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Forum topic by JMillerWoodworks posted 02-16-2018 01:18 AM 1102 views 2 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JMillerWoodworks

52 posts in 678 days


02-16-2018 01:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe finishing

Does anybody have a recommendation for a good finish for pens? I have been using Super Glue and Spray on gloss, but so far the super glue is hard to get smooth and the gloss is not really the type of look that I am looking for. Can anyone recommend a finish that is somewhat easy to apply and that is really high gloss? Thanks!

-- - Joel Miller "Striving to be like the Carpenter of Galilee"


12 replies so far

View RichCMD's profile

RichCMD

420 posts in 2273 days


#1 posted 02-16-2018 01:53 AM

I have had good luck with both Shellawax and Aussie Oil. I started with Shellawax and recently have also been using the Aussie Oil. I think the Aussie Oil might be a tad easier to apply, but the results are similar.

-- Ride the bevel!

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Andybb

1856 posts in 935 days


#2 posted 02-16-2018 02:35 AM

Brand new to turning but this is what trial and error has taught me over the last week. Got my best results just last night. Two things have to be smooth. The wood and the CA. If the wood isn’t baby butt smooth neither will the CA be. Then smooth the CA. No amount of CA will make bumpy wood smooth. Like the old photographic analogy, you can’t get a clear picture from a fuzzy negative.

Sand from 80 to 600 using abranet. Don’t skip grits.
Apply 3-4 coats of thin CA to fill any spaces (I might try Med CA for this part next time)
Sand back to 320 or wherever you need to to get rid of anything that is still shiny from the 1st coats of CA. Then you know it’s smooth.
Sand back up to 600.
Wipe with slightly damp paper towel.
Apply 4-8 coats of thin CA. (some advocate for med CA for the final coats but I find it to be too hard to smooth out) Sand the CA to 600 again then use wet microfiber pads through 12K (I’ve found that the micro fiber pads won’t smooth the CA enough so that’s why I go over it with the 600)
Use EEE ultra shine abrasive wax (2x’s if needed) (I tried using auto polishing compound but it didn’t work as well as EEE)
Apply friction polish (DIY mix instead of $32.95 for Shellawax) The “friction” part is important. It needs to get hot.

Like I said, I am real new to turning but this worked well for me. Looking at my first 3 pens you can see that the top one is not as smooth as the two on the bottom after improving my technique. Hope that helps.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Tennessee

2901 posts in 2846 days


#3 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.
https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Super-Sanding-Polishing-pieces/dp/B01GW0TPUW/ref=sr_1_3?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1518787466&sr=1-3&keywords=Sanding+pad+12000+grit

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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Andybb

1856 posts in 935 days


#4 posted 02-16-2018 04:57 PM


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.
- Tennessee

That makes sense starting out with medium. Think I’ll give that a try next time. Also, someone mentioned using Mercury Flex vs Stickfast. Gonna try that too.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Andybb

1856 posts in 935 days


#5 posted 02-16-2018 09:05 PM

Here is another technique someone showed me.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View JMillerWoodworks's profile

JMillerWoodworks

52 posts in 678 days


#6 posted 02-17-2018 10:22 PM

Thanks guys for the help! It is just what I needed!

-- - Joel Miller "Striving to be like the Carpenter of Galilee"

View tamittr's profile

tamittr

2 posts in 78 days


#7 posted 02-04-2019 11:36 PM

Hi. I am new to pen turning. My pens keep getting a blotchy dull finish when I apply the thin CA glue. Part of the pen is perfectly shiny and some spots on the ends or right in the middle are looking dull, almost like the glue just wiped off. I do this in my garage which is pretty cold. Could the temperature effect the finish? any help would be great! Also, the glue sometimes smokes with i gently wipe it with a paper towel.

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WoodenDreams

546 posts in 242 days


#8 posted 02-05-2019 03:00 AM

You can use a turners finish which dries quicker. you can also use auto wax https://www.wwgoa.com/video/using-ca-glue-as-a-pen-finish-000226/

View Andre's profile

Andre

2550 posts in 2137 days


#9 posted 02-05-2019 02:39 PM

http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p=69567&cat=1,330,49236&ap=1
Just bought some of this, works a lot easier than CA Glue, my preferred method is Hard wax sticks after a coat or two of Shellac!
http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p=20092&cat=1,330,49236&ap=1
Have used the Carnuba wax from this system but actually like the Hoyt brand better if you can find it.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View moke's profile

moke

1351 posts in 3108 days


#10 posted 02-05-2019 06:38 PM

CA is a lousy finish…...I started making CA finish pens 10 years ago….most of the oldest ones look terrible today, some are all cracked, but all have some cracking. They are micro cracks but they are there! I have used DNA to dry the oils out of the blanks and not used both….didn’t seem to matter. I bought and made a second slow speed turning mech and am now spraying on poly from a rattle can….takes a lot longer but makes a much better product.

I have a friend doing shellawax products with some decent success too.

-- Mike

View RobHannon's profile

RobHannon

254 posts in 862 days


#11 posted 02-05-2019 06:57 PM

I did CA exclusively for a while but I have been moving more towards wax finishes. The HUT perfect pen polish is one of my favorites, especially for wood with very closed pores. More open grained wood like oak takes a bit more prep work before the wax buffs evenly in my experience. Shine juice is also a nice finish if you are in no rush and do multiple coats. Same recipe that AndyBB posted above just with equal parts of each. I have found friction polishes over CA work, but if you are too aggressive it can burn the CA and make a mess. My lathe doesn’t have a very low speed so it becomes pretty easy to overdo it.

Never tried EEE shine or Yorkshire Grit, but I have used a homemade version with fine pumice and diatomaceous earth mixed with a little bit of pastewax. Only reason I make my own is I already buy 50lb bags of both abrasives for my pool filter. Works pretty decent on wood and really well on acrylics.

View JMillerWoodworks's profile

JMillerWoodworks

52 posts in 678 days


#12 posted 02-06-2019 02:01 AM

Thanks, http://lumberjocks.com/RobHannon ! I’ll have to try that!

-- - Joel Miller "Striving to be like the Carpenter of Galilee"

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