Segmented Turning Question

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Edge1202

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
2
Location
Colorado
Hello Everyone. I want to start by saying I have learned a lot by reading through your posts and tips. I have been an IAP member for only a short time, but have been turning pens since 2004. I only wish I had discovered this site years ago as I could have avoided some bad habits. I recently tried my hand at segmented turning, and created a blank using Ebony and Birdseye Maple. I was trying for highly contrasting woods in the pen, and all worked out well, but as I feared, when I began the sanding process, the dark ebony stained the grain of the maple. My question is, have you found any reasonable way to avoid this? I considered using a sanding sealer on the wood after turning it, but decided against it in the end - should I reconsider?

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

Houtkop

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
55
Location
Jhb, South Afrika
You will always have that problem unless you fill the grain. You can also try a coat of thin CA before you start the finishing sanding.
 

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
16,757
Location
NJ, USA.
First of all welcome to the site. Glad you found us. The most complete pen turning site in the world. On occasion we go astray and show many other talents that the members have so we are an all around group.

Your question is one that gets ask many times. I always respond to it the same way. Skip the sanding. Learn how to use a skew. You will thank yourself many times over. A pen is an object where you can do this so easily. It is small and it is round. Unlike a bowl or platter or even a turned box where you probably will need to seal the wood as you sand. With a pen, ask yourself why do I need to sand in the first place?? Is it because the surface is too rough or there are high spots that need to be knocked down. If that is the case then you need to learn to sharpen your tools and learn to use them better.

If you are going to put a surface finish on a pen such as CA, poly, or laquer of some sort you do not need to go past 400 grit of sanding. It will do nothing more. You can easily achieve that and more with the use of a well sharpened skew.. That is my recomendation. I do have a little experience in this area as I show you a couple examples of pens I made and not one piece of sandpaper touched them.

The first pen is Gabon ebony and Holy with a CA finish and the second is Bloodwood and maple with a CA finish. All woods would be prone to cross contamination if sanded. Yes I could have sealed with thin CA but to me a waste of time and effort. That is my opinion. Good luck and happy turning.






 

Edge1202

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
2
Location
Colorado
Thanks for the input. I have a long way to go to get comfortable with a skew, and, I admit, my sharpening skills yield results that are less than satisfying. Time to "tool up", I guess. I appreciate the advice. I think it was Abraham Lincoln that said, "If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend 6 sharpening my ax".
 
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