To Shine or Not To Shine

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leehljp

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A post a few weeks ago gave me the idea to try a CA finish on two pens of the same wood (burl in this case) but do one with a shiny finish and one with a "mat" finish.

TO SHINE OR NOT TO SHINE:
The shine of the one on the left is from 12000 MM.

The mat finish (on the right) was taken to 8000 MM and then back down to 4000 and then to 3200 MM. It looks more "woodish" for those that want a flat finish. I do believe that eventually it will rub to a sheen like the keyboard keys do on a well used computer.

These pens were stabilized with acetone / acrylate solution, first vacuumed for a couple of hours and then pressure for 6 hours. Cured for about a week.


MY CONCLUSIONS:

Mat finished CA feels smooth and does cut down on the shine that some people say looks like plastic. If CA looks "plastic" to you but you want a wood look and sheen like a soft wax gives but much better protection - this might be what you are looking for!

2Cigs%202Fin%201Burl.jpg


Edited for clarification. Another post was made for the second picture and subject on stabilizing.
 
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RussFairfield

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The only conclusion that really matters is that of the customer, and I would bet that most of them will go for the higher gloss. People are like crows, they are attracted to shiny stuff.
 

leehljp

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Originally posted by RussFairfield
<br />The only conclusion that really matters is that of the customer, and I would bet that most of them will go for the higher gloss. People are like crows, they are attracted to shiny stuff.

You are right Russ!

The real reason that I started this experiment because of two different posts on finishing.

In one post someone mentioned that it was the additives in finishes that made them have a shine or sheen. While that is true, I also know that the finishes can be manipulated, if a person knows what he is doing, to give the opposite effect.

The other reason was that a few have said that CA gives pens a "plastic" look. If they don't like the shiny look, CA can still give protection and have the "mat" look that makes it look more "woodish." For those that like the "wood" <b>feel</b>, I bet anyone would be hard pressed to tell the difference in the feel of the three of the CA finished pens or with a 12000 MM finished wood and wax pen for that matter.
 

RussFairfield

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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.
 

wdcav1952

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Originally posted by RussFairfield
<br />The only conclusion that really matters is that of the customer, and I would bet that most of them will go for the higher gloss. People are like crows, they are attracted to shiny stuff.

I don't know, Russ. I've known a few buzzards in my time. [}:)]

Yes, I agree that most folks like glossy pens.
 

leehljp

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Originally posted by RussFairfield
<br />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.

Thanks again Russ. It is hard for me to speak and write clearly in my native language since I have been spending so much time in Japanese. However, your point here is one of the things that I also wanted to get across.
 

jeffj13

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Originally posted by txbatons
<br />Thanks for doing this. It's nice to see the finished pens side by side. Why did you back track from 8000 MM to 3200?

Hank,

I had this question as well. Since the surface will have the same smoothness the second time you sand with the 3200 as the first (also any scratch pattern you removed with the 8000 you will also put back in), seems like a wasted effort.

jeff
 

leehljp

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Originally posted by jeffj13
<br />
Originally posted by txbatons
<br />Thanks for doing this. It's nice to see the finished pens side by side. Why did you back track from 8000 MM to 3200?

Hank,

I had this question as well. Since the surface will have the same smoothness the second time you sand with the 3200 as the first (also any scratch pattern you removed with the 8000 you will also put back in), seems like a wasted effort.
jeff

Yes it is if you look at it that way. But if you want to do something right, you have to make sure everything is right to begin with. If you are just looking for a matte finish and do not carry it through, it is hard to detect small imperfections, which will show up later. With the matte finish not carried up to glossy 8000 mm, you will NOT know if the matte is the lack of sanding or lack of CA finish - which will show up as blotchy sooner or later. (More on this below.)

By carrying it up to 8000 and having a shine, it becomes possible see any imperfections in the finish, or where you have sanded through the finish to the wood. Once the imperfections are out, then you can back it down. This doesn't take that much time! 3 to 5 minutes at the most. 10 - 20 minutes if need to add another couple of coats of CA.

On a matte finished pen, it will eventually wear smooth in a few places like the shiny keys on a well used computer keyboard. Keys on a keyboard start out matte finished but become shiny due to wear after a few months to a couple of years. On a pen, this can reveal just how much time was put into the finish. It can be knocked back to a matte finish with 0000 steel wool by the customer or 3200 mm by the pen maker.

For me, I would rather know that I have a perfect base before I backed it down to 3200 than just leave it at 3200 on the way up.


I don't really intend to make any more matte finishes, unless asked specifically by someone. I did it because 1. some people say that you can't make a matte finish out of glossy finishes, and 2. some say that glossy finishes look plastic, which it doesn't have to - in order to have protection. Wax is not permanent; CA and Lacquer are much more durable and permanent, and you can have the matte finish with both. That is the point of this experiment.

BTW, I intend to use the matte finished pen regularly to see how it wears.

Russ said it best: "the visual perception determines the tactile "feel" of the pen." Some people said that bare wood feels better - but that is from the "perception" of what they are feeling. Matte finish will give that for those that want it, but it had better have a good base underneath.


(Thanks again to Russ, this time for spelling "matte" correctly. [:D] Too much Japanese in my mind!)
 

Rifleman1776

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Your results achieved what you intended. But, it seems to me you went to a lot of work to get the matte finish. You might want to experiment with a trick a lot of gunstockers use to eliminate gloss and give a more 'natural' or matte finish. Simply use 0000 steel wool. A light touch while on the lathe should de-gloss the pen satisfactorily and give the same effect you ended up with, in a fraction of the time.
 
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