CA Finishes

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Forum topic by aldente posted 04-10-2009 05:32 PM 1167 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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175 posts in 3377 days

04-10-2009 05:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have attempted to do a CA finish on a pen (wood). It comes out splotched. I put some Ca on a piece of rag and apply it to the wood, while it’s still on the mandrel. Once it dries I use my micro-mesh (wet) and sand it to 12,000 grit. What am I doing wrong or not doing at all?

-- Rodd, Texas grandpa

6 replies so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3489 days

#1 posted 04-10-2009 10:19 PM

Possible use an air brush and lightly put on one coat, let completely dry before you spray or wipe on another. A wipe on finish finds the soft wood and soaks it deeper than the harder grain.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3864 days

#2 posted 04-10-2009 10:30 PM

I found Grumpy's post helpful with this topic

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 3323 days

#3 posted 04-13-2009 09:39 PM

are you using the thinnest ca? i used it a couple of times but you might want to try Mylands high build friction. made for turning.. as the name implies you can add coats to a deeper gloss.. they make a cut and polish that i use between coats.. maybe 2000 grit

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 3323 days

#4 posted 04-13-2009 09:42 PM

if your set on 12000 you might try carnuba wax after mylands.or ca. if i had 12000 i would use it . i’ve got a supply of 8000 so i oversand as well

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3767 days

#5 posted 04-13-2009 11:15 PM

If you are using CA glue on pens it should be thin CA glue. When the pen is turned to whatever profile you wish make sure that you wipe it down to get all the sanding dust off of it – a even a little dust will affect your finish.
Get your lathe running at its highest speed and wipe a very quick coat of thin CA glue across the entire pen. I use the cheapest paper towels that I can buy. I have a stack of 3” x 3” pieces of towel that I fold up to use for applicators. I apply the thin CA glue to the towel, wipe very quickly and pitch in the trash can. Don’t hold onto the paper towel unless you want to lose some skin – don’t ask me how I know this. I will let the pen continue to turn for a minute then will stop the lathe. I then use 0000 steel wool to lightly buff the pen blank down. At this point you can start building up finish. I use Myland high speed friction polish or BLO. I am experimenting with mixing thin CA glue and acetone to use as a finish – don’t do this without a respirator or lots of ventilation.

The CA glue finish will seal up the wood and provide a good base for whatever finish you decide to use.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4289 days

#6 posted 04-14-2009 01:38 AM

I learned to do my CA/BLO finish by watching this video from Russ Fairfield. I have altered Russ’ techniques a little to find what works best for me.

I turn and sand my project (to 600 grit) at about 1800 rpm. I then wipe the piece down to remove all the dust and slow the lathe down to like 500 – 600 rpm to apply the finish.

Using a piece of papertowel, I apply 6 or 8 drops of medium CA and apply an even coat running from one end of the piece to the other (usually from the head stock side to the tail stock side – just a comfort thing for me). I then put a few drops of BLO on a clean paper towel and rub the freshly applied CA. From what I understand from Russ’ video, the BLO cures the CA. After giving the piece it’s BLO bath, I use a clean paper towel to remove the excess BLO. I apply 6 or 8 coats this way.

After my final CA/BLO coat, I use a piece of 600 grit sand paper dipped in BLO and sand the CA/BLO finish so its even. It doesn’t seem to take much to even out.

Then I speed the lathe back up to 1800 rpm and rub the piece down with 0000 steel wool, wipe it clean and rub the entire piece down with a scrap of brown paper bag.

that’s how I have done all my recent bottle stoppers like this one.

anyway… that’s how I do it. hope it help (and makes sense!)

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