Requesting Assistance

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

DrD

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
783
Location
Columbus, Mississippi
I came into possession of a 5"x5"x24" chunk of really colorful Macassar Ebony. In playing with it, making a few pens I have found this wood to be quite oily. I don't think it is a candidate for CA; I could be wrong. I tried Pens Plus, It darkens the wood up too much, obscuring the beautiful veins of pink and green. What you be your recommendations? The blanks in the attached photo are turned for a SlimLine - actually a SreamLine or a Roadster. I appreciate your help.
 

Attachments

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

Charlie_W

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
5,675
Location
Sterling, VA USA
I guess it could depend on what you visualize the finish to be.

One thought is to go for the natural look. I would wipe the blanks with DNA and then simply Beall buff to a soft luster.

An Acrylic polyurethane could be another choice for more of a “finished” appearance.....again, how would this do long term over the ebony?
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrD

walshjp17

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2012
Messages
3,043
Location
Weddington, NC
I would suggest starting with sanding sealer then using an abrasive paste like Yorkshire Grit or Acks Abrasive paste and follow that up with the same brand's polishing paste. I use Rennaissance wax as a final step in my wood finishes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrD

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
12,863
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
CA is amazingly adaptable stuff.
In fact, it is often used together with Boiled Linseed Oil when doing a finish.
So it might very well "take to" working with the oiliness of your wood.
If you have a scrap of the wood you might try CA on it first.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrD

howsitwork

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2016
Messages
818
Location
Thirsk
Why not try danish oil and buff it or as has been said just sand and polish then buff and let the natural,oils do the job for you?

I have used Melamone on lignum vitae but it was not, in my eyes a success. So next o)es Imdid I sanded to about 500 grit then just buffed with shavings. Lovely semi matt finish and recipients were delighted at a “ real wood pen”

aTheres plenty there to play with !
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrD

MRDucks2

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
2,146
Location
Washington, IN
I have gotten a pretty nice finish on some ebony just taking through the micro mesh grits all the way. If you wanted a little more shine, maybe some Renaissance Wax or the like, though it will not be that durable. These will produce a shinier than Matt finish but not the hard gloss of CA.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrD

Sly Dog

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
277
Location
Boise, Idaho
My go to alternative to CA is Mylands friction polish over sanding sealer. It lends a nice even sheen to the wood but certainly doesn’t match the gloss and durability of CA. I’ve attached a pic of the last pen on which I used friction polish.
9441F2C1-DE7D-4AD0-8736-EA26AD7290F1.jpeg
 

DrD

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
783
Location
Columbus, Mississippi
I really appreciate all the responses. The first thing I did was to start sanding with 320 grit wet using Walnut Oil. That really turned the piece so dark you could barely see the veination. So, I sanded that back and hand sanded (dry) horizontally off the lathe thru 2000 grit and picked up MM at 4800, and dry sanded off the lathe using the remaining MM. Then back to the lathe @ about 1800 rpm; did 2 coats of Ren wax buffing with old tee shirt between coats. Barrels looked great, BUT customer wanted a more durable finish than just wax.

Ugh - afraid of what might happen with CA, my only option was to use what I had on hand - PensPlus. I suspected it would darken the blanks from my attempt at wet sanding with Walnut Oil. And it did. So 2 coats of Pens Plus followed by 2 coats of Ren wax, and customer fortunately is quite happy.

Just to give me more options, based on some of your responses, I ordered some Mylands Sanding Sealer and Mylands Friction Polish. I'll try to post pics tomorrow of the finished pen. The pic I already posted is sanded thru all MM followed by Ren wax.

Thanks for your help.

DrD
 

EricRN

Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
276
If oily enough, you might bet a decent shine just micromeshing it with some walnut oil as the lubricant (or with water) and finishing with some paste wax.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrD

Sly Dog

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
277
Location
Boise, Idaho
Love your finish; hope my success using Mylands is as good.
Thanks - I hope it works well for you. I’ve never found it to hide the grain. Took a few trials and errors tho before I came to like it. Shake the polish up really well before applying (after sealing) between coats as it separates pretty quickly. Apply medium pressure and I like to turn up the speed. You can apply multiple coats but I rarely put on more than two or I sometimes get an excessive build up in spots which won’t look great. Even then you can even those out with a fresh paper towel. But I’d say if you like the finish after a coat or two, it’s okay to stop (says the guy who usually lives by “more is better”😉). Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrD

leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,489
Location
Tunica, MS,
Don,
When I started making pens, I lived in Japan and was given some Japanese persimmon which was very oily and very black. (Still have some). My go-to finish was CA but it gave me fits because the CA lifted on the ends every time I tried to separate the bushings. I used acetone on a cloth to wipe it down, let it evaporate then used TBC (without bushings) for finishing and never had a problem after that. Since then I have had numerous kinds of oily blanks and had the same results. TBC was the key to keeping the CA from lifting; acetone lightly damp on a cloth was what I used on occasion if I felt the blank was too oily for good adhesion.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrD

tomas

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
435
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
I haven't turned any of this before, but I have turned a lot of Argentine Lignum Vitea which is also quite oily. I have been using CA on ALV for about ten years and have been very pleased with the finish and durability.

Tomas
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrD

Alchemist

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
102
Location
Central Valley, California
Don,
When I started making pens, I lived in Japan and was given some Japanese persimmon which was very oily and very black. (Still have some). My go-to finish was CA but it gave me fits because the CA lifted on the ends every time I tried to separate the bushings. I used acetone on a cloth to wipe it down, let it evaporate then used TBC (without bushings) for finishing and never had a problem after that. Since then I have had numerous kinds of oily blanks and had the same results. TBC was the key to keeping the CA from lifting; acetone lightly damp on a cloth was what I used on occasion if I felt the blank was too oily for good adhesion.
What is “TBC”?


Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app
 

DrD

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
783
Location
Columbus, Mississippi
TBC is Turning Between Centers; it does away with the mandrel. I'm just working up to doing that myself. If you use bushings, they are not drilled thru. The outside ends are machined /cast with 60 deg "V" to fit onto a 60 deg drive center and a 60 deg live center for the tailstock.

Perhaps others can give a better explanation. I was up so I thought I would give a shot at answering your question.
 

leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,489
Location
Tunica, MS,
TBC:
You can use regular bushings if you want, or special ones made for TBC or, in some case, no bushings at all.

Unless you have the special TBC bushings, you don't necessarily need a 60° drive center.

TBC on the lathe -
Mandrel on the lathe -

So tell me which one looks the simplest to set up and use - TBC or Mandrel?

Here is the drive center started it off on this forum, and it was not 60°. :

The above aluminum drive center that I made as I contemplated what TBC would look like (without any guidance). It was used with a drill chuck in the head stock.
 
Top Bottom