Pens Plus, thanks to the microcrystalline wax, wears quite differently than your average friction polish.

The one finish I haven't really tried yet is poly. While poly would most likely introduce a yellow color cast to the wood, I think it would be another strong contender for a durable finish that wouldn't scratch in an unsightly manner like CA or resins.

Hi
My reply was on only wooden products as what the OP said .
I didn't know this was getting changed to plastics or resin casts finishes or I would not of replied .
I don't do plastic's or casts projects , strictly wood .
The thumb nail test of clear glass like finishes on Pool cues was the first thing I was taught when I apprenticed in a custom cue makers shop .
I thought I would pass that knowledge on to who ever thought it might be useful
Sorry you feel this test is some what flawed .
But I don't see anyone else offering any other ways to actually evaluate a glass like finish besides what I posted .

In the end I am only interested in the best glass like finish on my work .
I am glade that Pen plus works for you .



Have a great day
 

mark james

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The one finish I haven't really tried yet is poly. While poly would most likely introduce a yellow color cast to the wood, I think it would be another strong contender for a durable finish that wouldn't scratch in an unsightly manner like CA or resins.
I use WOP, Oil based for most of my segmented pens. I like the slight extra flexibility vs Glu Boost (CA), which I use for non-segmented blanks.

I apply thin coats with a cotton rag section, then place the blank(s) on a slow speed rotating mandrel, under a light bulb for a bit of heat. I can usually reapply in 1 hr. I then let set overnight, lightly sand and repeat. I will be doing several projects at the same time, so while I may take 24 hrs fo 3-4 coats, I have other things to do. This not a quick process, but has worked for me.
 

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jrista

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Hi
My reply was on only wooden products as what the OP said .
I didn't know this was getting changed to plastics or resin casts finishes or I would not of replied .
I don't do plastic's or casts projects , strictly wood .
The thumb nail test of clear glass like finishes on Pool cues was the first thing I was taught when I apprenticed in a custom cue makers shop .
I thought I would pass that knowledge on to who ever thought it might be useful
Sorry you feel this test is some what flawed .
But I don't see anyone else offering any other ways to actually evaluate a glass like finish besides what I posted .

In the end I am only interested in the best glass like finish on my work .
I am glade that Pen plus works for you .



Have a great day
You seem to misunderstand. I was countering your statement that if you could leave a dent from your thumb in your finish, it was not hard, and therefor prone to scratches. The only truly hard finish for WOOD pens is CA, which scratches easily enough and hardly different from a pure acrylic blank.

CA is a plastic, acrylic basically. Therefor, it scratches the same as an acrylic blank. CA is used on wood, to the net effect of giving you a plastic finish, that looks and scratches like plastic. Personally, this is the second main reason why I avoid using CA on wood...because in the end, it turns my beautiful wood, into plastic!

Technically speaking poly and pens plus are resin finishes as well (well, the shellac at least in pens plus), but they give you a distinctly different and much more wood-like characteristic than CA. Distinctly NON plastic looking. I can't yet speak to oil based poly, but with Pens Plus, I don't get anything remotely like the scratches that CA on wood can get, and with my experience using wipe on poly on other wood items, I don't foresee it scratching the same as CA either.
 
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farmer

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You seem to misunderstand. I was countering your statement that if you could leave a dent from your thumb in your finish, it was not hard, and therefor prone to scratches. The only truly hard finish for WOOD pens is CA, which scratches easily enough and hardly different from a pure acrylic blank.

CA is a plastic, acrylic basically. Therefor, it scratches the same as an acrylic blank. CA is used on wood, to the net effect of giving you a plastic finish, that looks and scratches like plastic. Personally, this is the second main reason why I avoid using CA on wood...because in the end, it turns my beautiful wood, into plastic!

Technically speaking poly and pens plus are resin finishes as well (well, the shellac at least in pens plus), but they give you a distinctly different and much more wood-like characteristic than CA. Distinctly NON plastic looking. I can't yet speak to oil based poly, but with Pens Plus, I don't get anything remotely like the scratches that CA on wood can get, and with my experience using wipe on poly on other wood items, I don't foresee it scratching the same as CA either.

Humbly saying A CA finish is one of many finishes that doesn't pass the thumbnail test .
I am only interested in using a glass like finish on wood that passes the parameters or expectations that I posted above.


I think because for what a pen retails out for and it's size dictates the kind of finish that is done on the pen.
That and limited work space and budget using a CA finish might be the best finish under the circumstances for many hobby minded pen turners .
But CA still doesn't pass the thumbnail test ,
If It did I would still be using it and you wouldn't be thinking of switching to a poly finish .

Seen some of your work ( nice )
 

leehljp

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I use WOP, Oil based for most of my segmented pens. I like the slight extra flexibility vs Glu Boost (CA), which I use for non-segmented blanks.

I apply thin coats with a cotton rag section, then place the blank(s) on a slow speed rotating mandrel, under a light bulb for a bit of heat. I can usually reapply in 1 hr. I then let set overnight, lightly sand and repeat. I will be doing several projects at the same time, so while I may take 24 hrs fo 3-4 coats, I have other things to do. This not a quick process, but has worked for me.

Mark,
You bring up something that isn't talked about much, but many good pen makers are gravitating towards more and more - Not consumed with Speed/Time in making a pen.

I remember several threads over the years, especially 8 or 10 years ago and before - on how fast can you make a pen.

Then there is CA, which is reasonably hard, and it allows a decent finish that "time wise" is in proportion to the construction. 30 minutes to 1 hour for construction and 30 minutes for finish. Even in flat work, in general, most people do not like spending as much time in the "finish" process as the construction process. This is where "Excellent" gives way to "just good enough to get by."

I am seeing more and more posts from very good pen makers/turners who allow for overall longer finish times in proportion to construction time. Granted, for segments of all kinds and in particularly the kind that you make, your finish time may still be less than some of your construction time. However, it is good to see that the longer finish times are getting recognition, as you mentioned, and as "Farmer" has posted in this thread and a few other threads. It has always been a "given" that Urushi finishes take a long time - 10 days minimum to 30 days. But to see a few other finishes with great qualities come to the forefront that are lasting and tough too - is a good sign for quality pen making.

Early days in pen turning here - polys were used off and on but with no great overall results. I think that the mentality was to finish the pen -after "too short of a curing time", and that hurt the finish; OR, using the wrong kind of poly or other finish that did not have enough good long term protective characteristics for pens.

Thank you (and farmer) for your continued hunt for a better finish. While an overall quality finish can had with CA, There are other quality finishes (and sometimes better than CA) that can be obtained if the proper time is put into it.
 
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jrista

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Humbly saying A CA finish is one of many finishes that doesn't pass the thumbnail test .
I am only interested in using a glass like finish on wood that passes the parameters or expectations that I posted above.


I think because for what a pen retails out for and it's size dictates the kind of finish that is done on the pen.
That and limited work space and budget using a CA finish might be the best finish under the circumstances for many hobby minded pen turners .
But CA still doesn't pass the thumbnail test ,
If It did I would still be using it and you wouldn't be thinking of switching to a poly finish .

Seen some of your work ( nice )
Oh...I think I see what you are saying now. My apologies for the misunderstanding.

Yeah, I think poly will be one of my go-to finishes, and Pens Plus the other. I've tried lacquers, water based finishes, and haven't really enjoyed working with them or the results I get. I'm not really a fan of water-based in general, for any wood items. Water based poly, or polycrylic, for example, just don't seem to penetrate the wood like an oil based poly, or any oil based finish, and I've not cared for the look of them in the end.
 
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