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I have a project to get 400 Hickory golf club shafts ready for staining and finishing. I have a lathe 48" between centers with a single steady rest. Have used a shew and sandpaper to get the shafts to the correct gram weight.

Looking for ideas on how to get a great finish; first in sanding, I have used 600 grit wet/dry (used dry) but still left minor tear out on some areas of the shaft. Second I have tried sanding sealer then oil based stain but still wind up with inconsistant coloration. Any suggestions to make this easier would be appreciated
 

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Welcome to the forum. I dont personally have much experience turning things this long but would imagine there are a few things you can do to improve your finish. Some of these you probably already know but figured I'd cover them anyway just to be sure. The first is make sure your skew is razor sharp and the you have a nice flat bevel to ride along the grain. There are plenty of good videos on youtube that show the proper way to sharpen and use the skew on flat surfaces. You may be getting tearout because as you apply pressure to the shaft it begins to flex causing uneven use of the tool. If this is the case you will need to take extremely light cuts or purchase a spindle steady rest to help steady the work. On the sanding side of things if you still have tear out switch to a lower grit sandpaper and move up the grits until you get to 600. Most turners only go to 400 because if you go too much higher than that the wood has difficulty accepting the finish. If you are applying the finish on the lathe make sure not to linger in one area for too long because the heat can build up and cause the finish to become tacky and then smudge. Keeping your lathe speed slow will help with this. These are the things i could think of... others will post more Im sure. Post some pics! we love pics... sounds like a really cool project, happy turnin,
Bond
 
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