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Coffee Scoop Handle finishing issues

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Blog entry by PCDub posted 06-09-2018 12:59 PM 502 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Decided to make a coffee scoop for a friend’s birthday using a piece of walnut from a tree in my yard. (I snitched it out of the firewood pile…)

Turning the walnut was an interesting experience, as, of course, it is rather open grained and can catch and tear. But with lots of experimentation using different tools, I did manage to turn a wholly acceptable handle. (Finishing in progress in this pic.)

Looked pretty good with the scoop inserted…

The finish is CA and BLO (I watched a mess of videos on various techniques). Finished on the lathe before parting it off, it was BEE-YOU-tiful… softly satin and pleasing to the touch. Then, of course I needed to finish the bottom of the handle, the rounded part, which needed some hand sanding to make it nice. I figured I could easily complete the finish with more CA & BLO and it would blend nicely in with the rest.

NOT. I used a folded rag to re-insert it into the chuck, and proceeded to work the finish just as I had before—sanding through the grits, using paper towel pads to apply the finish, but it did not behave the same. Either funky oily, or too shiny and looking like I had poured on a layer of CA and then scratched it up.

I am wondering if it’s because I was not able to chuck it up firmly so I couldn’t get as much pressure on the pad as I could when it was between centers. Today I will do more careful hand-sanding and see if I can chuck it up another way. Or, maybe I’ll try to put the completed handle between centers… carefully… very carefully…



8 comments so far

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2636 posts in 1088 days


#1 posted 06-09-2018 01:47 PM

You need a mandrel. You can make one from a bolt and nut. The bolt needs the appropriate threading to match the scoop.

The top one came with a pen turning kit. The bottom is a 3/8-16 bolt with the head cut off and a washer nut CA glued in place. Chuck it up on the mandrel and refinish.

Edited for accuracy :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View PCDub's profile

PCDub

79 posts in 391 days


#2 posted 06-09-2018 03:36 PM

Hey Bill, thanks! The scoop is not threaded, but I can use a 1/4” bolt (or other misc. metal) to mount the handle—great idea!

This all being new to me, I’m still learning about various methods for holding things. I appreciate all suggestions as I proceed!

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)

GR8HUNTER

4729 posts in 860 days


#3 posted 06-09-2018 03:40 PM

I think this is an end grain issue …. if I am understanding him right :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2636 posts in 1088 days


#4 posted 06-09-2018 04:03 PM



Hey Bill, thanks! The scoop is not threaded, but I can use a 1/4” bolt (or other misc. metal) to mount the handle—great idea!

This all being new to me, I m still learning about various methods for holding things. I appreciate all suggestions as I proceed!

- PCDub


NP I am pretty new to most everything in woodworking lol I have to think thru turning procedures at least twice or I get myself in a bind in the finishing stages – especially holding methods. And I was wrong. The top mandrel isn’t for pen turning but for turning handles such as you made and bottle openers, etc.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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builtinbkyn

2636 posts in 1088 days


#5 posted 06-09-2018 04:04 PM

Tony made a good point about end grain. Usually need to sand that to a higher grit on end grain so the finish isn’t taken up more in those areas than on the rest of the piece.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View PCDub's profile

PCDub

79 posts in 391 days


#6 posted 06-13-2018 12:58 AM

No, it wasn’t about the endgrain soaking up too much finish. It really was that I could not get enough pressure on the piece while it was spinning to get the CA to “cure.” I made a jig that screwed onto the headstock, with a screw glued into it to hold the handle. This did not wobble, and I was able to get enough pressure on it while applying the CA. It turned out great! It looked like the photo I included above, and the recipient was quite pleased with it.

Here’s the jig I made—

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builtinbkyn

2636 posts in 1088 days


#7 posted 06-13-2018 02:36 AM

Nice jig and it did the trick. However you should pick up a chuck with a Morse taper for future turnings. Makes it easy to turn handles and to drill holes in the ends of stock on your lathe.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View PCDub's profile

PCDub

79 posts in 391 days


#8 posted 06-14-2018 10:47 AM

Yep, I have a chuck with a Morse taper—that’s how I got the hole in the end of the handle! The pictured jig was just to hold the handle after I cut it from the blank so I could finish the end of it (my version of your suggested mandrels).

Here’s the completed coffee scoop along with a couple of file handles that were part of the same gift.

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