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  1. #1
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    Default Long time viewer, first time poster....

    Long time viewer, first time poster, so am a little bit nervous.

    This is first post in this part of the BB and my first attempts at pens etc. I am happy with how these ended up but a little disappointed in the finish on the pen, not as much shine/sheen on it as I had hoped. Finish is Ultrashine then Shellawax on both. Pen is NSW Red Mallee burl and Awl is Tasmanian Blackwood

    I am not sure if the low sheen on the pen is due to the timber, poor application on my part, moon is in the wrong phase... I am a little disappointed that there are some greyish flecks within the burl which can only be seen on close inspection, I assume these are likely to be either the wax or shellawax that has not burnished out completely.

    Can anyone offer thoughts on the lower sheen on the pen? Is it due to the timber or is there another factor I have overlooked.

    Ray

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  3. #2
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    Default

    Ray, first welcome to the forum and a good first up effort with the Cigar pen and awl. As for the dull finish, it could be a couple of things. What grade did you sand to? The finer the finish the better finish from the Shellawax. You said you used Ultrashine, did you use it first or after Shellawax? I use the Shellawax first, 2 to 3 coats, let it cool between coats, the Shellawax being a friction polish is worked into the grain of the timber. The Ultrashine is a wood cut and polish, I use that then either another couple of coats of Shellawax or Shellawax Cream. I have several mandrels so once polished I remove the mandrel and let the finish harden some more over night. Sometimes handling after polishing can dull a finish. Another thing is that the acids from the fingers can dull a finish as well. I tend to stick to a CA finish for pens, sorry Skew did use oil once. Good luck, there are many ways to finish pens, others will chime in with their methods.
    Darren

  4. #3
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    Default Ray

    It would appear you gave your awl to produce a pen,sorry.

    I was thinking maybe your trying too hard too soon,like a guy just spyed a Rolls Royce fully polished and your car was not so spiffy in the finish,well what I do with all pens is break them from square to round,then shape with whatever chisel seems right.To illustrate I know a wonderful finisher who only uses a deep gouge to produce a pen.
    Then horror of horrors turn a skew on its flat,that gives me about a 400 grit finish,then wet and dry 800 grit in narrow strips,then 1000 grit,in between grits wiped and side to side hand rubbed with that grit.Then only on some timbers to 2000 grit wet and dry only used dry.

    I use a filler and friction straight away,then a suitable polish,friction finish and then an American wax stick(thin only) friction polish.

    Choosing an easier timber at first can restore your confidence real quick.

    Sharpest chisels cut best,work on that.

    Wish you a long and happy experience with pen making. Peter

  5. #4
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    It could be that you didn't buff off all traces of the Ultrashine, it could be that you didn't get the Shellawax hot enough. It could be that you didn't take the sanding through enough grits and it could be that the timber's still a little bit green. It could be that the finish wasn't left long enough to cure before handling and it could be that you just didn't hold your tongue right.

    Being Blackwood, I doubt that it's 'cos the timbers a tad oily, but that's another of the general "could be's."

    What a list, eh?

    Generally, for the pens I finish with Shellawax, I only sand to 400 grit for "cheap" timber pens, 800 grit for "classics" and 1200 for acrylics. Then apply EEE, which is buffed with a clean rag to remove any residue. Finally, the coats of Shellawax (I'm of the finger burning persuasion. ) and it's all left aside for 24 hours before I even think of assembly.

    And I still get the odd pen that just doesn't want to play nice. I feel for you.

    I'd be inclined to remount the barrels on the lathe, give it a hit with EEE/Ultrashine to "equalise" the finish. Buff it well, don't be afraid to get it hot, Mallee Burl is pretty forgiving. Then apply a fresh coat of Shellawax and get it finger burning hot during application. If it still matts off, well...
    I may be weird, but I'm saving up to become eccentric.

    - Andy Mc (AKA "Ghost who posts." )

  6. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray153 View Post
    Long time viewer, first time poster, so am a little bit nervous. Ray
    So what took ya so long

    Don't be nervous we don't bite - just a nibble every once in awhile will suffice.

    Oh ya - nice awl... Can I have it?

  7. #6
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    Default

    Welcome to the board..
    Your pen looks very gorgeous even with the grey marks
    Toni

  8. #7
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    G'day Ray,
    First off, welcome to the addiction . I have had problems with some mallee burl. I have turned it and polished it to a high sheen, only to have the sheen apparently absorb into the wood. The next day it was flat. I did one last night (Red Mallee) and actually got the best shine I have ever done. I was afraid to put a kit on it. I looked at it this morning and it is still shiny. I use the sand to 1200 grit, hit it with a good coat of CA, resand with 800 up to 1200, then micromesh, then shellawax.
    Lastly, I can't believe that Skew, in public, admitted to doing acrylics I ran out of the house as quickly as I could before the walls fell in.

    Cheers,

    Rick

  9. #8
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for all the pointers and tips.

    Looking over the list of possibilities, I tend to come down on the side of too soon in assembly and that I didn't buff off the wax well enough followed by failing to get the ultrashine hot enough.

    I do like the pen so am reluctant to pull it apart to try other methods. I will try the differing methods on future attempts, still have some of the mallee burl blanks so will compare the results.

    I am sanding through to 400 in a white sandpaper and then using wet and dry up to 1000 (dry) as I am waiting on a micro mesh purchase to arrive. I am happy that I am getting the wood plenty smooth and burnished.

    I have read lots of threads that mention this CA finish, but have't come across one that spells out in words of one or fewer syllables how to do it. Or one written in crayon... I will keep reading though.

  10. #9
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    Ray the CA finish I do is.
    Sand from 400-1200
    Then I MIcromesh which now I get from here. I sand through all those grits. Then go for a drink and let the work cool. OR glue in another pen ready for the next fix..
    Then I use paper towel (the best quality you can buy or else it rips as the glue starts to stick( with the super glue on it (Some might disagree with this point here) but I have found for me that you do have buy the better stuff than the cheap shops it dries to quick. I buy the better quality from Carrols. Then go back and forth until you get hot
    do about 3 - 6 coats. Then I wet sand through all the Micromesh grits again and then Shellawax. YOu can repeat this as often as you like to get the finish you are happy with.
    But for me I love sanding. so I find this very relaxing.
    ANy better explained or lost more

    There is lots of different ways to do it. THis is just how I do it
    bye Toni

  11. #10
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    Default Ray

    Melbourne may not be so large that a pm to Woodenink may solve your problems.I seem to remember all of the initial challenges he had and has overcome,he is a great guy,very kind,tell him it was my suggestion and take it from there,I have a deep respect for him.He also lives in Melbourne as do many other members. Take care Peter

  12. #11
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    Ray, Welcome to the board where people like me have bits of hair missing after they have tried and tried and tried to get a good finish, especially with CA(super glue), and thanks Peter for the introduction. I think with CA, you are best off using the quality glue made by "Hot Stuff" can get from Carroll's Woodcraft or some other woodworking store of your choice.(Toni touched on that point) . I think with CA, you will just have to try it out and see, once you get a feel for it, it can make for a nice finish. Try doing a Thread search on CA Finish, I am sure you will come across excellent advice, as I tried CA many people gave me advice which little by little i ahve tried to incorporate until it finally came good. By the way, your pen loks AWLsome! sorry! couldn't resist. Amos

  13. #12
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    Ray, the thread is called " ca finish help!?" lot's of good advice there. Amos

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScrollZilla View Post
    Lastly, I can't believe that Skew, in public, admitted to doing acrylics I ran out of the house as quickly as I could before the walls fell in.
    We've all done things we're ashamed of.
    I may be weird, but I'm saving up to become eccentric.

    - Andy Mc (AKA "Ghost who posts." )

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penpal View Post
    It would appear you gave your awl to produce a pen,sorry.


    That was good Penpal, mate I think you have done well I had the same problem with the finish you just need to take a bit more time preparing,

    I go to about 600 and the some EEE then shellwax and find that I get a better finish but still need to work on it and have bit more of a play.

    Haven't tried the full CA coat yet I will leave that for another day.

    Willy
    I like to move it move it, I like to move it.

  16. #15
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    Welcome to this part of the forum Ray

    The others have really covered the bases so just follow their advice

    Now you are addicted

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