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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some advice on what I am doing wrong. I sand pen blank, apply 3-4 coats of ca glue. Then
Micro mesh. Problem is, if the pic shows it has dull spots and some shiny spots. It's like the finish is coming off
Thanks for any advice
Denny
 

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Are you using accelerator and are you using thin ca?

I use thin with accelerator and put down a minimum of 8 coats then micromesh. When I first started I wasn't using accelerator and was having problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
clpead said:
Are you using accelerator and are you using thin ca?

I use thin with accelerator and put down a minimum of 8 coats then micromesh. When I first started I wasn't using accelerator and was having problems.
I don't have any thin just medium and yes I do have accelerator.
Have thin on order. Thx a bunch
 

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The New Guy
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I normally use 10 coats of CA. I also typically use medium CA so you not having any thin shouldn't be a problem. I don't sand between coats, even with an uneven coat. I just use the next coat or two to kinda fill in the uneven coat. I do use an activator.

It looks like you've sanded through the CA that you have on that blank, or didn't sand/polish nearly enough and didn't take down the high spots before moving up in grits.
 

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James Daschel
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I sand my blanks with 600 before I do micro mesh on my ca finish. I apply normally 2-3 thin and 5-10 med. Depending on the blank. Shine a light on your blank and look to see if you have any shiny spots. The shiny spots showing is the variations in the finish. High and low spots. This is why I apply lots of ca and then sand it off. Also, I would wipe your blank off after you sand it with denatured alcohol. BEFORE you apply your ca. This helps remove the oils from the wood, so the ca sticks better.
 

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Denny, I think I know what your talking about on your finish issue. I just got done with making a BUNCH of pens for Father's Day (co workers ordered several from me) and have spent the last 3 days doing pens. This is what I have found to work great for me.

After I sand the blank from 150-400, I wipe the blank down with a dry cloth to get rid of any dust. I apply one coat of thin CA. Quick spritz on the accelerator and count to ten. Then I apply 5 coats of the medium CA with a quick spritz of accel. on each coat and counting to ten. Then I apply the last coat with thin again BECAUSE there is uneven spots and the thin seems to fill them in nicely. Then on the first micro mesh, I make sure that I get this as even as possible. By that I mean I have a light that I can use to make sure I don't see any glossy spots. If I do, I wet my micro mesh and keep sanding until I do not see any glossy spots. Once that all important first micro mesh is completed and everything is even, then I can run through the rest of my micro mesh with no problems. I am finding that I get very consistent results with this and by the time I get to my final 12000 micro mesh, the pens are as shiny as I think they can get.
 

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The number of coats you apply will depend greatly on the brand of CA, the viscosity of the CA and how much you need to build up to have a perfect fit. I never use less than 8 coats and it usually takes 10 to 12 to get them where I need them to be. Ive never sanded between coats, I dont see any reason to. Also be very careful with the first few grits of MM, they really take off a lot of your finish. With the first pad, you should sand untill there are no shiny spots left on the blank. If you have shiny spots then you still have valleys that you have not sanded down to. The entire blanks should have the dull look before you move up to the second pad. Always use MM wet on CA and cross sand between every grit. If not you will wind up with swirls in your finish. One of these days if I learn how to edit video I will shoot a video for CA finishing since this comes up so often!

Another tip, clean your MM. I use a spray bottle to wet my pads. I used to dip my pads but would pick up particles from previous grits. Now I spray them and I spray them after I yse them to blast them clean. After using them a few times I will scrub them with an old tooth brush and water just to dislodge any built up gunk.
 
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