Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: This is WAY too frustrating...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inside the Beltway
    Posts
    2,666

    This is WAY too frustrating...

    Ok, so I've got some finishing frustrations! What do you guys actually do once you've turned, say, a bowl?

    The reason I ask is I've got this 12" cherry bowl on the lathe right now. Actually turned an entire bowl without blowing one up ( a first for me, although that's another story! ) So, now it's time to sand and finish.

    Now, I've been getting better finishes than I ever had, using a combo of shellac and wax, which only makes this *more* frustrating. But to start at the finish: I attach a 2" sanding pad to my drill. I turn on the lathe, and do the inside and out. Of course, it leaves some swirl marks, I get these out with a fine grit sanding sponge (with the lathe running). Wipe with a naptha soaked cloth. Then a 400 piece of sand paper, doubled over and hand held, naptha, then 600, then naptha. Done with sanding, still looks like heck, what the hey, by then I've been sanding over an hour, I know I'm doing something wrong, this should be easy, but heck with it, the finish will cover, right?

    So, on to shellac. From the can, the bullseye stuff. First coat, with the lathe on. I get most of it, but there's always a couple out of round places, so second coat wiped on with the lathe off. Turn the lathe back on, and use a dry cloth to pick up the excess after a couple minutes. Almost immediately, coat three with the lathe on. Wipe off the excess, change cloth, now the shellac's dry, so time to buff. First with a fresh cloth, lathe on. Keep going till I can see the reflection of my hand in the turning bowl. Let it sit a few minutes. Change the drill attachment to a three inch cloth wheel. First dry, then with a little buffing compound. Looks good a few minutes, better, even better...then suddenly I see streaks. Turn off the lathe. Huge white blotches, inside and out. Really ugly. I tell myself the shellac wasn't really dry, and walk away for an hour or two. Come back and notice the blotches are where the wood is just slightly out of round. Looks horrific. Dreadful. Wake up in the morning, get out the sandpaper, get it all back down to bare wood. Have to turn off the lathe to get to the bottom of the white blotches, and now those are even more out of round. Not that you could see with the eye, but with the lathe spinning, the same thing will happen.

    I never even got to the stage of applying wax over the shellac. Geez!

    There HAS to be a better way!

    Y'all make it look so easy. What's the secret????

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 06-04-2007 at 06:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    29,091
    A few suggestions...

    First, I do my final sanding with the lathe off. For me, that's the fastest way to remove any swirl marks. For each grit that I use, I may start with the piece spinning, but I'll turn off the lathe and give it another go-over by hand before I go to a finer grit.

    When you say it looked like heck after the 400 and 600 grit sanding, what were you seeing that looked bad? In my experience, if I try to cover
    flaws up with the finish, they tend to seem magnified afterwards. Sometimes I spend more time with the sandpaper than I do with the chisels. However, if you'r getting uneven surfaces in a fairly hard wood like cherry, I think you might be over-sanding it, particularly with the coarser grits. I've had a couple cases where I did that and things got so uneven on me that I got out the chisels again and took very light cuts to even things back out. (Then I watched my sanding to avoid repeating the problem.)

    I don't really have any advice for you on the shellac application. Shellac and I don't have a real good track record, even though a lot of folks do great with it. That's why I prefer using wiping varnishes like Antique Oil or Tung Oil mix (not the pure tung oil). Also, I apply the finish off the lathe, after I've turned off the tenon on the bottom. (Although for a friction finish, typical of how some guys apply shellac, you'd need to do that with the piece still on the lathe.)

    I dunno if this is much help...hopefully some other guys will chime in.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inside the Beltway
    Posts
    2,666
    Vaughn,

    So, this antique oil is a wiping finish, but not a friction finish? Is there a reason you prefer it over wipe on poly (as in this test, http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworki....aspx?id=24153) or over some homemade poly/BLO/Naptha blend? I'm sure it's too late for this bowl, as I doubt I could put anything over the hidden remnants of shellac. Do you put wax on over the antique oil, and buff???

    And what other things do people use for a friction finish? This is all driving me nuts...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    29,091
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Lantry View Post
    Vaughn,

    So, this antique oil is a wiping finish, but not a friction finish? Is there a reason you prefer it over wipe on poly (as in this test, http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworki....aspx?id=24153) or over some homemade poly/BLO/Naptha blend? I'm sure it's too late for this bowl, as I doubt I could put anything over the hidden remnants of shellac. Do you put wax on over the antique oil, and buff???

    And what other things do people use for a friction finish? This is all driving me nuts...

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Yeppers, Antique Oil wipes on, just about like wipe-on poly. I prefer the way the Antique Oil looks...it seems to show off the grain better (but that's purely subjective). After two or three coats, it's got a nice shiny finish, and with wipe-on finishes I tend to avoid the brush marks that I inevitibly leave from trying to brush a finish on too thick. I haven't tried any of the home blends, but I suspect they're essentially the same as the "factory" blends like Antique Oil or Tung Oil mix. And yes, I usually apply wax after the oil blend finish has dried. My usual sequence is two or three coats of oil blend, using white Scotch Brite pads lightly between coats to knock off any dust bumps, then once the finish has dries a day or so, I buff it (on a lathe-mounted buffing wheel) with tripoli, then I switch wheels and use White Diamond compound, then I wax it. (Lately, I've been using Renaissance Wax, buffed out with a lambswool pad on the buffing wheel.)

    The only friction polish I've used is Myland's, which is a blend of shellac and wax, IIRC. It's nice, but not as durable as the oil blends or polyurethane, and I tend to get a more consistent finish with the blends.
    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

  5. #5
    BIll............Vaughn pretty well nailed it.....You can't cover up problems by applying finish over them.....it just adds to them..........I've used a number of finishes and appy them in different manners. Shellac..I use Bullseye..I apply with the lathe running using a folded paper towel dipped in shellac as an applicator. I have a Jet VS Mini. I apply it at a slow speed and then turn the speed up and let it run for a couple of minutes. I let it dry for a couple of minutes and then friction it with another folded paper towel. I'll repeat this a couple of times. The I turn off the tennon and with the bowl in my donut chuck, I finish the tenon area. I then Beal buff the bowl. The buffing process will take out a lot of the finishing errors/mistakes.

    I also use Antique oil. I just tried it recently after seeing the number of folks having good luck with it, including Vaughn. Love the stuff. The Antique oil seems to build up a surface coat faster than Danish oil. I had to have my local Ace hardware store order in the stuff as they don't carry it and it was somewhat expensive but worth it IMHO. I apply Anitque oil off the lathe after I've turned off the tenon. I apply it to one side (inside or outside of the bowl) let it set over night ....the next day I do the other side.....takes a little longer but the results are worth it.

    Good luck! Finishing is the one of the hardest things to make work for you. When you find a method that works for you...use it....and then experiment once in a while!
    Last edited by Ken Fitzgerald; 06-04-2007 at 08:35 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Smithville, TX
    Posts
    358
    Getting to the sanding stage is the easy part for just about any woodworking project. When you think you have sanded enough, do it all over again at each step, and don't forget to sand equally patiently between coats of finish. A finish only enhances any flaws, as others have said, and the higher the gloss you shoot for the worse it will show. You can check for flaws ahead of time by applying denatured alcohol, as this will give you a reasonable look at what will happen when finish is applied. Could save you finding flaws after you put a finish on and have to deal with taking it down again.
    Mini Max Tool Acquisition Mediator.
    "An old man to most kids and a young man to those who are dead."

    www.samantics2.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    936
    Try putting a THIIIIIIIN coat of oil on the piece Between coats of Shellac/wax.

    I believe that it will solve your problem.

    Bruce

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inside the Beltway
    Posts
    2,666
    A thin coat of *oil*? Like, say, BLO?

    Or maybe magic mystery oil! Poured that into my car once... what a mess!

    Thanks,

    Bill

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    936
    Sorry about that. I use butcherblock (Mineral) Oil because it doesn't change the color of the wood, just POPS the figure. Also safer than BLO.

    Bruce

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    11
    Hi Bill
    When you've finished your sanding use a piece of 1200 grit wet'n'dry on the piece, allow it to clog a little and it will burnish the surface... it will show up any scratches and tool marks ... before applying a finish. A lot easier than sanding off a finish to rmove them.

    I apply a coat of diluted Melamine laquer.. flooded on to the piece and wiped off (all with the lathe at standstill). This will produce a good durable finish on its own but I prefer to use a soft paste wax for the final coat... just feels better to touch.
    Graham

    oldsoke

    Caveat: Whatever you do, always operate within your own expertise and competency. For your own health and safety you should not take action on any advice, expressed or implied, without verifying the validity any such advice.

Similar Threads

  1. frustrating 'puter printer problem
    By Frank Fusco in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-17-2008, 12:04 PM
  2. Frustrating Weekend
    By Jim Young in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-19-2006, 08:07 PM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-16-2006, 03:42 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •