Some one asked me about my comments on the 'Super Glue' Finish, so I thought I would post how I do it. I'm not claiming to be an expert, just thought I'd share.
I think its one of those things that there are a lot of different ways to do, so if anyone else has done this and has some tips, please chime in! I'm using a variable speed Jet Mini Lathe for any references I make to speed.
It's kind of hard to capture in a picture what it looks like, but I think this is probably the best example I've got on disk.
A couple of notes first.
* This finish has a certain amount of 'voodoo' to it.
I can't make it work perfectly everytime.
Sometimes I just sand it down and start over.
I'd suggest if you want to try it, just just take
the cheapest piece of wood you have, mount it
on a pen mandrel, turn it and give it a try.
* Not everyone likes this kind of a finish. Some folks
complain that it makes the pen look 'plastic', like
you might have just used an acrylic blank instead.
Personally, I like both wood and acrylic pens, and
I really like the depth of shine this gives the pen.
* There are probably other ways to get as good a shine,
but I just dont have any experience with them.
* CA Glue can give off some nasty fumes, so keep a fan
blowing or use your dust collector to pull the fumes
away from the pen.
* Either use gloves, or be ready to have some super
glue on you fingers. I use super glue so much
that it doesn't bother me anymore, but I don't get
to town all that often...
1) Turn a pen
2) I will initially sand my pen using regular
sandpaper grits of 100/150/220/320/600
at the slowest speed my lathe can go.
3) Using the Paper Blue Shop towels, I fold the
towels over until it's about 2 inches wide
then cut them into strips about 2 inches wide.
4) Now I crank up the speed on the lathe to about
the middle of my middle range. I put one of these
pads up against one side of the pen barrel and
put a couple of drops of BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil) on
the pen and rub the pad back and forth until it covers
5) Now I use some Medium thickness CyanoAcrylate
glue and while the lathe is still running and the pad
still up against the pen, I run a thin bead of CA
along the pen barrel.
6) Keeping a close eye on things, I run the pad back
and forth until the pen has a nice sheen to it.
Depending on the speed, this may only take
7) Depending on how things look, Repeat steps
4,5,6. I typically do it 3 times
8) Now it's time to polish. I have a set of micromesh
pads that I think you can get from woodturners
catalog. These start at like 1500 grit (I think) and go
way way up from there. Very fine stuff.
I will wet sand with alittle spray bottle and a MM Pad
and will sand on each grit for about 5 seconds or so
on the Very slowest speed my lathe will go.
9) Once that's done, it's pretty shiny, but not quite shiny enough.
I made a buffing wheel for my lathe out of some threaded
rod and two buffing pads. I put Tripoli compound on one and
some very fine Diamon compound on the other.
I crank the lathe up to the max speed on the middle range
and with the pen still on the mandrel will buff on the tripoli
first. Then I wipe the pen of real good and then buff on the
At this point, if all went well, I've got a pen with a perfectly
clear, deep looking, glassy shine.
10) If you used gloves, you've probably done a good
job of not gluing your fingers together.
If you are like me, you probably now have a thick coating
of glue on your fingers. I find that working some hand
lotion into you fingers will help to loosen up the glue after
a few minutes.