Lacquer finish?

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Woodchipper

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Mar 15, 2017
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Cleveland, TN
I just finished scanning a WWing website and the mention of lacquer finish caught my eye. I would like to add to my finish methods of CA and BLO. Best way to apply? I have seen it in spray cans at Lowe's. Any particular brand that you recommend? Any "tricks" to having a good finish? Thanks in advance.
 
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eharri446

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Mar 17, 2016
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Marietta, GA
Penn State sells it for finishing pens. You apply it just like you would a wax finish, with a dry clean cloth and let the friction heat set it for you.

They have both Satin and Gloss finishes.
 

monophoto

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Mar 13, 2010
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Saratoga Springs, NY
PSI's lacquer friction polish is basically a thin lacquer. The MSDS indicates that it is identical to the William Woodrite product that I believe is available in Canada.

I make a lacquer-based friction version using a Russ Fairfield recipe that I like to use on pens and other small items.

Simply mix equal quantities of a brushing lacquer, an oil (I use Hope's pure Tung oil, but BLO or walnut oil would also work), and lacquer thinner. I use Watco brand lacquer because that's what the store closest to me carries. I mix it in small batches using a scoop made from a 35mm film canister with a turned handle as a measure, and store it in plastic squeeze bottles from Harbor Freight.

To use, apply a few drops to a bit of paper towel, and wipe on with the piece spinning on the lathe. Spin at high speed so that friction builds heat. I generally use three applications in fairly quick succession - perhaps not more than a minute apart - but you can go crazy with additional applications if you wish.

My experience with it has been very good. It provides good protection for the wood that wears well over time (I have a pen that I have been using regularly for at least three years that looks as good as the day it was finished), but it isn't plasticky like CA - you can still feel that the pen is made from wood.
 

Wildman

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Jacksonville, NC, USA.
I like using lacquer on many of my turnings not just pens. Have brushed, dipped, wiped, on or sprayed. Started out using Deft, but big box stores around here don't carry it so have switched to whatever brushing lacquer brand available.

When brushing on lacquer don't always thin just don't load up the brush with too much lacquer and apply with single pass.

Wipe on merely thin lacquer to 60% with 40% lacquer thinner. I don't use any oil. If need sanding sealer due to species of wood will use 50/50 mix of lacquer & thnner for first or second coat. I don't buy commerical sanding sealer.

Spray can most expensive but easy and fastest method of application if don't get runs.

Dipping is the slowest method but really easy; do see the library for best techniques. Use this method when making lot of pens at one time. I will let dipped blanks (pen barrels) set over night before dipping again. Made rack, to hang blanks so excess lacquer can drip onto old newpaper. Use a separate can for dipping and not quart can lacquer came.

JMHO, lacquer is very forgiven finish but looks great.
 

Wildman

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Chestnut Melamine Lacquer merely a cellulose based lacquer sold in Europe pretty much the same as lacquers wood finisher use here in North america. Not a chemist manufacturers do vary formulas but most cellulose or brushing lacquers perform about the same.

Crafts Supplies USA sells Mylands Melamine Lacquer here. JMHO, prefer to buy my finishing materials locally.

https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p/40/2585/Mylands-Melamine-Lacquer

I use cloth for wiping lacquer bought here.

Why don't use commercial sanding sealers or sealers, and prefer to use thinned film finish for first coat then use un-thinned film finish to fill pores. Too many coats of film finishes not good for longevity of a finish. I have used shellc as a sealer to seal wood but never to fill pores. Michael Dresdner explains much better than I can!

When to Use Sanding Sealer / Rockler How-to
 

donstephan

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Jul 24, 2016
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Cincinnati Ohio
In my opinion "lacquer" is a very imprecise word today. I have seem many different types of finishes all have the word lacquer in the name and/or on the label.

What I consider traditional lacquer is made with nitrocellulose (NC). I'm guessing many or the above posts are referring to NC lacquer, but some may not be.
 

Wildman

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NC or nitrocellulose lacquer pretty much your everyday lacquer. You can also spray NC lacquers but have never tried too. Not sure spraying pen barrels worth the effort but no problem for larger projects.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L9INQ3liuc

Have never attempted using CAB acrylic lacquers that dry water white and don't impart a amber hue. Never tries Catalyzied lacquers either pre or post cast. Think they work better with spray equipment they dry chemically & have short shelf life once mixed.
 

farmer

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Jun 16, 2012
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NV
My experience is Lacquer is very brittle and is prone to shatter or chip if dropped.
 
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