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Thread: Finishes for turning

  1. #1
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    Finishes for turning

    I have not gotten to the stage of having things look good enough to applying a finish to it. Just wondering what is used to finish off projects to get that show room finish that makes one proud to show it off. There must be a certain way to finish off projects. Guidence appreciated
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  2. #2
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    We have all the Guru's of finishing here. I'm awaiting their answers too.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
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    Finishes for turning

    Guru's, huh? Hmmmmm.

    Ok, I will tell you what I use.

    Mostly wiped on Polyuethane,
    Some Tung Oil Finish, (not true Tung oil though)
    Some wiped on thin CA glue, (mostly for smaller things)
    Some spray can lacquer, (both gloss and satin)
    And some, just Johnson's paste wax.

    Nothing special from here. I have been wanting to try some shellac, but not yet.

    Aloha, Tony
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

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  4. #4
    My favorites are Min-Wax Antique oil...very similar to tung oil, dewaxed shellac, Deft brushing lacquer.

    I apply the Antique oil off the lathe. The dewaxed shellac and Deft brushing lacquer I apply on the lathe and friction them.

    The biggest benefit comes from a Beal buffing system or similar system. This really improves finishes of all kinds!
    Ken
    ------



  5. #5
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    A lot of it depends on the piece and the wood, but for most bowls and hollow forms I like Minwax Antique Oil or Formby's Tung Oil Finish, both of which are simply wipe-on varnish with a bit of oil added. If I want more gloss after a few coats of the wipe-on stuff, I'll use spray gloss lacquer over the oil finish (after giving the oil finish a week or so to cure). I know some people recommend against using lacquer over an oil finish, but so far I've not had any problems with it.

    For smaller things like potpourri bowls and weed pots/vases that are finished on the lathe, I like Myland's Friction Polish, which is a shellac/wax bland. I've used CA on pens and bottle stoppers. (Although for pens and bottle stoppers, I really like turning acrylics, since no finish is needed...just sand and buff.)

    Other finishes that are popular (but I've not tried yet) are Danish Oil, Waterlox, wipe-on polyurethane, various sanding sealers, and General Finishes Seal-A-Cell or Arm-R-Seal.

    And as Ken said, the Beall buffing system (or its equivalent) makes the biggest difference to me. It'll make pretty much any finish look better. I also use white Scotch Brite pads or 400 to 600 grit sandpaper to knock off the dust nibs between coats of finish and before buffing.

    I guess there really is no right answer to your question. I'd suggest trying various finishes as you go along, and you'll find a few that work best for you. I think that's pretty much what the rest of us have done.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the input into this. I have tried tung oil as a trial but have not been happy with the results. I have tried paste wax, stain and Tried and true from LV. I have been giving everything a shot as i am sure that the finish can make or break a work. The beal system has been mentioned before and I guess that is on the list of have to gets. This is different to anything i have tried before so it is fun trying out all the different techniques to see what works the best. Is there any wood that works better with a certain finish?
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  7. #7
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    Really depends a whole lot on the effect you're lookin' for. I've used friction polish (loved it for about a week) and BLO and homebrewed Danish oil and Watco and shellac and homebrewed shellac-wax blend and pure carnauba and lacquer and polyurethanes... I've tried CA as a finish & it fails - every time - miserably - in my shop. Probably the humidity.

    there's a bunch of stuff out there to try & see if you like how they work in your shop.

    I've never used a buffing system, but I HAVE been known to buff with a rag at pretty high lathe speeds. It's not overly important if the rag is spinning (buffing system) or the workpiece is spinning & the rag held against it, as long as the rag is turned OFTEN to prevent buildup. I do know lotsa' folks use buffs... but I've also seen some beautiful wet-glass-finish stuff come out of a bodger's shop where no buff had ever been.

    Try turning some rock maple. Sand it REALLY WELL (chase down every flaw), then finish it with super blonde shellac. You'll love it.
    -- Tim --

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Hofstetter View Post
    ...I've never used a buffing system, but I HAVE been known to buff with a rag at pretty high lathe speeds. It's not overly important if the rag is spinning (buffing system) or the workpiece is spinning & the rag held against it, as long as the rag is turned OFTEN to prevent buildup. I do know lotsa' folks use buffs... but I've also seen some beautiful wet-glass-finish stuff come out of a bodger's shop where no buff had ever been...
    IMHO, the key to buffing is the compounds more than the buffing method. I see buffing compounds (tripoli, white diamond, and other similar compounds in particular) as just then next step up in abrasives. I've also used pumice, rottenstone, and automotive rubbing compounds on flatwork finishes to get the same type of results. I think a dry rag used at high speed can have a similar effect, although personally I consider it to be burnishing more than polishing. In the end, I don't think it matters how one does it, as long as the finished product looks the way it's intended to look.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  9. #9
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    Well that is one thing I didn't think of, the humidity and temp of the shop. I guess that can have a huge impact on the finish too. Interesting debate on the buffing system too. I can see both the points but wouldn't the buffing system work better than the spinning work with the stationary cloth as the buffing compound is on the cloth rather than the work or is it just an apples vs oranges debate?
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Watson View Post
    ...wouldn't the buffing system work better than the spinning work with the stationary cloth as the buffing compound is on the cloth rather than the work or is it just an apples vs oranges debate?
    When you're buffing with wheels, you put the compound on the wheels, not the wood. About the only cases I know of where you apply the compound to the workpiece is if you're using automotive paste compounds, and then I've always just rubbed them off by hand. I would think if you were using a rag on a spinning piece, you could also charge the cloth with stick-type compound like those used with buffing wheels.

    For me, one advantage to using buffing wheels is that I can run the wheels perpendicular to the axis of the piece. That wipes out any telltale rings around the piece. When I use on-lathe finishes like friction polish, I can see faint ridges and lines around the piece. The buffer gets rid of those.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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