First Turning Project & Accidental Copper Dust Staining Technique

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Project by Lazyman posted 09-18-2015 05:49 PM 1753 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I decided to try wood turning so I bought a cheap mini-lathe to give it a try. After turning a few scraps from square to round to practice coves and beads, I decided to turn a piece of scrap white pine into something useful and chose this bottle opener design I saw somewhere on Youtube (sorry, I can’t remember where I saw it). I just turned a random profile and glued a piece of 3/4” copper pipe onto the top. I didn’t have the right kind of saw for cutting the copper so the notch turned out pretty ugly but with a little filing and sanding it is okay. As you can see from the 5th picture, I decided to test it before applying a finish—no point in finishing a bottle opener that doesn’t work.

While sanding the copper with 320 grit sandpaper to make it shine and remove a few scratches from cutting the notch, the fine dust from the copper started making the white pine look pretty dingy and instead trying to clean it up or painting the handle, I decide to try rubbing even more dust into the grain to see how it looks. The second picture shows the handle with the dust before applying a sealing finish—quite a change from the stark white wood. I applied 4 coats of spray lacquer to seal the copper. The test will be to see if the copper prevents the lacquer from adhering well and causes it to start peeling off with use. If not, it could be that I accidentally invented a new staining technique because I could not find examples of this technique anywhere online. I’ll be interested to hear if anyone knows of a similar technique being used to stain wood.

I posted a YouTube video of the before and after to make it easier to see what the finish really looks like. The pictures don’t really do it justice.

Note that for grins, I tried this on another piece of the same wood and brushed on a solution of white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to see if it would develop an interesting patina and it turned a bright green so that could lead to some more interesting experimentation down the road.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

1 comment so far

View NormG's profile


6438 posts in 3424 days

#1 posted 09-23-2015 03:26 AM

Nice job on your first project. You are hooked now, many more things will come

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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