What's your finishing regiment

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Forum topic by Jacksdad posted 11-30-2017 04:43 AM 818 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jacksdad's profile


242 posts in 1032 days

11-30-2017 04:43 AM

After you are done turning what’s your next step, how fine do you sand and what’s your go-to finish? For my bowls I sand to 240 grit but I’m thinking of switching to 320 or 400. I use a Harbor Freight 2 inch air sander which is great and for finish I use a thinned lacquer followed by Hut wax.

4 replies so far

View Dustin's profile


706 posts in 1349 days

#1 posted 11-30-2017 01:46 PM

For me, it depends on what I’m turning.

For pens: I used to sand up to 600, apply several coats of a thin CA as a finish, then go through all my grits of micromesh (up to 12000) before finishing off with Maguire’s polish. The only thing I’ve changed on that is that I only sand up to 400 now, as I couldn’t see any appreciable difference in a side-by-side comparison.

For bowls: I’ve only done a couple, mainly as practice, but I sand up to 320 and use the power sanding attachments I got from Peach Tree in my drill to take out any rough spots (I found that using a cellulose sanding sealer prior to this step helps raise the grain, and I spend less time working on tearout). I’m working on my sheer scraping to reduce/eliminate the power sanding alltogether. For these I have finished with General Finishes Woodturners Finish, as it cures to be food safe (if necessary). When I do my next bowls, which will likely be ornamental only, I might swap this out for the shine juice recipe (equal parts 2# cut of dewaxed shellac, DNA, and BLO).

Tool handles: sand to whatever feels/looks presentable, finish with whatever’s within arm’s reach. These are for my eyes only, so I’m not trying to impress anyone.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Wildwood's profile


2794 posts in 2743 days

#2 posted 11-30-2017 09:02 PM

Like already said depends upon what I am turning and intended use.

Wood pens, start with 320 or 400 grit, then apply film finish, stopped using CA finishes. I do wet sand & polish film finish with micromesh. For acrylic pen start wet sanding & polishing with micromesh.with

Most spindles, bowls, hollow forms use film finishes that offers most protection for that item, harldy ever go past 320 grit.

Unlike lot of turners only use mineral oil for items that will have contack with food. Don’t subscribe to once a film finish dries it’s food safe.

Are there times where might sand wood to very high grits like 3,000? Yes talking about dense, oily exotics woods that will not apply a finish too!.

You have to look at the surface of the wood before you to tell you where to start and finish sanding.

-- Bill

View LesB's profile


2318 posts in 4051 days

#3 posted 11-30-2017 11:48 PM

For most of my work I sand to 320 and some times 400, often followed by a burnishing with 0000 steel wool or on occasions a handful of the shavings.

The finish depends on the end use of the product. Kitchen ware like bowls get a salad bowl finish, usually at least 4 coats often buffed between coats with 400 sand paper or 0000 steel wool to remove dust and other blemishes and maybe a carnauba wax polishing.
Others get an oil finish (usually processed Walnut oil), several applications and then a carnauba wax top coat. Pens can either be a friction fishing or CA glue. The CA tends to be more durable.

-- Les B, Oregon

View LeeMills's profile


690 posts in 1910 days

#4 posted 12-01-2017 09:27 PM

Mine is similar to Les in that I often sand to 400. I prefer an almost natural finish and use shellac most of the time.
I burnish with 0000 steel wool while the finish is still wet, dipping the 0000 into DNA. Basically I rub off the surface shellac but it has penetrated the wood and gives a durable surface. I also sometimes use dry shavings as a final burnish.
Some times I want a high gloss and sand to 600 and use a friction polish; this is normally small items.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

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