Best finish for stabilized burl pen blanks

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Forum topic by deucefour posted 01-13-2010 07:38 PM 5897 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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285 posts in 3251 days

01-13-2010 07:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pen stabilized burl finishing question lathe

Could someone please advise me of the best finish for natural look and durability for a stabilized burl pen blank, I have seen buffing and wax, would this be enough to make the pens appearance remain nice for years to come? or does it need ca glue for the durability, any help will be appreciated.

6 replies so far

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3486 days

#1 posted 01-13-2010 07:47 PM

Is it pourous? If so, then I would go with the thick ca glue finish. If not, I think a few coats of 50/50 Behlen’s 701/Woodturner’s finish followed by carnuba wax would be just fine.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View Tom Stover's profile

Tom Stover

25 posts in 3117 days

#2 posted 01-13-2010 08:03 PM

I usually use thin CA, its a good hard finish, or spray on polyurethane.

-- Tom Stover

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3267 days

#3 posted 01-13-2010 08:43 PM

on burl wood – which is typically unstable – I apply 3 coats of CA glue (after filling any voids or cracks with a quick drying epoxy) – (letting it dry completely between coats) and then burn on several coats of mylands or shellawax friction polish. This has made a very glossy and durable finish for me that seems to last quite well on pens.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View northwoodsman's profile


242 posts in 3743 days

#4 posted 01-14-2010 03:49 AM

I apply a coat or two of Rennaisance Wax to pens made with stabilized blanks. On occasion if there is a void I’ll fill it with CA glue before I sand it. I use micromesh sanding pads and sand up to 12,000 grit. That’s all I do. I think the hardner in the stabilzed blank is stronger and more durable than CA glue or any other finish. RennaisanceWax is a great finish because it doesn’t show fingerprints.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View deucefour's profile


285 posts in 3251 days

#5 posted 01-14-2010 05:42 AM

Thank you gentlemen for all the advice, I think I’m going to try the rennaisance wax since it is a stabilized blank. (and thats what I have on hand), Just wanting to make a nice pen for my mom’s 60th birthday. Thanks for your help.

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4085 days

#6 posted 01-14-2010 06:23 AM

Craft Supplies out of Utah has a great friction polish that I use 90% of the time.

I also use CA to fill voids. And also if it is a porous wood or the grain needs filling. (Not much of that on stabilized burl.)

The “secret” I had to learn was that more coats of less finish is far better than fewer coats of thicker finish.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

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