12-07-2012 12:24 PM
I am planning on turning a few pepper mills for Christmas presents, and I don't know what the best finish is. The mills will be made of figured maple.
I am considering buying some Clapham's Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish, but I really don't know whether this is the best choice. I have never used it.
I am thinking that I will turn the mills, and sand to somewhere around 1000 grit. Then use some kind of finish, then buff with a buffing wheel mounted to a bench grinder.
Is this a good plan, and if so, how many coats of the finish, and what kind of drying time between coats, and before buffing?
Any other suggestions?
12-07-2012 03:05 PM - edited 12-07-2012 03:05 PM
I would suggest lacquer. First rub in a coat of lacquer sanding sealer to seal the end grain pores. Then shoot several coats of high gloss lacquer. Finally, polish with Micromesh starting with 1500 grit and going up to 12000 grit.
12-07-2012 05:24 PM - edited 12-07-2012 05:26 PM
Larry, I don't normally use wax of any type on items that are going to be handled often. Wax will wear away and become necessary to recoat. I like the laquer as already mentioned. If you don't have the sanding capability suggested, I use a crumpled up brown paper bag. That becomes a very good finish sanding/buffing and not pricey. Lucky are those who receive these gifts and they will be quite pleased.
12-07-2012 09:14 PM
Sanding up to 1000 grit may be too fine to ensure a proper bond between the finished wood and the lacquer. I would recommend you stop at 400 to 600.
Spray on the lacquer, (see my post about "Rattle cans"), then after drying for a couple days, and while still on the lathe, rub out the surface with 0000 steel wool and TreWax and polish with a soft cotton cloth.
12-08-2012 04:18 AM
I would hate to screw up my beautiful maple with a bad finish, but maybe I will try with the first mill at least.
I did read the rattle can thread, so maybe I will try it. Or I will completely ignore the advise of people that know better than I, and still go with a rub-on finish. I will know more after coffee.
Thanks for the help!
12-08-2012 07:58 PM
Another option is what I used for finishing my Chess pieces.
A very soft, flat Sable brush and some gloss poly. Start brushing at the top while hand spinning (put something in the bottom hole to turn the piece) and gradually work your way down.
Stand the finished piece upright. The poly will flow out very nicely, and you're done. If you want two coats, buff up the first coat with 0000 steel wool and wipe very clean, and repeat.
12-11-2012 07:42 AM
I'm a wipe on poly fan for those kinds of things. It's tougher than lacquer and will take the abuse. The big advantage of lacquer however is it's easy repairability.
I'm not sure sanding too smooth is a problem. I test some finishes by applying them to glass to see how they flow out. They stick to the glass really well which I'm sure is smoother than sanded wood.