Finishing a Bubunga pen with BLO and CA - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 11-19-2011, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Finishing a Bubunga pen with BLO and CA

Today I had a rough time making a pen out of bubinga and finishing it with a coat of boiled linseed oil then finishing it with CA. I've never turned bubinga before (seemed like tough stuff) and while I've finished with CA before, this is the first time I've tried the BLO coat first. And just to add too many variables to the mix this is the first time I've used this particular brand of CA and I'm not sure I'm happy with it, might go back to Zap. After sanding to more than 600 I gave it a wipe of BLO then kept wiping with a paper towel until nothing came off. Then I started finishing with CA, but the glue didn't dry very well and I kept wiping it down, sanding it smooth and then starting over. I finally got it sort of OK, but not the quality I've done before and not something I'd sell (and this pen was supposed to be for sale).

So I figure that either the bubinga isn't reacting well with the CA, the CA sucks, or despite the fact that I buffed the BLO until nothing else came off on the paper towel I needed to wait longer (possibly overnight) between the BLO and the CA.

The pen is in the attached picture along with an acrylic pen I turned and finished last night. The picture is a bit out of focus near the tip where I'm the least happy with the finish.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 19 Old 11-19-2011, 07:47 PM
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Pen looks great, seems like a lot of work and effort using linseed oil and ca, i'v never used it before, I normally use "speed an ease" or a couple of coats of Danish oil on my pens, nice work on the pen.
Gus
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post #3 of 19 Old 11-19-2011, 07:49 PM
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What brand of CA are you using? I started using "Stick fast" CA. It works great and priced well below alot of CA prices out there. Check it out. Your pens look great by the way.
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post #4 of 19 Old 11-19-2011, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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The other pen finishes I tried looked good at first, but then dulled a bit over time and I wasn't happy with that. The CA was the only finish so far which stayed crystal clear over time. The BLO today was to see if I could bring out the figure a bit more.
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post #5 of 19 Old 11-19-2011, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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The CA I used today was the Hobbytown house brand, purple cap gap filling 15 sec cure. The store owner told me it was closest to Zap green. I could be nuts, but I think the Zap green soaked into the wood just a little but more before hardening, this stuff gives me the impression of curing roughly on the surface very quickly.
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post #6 of 19 Old 11-19-2011, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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@Robocop, I forgot to mention that after the CA I go up all the way with micro-mesh and then apply plastic pen polish - so you probably think I go completely nuts now :-)
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post #7 of 19 Old 11-19-2011, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprior View Post
... this stuff gives me the impression of curing roughly on the surface very quickly.
I had a lot of problems with CA and bubinga also.

Don't know if it's oils or resins in the wood, or simply technique. It took me several tries to get a finish that didn't look like it had puddles trapped under the surface. I had to keep sanding it down to the bare wood and starting over.

Eventually it worked out ok ...


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post #8 of 19 Old 11-19-2011, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah! That's what I'm shooting for!!! Beautiful. I didn't have nearly this much trouble with cocobolo (which is also oily), but I didn't do the linseed oil on them so that's why I was wondering if maybe I needed to let the linseed oil cure overnight. My next pens in the pipeline are olive wood - I seem to be sticking with the oily wood genre... I turned one of them today and did do the linseed oil, but I'm letting it sit and plan to finish tomorrow.
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post #9 of 19 Old 11-20-2011, 08:05 AM
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Thanks. I've been thinking about it, and wonder if maybe I'd been looking at this problem from the wrong direction.

I'd been thinking the CA wasn't curing properly, but perhaps it's the other way round.

Maybe there's something in bubinga wood that works the same way as the activator spray, making the CA cure on contact without forming a good bond to the wood.

It might be worth taking a paper towel damp with acetone and giving the barrels a quick wipe just before hitting it with the CA. This might clean the surface and act as a retardant to give the CA enough time to bond into the pores, etc, before it sets.

Just a thought ... don't blame me when it goes wrong, etc

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post #10 of 19 Old 11-20-2011, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting theory. To a degree I'll test it today when I use that same CA to finish an olive wood pen. Besides the wood type the only other factor that will have changed is letting the BLO dry overnight.
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post #11 of 19 Old 11-20-2011, 10:35 AM
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I buy my CA and epoxy here http://woodenwonderstx.com/WWBlue/index.html
The best that I have ever used and fast shipping.

This is the system I use for a CA/BLO finish, works every time.
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post #12 of 19 Old 11-20-2011, 01:13 PM
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Just to throw my two cents in...Itís good to clean off oily woods with acetone or denatured alcohol before adding a finish that's not an oil base.

Vince
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post #13 of 19 Old 11-20-2011, 05:33 PM
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Michael Dresdner recommended thick CA glue on first, then BLO, Russ Fairfield out lines procedure on his web site.

I did same thing you did an applied dab of BLO first than medium CA and that worked for me. Then found out did not need BLO to get good finish so stopped using it. Using nothing but CA gave excellent results.

Bubinga, varnish recommended as a finish for this wood, think talking about flooring. Besides wiping down the blank another good trick with oily wood is do not go over 180 or 220 grit sandpaper. Finish will adhere better because surface not as smooth.

A lot of boiled linseed oil sold today is nothing more than regular linseed oil with dryers added. Read an article from 1959 where fellow said he boils his own linseed oil bcause store bought stuff just got gummy. Also Bob Flexner has said same thing about BLO in his book and other articles.

Many people complain about BLO not drying even after couple days or weeks after applying to non-oily wood. I applied some BLO to an outdoor swing kept outside and it smelled for couple months, can says 100% linseed oil.
http://www.lowes.com/pd_206538-34228-CR.BL.M.64_0__?productId=3024055&Ntt=boiled+linsee d+oil&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dboiled%2 Blinseed%2Boil&facetInfo=

I do not buy BLO anymore!
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post #14 of 19 Old 11-20-2011, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
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@Robocop, I forgot to mention that after the CA I go up all the way with micro-mesh and then apply plastic pen polish - so you probably think I go completely nuts now :-)
Yep now i know where your coming from as i say i never used CA for pens i probably go the easier way. I once made a workbench for a primary school from iroka and finished it with a satin varnish, took about 2 weeks to dry the first coat, i was later told it was the oils in the wood that stops it drying.
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post #15 of 19 Old 11-20-2011, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Whaler, thanks for posting that video - I had seen it before, but maybe I needed to see it again. I had switched to using just CA, but for some reason that just wasn't working for me this weekend. So after watching that video I tried going back to that technique and it worked much better for me today. I've turned 7 pens this weekend, attached is a pic of 5 of them (the other 2 were a second wind in the workshop after the picture was taken).

I'm still not completely happy with all the results, I was going for a near glass finish and it feels like I had a good run with some cocobolo pens a few months ago, but I think they're acceptable - will see what the people I turned them for think.
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post #16 of 19 Old 11-21-2011, 04:09 AM
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great info on the video, Thanks! now i have a new finish for my pens.

Gus
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post #17 of 19 Old 11-21-2011, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
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This is the system I use for a CA/BLO finish, works every time
... for you

I've had instances where it hasn't worked so well for me -- it might have been the wood, it might have been the CA, it might have been the BLO.

Or (perish the thought) it might have been me

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post #18 of 19 Old 11-21-2011, 08:22 PM
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Pens look great. I tend to just use blo on the very first step and mainly just to get the grain to pop. I then burnish it with high speed and my paper towel. You do have to be careful not to generate too much heat as you don't want to crack your blank. Then I apply the coats of ca.

John
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post #19 of 19 Old 11-27-2011, 12:02 AM
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CA and BLO

I have used the stick fast brand ca glue and have had good results when applying straight ca finish. When I use the ca and BLO finish, I receive satisfactory results, but I can not receive the glass like finish like I get with straight ca finish. The oils in the BLO I think keep the finish from being as hard as the ca finish and therefor don't polish as to a fine surface, therefor don't reflect light as well. So, I use ca and BLO on pens that have a warmer look, and straighter grains. The pen looks more natural. For spectacular grain and figure, I use straight ca finish, which give a glass like finish. But, you need very stabilized word, otherwise it can crack the ca finish over time.

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