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post #1 of 5 Old 03-10-2010, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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First Project

Ok, so i have made some pens. one turned out good the other have tool marks. One has was maple, and i use EEE-ultra-Shine before waxing. But on the maple one it turned like it had dirt on it. i think it form the bushing.
should i clean the bushing? if so what should i clean them with?


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post #2 of 5 Old 03-10-2010, 10:48 PM
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bushing stain

Don't bother cleaning the bushings. What you have is iron from the bushing clinging to the sand paper and being deposited into the grain pores and staining the light colored wood. When you sand the blank keep the sand paper off the bushing, also keep the EEE and wax off them also. This is necessary for all light woods.

When sanding go thru the grits up to at least 600. Between each grit stop the lathe and sand the length of the pen before going to the next grit. This will help remove the sanding groves faster and remove all tool marks.

Last edited by Apple Ridgerunner; 03-10-2010 at 10:55 PM. Reason: More complete answer
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-11-2010, 09:01 AM
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Great advice! I usually sand most woods up to at least 800. Some of the exotics that'll take a nice polish (like cocobolo) benefit from sanding even finer.
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-11-2010, 10:24 AM
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Keep going! For pens and bottle stoppers, I sand up to 600 with the turner's pack from Woodcraft. Then, keep going with the micromesh up to 12,000.

After all that, I blow it off with an air hose, turn on two coats of lacquer, buff that with a paper towel, then two or more coats of Shellawax friction polish.

That's one of many ways to finish a pen. I think the type of finish you use is pretty subjective. There are a lot of great methods out there, and you'll have to settle on which one(s) work well for you.
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-11-2010, 10:30 PM
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Two of the best tips that made the biggest improvements in my pens are:

As was stated earlier, stop the lathe in between grits and sand length ways with the grain to eliminate the swirl marks. Do this each time. If your lathe has reverse you can sand in both directions and then stop and sand with the grain.

The other was to slow my lathe speed way down. I always wanted to sand really fast and it certainly does not help you. Builds up heat which can crack your blank and I think it clogs your sandpaper quicker. I usually sand around 350-500 rpms and I could probably go slower.

As you improve with your tool touch you will eliminate most of the "tool marks" .

Good luck and post some pictures!

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