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post #1 of 11 Old 03-11-2009, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Finishing Prep

What does everyone do to prepare a turned piece for finishing? I mean, beyond the endless sanding?

I've been using my blowoff attachment on my air compressor to blow the dust off of / out of my turnings before using the friction polish. I noticed on my first couple of test pieces that the dust from sanding tended to pack into the grain voids and it would stay there if I just wiped the piece off with a rag before polishing. After polishing, the filled grain would be a lighter color than the wood. If I blow it out first, like with the Padauk I've been working with, the grain is a really nice darker contrast and shows a bit of depth to the piece.

What do you do?
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-11-2009, 03:10 PM
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I use the air compressor too with all my stuff (not just turning). I know alot of people like tack cloth

I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-11-2009, 09:38 PM
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I use my air compressor as well. If I am going to do an oil finish I use a damp cloth and wipe the piece down to raise the grain, let it dry, sand, and blow it off again. For lacquer I just blow it off.

Assumption is the mother of all foul -ups
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-11-2009, 09:39 PM
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Finishing prep

I use the air also,but sometimes I will wipe it down with a papertowel dampened with a thinner afterwards.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-11-2009, 09:59 PM
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Dano,
Air compressor's a good idea. I normally do that too. I will take a clean cotton piece (old tube sock) and hold it against the piece while it is turning to sort of burnish a bit. Moderate amount of pressure for a few seconds. Hold the sock in such away that it is not wrapped around your fingers. If it should snag on something you want to be able to let it go and just shut the lathe off. When you are turning wood with an open grain like oak, I like to use either lacquer or spray can varnish. It dries in a minute of two so you can put several coats on. This will help seal and fill the pores. If you are using a friction polish, it is basically a wax. If you get wax in the pores, it turns white and looks lousy, especially on something like purple heart or walnut. You will also find the friction finishes will dull out from handling in a short amount of time. Try one of the spraycans, it's easy. Just shoot some on a small square of an old towel or tube sock. Enough to make a damp spot, then rub it on your piece. I do it with the lathe turning, but I slow it down below 1000 rpms. Several coats and you should be fine. After that I head over to the buffer and buff it and wax it. Brings a nice shine and makes them very smooth to the touch.
Mike Hawkins
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-11-2009, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Holy WoW

I just did some internet browsing for sites that sell handmade wooden pens. The cheapo slimline kits that I bought to try out are selling for $30+ on these sites!

One of the sites even had a whole photo spread of how they make their pens. The only thing they do that I haven't done is sand with 10,000 and 12,000 pads after the friction polish then wax and buff like Mike said.

I need to get in on this racket!
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-13-2009, 08:20 PM
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I read Firehawkmph's post and tried some of the things that he talked about today on some pens I finished.

This is what I did:
1. I used compressed air from compressor to blow off wood between steps of sanding.
2. Sanded with sandpaper to 600 grit.
3. Sanded with micro-fiber to 12000 grit.
4. Used old T-Shirt to burnish and clean wood.
5. Applied Shellac finish using old T-Shirt. (2 coats)
6. Applied HUT clear coat high gloss finish with old T-Shirt. (2 coats)
7. Buffed with old T-Shirt.

This really made the shine come through. I used to use the solid bar wax as the last coat but noticed (as you stated) that the wax was noticable in the porous grain of some woods. I didn't like this look and no matter how much you sand, you can't get rid of it.

The Shellac and wax should give a hard enough finish to last for a long long time.

Any thoughts?
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-13-2009, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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My first dozen pens were done with the afore mentioned friction polish. Thought it leaves a nice shiny finish (when properly applied ), I'm told it doesn't last as long as one would like. I happened to have a can of spray on spar urethane that I played with today. I sprayed a bit on a rag and "wiped" it on the pen while it was turning. It was nice and smooth, but the spar I have is only semi-gloss. I'll have to try that method again with high gloss.

I've never used shellac, if it dries hard and smooth, I might give it a go! I'm still experimenting to find a finish that I can live with on my work.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-14-2009, 09:46 AM
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B,
In my opinion, the Shellac does dry fairly fast and hard. It comes out very shiny also. My first impression is I like it and will keep using it.

Fred
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-14-2009, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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I just read wikipedia's writeup about shellac. Pretty interesting that it comes from bug sucretions.

I guess if it's safe enough to make skittles shiny, it's safe enough to make pens and tops shiny.
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-14-2009, 07:46 PM
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Very interesting fact you uncovered! I will never eat another shiny piece of candy.

But it still works good on pens and other items on the lathe!
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