LaymarCrafts Woodturning Techniques


Wax Finish using Wet & Dry Abrasive Paper

On many of the items I Turn I prefer to have a Waxed Finish with a Luster rather than a High Gloss, this Wax Finish may be applied to either an Oil Base (see earlier Technique for more detail) or a De-Nibbed Melamine Base acting as a Sanding Sealer.

 This Technique I have used for some time and is basically the same regardless of the Base Coat, with Oil being used primarily on Burrs, and Open Grained Woods such as Ash and Oak, whereas the Melamine Base is applied to such Woods as Yew, Laburnum and the Fruit Woods, I have also found this combination works well with Spalted Wood in particular Beech.

Mirka Wet and Dry Waterproof Abrasive Paper - 230 x 280mm sheets.

It was in fact Spalted Beech, which I Turn on a regular basis, that led me to experiment with this method of Finishing, as anyone familiar with Spalted Wood is aware, the often differing Density of the Spalted and Non-Spalted areas of the  Wood can make Finishing a problem if not treated correctly throughout the Finishing phases.

I start by applying a Liberal Coating, of Pre-Catalysed Melamine Lacquer mixed 1:1 with Standard Cellulose Thinners , using a Brush ( See Hints n Tips Section) and then wiped of with a Paper Towel, once dry I then cut back the first coat using a 400g Wet n Dry Paper.

Depending on the quality / absorption rate  of the Wood (Spalted Woods in particular) I may repeat this process 3 or 4 times but never less than twice, de-Nibbing between each Coat, once I am satisfied that I have a good sound base I will then de-Nib the final Coat using 600g Wet n Dry.

I now apply a Liberal Coating of a good quality Wax (my preference is Bison Wax) applied with a soft cloth and worked well into the Surface before I Wet (or should that be Wax) Sand the Piece using 600g Wet n Dry with the Lathe Spinning at a medium speed, keeping the Surface reasonably wet with the Wax whilst using the Wet n Dry,  before finally Buffing to a Fine Sheen with a Soft Polishing Cloth.

I cannot put a time to how long this process takes because each and every piece of Wood reacts differently but generally only a few minutes are required but in some instances it can take up to an hour to complete the process.

As I said above I also use the same Technique on Burrs which due to there very nature do not lend themselves to the final stage of Buffing with a Cloth, instead I use a Fine Soft Polishing Brush (as used for Shoe Polishing) which is equally as effective.

The only problem that this presents is that the Brush after a period of time becomes laden with Polish and I normally Soak the Brush over night in a Jar of Thinners and then leave the Brush outside for a couple of hours to let the Thinners retained in the Bristles to evaporate.

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Last update 17 July 2007
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