Harley Davidson paperweight, from Dunnage

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Project by PASs posted 02-07-2013 12:29 AM 2244 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got this Harley Davidson gas cap cover about 18 months ago to make a paperweight to sell at a Harley festival.
I didn’t get it done before the show, so It’s been riding around in my craft show box.
I dug it out this afternoon and made this using a bowl blank I made up before Christmas.

Just a simple curve with a slight recess for the cover so it’s flush with the wood.

4 1/4 inches wide, 2 inches tall.

Indian dontknow wood (dunnage).
Sanded to 320, then 1 coat of 2# shellac immediately rubbed off with an old t-shirt, then polished with the Beall system.

Not counting the time to make the blank…from chucking on the lathe to taking it in the house was about 20 minutes.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

6 comments so far

View ghazard's profile


382 posts in 4432 days

#1 posted 02-07-2013 01:42 PM

Hi Pete, looks great. Can you tell me more about the “shellac immediately rubbed off with an old t-shirt” technique? I am playing with ways to incorporate the simplicity of shellac in my finishing…and that sound about as easy as it comes.

Thanks, great little project.


-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View PASs's profile


602 posts in 4021 days

#2 posted 02-07-2013 05:22 PM

Hey Greg.
It’s pretty quick and simple.
I have a jar with some 2# shellac and an acid brush in it (3rd photo here.)
When I’m ready to do the finishing, usually on the lathe, I open the jar up, turn the lathe on slow, grab an old t-shirt and start running a line of shellac with the acid brush.
I run the brush at an angle to ‘push’ the shellac ahead of the brush and wipe it off the trailing edge.
Just behind the brush is the t-shirt, wiping any excess shellac off. I angle my finger so the t-shirt is also pushing shellac ahead of itself toward the brush.
As soon as I finish coating the entire surface in this manner I take the t-shirt, which is usually fairly wet, and go back over the surface re-dissolving any excess and wiping it off.
After that I take a dry part of the t-shirt and immediately wipe off any remaining wet residue, moving the t-shirt as it picks up shellac.
Then I turn the speed up and keep buffing until I’ve wiped as much excess off as possible.
By this time the piece has heated up due to friction and the shellac is dry.
For most of my pieces I then go to the Beall system and polish and waxy.

It took longer to write this than it does to do it. On a 8 – 10 inch bowl I can coat the back or front in less than 5 minutes.

This process leaves the grain of the wood exposed because the shellac is wiped or polished completely off with the surface of the wood polished and a thin coat of Carnuba wax on the surface.

I think I’ll make a blog entry.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3098 days

#3 posted 02-08-2013 02:49 PM

Great to collect paperweights like that! and great techniques as well.

View Roger's profile


21032 posts in 3727 days

#4 posted 02-09-2013 03:24 AM

Sweet idea Pete. That’d make a nice shifter knob also.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View 00Spy's profile


1 post in 2467 days

#5 posted 03-05-2014 02:52 AM

Can I buy it?

View PASs's profile


602 posts in 4021 days

#6 posted 03-05-2014 06:01 AM

Sorry, I sold it to a Harley Davidson shop employee.
I can make another one.
It sells for $40.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

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