Turning Pens into Cash
Four Hours to a Lustrous Sheen
Achieving the deep, lustrous sheen on a wood pen can require up to four hours. Alex begins by sanding the barrel to 800 grit. With the lathe spinning at about 1,100 rpm, he applies the first coat of his finish, thin cyanoacrylate (CA) glue, with a paper towel, then sprays on a CA accelerator to quickly cure the finish.
Quick Tip! Use tape as a finger pad. Alex wears nitrile gloves and wraps several layers of painter's tape around his index finger, as shown at right. As CA bleeding through the paper towel builds up on the tape, he simply peels off a layer to reveal a fresh surface. The tape also insulates his finger from heat buildup.
After three or four coats of CA, Alex steps up the speed to 2,600 rpm and sands lightly with 400-grit sandpaper to reveal low spots in the finish. After filling them with CA and sanding again, he wet-sands with MicroMesh abrasive sheets working up to 12,000 grit. Then he buffs with the No. 1 grade of Novus polish, moves on to Meguiar's Plastx polish, and finally a coat of Renaissance wax. The result is a durable, glass-like finish.
Sources: Find Meguiar's Plastx polish and Novus polish at car-care stores and on these Web sites: meguiars.com, novuspolish.com; Find MicroMesh abrasives and Renaissance wax at Woodcraft, woodcraft.com, 800-225-1153.
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