Reply by Tennessee

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Posted on Pen Turning Finish Problems

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2901 posts in 3363 days

#1 posted 02-16-2018 01:32 PM

If you are having trouble getting the super glue smooth, you are applying it wrong.
I start out by sanding my raw material up to about 400.
Then I take a lint free paper towel and put the glue onto the paper, and spread it while the lathe is running. I use medium at first to build it up. I usually hit it with a quick spray of accelerator to help it dry, but not too much since it will cause white spots.
I may put on two coats of the medium, occasionally three if I am using something like a burl wood.

Then I put on a coat of thin, usually flood it on with the paper cloth underneath on the material, all while the pen is spinning around 400 RPM. I spread that, (flood being maybe ten drops), and let it all dry.

You now need a set of the high grit pads, available on Amazon, Woodcraft, etc. Here is an example.

Put a towel down on your lathe bed under the pen so you don’t get your lathe wet, and get a cup of water. Starting with the lowest grit, wet it and sand on the pen lightly, while it is turning. Turn off all the radios, other noise making items. You’ll hear the paper working, then after a few seconds the noise will go away. Stop immediately so you take off the least amount possile.

Go down to the next grit, but some people will go down two grits. Repeat this procedure, using enough water to create what will be a white slurry. You’ll see the sandpaper pad pushing it.

When you get to the high number grits, you’ll hear it squeaking. Not moving much here, just polishing. Stop.
Dry the pen and now…
I finish it all off with Megula’s #2 clear coat finish in the little black bottle and a strip of the paper towel. Just makes it pop.
Mirror finish, smooth as glass, hard as a rock.

Some of the super glue may have gotten in-between the material of the pen and the spacers. I take a small skew, and just break the glue bond between the two by scraping the spacer right up to the pen material. You’ll see it come off. Don’t touch the pen material! It makes the pen material break away from the spacer very easy when you pull them off the mandrel.
Good luck! Superglue is the way to go for long lasting, mirror finish pens.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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