"Smoothing" pens - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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"Smoothing" pens

I'm on my third pen so far & loving it. Usually when I talk about woodowrking my wife gets this glossed over look & says very unenthusiastic stuff like "mmmmm hhmmmm" or "uuhhh ok", but she really liked the first pen I did & even placed an order for her boss for bosses day friday.

Anyway, was working on improving the finish & used three coats of CA & then polished to 12,000 grit micromesh. Looked great, then I made the mistake of putting on some Hut PPP high gloss bar to see what it would do & now I have all these white specs in my nice Black Ash Burl pen. I tried mineral spirits to get them out, but no luck. So my questions are:

1. how do you insure a perfectly smooth blank before you add something like Huts PPP?

2. How would you go about getting the white specs out of the existing pen?

I'll try to post some pics when I gets some with something other than a cell phone.

Thanks!
Dan
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 10:20 AM
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Your white specs are caused by the compound getting into the pores of the wood. I've had good success getting it out with a tooth brush and mineral spirits. The way to get around this in the future is to completely fill the pores with finish. You might have to use a thickened finish. Sand and look for glossy spots. If you have a glossy spot then that pore isn't filled. Once you get enough finish on so there aren't any more glossy spots when you sand you can move on up in the grits until it shines.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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never thought of a toothbrush. I need to confiscate one to clean some micromesh tonight anyways. Amazing how something small like this can completely ruin the look of a pen. A dozen or so specs about the size of a pin head.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danno6102 View Post
1. how do you insure a perfectly smooth blank before you add something like Huts PPP?
Do you intend to use Huts PPP on top of a CA finish?

If so, why? To me it sounds like a bad move.

I got some great advice on how to make a CA finish in another thread on this forum, with the final touch being Huts super gloss plastic polish (not wax finish). If you search the forum you'll find it.

Please visit my website, Fruit of the Lathe
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duncsuss View Post
Do you intend to use Huts PPP on top of a CA finish?

If so, why? To me it sounds like a bad move.

I got some great advice on how to make a CA finish in another thread on this forum, with the final touch being Huts super gloss plastic polish (not wax finish). If you search the forum you'll find it.
Yea, I don't think I am going to use it anymore. It was more or less experimenting trying to find that amazing gloss. Really just polishing to 12,000 was pretty good. I'm trying to get that glass smooth vibrant gloss that people are amazed by. I am going to try the plastic polish, picking some up today, but I wonder if I'll get the same effect with the pores, seeing as how it is a white liquid polish.

Local Woodcraft guy also recommended Mylands friction polish.
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 01:35 PM
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check this thread

Here's a link to the thread that set me straight on how to get a glass-like finish on pens ...

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f6/finish-pens-7435/

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post #7 of 11 Old 10-13-2010, 03:12 AM
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Greetings,

Man, I would have to say personally, Apply more coats of CA. At least 10, of Medium CA. I use 320 grit to knock down the high points then proceed up to 600. From that point I break out an automotive Rubbing compound "No. 7" is the company name. I apply let it sit for a couple of minutes. then slowly wipe off with some gentle rubbing back and forth while the lathe is going. Then I do the same with, again "No. 7" Polishing Compound. BTW for the two tubs I paid about $11.
I get an awesome shine on the pen.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-13-2010, 03:49 AM
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We do pretty much the same thing with 6-10 coats of medium CA with BLO and follow that up with Turtlewax liquid polishing compound. Gives it a great luster!

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. James 3:17
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-18-2010, 09:11 AM
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Dan I use CA for a finish on my duck calls, and I have a method that works really well that could easily be used on pens.

I apply two or three coats of medium CA as a grain filler, then sand it back down to bare wood with 320, 400, 600, then 800. Then I apply 10-15 coats of medium CA on little pieces of paper towel folded 4 times. Put one drop on the corner and apply it quick...Don't stay on more than a second or two. Shoot it with activator as it spins and do it again. After that's done I wet sand with 1500 grit (and water), then wet sand with 2000 grit. Then I buff the finish on the Beall buff with tripoli and then white diamond. Shines them right up and yields a thick perfect looking finish.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-18-2010, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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I got a great finish this weekend, but still have some questions.

I sanded down to 600, then applied 10 coats of medium CA sanding with 600 between each coat, then micro mesh to 12,000 & Huts plastic polish. Finish turned out awesome. Only problem I had was where the CA coating built up on the bushings. It delaminated the CA a little on the very edges when & broke them free from the blank. Any tricks on how to get the blank off clean & also to either keep the CA off the bushings or, get it off when the pen is done. This time I just put the bushings on the mandrel & sanded them down with 150 grit.
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post #11 of 11 Old 10-18-2010, 09:59 AM
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I've just started with the turning of pens. Joe my teacher of pens showed me his way which works good but he also told me you will hear a 100 different ways to finish a pen. Not that one way will be better then another but allot of it comes down to what you feel is best for you.

His way is simple

1) Sand 100, 220, then 320 while the lathe is spinning. stop the
lathe and sand horizontally in between each grit that
removes any ridges.

2) Apply 1 cote of CA with a little square of paper towel (bounty to
be exact) doubled with a little baggie on your finger. One drop
(each half) wipe it across quickly while lathe is spinning, hit it
with the accelerator then apply 2 more coats the same way.

3) While spinning lightly use 800 grit wipe clean, then same thing
with 1000 grit.

4) Again while spinning apply canuba wax and buff with a soft
cloth. Finally on a soft clothe use a good polishing compound
and while spinning pinch it around the pen moving side to side.
Make it heat up a little because of the pinching pressure, then
with a clean soft clothe buff to a shine.

Of course always keep your clothe from dangling into a spinning lathe. Owe from start to finish the lathe spins at one speed 3900 rpm's. It works for me but I'm looking at different ways to improve the finish or the process just to see if there are any.
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