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Thread: CA glue finish

  1. #1
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    Default CA glue finish

    I see a CA glue finish is popular amongst pen turners. Is there something else as durable though?
    I find I get a much nicer richer finish from a carnuaba wax finish but will this last?
    CA glue starts nice for me then the more I apply the duller it gets especially once an accelerator is used.

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  3. #2
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    Hey mate,
    I have seen a few blokes use 'rustins plastic coating' as a finish (sawdust maker and mkypenturner from memory) and they swear by it. I haven't used it but have bought some to try one day.

    What ca are you using? Generally speaking, a good quality CA (not the $2 packs) and a hint of accelerator come up a treat with a little practise. Do you micromesh or polish after you have applied your CA?
    I recommend Dave from timberbits' video on CA finish (YouTube). It is the method I started with and have only modified slightly over the years.

    If you're getting a full effect after using accelerator, I may suggest you could be using to much. I only spray a split second after each coat, and then give it 30 sec to cure.
    I use mercury flex ca (perfect pens and pencils) these days and get great results.

    Hope these hints from my experience help - happy to keep answering questions if I can...

    Cheers
    Gab
    "All the gear and no idea"

  4. #3
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    I definitely use a cheaper CA glue, Hobby KIng home brand sort of thing.
    I do try to use very little accelerator but I'm sure its still too much.
    I don't micromesh ca but I do sometimes use that plastic polish.

    I think i'll upgrade my ca and give that mercury a go and the accelerator.
    Thats another thing I dont do is wait that 30 seconds, probably half that!

    I'm going to watch that youtube clip!!

    Thanks heaps

  5. #4
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    When I first started using CA, I had a lot of trouble getting it right.
    I wont mention brands here, except what I am using now.
    I tried various brands and for a while settled on one from one of the pen kit suppliers, I could get a decent finish if there was no humidity in the air. As a result, I did nearly all my wooden pens in the cooler months, as you can imagine that’s not real practical when you are selling pens.
    After some research, I started using Bob Smith Industries “Gold “ , the thin one works best for me. The added benefit is its odourless, with this stuff I can use it all year round, even when there’s water dripping off the shed walls. This stuff is relatively expensive compared to other brands, but worth every cent to me.
    I use my activator differently to most. I use a Loctite spraycan 7471.
    I use craft foam sheet for an applicator, cut into about 18mm wide strips, this stuff is good because it doesn’t soak up any of the valuable CA, it all goes on the pen.
    The first coat, I put 2 drops on the end of the foam strip, wipe it back and forth on the blank to get a full coverage and smooth it out , lathe speed is around 150 rpm. With a bit of practice you get a feel for when the CA starts to go off, there is a slight increase in the drag on the foam strip. Stop now, or the finish will go rough.
    I wait about a minute for the CA to harden enough, now I turn the lathe back on, give the blank a quick spray with activator, like a one second burst from about 400mm away, I have the extractor going at all times. Quickly get the foam with 2 more drops on it and repeat , get ready for the drag on the foam, it’s important to stop then or you will get a rough finish. I repeat the coats with the same procedure until I have enough thickness, measured with calipers, I aim for 0.1mm oversize. This usually takes me about 8 coats.
    So as you see, my process differs, in that I am not activating the coat that I have just applied, I am using the activator to set off the coat I am about to apply.

    When this is working correctly, I get a very slight orange peel finish, it’s just enough to make the finish look a bit dull. I use 400 wet an dry paper to take the finish down flat and almost the finished size I want, then I quickly go up with a few higher grits to 1500 wet and dry, then onto the buff, results in a beautiful crystal clear glossy finish.
    Forgot to mention, after my final coat, I let it sit for 24 hours, or more if you can wait, before sanding and polishing. The Ca gets harder when properly cured and you get a better shine, and any deeper sections of CA have had time to cure properly, prevents those little sunken spots from appearing in your finish after a few days where the CA was a bit thicker.
    Takes me at least 2 days to do a CA finish, but the results are worth it.
    Everyone has a different way to do CA, but this way works for me and I get good results every time.
    ​Brad.

  6. #5
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    Gab, just ordered some of that mercury flex, looking forward to giving it a go!

  7. #6
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    and its just arrived in the post

  8. #7
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    Sorry.... I missed this thread for a bit...

    That's great news and I hope you have as much success with it that I do
    "All the gear and no idea"

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