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Mirror Finish (Read 1,682 times)
 
Norbert Dupas
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Mirror Finish
Dec 19th, 2007 at 1:40pm
 
I want to know how to get that glossy "mirror-like" finish on my projects.  I know all about the going through the grits, and that, but what about the final steps.  What do you use?  how many coats?  etc....

...bert
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...Bert

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Leo Frilot
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Re: Mirror Finish
Reply #1 - Dec 19th, 2007 at 1:55pm
 
Bert, I just achieved a mirror finish on a pecan bowl.  Yes, it did happen and the pics will soon be in the gallery.  I used a sharp radius scraper to finish the inside of the bowl, taking baby curls as I progressed.  I noticed there were some areas that had slight tearout, so I started sanding with 80 grit, otherwise I could have started with 100 or 120.  I use the 2" sanding discs on my right angle drill.  Then I progressed through the grits: 120, 180, 220, 240, 320, 400, 600 and finally 1000.  With each grit change I reversed the direction of the motor.  I finished it off with friction polish and then a coat of Renaissance wax with a regular soft cloth buffing.  Here's an example of what my finish looks like, although this is not the pecan bowl.
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I would say that the secret is proper sanding with dust removal and buffing, to get that high luster.  Friction polish is not the easiest finish to use.  You have to develop a technique and know when to stop.
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« Last Edit: Dec 19th, 2007 at 1:56pm by Leo Frilot »  

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Todd Senterfitt
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Re: Mirror Finish
Reply #2 - Dec 19th, 2007 at 2:33pm
 
Leo Frilot wrote on Dec 19th, 2007 at 1:55pm:
Friction polish is not the easiest finish to use.  You have to develop a technique and know when to stop.


Amen!  I keep getting streaks  Undecided
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Leo Frilot
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Re: Mirror Finish
Reply #3 - Dec 19th, 2007 at 3:48pm
 
To prevent streaks, wipe on a thin coat of friction polish over the entire surface, after completely sanding and dusting of course.  Wipe it on with the direction of the grain for best results.  Let it dry for about 20 seconds.  Start the lathe at slow/mod slow speed and apply more of the liquid while it is spinning.  Start in the middle and work your way to the edges.  Try to cover the area uniformly.  Then get the speed up and use a different applicator.  Apply just a few drops of the liquid and starting from center work your way out to the edges.  You have to keep a steady hand when wiping across the piece.  If your hand is not supported, the centrifugal force will try to sling your applicator out of the rotation.  To do so, I'll either use the banjo/toolrest holder as a wrist support or I'll hold my elbow tight against my belly.

Streaks tend to happen when you have a thick layer of liquid trying to blend in with a thin layer.  You REALLY have to develop this technique.  I can't tell you how many times I had to scrape the finish off and sand again because of the streaks.  I had purchased about 6 bottles so I felt compelled in making this stuff work.  And now it's an effortless approach.  IMHO, the benefit of friction polish is that you can still feel the wood grain.  No, it's not the best polish to use as far as maintaining the luster, but the carnuba is an excellent protector that will remain intact even after the shine fades away.  And the manufacturer suggests using a paper towel as an application.  I use 100% white cotton cloth.  NEVER WRAP AN APPLICATOR AROUND YOUR FINGERS OR ANY OTHER BODY PART WHEN USING FRICTION POLISH. I hold mine with 1 hand only, between thumb and index/middle finger.  That way if the cloth grabs into the finish, it will get pulled out of my grip.  

I know this is not a friction polish thread, but it's the main finish I use.  There are several other high shine techniques out there.
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« Last Edit: Dec 19th, 2007 at 3:49pm by Leo Frilot »  

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Ron Sardo
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Re: Mirror Finish
Reply #4 - Dec 19th, 2007 at 4:05pm
 
Norbert Dupas wrote on Dec 19th, 2007 at 1:40pm:
I want to know how to get that glossy "mirror-like" finish on my projects.  I know all about the going through the grits, and that, but what about the final steps.  What do you use?  how many coats?  etc....

...bert



I'm afraid to ask.... Cool What project do you have in mind for a high gloss?

I use different products to get a high gloss.
Bowls and what-nots I use Waterlox in a red can

On Xmas ornaments and what-nots I use Masters Spray Lacquer after I wipe on a thinned coat of Deft high gloss wipe on lacquer.

One trick is to get the wood to shine before you apply the finish
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Norbert Dupas
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Re: Mirror Finish
Reply #5 - Dec 19th, 2007 at 4:13pm
 
I have a "pot belly" shaped bowl, I'm reserving for this mirror finish.  It's not done yet, and is still in the drying mode, but it should look awesome, should it work out.

...Bert
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...Bert

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Leo Frilot
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Re: Mirror Finish
Reply #6 - Dec 19th, 2007 at 4:13pm
 
That is true, Ron.  That really helps.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Mirror Finish
Reply #7 - Dec 19th, 2007 at 4:39pm
 
Norbert Dupas wrote on Dec 19th, 2007 at 4:13pm:
I have a "pot belly" shaped bowl, I'm reserving for this mirror finish.  It's not done yet, and is still in the drying mode, but it should look awesome, should it work out.

...Bert



Like I said, I use Waterlox.
Any type of danish oil
will not
give a glossy appearance.


Wipe on, wait 10-15 minutes then wipe off. Sand between coats.
Do this 2 or three times, then the last coat, don't wipe off.

When it comes to finishing, what works for one doesn't always work for another. So the best advise is to experiment to see what works best for you. Ask 50 turners what they use you will get 100 different answers.

Also, if the can says "Glossy Finish" it probably is.
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« Last Edit: Dec 19th, 2007 at 4:42pm by Ron Sardo »  

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Re: Mirror Finish
Reply #8 - Dec 19th, 2007 at 11:38pm
 
The key to a glass smooth finish is to rub it out. If you want a perfect finish it takes some time. After you have enough finish to work and that depends on how smooth it is before you start, wet sand with mineral spirits and 600 grit silicon carbide paper. I forgot to say the finish needs to be completly dry and that can take a week, the harder the better, you sand it to level it out. Now get you some pummice #4 and some rottenstone, you have to go to a paint store or Woodcraft and a felt block. lubricated with either water for poly finishes or I just use mineral spirits if it won't hurt the finish. I use lacquer, it is just easier. And by the way you can get very high solids lacquer at a paint store that is way better than Deft, But that will work. You make a slurry with the powder and lubricant. It is just like sanding the finish but you are using very fine abarisives. Now you can get some products at an automotive paint store made by 3M or McGuires that work even faster. But that is how I do it. That is why the wipe on finishes are so popular they penetrate the wood and will shine if they have enough varnish in them but they really don't protect like a film finish can.
 Freddie
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Norbert Dupas
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Re: Mirror Finish
Reply #9 - Dec 19th, 2007 at 11:42pm
 
WHOA!  Thanks for that Freddy..you seem to know your stuff.  I hope I can find most of the things you mentionned.  I'm going to look into it.  By the way, what's Pumice?  Embarrassed

...Bert
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...Bert

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Freddie Hicks
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Re: Mirror Finish
Reply #10 - Dec 20th, 2007 at 12:04am
 
exactly what you think it is, ground up pummice stone, their are two different grits and #4 is finer than #2. I may not have spelled that right , They have it at Woodcraft and they sell paraffin oil as a lubricant but I just use mineral spirits. You might google rubbing out finishes or look under automotive finishing but it works. The first time I did it it was on water based poly but lacquer is much faster to apply. I've been using a product called Finessit 2 made by 3M and power buffing the finish but it is kinda tricky at first. The pummice and rottenstone are the traditional way and work very well. the rottenstone will make your finish very glossy. You wax the finish as the last step.
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Freddie Hicks
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Re: Mirror Finish
Reply #11 - Dec 20th, 2007 at 12:31am
 
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Re: Mirror Finish
Reply #12 - Dec 21st, 2007 at 7:56pm
 
what freddie is saying is that you finish the finish with pumice  and rottonstone that is what i use  for lacquer or shalac  it will give a mirror finish or what they used to call a french polish finish
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Freddie Hicks
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Re: Mirror Finish
Reply #13 - Dec 21st, 2007 at 10:51pm
 
You can also use compounds like Turtle wax rubbing compound followed by polishing compound. Works on plastic pens too.
DDT I kinda always think of french polishing like spit shinning your boots. I never have tried it, I haven't used shallec much.
      Freddie
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« Last Edit: Dec 21st, 2007 at 11:38pm by Freddie Hicks »  

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