I’d pull my hair out, but I don’t have any

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Jimos

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
20
Location
Hiawassee GA
I’m struggling with poorly finished ends on my blanks. I’m either being to cautious and not getting enough CA at the ends, or I’m getting too much CA which requires hand sanding the ends prior to assembly. I’ve attached a few pics from this weekend. The pics with the slim-line curly maple shows a small 16th of an inch that doesn’t have any apparent CA glue. So I finished a pen today and over compensated. I’ve done this many times before. As such, after removing from the mandrel, I tried to hand sand the ends using 600 grit sandpaper prior to assembly. in very small circles, I’m hand sanding as slow as possible.. While doing so, I end up with chunks of CA coming off the ends of the blanks. If it matters I finish with 2 coats of thin and 8-10 coats of medium. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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99BA898D-D0A7-4074-8544-59B839A0DC0A.jpeg
B2D19032-213A-4BAB-A1DE-C10C8EC9B2C9.jpeg
 
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mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
11,115
Location
Medina, Ohio
First thought... Are your bushing the proper ones? (I'm not questioning your abilities, just brainstorming). If they are slightly oversize, have coats of CA on them, maybe you are not getting the end turned/sanded down to the component size. If so, use one of the delrin/silicone cone bushings that are undersized at the end. You can make these easily, and actually can be of other materials in a pinch - wood coated with a wax finish.
 

JohnU

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
4,274
Location
Ottawa, Illinois
I agree with Mark, it looks like mine use to look when I used metal bushings and they pulled away part of the ca finish off the barrel when I broke them apart. I use the nonstick delrin plastic tapered bushings for ca finishes now and dont have a problem.
 

Jimos

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
20
Location
Hiawassee GA
First thought... Are your bushing the proper ones? (I'm not questioning your abilities, just brainstorming). If they are slightly oversize, have coats of CA on them, maybe you are not getting the end turned/sanded down to the component size. If so, use one of the delrin/silicone cone bushings that are undersized at the end. You can make these easily, and actually can be of other materials in a pinch - wood coated with a wax finish.
Much appreciation for your comments. After turning with the appropriate bushings (In this case Majestic Jr) I replace the metal bushings, after turning and sanding, with the plastic bushing For finishing. I still have to be careful, as the plastic bushin will still stick to the blank if I get too much CA on the end of the blank. As hard as I try to minimize this issue, I alwa have to manually sand the ends of the blanks before I can assemble.
 

mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
11,115
Location
Medina, Ohio
Much appreciation for your comments. After turning with the appropriate bushings (In this case Majestic Jr) I replace the metal bushings, after turning and sanding, with the plastic bushing For finishing. I still have to be careful, as the plastic bushin will still stick to the blank if I get too much CA on the end of the blank. As hard as I try to minimize this issue, I alwa have to manually sand the ends of the blanks before I can assemble.
It sounds you do what I do. Still not sure why the lip is there. A dilemma. 🤔
 

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
15,634
Location
NJ, USA.
This all comes down to practice. When you say plastic bushings I hope you are using cone shaped so that no bushing is ever touching the ends of the blank. This is the best way to sneak up on correct sizes. When you do the CA finish you can always take the blank off the bushings and clean them and then flip the blank around. What happens at times you are more heavy handed when coming off the blank than going on and thus get more buildup on one end as opposed to the other. If you are starting your sanding process with 600 maybe better to use thinner layers and not try to apply so much at one time. More thin even coats is better than less thicker coats. It comes down to practice and get in a groove. Good luck.
 

egnald

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2017
Messages
850
Location
Columbus, Nebraska, USA
Greetings. I used to have that very same issue. In my case I tracked it down and made a change to my regimen that took care of it for me. Previously, I was cleaning up the excess CA on the ends as you stated, before assembly. I believe the problem I was having was due to water infiltration into the blank or under the CA on the ends while I was wet sanding the blank. My new, modified regimen is as follows:

1) Sand the wood blank down before applying CA. I sand down to 800 grit.

2) Replace the turning bushings with the HDPE cone (Non-Stick) bushings.

3) To promote absorption and adhesion of the CA, I clean the blank with Denatured Alcohol and let it dry for 10 to 15 minutes. I don't touch it after it has been cleaned to prevent any skin oil or anything else from getting on the cleaned blank.

4) Use a folded paper towel pad to apply 4 thin coats of Thin CA Wood Finish at 500 RPM (I use Stick Fast) with 90 seconds of dry time between coats.

5) Use a folded paper towel pad to apply 8 thin coats of Medium CA Wood Finish with a short burst of Accelerator/Activator (Stick Fast brand) between coats.

6) Let the final coat of medium dry for 5 to 10 minutes.

7) Remove the blank and carefully sand off the buildup "fingernail" of CA from the ends. I actually do this by very lightly using my disk sander / blank squaring jig to make sure the ends remain square to the tube.

8) Fold a square of paper towel into a pad to act as a blotter, put on a few drops of thin CA on it, and then blot the ends of the blank to seal up the end grain (prevent water infiltration - I think) and create a seal between the end grain and the CA on the ends of the blank (prevent water infiltration - I think). Let it dry or hit it with a quick spritz of Accelerator/Activator.

9) Replace the blank onto the mandrel using the turning bushings to help seal the ends against potential water infiltration. (I suppose I could also apply a thin coat of wax between the bushings and the blank to take this one step farther).

10) Wet sand with Micromesh through all grits at about 800 RPM, wiping the slurry/water off of the blank between each grit. Inspect the blank for low spots, pits, or anything else that might need to be fixed before proceeding.

11) Optionally Buff the Blank if it isn't shiny enough to meet my expectations with just Micromesh.
I use a low speed buffer with the blue buffing rouge from PSI on a sewn cotton wheel followed by a final buff on a loose flannel wheel.

12) Make sure the tube doesn't have any foreign material (glue) inside of it and then I run a deburring tool around the inside edge of the tube. I also use a swab dipped in Renaissance wax (or Versa-Wax) to put a thin coat of wax on the inside of the tube to give the parts just a smidgen of lubrication for when they are being pressed together. I think this also helps reduce the potential for the CA to crack on the ends when the parts are being pressed in. (That was another / different problem that used to have).

I really attribute my success to cleaning the blank before finishing to insure good penetration/adhesion of the CA, and taking care of the CA buildup on the ends and sealing the ends before wet sanding.

Anyhow, that's my regimen and it seems to be working good for me. I hope this might help you figure out what is causing the problem in your situation.

Regards,
Dave

PS Those are some gorgeous blanks!
 

Jimos

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
20
Location
Hiawassee GA
Greetings. I used to have that very same issue. In my case I tracked it down and made a change to my regimen that took care of it for me. Previously, I was cleaning up the excess CA on the ends as you stated, before assembly. I believe the problem I was having was due to water infiltration into the blank or under the CA on the ends while I was wet sanding the blank. My new, modified regimen is as follows:

1) Sand the wood blank down before applying CA. I sand down to 800 grit.

2) Replace the turning bushings with the HDPE cone (Non-Stick) bushings.

3) To promote absorption and adhesion of the CA, I clean the blank with Denatured Alcohol and let it dry for 10 to 15 minutes. I don't touch it after it has been cleaned to prevent any skin oil or anything else from getting on the cleaned blank.

4) Use a folded paper towel pad to apply 4 thin coats of Thin CA Wood Finish at 500 RPM (I use Stick Fast) with 90 seconds of dry time between coats.

5) Use a folded paper towel pad to apply 8 thin coats of Medium CA Wood Finish with a short burst of Accelerator/Activator (Stick Fast brand) between coats.

6) Let the final coat of medium dry for 5 to 10 minutes.

7) Remove the blank and carefully sand off the buildup "fingernail" of CA from the ends. I actually do this by very lightly using my disk sander / blank squaring jig to make sure the ends remain square to the tube.

8) Fold a square of paper towel into a pad to act as a blotter, put on a few drops of thin CA on it, and then blot the ends of the blank to seal up the end grain (prevent water infiltration - I think) and create a seal between the end grain and the CA on the ends of the blank (prevent water infiltration - I think). Let it dry or hit it with a quick spritz of Accelerator/Activator.

9) Replace the blank onto the mandrel using the turning bushings to help seal the ends against potential water infiltration. (I suppose I could also apply a thin coat of wax between the bushings and the blank to take this one step farther).

10) Wet sand with Micromesh through all grits at about 800 RPM, wiping the slurry/water off of the blank between each grit. Inspect the blank for low spots, pits, or anything else that might need to be fixed before proceeding.

11) Optionally Buff the Blank if it isn't shiny enough to meet my expectations with just Micromesh.
I use a low speed buffer with the blue buffing rouge from PSI on a sewn cotton wheel followed by a final buff on a loose flannel wheel.

12) Make sure the tube doesn't have any foreign material (glue) inside of it and then I run a deburring tool around the inside edge of the tube. I also use a swab dipped in Renaissance wax (or Versa-Wax) to put a thin coat of wax on the inside of the tube to give the parts just a smidgen of lubrication for when they are being pressed together. I think this also helps reduce the potential for the CA to crack on the ends when the parts are being pressed in. (That was another / different problem that used to have).

I really attribute my success to cleaning the blank before finishing to insure good penetration/adhesion of the CA, and taking care of the CA buildup on the ends and sealing the ends before wet sanding.

Anyhow, that's my regimen and it seems to be working good for me. I hope this might help you figure out what is causing the problem in your situation.

Regards,
Dave

PS Those are some gorgeous blanks!
Never thought about water infiltration into the ends, but that could very well be happening, as I do use the wet pads up to 12000. That’s quite a few extra steps, but I’ll follow verbatim on my next pen and let you know how things turn out. Thank you very much for the detailed instructions.
Thank you everyone for your comments.
 

Jimos

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
20
Location
Hiawassee GA
This all comes down to practice. When you say plastic bushings I hope you are using cone shaped so that no bushing is ever touching the ends of the blank. This is the best way to sneak up on correct sizes. When you do the CA finish you can always take the blank off the bushings and clean them and then flip the blank around. What happens at times you are more heavy handed when coming off the blank than going on and thus get more buildup on one end as opposed to the other. If you are starting your sanding process with 600 maybe better to use thinner layers and not try to apply so much at one time. More thin even coats is better than less thicker coats. It comes down to practice and get in a groove. Good luck.
JJ, I’m sure your comment about practice and being heavy handed, one way or the next, is absolutely correct. I find time to turn pens infrequently, and can go for months/half a year, without turning anything. I‘m right handed, I apply glue from left to right, and when I get to the end on the right, I pass back across and finish on the left side. The left (mostly) is where I’m getting too much glue over the edge.
 
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