Solarez Finish

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TonyL

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First attempt at using one of the Solarez (called Thin Hard).
Still learn and still have trying more of their product line.

I have more questions than answers and needs a few more under my belt to provide an initial evaluation. I have finished 3 so far. IMO The look of the finish is same as CA.

I will report more as I learn more. I believe others members are trying their products too. The company has dozens of options. I am experimenting with the 20 second and under cure products.
 

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KCW

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That looks very nice! I also purchased some of the Solarez, but have not had a chance to try it yet.
 

keithncsu

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So does it build up the same way as CA? Before switching due to the respiratory issues with CA, I never could get the hang of the number of coats and how that affected the fit. All of mine kept ending up too proud. I got close before switching and really have no desire to try again.
 

farmer

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@0 seconds or less

First attempt at using one of the Solarez (called Thin Hard).
Still learn and still have trying more of their product line.

I have more questions than answers and needs a few more under my belt to provide an initial evaluation. I have finished 3 so far. IMO The look of the finish is same as CA.

I will report more as I learn more. I believe others members are trying their products too. The company has dozens of options. I am experimenting with the 20 second and under cure products.
Different Solarez then mine
Using 35 watt light , but turning my pool cues for 15 minutes minimum to let the finish to flow out and get level or even .
Then turning the light on for 3 or 4 minutes and rotate for 15minutes and back on with the light for 3 or 4 more minutes .

I will do that 3 or for Times
Let the cue turn more for a hour maybe two total .

I am using Epoxy as a base coat and I am using a commercial buffing wheel and polishing creams to polish out the whole piece to a glass like finish .

I am not using Solarez because it dries fast, I consider fast in 3 hrs or less .
I Use Solarez because it is clear and hard like glass but doesn't shatter .

Epoxy can take up to a week or so to fully harden up ..
 
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TonyL

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Solarez. Attemptimg to answer as many questions as possible

Tony, how is the odor with this stuff?? Are there any other safety concerns??? How does it polish and feel??

Reluctant to answer until I know which one I am going to stick with. I am experiment and awaiting two more of their products. Among the 3 that I tried:

Odor: very low according to my nose

Safety concerns: I am the last to advise any one about that. Plenty of info on their site assuming if it can be trusted; they do publish their MSDS (sp?).
Polishes excellent, feels warm and hard, but not brittle or rubbery..still too early to tell. I have not had any cured around for more than a few days.

Finish is high shine.

High build like medium to thick CA.

But remember, what I tried may not be what anyone else has tried. And I am experimenting with the application process and sharing my results with one of the owners/inventors.

I had to learn much about UC curing and oxygen inhibition...but not hard....I even understood it. :)

I am not being evasive, I just don't want to mislead anyone. I am sure CA is not gong any where soon or ever.

If phone numbers are sent to me, I wll contact after work hours. Happy to share my experience which is very little to date.


Farmer's experience trumps mine 100-fold (if not more), but as he said, he is using a different Wahoo/Solarez product.

SOLAREZ UV Resins | Quickly and durably repairs fiberglass, plastics, wood | Hardens in 3 minutes when exposed to uv sunlight

Direct, Amazon, Ebay...etc.
 
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TonyL

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My Solarez Update

To date, I have tried, more than three or four barrels each, three of there products. Three are available now, one the founder made especially for me given my feedback on his other products (to him, not a product review).

Of the products that are available to all now and that I tried, I like this one:

Fly Tying UV Curing Resin - Ultra Thin

It aint cheap, but only need one or two coats per barrel - sand starting at 600 or 800 , even higher, and finish anyway you want.

It has the viscosity of thin to medium CA, cures in seconds..like 2, and very hard.No tacky finish to sand off.

The next one, and much less expensive one, that I tried is this:

Fly Tying UV Curing Resin - Thin Hard

Has the viscosity of medium CA, cures in 15 to 30 seconds, but leaves a very slightly tacky finish that you must sand off (600 grit or higher takes it off). I needed 2 or 3 coats due to sanding off the tacky finish. If you want to build-up your finish, simply apply the next coat to the tacky coat. DO NOT SAND BETWEEN COATS AND DO NOT TOUCH THE TACKY COAT WHEN APPLYING MULTIPLE COATS. You only have to lightly sand the tackiness from the last coats. The coats will not look tacky; they will look high gloss.

Among the products, I used, they all shined as much as CA if not more - no way to prove it scientifically...just looks that way to me.

I do not know when the product that he formulated "for me" will be available, but the others work well and I will use them up. A little goes a very long way. I think the learning curve is shorter than applying CA, and process was definitely shorter for me. I used the flashlight that they sell...I also bought the bulb that Ed posted, but I like the light or the sun.

I applied coats with a new, clean, cheap, paint brush (disposable ones) and/or foam craft paper.

That is the extent of my knowledge and experience. Gary and Rick are top-notch. I have been on the phone and corresponding with Gary for a while - not hours, but more than minutes. I am sending him 2 pens to use or display with his product on it.

Also remember that the products that I tried, are not the ones that Ed and Farmer were referring to. Obviously, those products work too. I just don't have any experience with them.

Oh yeah...what you don't use can be returned to the bottle as long as it is clean and uncured.

I have completed about 10 barrels; I feel very comfortable with it, use less each time.

I hope this helps.
 

keithncsu

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Ok maybe a rookie question but I'll ask anyway! If you turn down/sand to the exact bushing diameter, and then apply the two costs as you mentioned on the first product, is it so thick that you feel that buildup/edge when the pen is assembled? That's the problem I ran into with CA before the respiratory issues made me change finishes. I could "catch my fingernail" at every blank and part connection. Did that happen with your experience? Or did you turn down a little more to account for it?

Thanks for the review!!
 

TonyL

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Good question. I used a brush and/or craft foam which absorb less than paper towels. It took me a few tries before I was able to consistently observe how much product was actually building. I am still learning. Moreover, the Solarez appears to sit on top of the barrel instead on initially absorbing into it. It is one of those things I had to experience.
I had to account for what the Solarez would add to the dimensions. I intentionally finish my pens by leaving the barrels "nail-catch" proud of the pen h/w. I just like them that way. It will require experimentation. The Ultra Fly Tie (first one is the thinnest and most expensive).
 

adirondak5

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Great thread Tony , very kind of you to share your results and experiences with this product . I placed an order with them today on their website , it took a total of 9 minutes from when order was placed to receive a shipping notification and tracking # . I'm impressed :)
 

TonyL

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I just finish but did not buff out another Jr Gent. I used 4 and 5 coats this time. I will buff out tomorrow. Remember, what you don't use/expose to UV can be returned to the bottle. I will keep you updated.
 

adirondak5

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I received my order from Solarez the other day and last night got around to testing it out . With Tony's permission I'll give you my impression so far , now remember I'm new to the pen turning game but I am a fairly experienced wood worker and usually use nitrocellulose lacquers on most of my other projects . The products I got from Solarez are Ultra Thin Bone Dry and the High Output UV Cure Flashlight . The Ultra Thin Bone Dry comes in a .5 0z bottle , the flashlight takes either 2 cr123 batteries or 1 rechargeable 18650 battery of which I had so I didn't need to purchase any batteries . The UV flashlight is a quality light similar to a Mag Lite , aluminum construction with o-rings .
I turned a stabilized maple blank down to round between centers and sanded it to 600 grit just for a quick test , I applied the solarez Ultra Thin to the blank with the attached applicator brush on the cap , I turned the lathe by hand for this . I would say the first coat was thin , but I made sure I had good coverage . I continued turning the lathe by hand for another minute or so so the Ultra Thin could level out , then I applied the UV light and after about 10 seconds it was cured hard . I then repeated application and UV light once more the same way . Next I sanded starting at 800 grit and going to 1500 grit , then Micro Mesh to 12000 , after that I buffed with a paper towel and novus 2 followed by a paper towel and 3M Finesse It II . Here are some Cell phone pics of results .







There was a slight odor from the Solarez but not unpleasant or over bearing , it sanded well and has a good shine . I think I will go with more than 2 coats on an actual pen barrel and buff it with a buffing wheel . It has a different feel to it , almost feels like holding a glass tube .
I didn't spend a lot of time with this little test , but I like the results , I am going to play around with it more and may try some of their other products . My initial impression is I like it . Sorry for the long winded report , hope it helps add to the knowledge base :)
 

adirondak5

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Awesome!!! How thick was the buildup on your test?
Keith , I only applied 2 thin coats , once sanded and buffed it did not seem very thick , I would say the viscosity is similar to medium CA when I applied it , quick thought is its probably about the same if not slightly thinner finished than CA . It feels very durable once done , I'll do some drop tests later and ding it up too and see what happens .
 

adirondak5

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Im just thinking in terms of final dimensions and the kit parts. Would you say 2 coats was enough?
After only one test with this I don't think I could say for sure , it seems to be if it is a durable as I expect , but I would myself prefer to have 3 coats at this point , looking at it in person it seems thin , perhaps Tony can shed some light on thickness as he has more experience than I do . What I can say now is I think this is a viable finish , easy to apply and cure , easy to sand and buff , and seems pretty tough . I just don't have enough experience with it to state much more right now .
 

TonyL

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I gauge the thickness the same way that I gauge medium CA. However, I use a non absorbent material when applying SR; I use PTs with CA. Per 2 inch or so barrel, I put two drops of SR on craft foam, then hit with the light, then repeat that 3 or 4 more times.

If it's longer than 2 inches, I use 3 drops of SR. The key is to apply even coats, the CF makes is easier to distribute the product evenly and get it to the ends. I dry sand from 600 to 800 highly (no shiny spots) up through 2000 then the buffing wheels. I may, as Herb does, use less and go right to the buffers.

I have dropped a barrel several times from a height of 7 feet and couldn't find a scratch...yet it sands...I don't get it.

Still experimenting...CA isn't going anywhere soon.

Just like CA; I am sure there will be hundreds of ways to do this right.
 

TonyL

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I would love to hear what anyone's experiences has been. Please post anything you want about UV or LED cured alternatives to CA. Let's share our experiences.
 

MikeL

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I also have sinus issues with CA and was willing to give solarez a go when it was brought up by Tony. It was useful for me to read the solarez frequently asked questions on their web site and then I leaned on two you tube videos on application and cure. One video showed the application on a pool stick which I tried to copy. The other video was of an individual applying it to a table top. His cure method was to take the table into the sun for a few seconds, let the cure get activated for a few seconds, bring it back in the shade, back in the sun... I don't have a UV light so I also tried to copy the method in that video. I'm sure just using amUV light would be more convenient and cut down on time, but I don't have one. Perhaps using the high noon sun is a better cure anyway?? I do like the finish. It looks very similar to CA but it feels different. It's hard to explain but during the sanding phase it feels more flexible and the feel seems softer (not sure that makes sense but I don't know how else to explain). For a short period of time before the cure it does smell like polyester resin but I'll take the smell over the reaction I get from CA.

I forgot to say, I did use sealer first. Put it on just like I do CA. Let it cure, sand to 400, then three coats of the other solarez in the picture. Finished just like I do CA. Sand to 800, then buff.

Redwood burl on a sierra.

Hope this helps some.
 

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TonyL

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The softer finish post-cure is just a little oxygen inhibition...you sand that off with 600 and above SP. Below that ..it is cured. You are also using a product that is not ideally suited for pens. I have the ones that are, including a special blend that is unbelievable but not yet for sale.

I wll pm you my number. give me a buzz in 15 minutes if you can..I will be driving to a WW store. You can use what you bought and several on here do, and have great results, but according to Gary (Founder), it is not the best for pens, but it is less expensive.
 

MikeL

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Just got your msg. I'm heading out also--big college game day!

What you say makes sense. I'll use up what I have and then maybe hold out for what is not on the market yet. Hopefully what I have is a durable finish.
 

VotTak

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Tony, not that I want to push you into something. But... can you make a key ring and put it on your car-key? And just use it regular way. Would be nice to hear what do you thing in a month or so. Just to test durability of the finish.
I read that you were dropping it and there were no sign of something and I got that.
And one more thing... Can you try to put 1-2 layers of thin CA and than apply Solarez? Will it hold? Just a question for which it would be nice to have some answer. (I saw that it went fine on sealer though)
 

TonyL

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Hi: I don't understand the car key ring question, please rephrase.
According to Gary, the inventor, it will bond to CA.

I posted what i bought which is different from what others bought. I don't know if my answers apply to the other products, but if you call them, they will answer you on the spot.

It is very durable. Scientifically, I could tell you how it compare to CA.
 

adirondak5

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I did a little more with the Solarez Ultra Thine Bone Dry today , I did 4 coats on a stabilized cherry burl blank for a Bolt Action , no sanding between coats , I did cure each coat before going to the next . Like my other test I sanded to 1500 grit and then micro mesh to 12000 , then again Novus 2 and finally 3M Finesse It II . It came out pretty good , I feel more comfortable with 4 coats as it sands good I don't want any sand through . Here's a few pics





My maple test piece from yesterday , I took that and beat it aginst the corner of my maple topped work bench 3 times pretty hard , no cracks or scratches , its pretty tough stuff .
 

TonyL

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With the pics

If you try to apply very even coats while rotating them slowly you can sand starting at 800 or higher and go right to the buffer or whatever your final step is. You will remove little and have a bump free finish. I will send some pics later (not that my finish is any better than yours).
 

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VotTak

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key-ring kit on your car key would go for durability test as you using them. But you already say that it is durable enough to compare to CA.
And thanks for answering that it will bond to CA.
 

TonyL

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Aha..I get it. Yes, that would be a good test. As far as ultimate durability....it feels as durable, it initially behaved as durable, and one would think the intended use of Solarez would make it as durable. However, at least for me, the "jury is still out" on its long term durability. If I find it's not, I will report it. Remember, I am only 3 weeks and 6 pens into this stuff and still experimenting with the process. I hope that make sense.
 

adirondak5

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If you try to apply very even coats while rotating them slowly you can sand starting at 800 or higher and go right to the buffer or whatever your final step is. You will remove little and have a bump free finish. I will send some pics later (not that my finish is any better than yours).
Tony , I did start with 800 grit with this second test on the cherry , then to 1000 , then to 1500 , before the micro mesh , I am thinking I could probably skip the micro mesh and go from the 1500 grit sanding to novus and Finesse it , today I put a 6" buffing wheel on the lathe and buffed it a bit with Menzerna fine compound , it did kick up the shine a bit . Then I assembled it .



I'll use this pen for a few weeks and see how it holds up but like I said before , so far I like this Ultra Thin Bone Dry , I'd like to try the secret formula they made up for you , maybe they'll have it on the market soon , if not I'll give them a call .
 

keithncsu

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So I'm getting ready to bite the bullet on this stuff. I like the version that doesn't get tacky but that's an awfully small bottle for $15. Not sure how many pens that will do but that's steep. The other bottle is more cost effective per pen but requires more handing. Still weighing that out in my mind.

I do have another question though. Their uv flashlight is $40. I can get one on amazon for $20. Is the solarez one better or specifically designed for their product or is a flashlight a flashlight like any other?
 

adirondak5

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Yea , its not cheap by any means , but my impression is that small bottle will go a long ways . I got the Solarez UV fashlight but looking at some on Amazon that take the rechargeable 18650 battery , they appear to be very similar . For the price difference and Amazon's liberal return policy it's probably worth it to try , if it doesn't work for you send it back .
 

TonyL

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All but one of the pens that I have shown have been with theit product called Thin Hard. It is less than the ultra thin. As fat as the light. I have theit flash light, a $10 black lED FROM home depot and a b lack CFL bulb from HD. Their flash light works best. As long as the light you buy is the right wave length and in testy you will be fine. Sunlight is of course the best. You can call them, that are not afraid to tell you something that doesn't result in a sale. As I wrote earlier , two or three drops per coat using a non absorbant applicator is plenty but please experiment and share your process and results. Even the ultra thin was slightly tacky using the flashlight, but not the sun. Don't let the slight tackyness bother you. The final coat is the only one that you sand. And you lightly sand that right off. Pm your numbers and I can answer your questions, my typing stinks.

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TonyL

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And yes, no need for MM I dry sand to 1500 or 2000 and go right to the white diamond or finer. I then hit it with a little plastic polish sometones. Meguiars 205, then Rejex or a non abrasive wax of your choice. This is just what I have found to work for me.

Tomorrow I am calling ITW devcon they also make a uv product called tru bond DC 200 and DC 1000 (refers to the cp/ viscosity) however, it appears to be around the same price. I will let alkm know what I learn. The key is your ability to apply smooth even coats. Ok off to CrackerBarrell. We didn't have those in NYC. Lol

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