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Thread: Quick finish on the lathe?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Quick finish on the lathe?

    Just got motivated to start turning some Christmas ornaments. Used to make a lot of these out of limbs and give them as gifts. Have not done it in quite a while. I just glued up some blanks for (I hope!) some neat looking ornaments. Time will tell of course.

    I am looking for a good finish I can put on them on the lathe. Would like to sand and finish and them part or saw them off. I would prefer something I can pick up local at the Borg. I don't have a woodcraft or anywhere like that near me. Don't want to order anything if I can help it.

    I have used shellac before but wasn't totally happy with applying it on the lathe. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    Northville, MI
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    How about a friction polish? As long as your projects are small that would work fine. Not sure if they sell that at a big box stores.
    Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Vancouver
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    Hi,

    You might find this link useful, which describes a number of finishing techniques and is authored by a member of our guild.

    http://artisansworkbench.com/FoF/III...iles/frame.htm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    15,641
    Great link Gari, some good info there

    For pens and small stuff, yo-yos etc, I use two approaches.

    One is a thin CA glue with a little BLO mixed in (Boiled Linseed Oil), this is mixed up in the spot in very small amounts and used right away, the BLO keeps the CA from drying to quickly and also preforms a lubrication function. this is a good finish, sanded to #1500 and then I hit the blank with the wax stick, the hard stuff, and then buff at fairly high speed, 2500 RPM for the buffing. I have a 3" buffing wheel on my hand drill, works great for this.

    The other approach is to first use sanding sealer, I like the cellulose stuff, and then sand to #800 or even #1200, then I apply a coat of the friction polish. I use a white paper towel to put both finishes on, and I use friction to cure them right on the lathe. Once the friction polish is on, I go back to the buffing wheel.

    Both of these methods are simple and effective, but they are NOT the most durable finishes, something that will take a few hours to harden will usually last longer, but I never seem to have the time.

    Your Christmas ornaments, etc, they will not get handled so much, so I think the sanding sealer with the friction polish is the way to go, but make sure you get an even coat of the sanding sealer, and that you don't sand through it, as the friction polish can be hard to get even on raw wood, and will look like crap if you are not careful.

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Brentwood, TN
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    Spray shellac can be had from the BORGS and is essentially friction polish sans the wax. I use shellac on most of my pieces that are decorative. High traffic stuff can be done with spray clear gloss water-based poly. It dires fairly quick and is very hard.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Hamilton, NY
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    I've heard alot about friction finish but never actually understood what it is... so what is it??

    sorry dont mean to hijack the thread or anything just seemed like a good place for it...

  7. #7
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    Jeff...I was real happy using spray lacquer on my ornaments last year. It dries real quick and gives that high gloss that reflects all the lights. Not as quick drying as shellac or friction....but maybe 10 minutes or so per coat.

  8. #8
    Steve Clardy Guest
    I tried finishing on a spinning lathe once.
    After wiping it outa my nose and off my face--- I never tried that again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Kutztown PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Clardy View Post
    I tried finishing on a spinning lathe once.
    After wiping it outa my nose and off my face--- I never tried that again.
    You're supposed to slow the lathe down a bit Steve, or at least not slop so much on in the first place! DAMHIKT. It is real hard getting finish out of one's beard, you know?

    Jeff, shellac works real well if you pad it on with some mineral oil or baby oil as a lubricant (baby oil is just mineral oil with smellum in it). Of course, spray lacquer works real well too if you have the patience to finish one at a time on the lathe that way. Of course, you could finish them off the lathe with spray lacquer too.
    Bill Grumbine

    www.wonderfulwood.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Werner View Post
    I've heard alot about friction finish but never actually understood what it is... so what is it??

    sorry dont mean to hijack the thread or anything just seemed like a good place for it...
    Ben, a friction polish is a finish, usually shellac based, which uses the heat generated by friction to cure quickly on the lathe. The way it works is, you put some on a rag or paper towel, and hold it against the spinning piece. As it heats up, the finish dries in a matter of seconds. You can build up a very deep glossy shine this way, or leave it somewhat matte in appearance. While friction polishes are fast and easy, they lack somewhat in durability compared to lacquer or polyurethane or other finishes.
    Bill Grumbine

    www.wonderfulwood.com

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