How to finish turned acrylic?

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Forum topic by ShannonRogers posted 05-13-2008 10:44 PM 1654 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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540 posts in 5242 days

05-13-2008 10:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: woodturning acrylic finishing pens

Hey all,

I have a customer that wants 9 pens in an acrylic that matches her school colors. Being a woodophile I have not yet turned acrylic. I understand that the tools need to be very sharp so I hit the Tormek and went to town. It was fun to turn and then I realized that I haven’t figured out how to finish them yet. I did some research and found a source for acrylic sanding pads up to 12000 grit. Does anyone add any finish to this mix or is sanding to 12k enough. Coming from traditional wood turning I feel obligated to add something for protection, but I guess this isn’t necessary. Just looking for some reassurance since this is for a customer.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

7 replies so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 5198 days

#1 posted 05-14-2008 12:30 AM

You might pick up some canopy polish from your local civil airport or from an on line aircraft supply house

View Grumpy's profile


26811 posts in 5305 days

#2 posted 05-14-2008 12:50 AM

I can’t see why some EEE cutting paste & shellawak would not work but have not turned acrylic.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 5780 days

#3 posted 05-14-2008 04:35 AM

the acrylic sanding pads should give you everything you need.
I think there is some plastic polish out there that can be used as well. I haven’t done many acrylics do I don’t have all the details. The few i have made were only sanded to 220 grit and then hit with 0000 steel wool.

View trifern's profile


8134 posts in 5221 days

#4 posted 05-14-2008 04:48 AM

I have used car wax with good results.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View runngt's profile


120 posts in 5193 days

#5 posted 05-16-2008 10:04 PM

also I always wet sand acrylic and have the micro mesh sanding pads. Like you I seem to always want to polish, but it’s not needed.


-- It seem's I just make scrap wood and saw dust most of the time !

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 5445 days

#6 posted 05-16-2008 11:05 PM

I have been told to sand up to a high grit… 1200 or so then finish with plastic polish or some folks use CA glue….

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View rikkor's profile


11294 posts in 5328 days

#7 posted 05-16-2008 11:14 PM

I have done several, and if you polish to 12000 at high speed, with a light touch, nothing else is needed.

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