The Monthly Newsletter of
December 2015 Vol.
From the Editor
Those Members who did not attend the business meeting and wish to
know the status of the Clubs funds can contact the club
Leona Gipe (406)248-1664.
Think About Turning Today!
Roaring 20’s Auto Club clubhouse,
7400 Grand Avenue.
(Wednesday, November 11, 2015 Meeting)
Officers: Ron, Leona, Stan, Nick
Call for Guests:
Cookies by: George Hoffman
Health Reports: No new reports.
Correspondence: We have some hats and sew on patches with
our club's logo for sale. Call Ron Velin.
Show and Tell: To make some thing that we learned at our
Dale Molybdenum: Brought an Unfinished split bowl made
from Hickory & Walnut with a CA glue finish.
Tim Morgan: Brought a short goblet made from Russian Olive
with a walnut oil finish, a footed bowl
made from Walnut with a walnut oil finish and bowl made
from Russian Olive with a wiping urethane finish.
Stan Lambert: Brought a bowl made from Walnut with a club
mix finish, a platter made from
Siberian Red Elm with a club mix finish, a lamp made from
Maple with a CA & lacquer
finish, a split bowl made from Maple & Wenge with a
lacquer finish, a split bowl made
from Olive Wood & Wenge with a lacquer finish and 2 tops
made from Walnut with club mix finish.
Jerry Gipe: Brought an ice cream scoop made with an
Dan Vanderhoof: Brought an off center bowl made from Maple
with a tung oil finish.
Roger Hust: Brought 4 long stem goblets made from Pine &
Poplar with shellac finishes.
Jane Kelly: Brought a long stem goblet made from Cedar &
Apple with shellac finish and a lidded
vessel made from a Cedar post with a wipe on poly finish.
Ralph Pehl: Brought a split bowl made from Walnut & Ash
with tung oil finish.
Ron Velin: Brought a long stem goblet made from Maple &
Walnut with walnut oil finish.
Ralph Torrence: Brought a horse and cowboy intarsia.
Paul Spencer: Brought a long stem goblet made from Walnut
& Poplar with friction polish finish.
Dr Van: Brought a Christmas ornament, a Xmas tree, kind of
wood and finish unknown.
Andy Bishop: Brought a bowl made from Maple & Mahogany,
Next month's challenge: Christmas ornaments, candle
Treasurer’s report: We received
a report on income and expenses of our Symposium and we
ended with a good profit. If you
would like more details call Leona.
Gathering Wood: We will be collecting a load of
Silver Maple from a place near
Stan L's .
Soliciting New Members: On going
Open Workshop: No workshop scheduled.
Hands On Workshops: No workshops this year, next
year is a ?.
2015 Dues are due, remain at $25.
This year's Symposium was a great success. Alan
Carter said he enjoyed his stay here
and members that went to it said they liked it
too. Our silent auction was was our
greatest success, thanks to all our generous
members that donated to the cause.
Paul posted the hand outs we received from Alan
on our Web Site under projects. So
if you would like them you can get them there.
There are two positions up for reelection, Vice
President and Secretary. Martin is getting
a list of nominee together, so if you or someone
you know would like to be a nominee
call Martin R or Ron V. Elections will be held at
our next meeting.
We had a motion to get name tags for all our
members, it was seconded and passed. So
Stan L is going to get some information together.
High School classes:
Stan L told us they had one half hour class on a
Friday in October and that
it well. He also told us that there is not
another scheduled at this time.
Monthly turning challenge:
The challenge for December is to make Christmas
If you need a new members list call Ron Velin
PROGRAM: Dr Van and Tim M gave a short talk on
some of the things that they learned from
Rudy Lopez at the Great Falls Symposium.
PROGRAM: December program is our Christmas Party.
It is potluck so bring your favorite dish.
See you there and enjoy.
Wanted, For sale,
This is your area,
Email, or phone Paul if you have an item to post here.
A Message From Members
An Article From More Woodturning
Ward, Red River Pens (www.redriverpens.com)
Please be aware that some, if
not all, finishes can cause reactions to those who are sensitive to them.
The topic of finishing pens comes
up at least once a week on the pen forums with subjects such as these:
What is the best finish?
What is a quick and durable
What is the most durable finish?
Which finish is the easiest to
Is a sanding sealer necessary?
Which finish is quick, easy, and
durable? While those three qualities don’t go together, I would say that none of
the finishes I’ve tried are especially difficult. Some take more time than
others and some are more durable than others, but I’ve not come across a finish
that is especially problematic.
The quality of the final finish
will be directly proportional to the surface preparation under that finish. A
quality finish on a pen starts with sanding. Sanding should start with as fine a
grit as possible. I turn pens with a skew leaving a very smooth surface on which
to begin sanding. I often start with 320 grit sandpaper when possible. After
sanding with the first grit, stop the lathe then clean the blank and apply a
sanding sealer. Then, continue sanding through finer grits. I stop sanding at
600 grit. Stopping the lathe and sanding length-wise after each grit of
sandpaper is also a good practice, as is cleaning the sanding dust off of the
blank. Cleaning will remove dislodged grit and keep it from interfering with the
finer grits. On open grain wood, I use a slurry made from thin CA and sanding
dust. The CA slurry will be discussed in more detail later. After sanding with
sandpaper sand with Micro Mesh
a cushioned abrasive, which leaves the wood surface as smooth as glass and ready
for the chosen finish. More information about Micro Mesh
which is available from all pen turning suppliers as well as most woodturning
suppliers, can be found at www.sisweb.com/micromesh. Purchasing full sheets and
cutting them into smaller swatches is much more economical than purchasing the
smaller swatches in sets. Micro Meshtm
will last for several months
and can be cleaned by placing it in the pockets of jeans or in a separate
garment bag and tossing in the washing machine. It can also be used wet for wet
sanding acrylics and plastics. One thing I’ve noticed penturners doing
(incorrectly) is assembling and handling pens as soon as the finish is applied.
A newly finished pen should be given time to cool and cure before assembly and
each finish has its own cure time. Learn what they are and respect that for a
much better finish.
FINISHES FOR PENS
Shellac Based Friction Polish:
The finish most of us
friction polish. Most
make pens to give away (the
or casual pen turner) will continue
to use shellac based
When used correctly, shellac-based
friction polish produces a very
However, all too often
shellac friction polish
fails to produce
the finish we desire for two
(1) the use of too much friction
polish for each coat
(2) not applying enough pressure
(friction) to create the
heat needed to
evaporate the solvent
leaving the shellac
Ever wonder why it is
polish? Several coats can be
but the pen blanks should not be
handled until the final
coat is completely
cured. Waiting until the
next day to
assemble the new pen is best. A
shellac-based friction polish
be ruined by handling the pen while
shellac is still warm and not fully
Shellac-based friction polish is
durable or as hard as pure shellac.
They have oils
and solvents added that
easy and quick to use, but reduce
durability of the finish. Remember
the white rings we often find on older furniture? Those white rings were caused
by moisture condensing on drinking glasses and reacting with the finish—the
shellac finish. Shellac reacts with the moisture and oils from our hands and
causes the finish to deteriorate and turn darker as the pens ages and is used.
Shellac-based friction polish is great for turnings that will not be handled.
Several profess to like this patina and that’s fine. Several of us do not, and
that’s fine also. Pure shellac is quite durable but takes lots of time to
Lacquer is one of my favorite
finishes. It is not a quick finish because lacquer takes a week or two or longer
to fully cure and reach its full hardness. But once it does fully cure, lacquer
can be buffed to a deep shine. Lacquer can be used in several ways: (1) full
strength from the can; (2) diluted using lacquer thinner; (3) spray can; or (4)
the dipping lacquer. Lacquer can be purchased in gloss, semi-gloss, or satin
finish. But remember, lacquer must be allowed to completely cure to its ultimate
hardness before buffing. This may take several weeks depending on individual
shop conditions. I prefer a 50-50 mix of gloss lacquer and lacquer thinner
applied on the lathe with a clean cloth. I apply 6 or 7 coats and allow the pen
to cure for two weeks before assembling and buffing. It is not a fast finish,
but lacquer is a great finish for pens.
After reading several threads on
the penturning forums, I think plexiglass finish has potential. Basically, the
plexiglass is broken into small pieces, dissolved into acetone and applied to
the pen. Smaller pieces will dissolve quicker. The solution needs to be stirred
often to keep the pieces of plexiglass from forming one large mound of
plexiglass reducing the total surface area of the plexiglass and requiring more
time for it to dissolve. Add more plexiglass or acetone as needed to reach a
solution that is close to thick syrup in consistency. The mix is applied to the
pen using paper towels. Two or three coats are applied and when it dries, wet
sanding seems to be the best way to sand. Wet sanding keeps down the heat and
the finish doesn’t melt.
Caution: use only
Other clear plastics like
Lexan(tm) will not work.
And, the best
plexiglass to use is the Cyro brand
which is used by picture
brand Acrylite(tm) is the only
acrylic currently manufactured that
guaranteed not to yellow. Other
of sheet acrylic will yellow,
brand. Scrap from picture
framing shops can be
bought cheaply or often will be given away, else it ends up in landfills
glue with or without Boiled Linseed
Oil: As will soon be revealed, finishing pens with CA glue has become my finish
of choice. And, I also use boiled linseed oil with the CA. Woodturners have been
using CA glue for filling checks, cracks, and gaps on woodturnings. But, CA has
become a popular finish for pens. I know some turners who use CA for a finish on
small bowls and spindle turnings. CA is used with and without boiled linseed oil
and results are quite comparable. I’ve seen excellent and not so
good CA finishes where
CA was used with boiled linseed oil as well as without the oil.
instructional articles have been posted on the penturning forums outlining the
finishing techniques for CA glue. Go to your favorite penturning forum and
you’ll find those instructions where ever the forum stores articles and
instructions. My CA instructions follow. I use either a sanding sealer or a
slurry of CA and sanding dust after sanding with 320 sandpaper. Sanding through
600 grit sandpaper is followed with Micro Meshtm
starting with 1500 and
progressing through 12000. An application of Medium Walnut WATCO Danish oil
follows. The Danish oil darkens the wood just a little and makes the grain very
noticeable. The pen is now ready for the CA finish.
Here are the steps I use
1. Tear a sheet of paper towel into
six or seven strips and fold. Use a piece of paper towel folded several times,
add three drops of boiled linseed oil and apply a light coat of boiled linseed
oil to the spinning pen blanks, using a slow lathe speed. I use three drops for
the entire pen with each coat of CA. I apply the finish at a much faster lathe
speed now than I did when I first started learning. (note: if you use too much
oil the CA will gunk up and not be nice and smooth or the finish will appear to
have some ghosting spots, like maybe the CA is not stuck to the wood.)
2. Hold the paper towel applicator
from step 1 (which was used to apply the boiled linseed oil) against the bottom
side of blank. Starting with the paper towel and CA bottle on same end of pen,
add a thin layer of medium CA on top of blank as the blank spins while moving
the CA and towel pad from one end of the pen to the other--one pass only--then
add light pressure with the paper towel on the blank, constantly moving
side-to-side until the CA is dry and the surface of the pen is smooth and slick.
The CA will heat up some (the heat is from the CA curing, not the friction
applied by the paper towel applicator.) Repeat process for second blank. The
paper towel should be kept moving from end to end and the CA will cure to a
bright shiny coating. After some practice, you will be able to determine how
long to keep the applicator on the blank and moving. I think many who try this
remove the applicator too soon and hence the high failure rate and frustration.
Now, do the same to the other half of the pen.
3. I sometimes lightly sand between
the CA layers but most of the time I don’t...you will learn to tell when you
should. I use very fine sandpaper (600 or 1000) or the 1500 MicroMeshtm
4. Repeat step two...I do four
coats of CA/boiled linseed oil.
5. After the final coat of
CA/boiled linseed oil, sand with Micro Meshtm
1500 to 12000.
6. After sanding with MicroMeshtm,
I buff with Tripoli, white
diamond and HUT Ultra Gloss Plastic Polish.
7. Next, I use McGuire’s scratch
and swirl remover auto polish and I use it as directed on the tube.
8. I use no wax or other top coats
over the CA finish.
That’s how it’s done and the result
is a great durable finish for pens. After using this finish for three years now,
I get such a great looking finish after the final CA/boiled linseed oil
application that I have stopped the sanding after the CA application and go
straight to the buffing step. This has come with practice and continual tweaking
of the application process. I often apply the CA to the paper towel applicator
and then apply the CA to the spinning pen, but I think learning as I have
outlined may produce quicker successful results. Deviations can be developed as
you become comfortable with the CA/boiled linseed oil finishing process. Happy
finishing....and, OH YEAH, you should keep a can of acetone close by. You will
figure out why!
good turn daily!
"Creativity Is Allowing Yourself To Make Mistakes.
Art Is Knowing Which Mistakes To Keep."
VICE PRESIDENT: Stan Lambert (406)348-3499
TREASURER: Leona Gipe (406)248-1664
Librarian: Nick Enslander
Photographer: George Hoffman (406) 259-9023
Newsletter & Website Editor: Paul Spencer (406) 861-6718
“One Good Turn” is the monthly
newsletter of Yellowstone Woodturner
Yellowstone Woodturners Club
PO Box 21836
Billings, MT 59104
A local chapter
of the American Association of Woodturners.
Map to Meeting Location
Featuring: Open to your suggestions
Roaring 20'S Auto Clubhouse