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Finish needed for a gavel

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Forum topic by Pimzedd posted 01-13-2011 01:38 AM 1935 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Pimzedd

562 posts in 3266 days


01-13-2011 01:38 AM

Topic tags/keywords: gavel finish gavel

I am turning a gavel to give away at a presentation I am making about organizing high school clubs. The wood is pecan. I am not sure what finish would be good for a gavel. The one thing that I keep thinking is that it needs to be impact resistant. Any other thoughts? What is your suggestion.

Thanks to all.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school


16 replies so far

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lew

11337 posts in 3218 days


#1 posted 01-13-2011 02:07 AM

I like natural finishes. I think several coats of wipe on poly would probably be a good choice.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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Earlextech

1159 posts in 2153 days


#2 posted 01-13-2011 05:06 PM

Tung oil makes a beautiful finish. Get it at the big box locally. Apply a few coats, follow the directions for dry times. I always apply several coats of wax to polish.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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sbwertz

12 posts in 2225 days


#3 posted 01-13-2011 05:30 PM

I just made one from Walnut and finished it with one coat of CA/BLO and two coats of Myland’s Friction Finish. It seems to be holding up ok. It was the first one I had made, so I didn’t really know what to use on it. Did you make a striker?

-- Sharon, Phoenix

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2537 days


#4 posted 01-13-2011 05:31 PM

It’s very much a personal choice. Polyurethane is often considered the most durable finish but, with respect to impact resistance, I think virtually anything would work. I’ve never heard of a finish breaking down due to impact.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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benfullohell

14 posts in 2154 days


#5 posted 01-13-2011 05:39 PM

some poly finishes will peel off if you beat on them enough and even then, it only happens if there is a concentrated point of impact but it takes a while and it really isn’t a big deal to re-coat your gavel every now and again is it? LoL Natural finishes are VERY durable, i did a musket stock with linseed oil when i was a kid that has been beaten and abused ever since and it still looks great. it did take four months or so to do though…

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Pimzedd

562 posts in 3266 days


#6 posted 01-13-2011 05:39 PM

Sharon – no I am not making a striker. It will be used by a classroom teacher. A striker will just be one more thing to keep up with.

I notice in your photo that the handle is tapered with the end away from the head getting smaller. Does that make it hard to hold on to? I am making mine with the end of the handle larger than the portion next to the head.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

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Pimzedd

562 posts in 3266 days


#7 posted 01-13-2011 05:52 PM

Rich – had a commercially purchased gavel that over time showed the strike impacts. Since it was a commercial product, my guess is that it was a poly finish.

Ben – since I am giving it away, refinishing will not be up to me. I would prefer a finish that will not require refinishing.

I am thinking of some type of penetrating finish but it needs to dry pretty fast. I need to be able to apply the finish in two or three days time total.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

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sbwertz

12 posts in 2225 days


#8 posted 01-13-2011 06:10 PM

Actually, it has a good balance in the hand. I looked at pictures of a lot of hand turned gavels and settled on this shape because the person I was making it for likes clean simple lines.

The advantage of the finish I used is that it has NO drying time. With the lathe spinning, I applied a few drops of boiled linseed oil and an equal amount of medium CA to a paper towel, and rubbed it on the wood until it came up to a high gloss. I worked across the head of the gavel in about 3 passes until it all had a coat of the sealer. Did the same with the handle and the striker. Then I used a friction finish that uses the heat of the spinning wood to melt the finish into the wood and bring up a deep shine. Apply a generous coat of the finish with the lathe stopped, then turn it on and hold a paper towel against the spinning wood until you feel it get hot. You will see the shine come up. Stop the lathe and add a second coat and buff it again. The entire finish is done in a matter of minutes.

The only difference is that on the handle, where it will come in contact with skin oils, I put 3 or 4 coats of the CA/BLO on before the friction finish. I use this finish on all my pens, and it is pretty indestructable. I also use this finish on canes. I have only been turning for a little less than a year, but I have made over 200 pens, plus canes, bowls, candlesticks, ornaments, etc.

Sharon

-- Sharon, Phoenix

View rance's profile

rance

4245 posts in 2623 days


#9 posted 01-13-2011 06:12 PM

>no I am not making a striker. It will be used by a classroom teacher. A striker will just be one more thing to keep up with.

The student’s heads would make a nice striker.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View benfullohell's profile

benfullohell

14 posts in 2154 days


#10 posted 01-13-2011 07:15 PM

then i’d go with Earlextech on this one and use the tung oil and wax, keep the piece and the oil warm, so if your shop is cold, do the finish in your house (but DON”T put it in the oven of something crazy). ideally you’d have at least a week for any finish but oil for 3 days with a wax finish should do ok. i’d give’m a small can of the wax so they know to “maintain it”, though they’d actually be adding to the finish over time. the only worry i would have is if it’s a lighter Pecan it might show that dark dingy finger grease on the handle if the wood is still “thirsty”.

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TopamaxSurvivor

17666 posts in 3138 days


#11 posted 01-14-2011 11:01 AM

The linseed will give the wood some resilience.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Pimzedd

562 posts in 3266 days


#12 posted 04-24-2011 07:54 PM

Well, if any of you who replied are watching this post, here is the final results. I used CA/Tung Oil. I was real pleased with the final results. It was quick and gave a good hard finish.

This is my first turning since 1968. I inherited my father-in-laws Jet midi lathe and used it for the gavel.

I gave the gavel away in January. I took the photos on my wife’s camera but did not get access to them until today. I bought her a new camera for her birthday and she gave me the old one with the photos. :-)

Thanks for all the good suggestions.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

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benfullohell

14 posts in 2154 days


#13 posted 04-25-2011 04:18 AM

nicely done, the tung oil looks GREAT!

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mmh

3665 posts in 3184 days


#14 posted 04-26-2011 04:17 PM

Taking in consideration the want to have a nice finish that is impact resistant, how about using an oily wood such as Cocobolo or Lignum Vitae and finishing with a coat of wax? The grain of the Cocobolo easily absorbs the wax and polishes up quite nicely. It is also a heavier wood and would give greater impact to the pounding of the Judge! Now, there may be a problem with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome if he/she has to swing this too many times.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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Pimzedd

562 posts in 3266 days


#15 posted 04-26-2011 07:54 PM

Thanks mmh for the suggestion. I used pecan since I have to 50-60 year old pecan trees in the backyard that donate fully dried limbs from time to time. :-)

Love your canes. I think I like the latest, the horse head, the best.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

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