Lignum Vitae / African Blackwood

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moe1970

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Jan 14, 2021
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Inverness, FL
What are the recommended finishings for Lignum Vitae and African Blackwood? I am turning my first ones soon and have read that they are very oily. Is it better to just use that oil as a finish or will CA hold? Thanks in advance.
 
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magpens

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Feb 2, 2011
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Coquitlam, BC, Canada
In my experience CA can be applied to Lignum Vitae.

How long it lasts I do not know. . Lignum Vitae used for pens can be difficult .... The wood can crack several years after finishing.

I have had this happen more than once. . The wood seems dry ... make a pen and finish with CA ... several years later stresses seem to build up ... CRACK !
The crack seems to originate in the wood .... not the CA finish. . The thickness of the wood on the brass tube is under 0.10". . Long Clicker pen kits.

Strangely, unused pieces of Lignum Vitae from the same batch have not cracked. . But of course, they're not glued to brass so are free to move at will.
 

eharri446

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Mar 17, 2016
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Marietta, GA
I know that Stick Fast has a CA glue which has some flex to it. Would that prevent woods like snakewood, African Blackwood, and Lignum Vitae from crack once they are glued to a tube. Or would epoxy be a better glue for those woods?
 

Pierre---

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Jun 10, 2012
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France
CA will wear with use, as any surface finish. The beauty of very hard woods is they are very dense. So I would just polish it, up to MM 4000 or more. Maybe oil it w with BLO (not a surface finish, but impregnating will theoretically fill wood under the surface , even if I am not sure it could add something to such hard woods like Vitae and African Black wood.
So in doubt, just make a careful polish and that's it.
 

PatrickR

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Apr 8, 2017
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Rural America
What are the recommended finishings for Lignum Vitae and African Blackwood? I am turning my first ones soon and have read that they are very oily. Is it better to just use that oil as a finish or will CA hold? Thanks in advance.
I can’t comment on Lignum, I have some but have not turned it into a pen. I have made several using African Blackwood and finished them with CA. It has been fine, no cracking or adhesion problems. AB is not as oily/resinous as Lignum but just as hard and dense.
 

PatrickR

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Apr 8, 2017
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647
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Rural America
I know that Stick Fast has a CA glue which has some flex to it. Would that prevent woods like snakewood, African Blackwood, and Lignum Vitae from crack once they are glued to a tube. Or would epoxy be a better glue for those woods?
No, in my experience. I have not had cracking issues with AB but have with SW and Pink Ivory. All used epoxy and CA. I had a set of SW ready to assemble that sat on my bench (un heated) for two years without cracking. It cracked very quickly after assembly. I think it was the radial pressure. I am trying some things now to keep them from cracking.
 

Bryguy

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Jun 9, 2013
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665
Location
New Hampshire
I don't finish my Africam blackwood pens with anything. Sand to 1500 grit and polish with Renaissance wax.
 

qquake

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Feb 8, 2004
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Northern California
I used Watco Danish oil on this one.
 

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GuyOwen

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Mar 25, 2021
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Minneapolis Minnesota
What are the recommended finishings for Lignum Vitae and African Blackwood? I am turning my first ones soon and have read that they are very oily. Is it better to just use that oil as a finish or will CA hold? Thanks in advance.
Bees Wax in my experience Lignum vintae finishes really well with bees wax i have only turned ebony and not black wood
 
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