Suggestions for Finishing Oily Woods like African Blackwood, African Rosewood, Cocobolo

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DrD

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I have a lot of wood blanks that were purchased several years ago. In the past, after sanding to 1000 grit, I finished them with a friction sanding sealer and a friction polish, neither of which are currently available. Also in the past, especially for bandsaw boxes, I use a Deft brand aerosol water based sanding seal and Deft aerosol lacquer, again neither of which I am able to find. I've done CA finishes with good success, but in so doing lose the "feel" of a real wood pen, as the CA imparts the feel of plastic. Any suggestions for finishing these elegant woods?
Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

DrD
 
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WriteON

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I have been using (natural) Danish Oil. Easiest stuff I ever worked with. Not a high gloss look... but brings out the grain, seals. I'll try to post close ups later. Also Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil is excellent. Please wear a respirator with either...the vapors are brutal.

edit: PSI has EEE & friction polish in stock
 
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DrD

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I have been using (natural) Danish Oil. Easiest stuff I ever worked with. Not a high gloss look... but brings out the grain, seals. I'll try to post close ups later. Also Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil is excellent. Please wear a respirator with either...the vapors are brutal.

edit: PSI has EEE & friction polish in stock
Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil, my old friend. A few years back when I was making combat handgun grips, I used nothing but Tru-Oil. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing that back to my remembernce!
 

WriteON

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Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil, my old friend. A few years back when I was making combat handgun grips, I used nothing but Tru-Oil. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing that back to my remembernce!
The beauty of Tru-Oil is the finish can be controlled. High gloss or satin
 
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bsshog40

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I have also used Wood Turners Finish (WTF). It works good and however many coats you use will determine the shine/gloss you prefer.
 
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leehljp

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DrD

I came up with a method that has had a few mentions over the years but not widely popular, and I understand the reasons. It is not a real wood feel. I posted a thread on "To shine or not to shine". Many people do not like the shine of CA as it looks to plastic-like. Yet those that know of the protection that a very good coating of CA gives, this can give a different aspect of CA.

Here is a link back about 12 years ago: http://www.penturners.org/forum/showthread.php?t=32496&highlight=shine

The point about that was that once the pen was perfectly finished, the shine could be taken off. That alone does not match what you are wanting to attain - the "feel" of wood. If you look about halfway down (post # 7) in the above post, you will see a post by long departed turning, finishing and pen making guru Russ Fairfield. Russ said this:
My conclusion is that the visual perception determines the tactile "feel" of the pen. A high gloss is perceived as a "plastic" appearance, therefore we will also "feel" it as being a cold hard plastic. A matte finish has the appearance of bare wood, and we will say it has the warmth and "feel" of bare wood, even though it is the identical finish.
That probably will not be the answer to what you want, but it is something that you "might" can use in the future.
 

dogcatcher

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I prefer an oil finish like Teak or Danish oil finishes. I finish sanding, then wipe the wood down with acetone, allow tp dry, it dries very quickly, then immediately apply the oil finish. Wait too long and the oil in the wood will seep back tp the surface.
 

DrD

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DrD

I came up with a method that has had a few mentions over the years but not widely popular, and I understand the reasons. It is not a real wood feel. I posted a thread on "To shine or not to shine". Many people do not like the shine of CA as it looks to plastic-like. Yet those that know of the protection that a very good coating of CA gives, this can give a different aspect of CA.

Here is a link back about 12 years ago: http://www.penturners.org/forum/showthread.php?t=32496&highlight=shine

The point about that was that once the pen was perfectly finished, the shine could be taken off. That alone does not match what you are wanting to attain - the "feel" of wood. If you look about halfway down (post # 7) in the above post, you will see a post by long departed turning, finishing and pen making guru Russ Fairfield. Russ said this:


That probably will not be the answer to what you want, but it is something that you "might" can use in the future.
I am reading that thread now; thanks so much for this!
Don
 

DrD

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So Hank, let me ask you a question. I have found that the radial scratch pattern - those scratches going around the blank, not along the axis of the blank - may be very difficult to remove. And if I understand you correctly, after mm8000, you go back to mm4000 then to mm2400. The question: what if, after mm8000, one were to use Mirlon Tan Micro Fine (roughly equivalent to mm2400 to 3200? The reason for using Mirlon instead of MM is the resulting scratch pattern left. I'l go into the shop and hopefully will have some photos in a day or so.
 

leehljp

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So Hank, let me ask you a question. I have found that the radial scratch pattern - those scratches going around the blank, not along the axis of the blank - may be very difficult to remove. And if I understand you correctly, after mm8000, you go back to mm4000 then to mm2400. The question: what if, after mm8000, one were to use Mirlon Tan Micro Fine (roughly equivalent to mm2400 to 3200? The reason for using Mirlon instead of MM is the resulting scratch pattern left. I'l go into the shop and hopefully will have some photos in a day or so.
I sometimes use a loupe to examine the finish. And I don't always sand lengthwise but in the case of cutting the shine off of CA in is helpful and will eliminate the circular scratches. This is where John T's method works - If you can't see it with the eye, then it is OK. The more glossy a finish is, the more pronounced circular scratches show up. Once it is flat/dull, the scratches are much less noticeable.

I did not see circular scratches on mine. Someone had said, "getting a shine and going back is overkill" - Well, for me, one needs to get the shine and then back down to the highest grit that takes away the shine. If I remember correctly, 4000 MM looked like a sheen and it took 3600 MM to make it flat/dull. If one uses automotive super fine sandpaper as you do, then take the blank to a shining state and back down to the point that the sheen is gone. The purpose of this is to not go back too far. Going back too far will have a tendency to leave more noticeable circular scratches. Dull/flat finishes don't show circular scratches as glossy shines do - if one goes from glossy backwards to flat.

I'm interested in your results. Please let us know your results.

OH, there is one other caveat. Over time, Dull Flat finishes in CA will have a tendency to develop a shine in well worn areas like the basic keys on a keyboard. All keys start with the same finish, but the "A" and "E" will develop a sheen or even a shine with use. Pens will develop similar sheen where the fingers grip the pen or where the clip is if it is put into and pulled out of a shirt pocket - probably 6 months to 2 years down the road, IMO.
 
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DrD

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Hank, I appreciate your interest and support. I'll get into the shop later this morning and give it a whirl. Photos are another thing; only cameras we have are in iPhone or iPad, and have no photography lighting. Plus we are handicapped by my complete lack of understanding of anything digital, but we'll take a swing at it.
 
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DrD

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Well, experiment ended just as it startrd. None of my African Blackwood nor African Rosewood blanks are 4 square; whomever cut them - & it wasn't me - must have been in a hurry. In the past, I drilled my blanks on a drill press using a machinist cross slide vise. taking great pains to ensure blank was parallel to drill bit throughout quill throw - so holes were pretty well centered in the blank. No more drill press - like a dummy I said I no longer need it, I'll drill using my lathe.
I've been using the 4 jaw chuck to hold the blank, with no problems until today. As a result of the skewedness of the blanks, What started out looking pretty well centered ended coming out so far off center as to be useless. Back to the drawing board.
 
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