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Finishing with elbow grease

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Silverbirch

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I came across this response recently, on an American forum, to a post asking about finishing.

On a non-dyed piece, my finishing schedule is as follows:

On the lathe, I sand to 320, then apply boiled linseed oil with a piece of paper towel, then sand with 400 with the lathe on. I apply one more coat of BLO, and crank up the speed and burnish with 0000 steel wool. I then apply dewaxed shellac - 2-3 coats, using the same piece of oil laden towel, burnish with the towel at high speed and again buff with 0000 at high speed. At this point, I am done on the lathe and the piece is removed, reversed and the bottom finished.

Off the lathe, and after waiting a couple of days, I begin applying the wipe on poly - usually around 5-6 coats. Then, wet sand with mineral spirits to level the finish, and apply a couple more coats. I do this in the house to avoid contaminating the finish with dust. Then, triple buff with Tripoli, white diamond and Renaissance wax.


Seems like a lot of hard work, though I imagine the respondent reckons the end justifies the means.
Is it really necessary to go to such lengths to get a top class finish?
Maybe I should give it a try?

Ian
 

jumps

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Ian

Whilst on the one hand I am sure that there must be some sort of diminishing returns towards the latter end of this long process I suspect that the end represents the ultimate in gloss finishes!

Looking closely at a few pieces at the club last weekend there were some examples of such finishes - and they did stand out. Probably not a coincidence that these pieces also included such elements as lids that settled and seated (everytime) against air pressure, and boxes that could be lifted by their lids on an air seal (no friction/overlap joint) - but add a 1p piece and the same lift removed the lid cleanly.
 

Bodrighy

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American turners really like very high gloss finishes. Perhaps not so popular in this country as they look varnished. Personally I prefer a deep sheen to a deep shine or an oiled finish giving a softer look. Not sure why they use BLO all the time...can't stand the stuff myself LOL. . All down to personal taste.

Pete
 

Paul Hannaby

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I would have thought using a varnish (wipe on poly) over oil and shellac would be asking for trouble farther down the line as the varnish wouldn't adhere too well to what was underneath it?
 

CHJ

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I often wonder what happens to some of these highly finished pieces if they are moved far across the USA, the difference in climate conditions can be so extreme.
 

Silverbirch

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I too prefer to see a sheen rather than a glossy shine on most work.
I`m certainly no expert finisher, but it does seem to me that the simplest method, consistent with the desired appearance and level of durability, is the way to go. If I was following the the method the chap in my first post outlined, I`d have to take notes to remind myself which stage in the process I was at. :?

Ian
 

mike s

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i dont often apply a high gloss finish to my work - it is a lot of work and it takes too long. i usually finish my work with aerosol laquer, i like the satin semi gloss type finish a coat or two of laquer gives and it is much less work than a high gloss finish (and often looks much better)

even when i do commit to making my pieces insanely shiny i still dont go to the extremes of the quoted turner. for large items all i do is apply a healthy coating of wipe on polyurethane and sand it to oblivion when its 100% dry and burnish to a mirror finish
for small pen-sized turnings i use the cyanacralate method instead of the polyurethane - much quicker!

what is the reason for applying the BLO? deeper looking grain pop? (technical vocab!)
 
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