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????