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Thread: Finishing Help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Rhode Island

    Question Finishing Help

    I did all the fingers for the ring bowls. I used 3 coats of Minwax High gloss Poly & sanded lightly between coats using 0000 steel wool. the last coat of poly on the fingers after I was done then I epoxied the fingers in the bowls & after about 24 hrs the fingers are still tacky? did I sand down to much? & possibly take off the sanding sealer? How should I fix this since the fingers are epoxied in.

    The bowls are made from Bubinga & the fingers are Gabon Ebony.

    The Minwax High Gloss Poly is only about 1-1/2 months old.

    I'm stumped how can I get a nice high gloss on the Gabon Ebony fingers???

    Thanks for the help


    P.S. I rechucked the bowls by the foot & tried to sand the fingers with
    400 grit paper all 5 of the fingers came loose then off??? the tenons on the fingers were about 3/16" but the holes were a tad big about 1/32"-1/16"
    I used System 3 Epoxy bowls were left for about 24 hrs for the glue to cure. I put a couple of drops in the holes & smeared the tenons with it also. I cleaned out the holes as much as I could then re epoxied them

  2. #2
    Chuck, a few things come to mind regarding the poly. Was it warm and humid when you applied the coats? If not, maybe the poly wasn't fully cured between coats. When using multiple coats of poly, sometimes the final coat can take a while to fully cure. The oily charactaristic of Ebony could have something to do with it as well. If you are wanting a glass-like high gloss shine, I would use lacquer instead of poly. It is much easier to work with, and it cures fairly quickly, even with multiple coats. On something smaller, like your ring bowls, I would use Deft spray lacquer. It cures quick, and multiple coats in a short time is possible. With some practice spraying Deft, you can get a high gloss shine with minimal rubbing out or buffing.

    As far as getting a high gloss shine on Gabon Ebony, I have achieved that thru sanding with no finish. The natural oil content in Gabon lends itself to great finishing. Some use Micro Mesh sandpaper to get a high shine, but I have found sanding up thru 2500 grit, and using synthetic pads will make the Ebony shine like a new penny. As far as the epoxy not holding the tenon on the ring post, I am not sure what happened. That is a pretty small tenon depth, but it should have held. When attempting to glue most any exotic wood, it is a good idea to wipe the wood down with a solvent immediately before applying the adhesive. That helps remove the oil from the surface of the wood, and allows for a better bond. I like either lacquer thinner or acetone for this. Sometimes things like this happen, but be patient and think thru your solution(s) and you will be fine. Good luck, and let us know how the project turns out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Rhode Island
    Thank you very much for all the great info. I think I'll take your advise & take the fingers off & make new ones If I don't like the way it looks after using all the MM grits then I'll get some Deft spray laquer.

    I do have some Deft Waterborne high gloss laquer in a can. Could I get the same results using a small white old T shirt rag?


  4. #4
    I sent you a PM Chuck. Yes, you could use the waterborne lacquer. It just works a little differently than the thinner based product. Lacquer can be used as a friction type finish and "pushed" to dry with a lint free cloth. There is a learning curve to it, but it's not a hard technique to master. I have some other ideas for you in my PM.

  5. #5
    Stay with the Poly... Wipe-on Poly is my choice. Dry is not good enough, Hard is the condition you are looking for. I set a light bulb over my small works and let them cook over night to set and be hard. Then buff smooth with fine grit as MM or finer. when smoothe as silk I apply a wet coat using a splatch of old Tee shirt material and a hemostat. wipe on a wet look and do't mess with it till hard. them rub down with MM or super fine grit. then another and tomorrow start a rub down with Rotten stone and Mineral oil. That will create a wet look luster you will die for. If you are not allowing 12 hours under warm dry conditions between coats and any disturbance, you are not waiting long enough. I wait 18 hours under heat for my final coats and have great success.

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