is lacquer waterproof?? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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Woodturning > is lacquer waterproof??
brown down's Avatar brown down 12:20 PM 11-02-2010

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i posted this in the finishing part of this site, but the more feedback i get the better. Is lacquer water proof. I am liking it a lot more than poly lately, but i know poly is waterproof. I turned a game call for a customer just want to know if i should stick with poly or if lacquer will do the job???

ash123 05:46 PM 11-02-2010

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Originally Posted by brown down View Post
i posted this in the finishing part of this site, but the more feedback i get the better. Is lacquer water proof. I am liking it a lot more than poly lately, but i know poly is waterproof. I turned a game call for a customer just want to know if i should stick with poly or if lacquer will do the job???
Cars are painted with lacquer paint.

I use conversion finishes on wood.
Leo G's Avatar Leo G 06:53 PM 11-02-2010

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What kind of lacquer. Nitro is not. Precat is pretty close, and post cat is even better. Outside use is not recommended.
thekctermite's Avatar thekctermite 12:44 AM 11-03-2010

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As a game call maker I can assure you that laquer is one of the poorest game call finishes there is. It will handle minimal water contact, but prolonged soakings will cause damage unless you're using fancy catalyzed stuff (not Deft). It scratches easily. Most importantly, bug spray will absolutely turn it to goo. There are a lot of call makers that use it due to the fact that it is super easy and it looks good, but I feel I owe it to my customers to put the best possible finish on a call that will see use in the field. If you use regular hardware store laquer on your game calls I 100% assure you that down the road a year or two you're going to have some very unhappy customers.

Plain old poly is a mediocre finish. Much better than laquer though. Personally I don't think it is good enough.

A couple dips in spar urethane thinned with 40-50% mineral spirits is a very good finish. Very durable. Goes on just like poly, but it is made to handle the outdoors and be tougher.

In my opinion the best finish is numerous coats of CA. Plus I think it is the best looking finish when done properly. A good thick CA finish is as close to a bulletproof finish as you'll find.
brown down's Avatar brown down 09:25 AM 11-03-2010

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Well case closed. I called the manufacturer, and it is waterproof for indoors, but the abuse i am sure this call will get, i am sticking with the finish i know works. I really only wanted to use lacquer, because of how easy and fast it goes down, i used it on a pepper mill and i had about 10 coats on it when i only would have had 3 of poly,. how do you put on the CA glue on, and how fast are you spinning your lathe?
thekctermite's Avatar thekctermite 10:25 AM 11-03-2010

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The CA glue is a bit of a process, but is easy to do once you get some practice under your belt. In brief, I apply one drop of medium CA to the corner of a small square of paper towel folded 3 times. With the lathe running fairly slow (600 rpm'ish) I apply the towel LIGHTLY to the wood and quickly sweep once in one direction. One drop will not coat the length of the call or even close. One coat takes numerous drops. Use aerosol activator after each drop. If you get grooves or high spots just wet sand with 600 or finer paper and water. I put at least several coats on my calls, then wet sand with 1500 and 2000, then buff on the Beall. Others use micromesh instead of buffing. It makes a glass-like finish that is really solid. It isn't easy the first time around so I'd suggest practicing on something first, but you'll pick it up quick.

If you want, PM me and I can walk you through it by phone.

Here's one of mine with a CA finish. Doesn't even compare to a dipped finish...Much nicer finished appearance when closely examined. It is certainly more durable too.
john lucas 12:48 PM 11-03-2010

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Try Bichwood Casey True-oil It's what is used on a lot of Gunstocks. It's not waterproof but is very durable.
I use lacquer on my hand mirrors. Although it's not water proof it is pretty water resistant. The reason I changed to lacquer is repairability. I can easily repair damaged finish problems on lacquer. Polyeurethane requires that I sand it all off and start over. The True-oil is also easily repaired.
brown down's Avatar brown down 03:20 PM 11-03-2010

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so i gave it a go at it and like you said it will take some practice. now how many coats to you do. I will tell you this after doing one of my old calls i made for myself, that i think that is my new way of finishing. do you do that on bare wood, no finish only using the ca as the finish. also r you able to put a coat on with minimal to no wet sanding? not seeing the grooves so to speak?
Bob Willing 05:38 PM 11-03-2010

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I also use CA glue on game calls but only to stabilize the wood and not as a finish. Someone on this forum sometime ago suggested "teak" oil and I have been using it ever since for my calls. I research Teak vs. Tung oil and teak is best for exterior applications. I drop the call into a can of teak oil and let it soak for 24 hours than remove it and let it dry for 24 hours. After drying I use the beall system to buff the end results. Teak oil has long been the finish of choice for marine applications. I know the call is soaking up a lot of oil because after 24 hours the call has sunk to the bottom of the can. This also increases the density of the wood. This method also coats the inside of the call. If you attach a brass ring to the call do not to put the call into the oil for 24 hours until the glue and/or epoxy has cured. I use this same method on bottle stoppers, because the alcohol in wine will attack common friction polishing methods which contains alcohol.
brown down's Avatar brown down 08:00 PM 11-03-2010

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What type of finish is teak once polished. high gloss or a satin type finish. I just need something faster and more durable than poly! now i don't have a beal, so am i able to polish it with the micro sand pads? now will it also build up the inside where i will need to sand to get my stopper part of the call in? do you have a picture to reference from?
thekctermite's Avatar thekctermite 09:04 PM 11-03-2010

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If the wood is really porous I will do one coat, then sand back down to bare wood with 320 or 400 grit. That will make the CA act as a grain filler. Then start building finish.

I normally don't wet sand until I'm done with applying CA. Depending on the call I usually do anywhere from 7-15 coats. The cocobolo call above was closer to 15, but I wanted the finish to look thick. The little lines you're seeing can be wet sanded out at the end of the process, but don't go coarser than 1200. Keep it really, really, really wet too.

Inside my calls' barrels I use a wooden-stick q-tip like they have at the doctors office to apply a thin coat of CA. I'll do more in the visible parts at the end. I usually do not wet sand inside the call, as it looks fine without it.

The best tip I can give is to apply the CA to the wood with no friction. Let the drop flow off the towel onto the wood, and move FAST.

I do not put CA over another finish in most cases. If you use japan dryer in BLO you can do that, but I don't see the point.

You can use micro mesh in lieu of a Beall buffer. Go all the way to 12000 grit and keep it cool or you'll have issues. I'd highly recommend a buffer....PSI has one for under $50 intended for pens, and it has two wheels. One for tripoli and one for white diamond. That way you can take a CA finish from wet sanding at 2000 grit to a perfect shine in seconds. Well worth it.

IMHO, there are a million different oils that you can put on wood and consider them "protected"...BLO, teak oil, linseed oil, tung oil, etc. They'll for the most part protect the wood from water soaking in, but a hard "shell" finish is much more durable long term. BLO has been used on walnut calls since the old days, but you should SOAK the wood in it for a couple days to fully impregnate it. A simple coat of oil does very little to resist the elements. Just one guy's (experienced) opinion. Opinions do vary amongst callmakers.
thekctermite's Avatar thekctermite 09:13 PM 11-03-2010

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Another good finish for calls I forgot to mention is Waterlox. It is polymerized tung oil. So it has the beauty of tung oil with the durability of a urethane. It looks awesome on walnut, maple and other domestics. Won't work on oily woods though.

Here's a call I did for the KS governor last year, and used three coats of gloss waterlox. Then I buffed the sheen off it with 0000 steel wool.
brown down's Avatar brown down 10:38 PM 11-03-2010

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I am not a newby to making calls but i have always used poly, so i am a newby to using different finishes to make things waterproof as possible. i have heard of boiled linseed oil but not waterlox. is it spray or wipe on?
who carry's that buffer for that cheap??? i will buy that in a heart beat. does woodcraft carry it?
Bob Willing 11:35 PM 11-03-2010

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Originally Posted by brown down View Post
I am not a newby to making calls but i have always used poly, so i am a newby to using different finishes to make things waterproof as possible. i have heard of boiled linseed oil but not waterlox. is it spray or wipe on?
who carry's that buffer for that cheap??? i will buy that in a heart beat. does woodcraft carry it?

This is the system that PSI carries for under $55.00. It is a very sturdy system http://www.pennstateind.com/store/LBUFFSYS.html I tried to make my own but it was not the same thing. It includes the shaft, wheel and compounds. I am very happy with the PSI system.
thekctermite's Avatar thekctermite 11:45 PM 11-03-2010

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That's the one!

Be sure to get yourself a bar of tripoli (brown) and white diamond (white).
Bob Willing 11:58 PM 11-03-2010

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is lacquer waterproof??-im002229.jpg
Here are 4 maple burl calls that I made using teak oil and the beall buffing system, judge for your self the finish. The reason they have a price tags on them is because I sent this picture to a buyer for his consideration.

I now use Waterlox (3 coats) on my latest salt and pepper mills which you can view on one of my latest posts on this forum. I also coat the inside just before I seperate the top and bottom by pouring in laqure into the bored hole, let drain and than dry, than return to the lathe and finish the turning. I started to use Waterlox because the set my wife uses started to deteriate using laqure and laqure was not holding up in the kitchen. I also sell my S & P mills so I want to make my customers happy. A while back you led us to a web site that had very expensive S & P mills and they use 10 coats of laqure. They also offer a refinishing service. So I think that Waterlox will last longer than laqure. kctermite initially suggested Waterlox on a previous post so I tried it and am very impressed with the results.
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thekctermite's Avatar thekctermite 12:47 AM 11-04-2010

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The only bummer with waterlox is that it will start to get lumpy in the can before you get it all used. The trick to keeping that from happening is to get a couple pounds of glass marbles and as you remove finish from the can, add marbles until there is not much air left in the can.
Bob Willing 10:56 AM 11-04-2010

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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
The only bummer with waterlox is that it will start to get lumpy in the can before you get it all used. The trick to keeping that from happening is to get a couple pounds of glass marbles and as you remove finish from the can, add marbles until there is not much air left in the can.
Yes I know and it makes the can feel like lead. I was suprised how many marbles it takes to fill the can to the top.
Jr.Woodchuck 05:08 PM 11-09-2010

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Define waterproof. Neither Lacquer or Poly will work underwater. Most lacquer I have used is OK to take outside but not to leave outside. Most oil finishes I have used will withstand some moisture but not standing water. You will want to check to make sure any finish you use is nontoxic after drying. I like Tried and True. It takes several coats, you use very little of it and it is toxic free both out of the can and when dry.
Bob Willing 08:11 PM 11-09-2010

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I copied this from the waterlox site:
  • Use on interior wood surfaces including floors, windows, doors, cabinetry, woodwork, tables, furniture, bar tops, picture frames, fly fishing rods, gun stocks and various woodworking projects.
  • Non-toxic when dry/fully cured.
  • Also works as a sealer, primer, tie-coat or paint additive to improve adhesion.
  • Provides exceptional adhesion to oily, dense, exotic woods like teak, rosewood and ipe.
  • Great on porous interior surfaces such as slate, brick, stone, tile, linoleum or cement to seal and prevent chalking and dusting1.
  • For exterior projects, Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish can be used as a sealer. Apply 1-2 coats to seal/prime the substrate, followed by 2 coats of our Waterlox Original Marine Finish (see the Marine Finishing Guide).
  • Coverage/Thinning. One gallon covers 500 square feet per coat. One quart covers 125 square feet per coat. No thinning required.
  • Dry Time. 24 hours between coats. Poor ventilation, high humidity or cool temperatures may increase dry times.
  • Use our Materials Calculator to order the right amount of Waterlox for your finishing project.
1Once the project is completed, removing the finish can be very difficult as Waterlox will alter the appearance of porous substrates. Apply all intended coats to a small, inconspicuous area or scrap piece of substrate from the project and allow to dry properly prior to the actual application. Final color effect is always influenced by the texture, porosity, and by the method of application and will be difficult to reverse once finished. For slate, brick, stone and concrete, you may need only one coat to penetrate and seal.

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