Question for segmenters

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EricRN

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May 16, 2019
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Hi all, I’ve been working on some inlay. It’s coming along well. See attached photo. I’m concerned that, when I sand, the dust from the padauk is going to contaminate the maple. Folks here have suggested sanding sealer, which I plan to try. Here’s my question: If I use sanding sealer, can I use an oil finish like Odie’s or BLO? Or will I need to use a film finish over the sealer? My understanding is that sanding sealer is just a very diluted mix of shellac. If that’s the case, it seems the oil won’t penetrate. Has anyone tried using an oil finish as a sanding sealer? I’m not sure if that would sufficiently close off the pores to prevent the contamination.
 

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leehljp

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Ken said it succinctly above. Below is what I 🤪 was writing while he was posting his!

NOW for another method for preventing sanding dust contamination - which I have been doing for years: Once you get that into a blank and get it round and to the size you want it, sharpen your tool to the sharpest you can get it (if it is HSS), or use a new/fresh carbide insert scraper (radiused square), turn the lathe to about 3000 rpm and take small, barely touching bites. The result will be smooth as 600 to 800 grit SP and clear as a fresh cut with a sharp hand plane. No sanding dust. Coat as needed. Put extra coats of CA (if you use CA) and build up enough so that you will NOT sand through to get the CA smooth. IF you sand through, you will smear the colors.

I needed to do the same about 17 or so years ago and got recommendations to use an eraser to clean it, but that was not the perfect answer for me. Using denatured alcohol to wipe sanding dust worked OK for some, but it still was not perfect for me. I had used hand scrapers on wood and knew how well that worked on flat work, so I decided to spend an hour sharpening and honing my scraper to a mirror smooth shine. Then I turned the lathe to its maximum speed and lightly touched the segmented wood. WOW, WOW was I surprised at the clean smooth cuts on the surface of segments.

When I mentioned this on this forum, it seems like there were a couple of guys who said no way it could be smoother than sandpaper. Then a couple of old timer bowl turners said that is what they do - on segments, they do not sand, they use a very sharp tool and it does better than sanding - without dust contamination. I later asked one why he never mentioned this when people ask about sanding dust contamination and he answered to me - Most guys won't believe it, so no need to say anything.

"Skews do better on softer woods, scrapers do better on harder woods:" - Old timer and long departed, well respected pen turner Russ Fairfield
 

jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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NJ, USA.
Listen to these guys. They are dead on. Doing any wood segment blanks throw away the sandpaper as far as you can. You can do it all with a good sharp tool. No matter carbide or skew. I use carbide to get me to close size and always always finish with a good freshly sharpened skew.

To answer your original question, the sanding sealer will seal grains of wood and no on the oil being able to penetrate. Plus any liquids will pull the colors together and muddy them up. I suggest any seal coat you use to use a very light spray. I am a fan of lacquer for a base coat. I like to use a semigloss deft spray. Have used a spray dewaxed shellac also at times. I use that alot in my scrollsaw work. The key is first coat is as light as possible.
 

EricRN

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May 16, 2019
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I should have mentioned this, but this isn’t actually going to be a pen. I’m going to cut it into strips and inlay it into the lid of a box. My concern is getting it flush with the top of the box. I typically sand but maybe I’ll have to rely on a hand plane and card scraper.
 

jrista

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I'm curious...has anyone tried to seal their segmented blanks, say with stabilization resin or anything like that? I've had this problem where sanding contaminates neighboring lighter woods. I'm not a great segmenter (yet, at least! maybe someday), but I have been experimenting. I don't have problems with darker and harder woods, but lighter, softer woods like maple can have issues with contamination.

I've had to be out of the turning game for months now here, but I was thinking the other day about whether stabilizing the maple first, or maybe even stabilizing the entire segmented blank (not sure if this is possible, could it affect glued bonds between segments?) might help? I imagine the resin would fill the pores of the softer woods and seal them overall, so contamination shouldn't be possible at that point, right?
 

jttheclockman

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I should have mentioned this, but this isn’t actually going to be a pen. I’m going to cut it into strips and inlay it into the lid of a box. My concern is getting it flush with the top of the box. I typically sand but maybe I’ll have to rely on a hand plane and card scraper.
Card Scraper. Good and sharp. Many videos out there on how to use and sharpen. Works exactly for what you want. They have also veneer cutters that work like a plane but take off thin veneers. You have entered another fine woodworking area that takes some skill but finished products are fantastic. I have a veneer design that I have been wanting to duplicate for some time and thought I could get it into a pen also. On my very long list of things to do before I die.
 

mark james

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All the above suggestions above are superb!

My only thought in addition, is to take a small piece and do a trial run with your best process. If you have 2-3 sections to play with, all the best. Trial and error is a great teacher.

I have done Padauk and Hard Maple segmenting and had minimal bleeding, so you may do just fine. BUt again, the above thoughts are excellent.
 

Dieseldoc

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Oct 28, 2017
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Livermore, Ca 94550
I'm curious...has anyone tried to seal their segmented blanks, say with stabilization resin or anything like that? I've had this problem where sanding contaminates neighboring lighter woods. I'm not a great segmenter (yet, at least! maybe someday), but I have been experimenting. I don't have problems with darker and harder woods, but lighter, softer woods like maple can have issues with contamination.

I've had to be out of the turning game for months now here, but I was thinking the other day about whether stabilizing the maple first, or maybe even stabilizing the entire segmented blank (not sure if this is possible, could it affect glued bonds between segments?) might help? I imagine the resin would fill the pores of the softer woods and seal them overall, so contamination shouldn't be possible at that point, right?
Yes I have stabilized my blank before cutting* the slot for inlays. Now that being said I always shear cut with a very sharp skew and have had very little bleeding. Another thing my infills are tight bond glued in and when getting close to blank wanted diameter blank is then covered with thin CA.
Charlie
 

leehljp

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Messages
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Tunica, Mississippi,
I'm curious...has anyone tried to seal their segmented blanks, say with stabilization resin or anything like that? I've had this problem where sanding contaminates neighboring lighter woods. I'm not a great segmenter (yet, at least! maybe someday), but I have been experimenting. I don't have problems with darker and harder woods, but lighter, softer woods like maple can have issues with contamination.

I've had to be out of the turning game for months now here, but I was thinking the other day about whether stabilizing the maple first, or maybe even stabilizing the entire segmented blank (not sure if this is possible, could it affect glued bonds between segments?) might help? I imagine the resin would fill the pores of the softer woods and seal them overall, so contamination shouldn't be possible at that point, right?
Jon, stabilizing helps some but if metal (aluminum, brass etc) is used between segments, the sanding dust will contaminate the lighter ones even if stabilized.
 
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