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post #1 of 12 Old 01-11-2011, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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First small project

I've got the setup now to turn small projects like bottle stoppers, so I thought I would post this up as it's an official first project that I've completed that I feel is worthy to given as a gift or sold. I'm still trying to get the hang of running the spindle gouge, but practice makes perfect right? I've had a little bit of practice lately, and some of the pieces ended up getting thrown out because of tearout or other problems or I just didn't like the look, but I think I'm off to a decent start. Hopefully start moving on to bigger projects soon. Criticism welcome, it will help me learn!
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I want to die quietly in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like the passengers of his car.
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-11-2011, 05:04 PM
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I think it looks nice. What is the wood and finish? What do people usually finish bottle stoppers with? I would assume that the amount of touching involved would require a tough finish to keep the acids on the hands from destroying it over time. CA? POLY? Just curious.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-11-2011, 05:10 PM
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That's a really nice looking bottle stopper. I love little projects like this because they provide almost instant satisfaction. Congrats on a job well done. Looking forward to seeing your future "small projects"
Ken

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post #4 of 12 Old 01-11-2011, 07:32 PM
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Very nice! I admire those of you that tackle turning. I'd certainly be proud of that little stopper.

Gakkuri
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-12-2011, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the compliments!

It's some maple I believe, thought it's just a scrap that a friend of mine gave me from some left-overs they had from rockler. I'm certainly enjoying my lathe now that I've played around with it a little bit. I've got some cocobolo and bubinga wood that I ordered from woodturners catalog that I'll be turning once I have a drill press to make sure I get a nice straight hole.

The finish is just 3 coats of friction polish after sanding down to an 800 grit level. The picture doesn't do it much justice in the finish, I love how easily you get a smooth, glass-like finish on the lathe.

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post #6 of 12 Old 01-12-2011, 12:16 PM
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be careful using friction polish on items that will be held a lot, it will eventually wear off
try wipe on polyurethane
nice stopper, before turning the good woods turn some scrap and make a shape you like then use that shape on the good wood.
it would suck if you wasted a chunk of cocobolo because you messed up the shape.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-12-2011, 10:51 PM
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Looks real nice. I would agree on using a wipe on poly finish. Keep on turning them and try lots of different shapes and you will start to get several that you like.

John
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-13-2011, 09:01 AM
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Your stopper looks good, I also agree with the poly, or maybe even lacquer. there are so many ways to turn a stopper a little design goes a long way but the most important part, it feels good in your hand. Good job!

Jeff,

"Just because your not bleeding, don't mean your turning safely"..
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-14-2011, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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So what how would one go about applying a wipe on Poly seal? Is it applied while the peice is on the lathe, or would you take it off and apply multiple coats sanding in between coats?

I really like the look of the friction polish, but understand it won't hold up to daily use very well.

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post #10 of 12 Old 01-14-2011, 09:27 AM
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There are two thoughts on finishes for bottle stoppers. One is that it must be fast. You can't make any money on something that takes a week to finish. Second, it must be durable. Here is where the problem comes in. Fast finishes aren't always durable.
Wipe on Poly is a good durable finish but if you wipe it on it takes a while to dry so it's hard to build the finish. It takes multiple coats to really look good and be durable. That usually means one coat on the lathe and then it would take more coats off the lathe because you need to be turning some more of them.
I use sort of a combination. I put 2 thinned coats of lacquer on letting each one dry. Then I buff them out with a rag at high speed with maybe just one drop of lacquer to help melt the finish. That seems to work pretty well and is quick. It's really too thin to be very durable so for my better stoppers I spray a coat or two on and then buff these with the Beal buffing system when they are dry. This takes a lot longer but the finish looks a lot better.
I've tried the various "instant" finishes and done right they do look good and sell well. However I've visited friends who have my stoppers and after a while they don't look very good. The finish just isn't durable.
CA finishes are durable and quick but nasty to apply and quite expensive.
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-14-2011, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not going to be selling these, at least not until I get a bit better on the lathe, so a fast finish isn't as important as a durable finish. I'll try and pick up some wipe on poly this weekend and maybe set up some sort of rack with bolts so hold the work while it drys. These will primarily be gifts, and maybe sell a few to recoup some money to buy more stoppers and other projects.

Thanks for the advice!

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post #12 of 12 Old 01-14-2011, 12:17 PM
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ca glue is a great finish to use if you have the time and patience.
i wanted a durable glossy finish on an 8 inch bowl so i put 4 thick coats of ca and then buffed it out with burnishing cream and then added some carnauba wax and buffed that off
came out pretty good

it can be pretty frustrating using ca, if you do it wrong it leaves streaks and it takes a while to build up sufficient layers. its easier to apply on small items,i think an 8" bowl is as big as i can manage with ca

using wipe on poly is easier to apply but not as durable as ca (but it is still nice and strong and wont rub off when touched)
everyone has different opinions about applying it, some people brush it on off the lathe but i find it easier to apply on the lathe at a slow speed (100rpm or so). i use an old shirt to wipe it on, i prefer putting it on while the lathe is running because it makes a more even coat than brushing on by hand.
i sand lightly with 800 after every coat to remove any bumps or specs of dust that are stuck to the finish
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