Thin CA only

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TonyL

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Mar 9, 2014
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Alpharetta, GA 30004
In the spirit of experimentation, I finished several wood and mixed material pens with 4 to 6 coats of thin CA (stickfast). So far, all finished beautifully started at 1000 grit sanding to 2000, then buffing. Any other thin only folks out there?
 
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carlmorrell

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May 14, 2013
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Cary, NC
I put down only thin CA also. I claim to be one of the first to do CA finishes. Definitely over 20 year ago I started. I put down 5-10 coats, because I hate to sand through. Never use accelerator, just lots of time between coats. Then I sand around 1200 rpm. After a few seconds with the lathe on, I turn it off, and hand sand until the surface is uniform. Then I go all the way though the 9 micromesh grits wIth only a minimal time at each grit, again I hate starting over when I sand through. YMMV!
 

Ironwood

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May 31, 2010
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Mackay. Australia
Yes, I’m another thin guy.
I go by thickness rather than number of coats, but I would average 8 coats per pen to get to my required thickness.
I haven’t sanded through in years.
 

Magicbob

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Oct 10, 2012
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Akron, OH
Thin only for me most of the time, I might add a few coats of Med-flex if it is a real pretty wood.
 

tt1106

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May 6, 2011
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Kentucky
Thin CA only. I usually put down 10 coats or so. Accelerator in between. I sand the blanks through the MM 12000. finish with plastic polish and buffing with Blue Scott towels.
 

Warren White

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Aug 27, 2014
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Livermore, CA
This is an interesting thread; I appreciate the opportunity to learn new things. Right now, for me, it is 3 coats of thin, 3 coats of medium, and 3 coats of thin. The first coats are to fill in any open grain, and the last three are to even out the medium coats. I sand at low speed (300 or so) with 400 grit then go to micromesh; low speed for the heavier grits then gradually increasing the speed up to maximum when I determine it is only polishing.
 

KLJ

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Oct 2, 2018
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Flat Rock North Carolina
Started with medium but switched to all thin couple year ago. I don't count but probably at least 15 coats most of the time. It seems like I don't have to sand as much as the thin is smoother. Apply 2 to 4 coats then a quick shot of accelerator. Start sanding with 600 with lathe running, then hand sand until all smooth, then wet sand micromesh followed with polish. Polish and CA applied with blue shop towels.
 

Dehn0045

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Mar 19, 2017
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Houston, Texas
BSI thin only for me. I apply using an open cell foam. I shoot for about 0.003 to 0.005 thickness. Usually about 4 coats with the foam, a couple coats with paper towel, and then pretty aggressive sanding starting at 400, then MM wet through all 9. Last I use HUT ultrashine followed by Renaissance wax, but I think I am going to try meguirs at some point.
 

Fuzzy63

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Oct 8, 2018
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Montpelier, Indiana
Same here, I only use thin CA. Put five coats and wait between coats then the next five coats have accelerator between them. Wet sand from 1500 to 12000. Then one coat of renaissance wax. This seems to work for me.
 

triw51

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Feb 14, 2012
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407 East Cottonwood Drive, Cottonwood AZ
I am a thin CA user I usually do 8 to 10 coats with BLO after every 3 coats of thin CA and rub the BLO in until I feel some friction heat. I have used this for years and my wire has one of my first pens and the finish still looks great. I have also used this finish on small boxes and bowls with great results.
Note: Sometimes I use the BLO as the first coat depending on the wood, sometimes BLO really makes the grain of the wood stand out
 

jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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NJ, USA.
All depends on the blank. For me some blanks do not need the build up so all thin. But mostly thin and then med. Just the way I have been doing it for years. As with other methods, no right or wrong method.
 

Woodchipper

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Mar 15, 2017
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Cleveland, TN
If the wood is an open grain wood like oak or pecan, I'll first put on one or two coats of medium CA, then several coats of thin CA.
 

mmayo

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Jan 12, 2013
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Tehachapi, CA
In the spirit of experimentation, I finished several wood and mixed material pens with 4 to 6 coats of thin CA (stickfast). So far, all finished beautifully started at 1000 grit sanding to 2000, then buffing. Any other thin only folks out there?
I agree that thin (5 cps) only will finish a pen well. Though I have made a few pens lately with medium I really like 40-50 cps pen finish viscosity after four coats of thin without accelerator until the last coat. Eight - twelve coats of pen finish CA with very light accelerator after each coat just works flawlessly for me. NEVER any white spots and very rarely do I sand through this yet achieve great gloss.
 

mrcook4570

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Mar 27, 2005
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Mason, WV, USA.
I am another thin CA guy. 12 coats (I use two half paper towels, each folded in thirds, then thirds again, then in half and I get 6 spots per piecel when folded in that manner), then set the blanks aside for at least a day to allow the CA to harden even more than when it is just dry. This will lead to an even higher level of gloss after the final buffing. Sand with 400 grit to remove all gloss (to eliminate low spots), then lengthwise with 400 grit to remove circumferential scratches, then 600 grit both directions, buffed with tripoli then white diamond (both lengthwise).
 

mick

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Mar 13, 2005
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Decatur AL, USA
Tony, thin only for me also. Take a few more coats but it seems I can control it better.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

howhale

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Dec 5, 2019
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Location
Waleska, Georgia
Wanting to start trying CA for my pens but unsure of the best technique to apply the CA. Anyone care to share their technique or refer me to a best practice video? Have been using lots of sanding then friction polish to date with decent results. Those open grain woods still show open grain under differing light reflection which makes them look less desirable. Thanks for any suggestions.
 

jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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NJ, USA.
Wanting to start trying CA for my pens but unsure of the best technique to apply the CA. Anyone care to share their technique or refer me to a best practice video? Have been using lots of sanding then friction polish to date with decent results. Those open grain woods still show open grain under differing light reflection which makes them look less desirable. Thanks for any suggestions.
Oh boy you opened a can or worms. Ask 100 pen turners their method of doing a CA finish and you get 150 answers. There are articles in the library here that explain what a few members do. Remember the CA used is important as well as the viscosity, (thin and med) the time allowed to dry and cure, the use of accelerator and having it compatible to the CA being used ( many dispute the spray VS the aerosol), the towels or materials to apply, the amount of coats needed, then there is the sanding and polishing aspect. All I can say there is a ton of videos and which one is best is impossible to say. We all have our favorites but that is because they match the method we developed. You are going to read many ways to do a CA finish in the coming threads and much may have no meaning because you need to see it done first hand. This is where scanning the internet and looking at I believe Exotic Blanks site here has videos. I am sure there are videos in the library here as well. Look around and good luck.
 

TonyL

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Mar 9, 2014
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Alpharetta, GA 30004
It is really going to come down to what works best for you as you practice and the look, depth, shine, durability that you are looking for.
And, after you think you invented the wheel, you are likely to experiment and find a better wheel. I like JT's summary.

You can also set up a few polls:
How many coats of thin
How many coats of medium, etc.
Accelerator or not
Spray or pump
Applicator type
Brand of paper towel, craft foam, which finger LOL
Time between coats
What do you do while waiting: look for the kit, vacuum the shop floor, remove the paper towel that is stuck to my finger, think of what I am I going to tell my wife when she sees the hardened CA on a good shirt again!, keep touching the barrel until I leave a finger sprint and curse myself......just teasing :)

In general and depending on the CA (let's say, not when using gluboost):
2 coats of thin
6 to 10 coats of medium (light coats, I don't want ridges)
pump or spray accelerator
About 1 minute between coats
Any brand paper towel



Good night folks ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz
 
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